BEAUTY&STYLE Published October16, 2014 By Staff Writer

Natural Herb Skullcap Helps Relieve Psoriasis Symptoms

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Scutellaria baicalensis
(Photo : Ghislain118)

Researchers have found a new and natural remedy for skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.

Skullcap, also known as huang qin, is a flowering herb grown in the Northern Hemisphere. Relatively unheard of by many, scutellaria baicalensis (skullcap's scientific name). The plant and its bluish-purple flowers is popular in traditional Eastern medicine and has been used for centuries to address skin problems. Skullcap posseses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it such as healing herb.

According to N'Kita Wilson, a New Jersey cosmetic chemist, skullcap has been proven to be effective in reducing itching, swelling, and inflammation. Such capabilities are all thanks to skullcap's roots, which contain three major compounds: baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin. These three are flavonoids, or antioxidants that neutralize chemical reactions that are cell-damaging.

Skullcap can be found in any local vitamin store, GNC, or Whole Foods, or any store specializing in natural, herbal, and organic products. Skullcap is available as a topical cream or gel and as a supplement as well. For psoriasis treatment, topical is the way to go.

Though highly beneficial, it is still recommended to inform your consulting doctor about any supplements or herbs that you are incorporating in your regimen. Even herbs have side effects, and some chemically interact with over-the-counter or prescription medications, which may lead to more harm than good.

When looking at the label of a skullcap product, Wilson notes that it is not enough that "skullcap" is listed at the top of the ingredients. Despite claims written on the packaging, Wilson advises consumers to scrutinize and read the front package and the ingredients list very carefully.

Wilson says that if a product lists other ingredients that can also achieve the same claims as it it making, then skullcap may be irrelevant in this product, maybe even minimal, she said. It is best to have as few ingredients other than skullcap in your product (particularly gel or cream) as much as possible.

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