Psoriasis - An Exciting Breakthrough
by Adam Jackson
conditions. Using the extract in controlled, clinical studies, the researchers went on to
demonstrate that Mahonia aquifolium can effectively alleviate symptoms in 4 out of 5
psoriasis sufferers!

So, what is Mahonia aquifolium?

Mahonia aquifolium is widespread in the forests of North America, and is also known
as the cultivated plant ‘Mahonia’. It is commonly found in gardens and parks growing
as high as 1 - 2 metres with ever-green, leathery pinnate leaves, with a very shiny
upper surface and a thorny toothed edge.

It’s yellow buds develop into blue , frost-covered berries which contain a dark-red
juice and contain 2-5 shiny seeds. The berries are edible and are used to make wine
and brandy. The bark of roots and stems contain alkaloids which have a number of
therapeutic properties.

In North American medicine, Mahonia aquifolium has been traditionally used to treat
fever, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, gout, rheumatic ailments, kidney and liver diseases, but
most prominently for skin complaints. However, only in the last five years have
scientists discovered how and why this herbal extract is so beneficial for psoriasis
sufferers.

Research

Mahonia aquifolium has been recommended by Medical Herbalists for many years for
people suffering from Psoriasis & Eczema. It has been applied topically and taken
internally and both forms have been shown to be effective.

The first study to attract media attention about Mahonia aquifolium was an open,
prospective multi centre trial in 89 dermatological practices in Germany, where 433
patients with subacute and chronic forms of psoriasis were treated with Mahonia
aquifolium ointment.

Of the 433 patients who entered into the study, 375 were treated over the planned
period of 12 weeks, or dropped out of the study early because of total clearing of the
skin, A modified PASI score fell significantly from 5.5 plus or minus 4.0 to 2.3 plus or
minus 2.6.

According to an overall evaluation by dermatologists, symptoms improved or
disappeared in 81.1% of patients; and according to a subjective evaluation by the
patients, 79.7% improved or healed completely. The tolerability of Mahonia aquifolium
ointment was evaluated as good or very good by 82.4% of patients.

Significant Improvement

There was a significant improvement in the quality of life, which was used as a
subjective parameter throughout the study. While 30.1% of patients had significant or
severe symptoms at the start, this was the case for only 5.6% after 12 weeks. M.
aquifolium ointment is thus a well-tolerated preparation which should find a place in
the treatment of psoriasis.

Later, in a multi-centred, randomised, controlled study, 93 patients suffering from mild
to moderately severe psoriasis received treatment by either topical application of
Mahonia aquifolium ointment or internal ingestion of Mahonia aquifolium extract. At
the end of the treatment, significant improvement had occurred in more than 70 per
cent of patients in both groups.

More recently, an article published in 2005 in the American Journal of Therapeutics
detailed a further three studies all of which confirmed the beneficial effects of Mahonia
aquifolium in the treatment of Psoriasis.

The first study was an open-label study to evaluate the safety of Mahonia aquifolium
in 39 patients treated for 12 weeks. Assessments made were modified PASI, global
assessment, psoriasis history questionnaire, Dermatology Life Quality Index, and
Psoriasis Disability Index. The results revealed a statistically significant improvement in
PASI score and Dermatology Life Quality Index after just four weeks of treatment.

The patients were followed up a month later and the positive outcomes were shown
to have continued.

In the second study, a clinical trial involving 32 patients with mild to moderate bilateral
psoriasis treated up to 6 months. One side of the body received Mahonia and the
other standard psoriatic treatment (eg, Dovonex cream). The primary outcomes
were patient ratings of the Mahonia-treated side alone and the comparison between
treatments received on each side of their body.

The results revealed that eighty-four percent of patients rated the Mahonia-treated
psoriasis as 'good to excellent' response. When compared with standard treatment,
63% of patients rated Mahonia aquifolium 'equal to or better' than the standard
psoriatic treatment.

Improvement with ONE week

Study 3 was an observational study of 33 patients with mild to moderate bilateral
psoriasis treated for a one month period. The results showed improvement in
psoriasis after just one week of treatment. The side treated with Mahonia did as well
or better than the side treated with the vehicle cream.

The report concluded that results from all three clinical trials are in agreement with
published data that include placebo-controlled studies. Taken together, these clinical
studies conducted by several investigators in several countries indicate that Mahonia
aquifolium is a safe and effective treatment of patients with mild to moderate
psoriasis.

Conclusion

Mahonia aquifolium offers real hope to thousands of Psoriasis sufferers and is, without
doubt, the safest & most effective herbal psoriasis treatment available. No other
controlled studies (even those using corticosteroids) have produced such outstanding
results. And, of course, the added benefit of Mahonia Aquifolium is that it is a
completely natural, herbal preparation, and unlike steroids, has no major adverse side
effects. The leading & original brand of Psoriasis products containing Mahonia
aquifolium is called 'M-Folia' and is available from
.


About The Author

Adam Jackson is a qualified health practitioner, health writer, author and former
columnist with the Nursing Times & Health Guardian.
There’s good news for the
hundreds of thousands of people
who suffer with psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a skin condition
characterised by scaly red
blotches which commonly appear
on the elbows and knees but can
affect the entire body including
the scalp.

Researchers have discovered a
special extract of the plant
Mahonia aquifolium contains
potent alkaloids that are effective
in the fight against Psoriasis,
Eczema and related skin
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