Scleroderma is a type of autoimmune disorder that affects the connective tissues. The connective tissues are made up of fibers, cells and extracellular matrices that help in supporting and binding the various tissues of the body. Scleroderma occurs when synthesis of collagen, the protein that forms the main building block of the connective tissues, increases abnormally. It causes formation of scar tissues in the skin, leading to hardening and tightening of the skin.
Scleroderma may even affect the connective tissues present in the internal organs, digestive tract and blood vessels. Scleroderma is an incurable disease. Treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms and arresting progression of the disease. Herbal remedies are often effective in preventing the complications of the ailment and improving the quality of life.
Herbal Remedies For Scleroderma
Turmeric is an excellent herbal remedy for skin disorders. Curcumin, the key bioactive constituent of turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound that helps in maintaining the health and function of the skin. Laboratory studies have highlighted the effectiveness of curcumin in treating the symptoms of scleroderma.
It is especially good for people suffering from systematic scleroderma that causes fibrosis or formation of scar tissues in the lungs and other internal organs. It works by obstructing the process of scar tissue formation. People suffering from scleroderma can take about 300 mg of turmeric thrice daily.
In Ayurveda, Boswellia serrata, commonly known as Indian frankincense, is recommended for alleviating the symptoms of scleroderma. The gummy resin of the tree is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that helps in reducing inflammation associated with scleroderma.
Recent studies with Boswellia serrata suggests that its gummy resin also possesses anti-fibrotic property that can help in inhibiting formation of scar tissues in the skin and internal organs of people suffering from scleroderma.
Gotu kola or Centella asiatica can benefit people suffering from scleroderma. In a study, researchers found that the herb helped in reducing skin hardening and joint pain in scleroderma patients.
Although the exact mechanism through which gotu kola affects the symptoms of scleroderma is unknown, researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory constituents of the herb may play a role in improving the symptoms of the disease.
Keishi-bukuryo-gan is an herbal formulation comprising of cinnamon bark, root of Chinese peony, seed of peach, Poria mushroom and the root bark of tree peony. In the Chinese and Japanese traditional medicines it is used for treating the symptoms of scleroderma.
In laboratory studies, researchers found that Keishi-bukuryo-gan prevents formation of scar tissues by inhibiting production of collagen. Moreover, it affects the scleroderma fibroblasts involved in abnormal collagen synthesis, whereas the healthy fibroblasts are not affected by the herbal formulation. Hence, it is considered a safe herbal remedy for scleroderma.
In the traditional Chinese medicine, the plant hydrangea or hortensia is used for treating scleroderma. The root of hydrangea is known as Chang Shan in China. It contains halofuginone, a compound that helps in preventing abnormal activities of the immune system that leads to autoimmune disorders such as scleroderma.
It works by suppressing production of amino acids that serve as the building blocks of the T-helper 17 (Th17) cells that are responsible for triggering abnormal immune reaction.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.