Use of wrightia tinctoria for psoriasis is promoted by the Siddha system of medicine- a traditional medical system originated in ancient South India.
The wrightia tinctoria leaf extracts in virgin coconut oil applied on affected body parts twice a day to reduce scaling, lesions thickness, inflammation and skin redness.
Virgin coconut oil refers to pure (non bleached and non filtered) coconut oil extracted from the coconut kernels by cold pressing method to retain all the health benefits intact.
Read more: Virgin Coconut oil for Psoriasis
Let us know Wrightia Tinctoria
Wrightia tinctoria is a flowering plant with potent medicinal properties. Various parts of this plant- leaves, bark, seeds and root- are used for various health benefits.
It is named after a Scottish biologist and physician, William Wright.
- It is a small plant that grows up to 8 to 10 meters in height. The flowers are white in color.
- It is deciduous in nature- the leaves fall after maturity.
- Being native to India and Myanmar, other countries where it is mainly found are Nepal, Vietnam, Australia and Southeast Asian countries.
Other names of wrightia tinctoria- Sweet Indrajao, Pala Indigo plant, Shwetha Kutaja, Dudhi, Kala Kuda.
- The Ayurveda (Sanskrit) name of wrightia tinctoria is Shwetha Kutaja.
- Leaves and seeds of this plant yield a natural dye- pale indigo in color. That’s why it is also called as dyer’s oleander.
- The juice of wrightia tinctoria leaves is used as a folk remedy to treat jaundice. That’s why it is also known as jaundice curative tree.
Medicinal benefits of Wrightia Tinctoria
According to the various Siddha and Ayurveda text manuals, wrightia tinctoria extracts can be used to treat skin problems, liver disorders and broad spectrum viral infections.
Some of the uses of Wrightia tinctoria as a folk remedy are:
- The crushed leaves are used as a poultice to treat burns, boils, wounds, rashes, mouth ulcers.
- The juice of crushed leaves to treat jaundice.
- The fresh leaves are crushed and filled in the tooth cavity to provide relief from toothache.
- The leaf extracts in coconut oil to treat inflammatory skin problems such as psoriasis and non specific dermatitis.
- The leaf and bark extracts are administered orally to kill intestinal worms.
- The bark is used to treat diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, piles and kidney stone.
- The seeds are used to boost the libido (sex drive) and improves skin firmness and tightness.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Another animal study published in the International Journal of Pharmtech Research, Oct-Dec 2010 evaluated the chloroform extract of wrightia tinctoria with diclofenac sodium (a conventional antiinflammatory drug formulation) and found at par results.
Another animal study reported in the Journal of Biologically Active Products from Nature, Vol 1, 2011 suggested that leaf extracts of wrightia tinctoria possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
- Antifungal properties– A research study reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Oct 2010 concluded that leaf extracts of wrightia tinctoria posses antifungal properties and it can be used to treat ringworm.
- Antiviral activity– A research study published in the International Journal of Chemical Sciences, Vol 7, 2009 confirmed the antiviral properties of methanol extracts of wrightia tinctoria leaves against Hepatitis-C virus.
- Wound healing properties– As published in the Journal of Natural Remedies, Vol 4, 2004- the ethanol extract of wrightia tinctoria bark has potent wound healing properties.
- Antibacterial properties– A research study conducted at the Entomology Research Institute, Chennai, India suggested that leaf extracts of wrightia tinctoria may possess antibacterial properties. Though, more studies are required to draw any concrete conclusion.
Wrightia tinctoria plant extracts contain a variety of phytochemicals (naturally occurring biologically active chemicals) which are responsible for almost all the health benefits.
- Flavonoids- anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-viral in nature. Aids in digestion and weight loss.
- Beta-Sitosterol- It is used as a salicylic acid replacement due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is used in creams and ointments to soothe and treat muscle ache, swelling, wounds and burns. There are animal studies to claim its possible use against atopic dermatitis.
- Saponin- regulates the immune system, anti-oxidant in nature.
Wrightia Tinctoria for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder where the faulty immune system results in rapid growth of skin cells to cause thick psoriasis patches on various parts of the body. The situation is worsened by skin inflammation and itching.
Various possible reasons for a faulty immune system are:
- Genetic problems
- Accumulation of body toxins due to chronic indigestion and constipation
- Inefficient digestive system (including liver)
- Food intolerance
- Chronic stress
- Long term use of steroids and antibiotics
- Any skin injury of infection
- Over consumption of tobacco (smoking) and alcohol
- Unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle
Psoriasis is not just a skin problem- it is mainly a problem related to the sluggish body metabolism (precisely the inefficient digestive system). Hence, just taking care of the external skin patches is not enough.
