Suffering from psoriasis? This plant extract gets to the ‘root’ of the problem

A skin care range containing a plant extract called Oregon Grape Root (OGR), plus other helpful ingredients including caffeine, have proven to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms associated with the skin condition psoriasis

The two-month trial, carried out by a UK doctor on 50 people, found that Oregon skincare products improved body and face psoriasis for 86% of the patients, with 75% of these experiencing a marked improvement after just four weeks.

OGR also appeared to be more helpful than standard treatments for almost half the sufferers.

Overall, 50% of participants had previously been treated with steroids or Dovonex and, of those, 95% said that after eight weeks the OGR treatment range had improved all psoriasis symptoms (including itching, scaling, plaque thickness and redness) beyond the level of improvement already experienced on their existing steroid-based treatments.

Dr Vincent Forte, the doctor who carried out the UK trial, said: “I found that OGR skin products are effective, well-tolerated and very acceptable treatments for psoriasis, with a very low incidence of side-effects.

“OGR compares favorably with topical steroids and Dovonex and the trial results indicate these are well-liked treatments that psoriasis sufferers would use again.”

In a separate study carried out at Bath University by leading trichologist Tony Maleedy, a shampoo and conditioner containing Oregon Grape Root found that 95% of users on the trial found that the Oregon hair care products improved itching, plaque build-up, dryness and redness of the scalp.

Psoriasis is a recurrent skin condition that affects around 2% of the UK population. It’s caused by an acceleration of skin cell production.

Normally a skin cell matures in 21-28 days. Psoriatic cells, however, turn over in 2-3 days and in such profusion that the live cells reach the surface and accumulate with the dead cells still in visible layers (hence the plaques).

OGR is a native plant of North America and has been extensively examined as a treatment for psoriasis in several published studies.

These studies have found that compounds isolated from extracts of OGR possess inhibitory activity against Lipoxygenase (an enzyme involved in psoriatic skin cell production).

At the cellular level, OGR has been shown to guard against accelerated activity during the process of keratinocytes (skin cell production).

Other published studies have also highlighted how caffeine can also help inhibit the symptoms of psoriasis when used topically.

The Oregon Total Care Pack includes a daily maintenance cream, an intensive skin rescue serum, shampoo and conditioner and costs £34.00 available here

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