Oral (Systemic) Botanical Agents for the Treatment of Psoriasis: A Review

Benjamin Farahnik, Divya Sharma, Joseph Alban, Raja K Sivamani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Patients with psoriasis often use botanical therapies as part of their treatment. It is important for clinicians to be aware of the current evidence regarding these agents as they treat patients. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using the PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE database for randomized clinical trials assessing the use of botanical therapeutics for psoriasis. The search included the following keywords: "psoriasis" and "plant" or "herbal" or "botanical." Citations within articles were also reviewed to identify relevant sources. The results were then further refined by route of administration, and the oral (systemic) botanical agents are reviewed herein. Results: A total of 12 controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials addressing the use of oral, systemic botanical agents for psoriasis were assessed in this review. While overall evidence is limited in quantity and quality, HESA-A, curcumin, neem extract, and, to a lesser degree, Traditional Chinese Medicine seem to be the most efficacious agents. Conclusion: The literature addresses a large amount of studies in regards to botanicals for the treatment of psoriasis. While most agents appear to be safe, further research is necessary for evidence-based recommendation of oral botanical agents to psoriasis patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-425
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • botanicals
  • herbal
  • oral
  • plant
  • psoriasis
  • systemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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