End the Heartbreak of Psoriasis

By Rosemarie Colombraro

A study conducted by researchers in Taiwan suggests that Indigo naturalis, or qing dai, may help treat psoriasis. Chinese medicine practitioners use the dark blue plant to treat inflammation and infection as well as other conditions.

Researchers mixed the powdered herb with a base lotion made from petroleum jelly, yellow wax, and olive oil, and applied it to one side of each participant’s body; they used the same base lotion—sans the indigo—on a corresponding part of the body (usually an arm, leg, or knee). Seventy-four percent of the participants experienced significant clearing of the psoriasis in the areas treated with the indigo. Note: Researchers vouch only for indigo’s use as a topical treatment and don’t recommend anyone using it internally since long-term supplementation has been linked to liver and gastrointestinal problems. I. naturalis can be found in powdered form at stores carrying Chinese herbal medicines. We’d suggest mixing it with a petroleum-free lotion or olive oil.