The long term relief from this stubborn skin disorder can be attained by adopting an inside-out holistic healing approach focussing the inner body matters.
We have already in detail about the five pillars of holistic healing of psoriasis. Let us revise them again:
- Restricted diet
- Positive, healthy lifestyle
- Stress management
- Use of dietary supplements and herbs
- Use of natural/ herbal topical oils, shampoos and creams
So, how can wrightia tinctoria help here?
Yes, it can help as a natural topical oil- the leaf extract in virgin coconut oil shows promising results in various case studies. Traditional Siddha and Ayurveda doctors also approve it.
Wrightia Tinctoria for Psoriasis- Research studies
- An animal (rat) study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Vol 2, 1998 suggested that wrightia tinctoria extracts posses superior antipsoriatic activity than betamethasone and retinyl acetate. Retinyl acetate is a vitamin A based topical formulation.
- Another case study conducted by the Siddha doctors at the Praveena Hospitals, Chennai, India evaluated the effect of wrightia tinctoria leaf extracts in coconut oil against dithranol to treat plaque psoriasis. Dithranol is a pharma based topical solution used to treat plaque psoriasis. A total of 30 patients in the age group 22-64 were divided into two separate groups. The first group applied wrightia tinctoria extracts on the psoriasis lesions twice a day and the second group followed the same procedure with dithranol. After 8 weeks of daily application, the reduction in scaling and skin redness was observed in both the groups. But, wrightia tinctoria performed better to reduce skin inflammation (measured in terms of dermal vessel tortuosity) than dithranol.
How it works- the mode of action
The exact mode of action of wrightia tinctoria for psoriasis is yet to be established. Various possible reasons for the effectiveness of wrightia tinctoria for psoriasis are:
- The phytochemicals in Wrightia tinctoria extracts contain stimulates the production of collagen in human skin to relieve psoriasis symptoms.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in human body which is continuously produced by body cells. It plays a vital role in providing strength, structure and durability to the skin. It maintains the skin elasticity and tightness- helps in restoration and replacement of dead skin cells also.
- The phytochemicals (flavonoids, saponins and beta-sitosterol) illustrate potent anti-inflammatory properties. Along with that, flavonoids slow down the production of helper T-cells (Th 17 cells) which in turn slows down the release of inflammation inducing chemicals (cytokines) to relieve skin inflammation
Wrightia tinctoria is a folk medicinal plant. It has been used for a long time by traditional health experts without any documented side effects. Hence, external application is completely safe for daily application. Sometimes, due to prolonged use of steroidal creams and ointments, you may experience a mild skin irritation during the initial days of application. But, these symptoms would fade away soon.
As far as internal consumption is concerned, I have some reservations. Though, various parts of the plant- flowers, leaves, seeds- are edible. Still, I couldn’t gather enough information if this plant can be consumed orally and what could be the possible side effects. Hence, I would not recommend internal consumption without the permission of an experienced Siddha health expert.
From where to buy
If you are lucky enough to have plenty of wrightia tinctoria plants at your location, then just collect a whole bunch of leaves and make your own oil solution.
Otherwise, opt for a readymade wrightia tinctoria oil preparation- Dr. JRK’s 777 oil. This herbal oil preparation is prepared by dissolving leaf extracts of wrightia tinctoria in pure coconut oil.
The 777 oil has been tested and approved by various hospitals and research labs to check its antipsoriatic efficacy. The user reviews are also encouraging.
Apply the oil thoroughly on all the affected body parts (including scalp). Then expose the skin to sunlight for around 15-20 minutes followed by bathing using a natural shampoo and soap.
Exposure to sunlight enhances the oil absorption and activity. But, it is not mandatory. If your lifestyle or the climatic conditions don’t allow it, don’t worry too much.
Apart from 777 oil, this company manufactures a whole range of products to manage psoriasis- a bathing bar, a shampoo, two more oils and a bunch of dietary supplements. But, in my opinion, it is more of a marketing strategy to make extra money. You just use this 777 oil along with a good natural soap and shampoo.
Read more: How to select a scalp psoriasis shampoo
You can purchase 777 oil from a chemist shop near to you or get it from Amazon:
If you are from USA, click here to check
If you are from UK, click here to check
Wrightia tinctoria (777 oil) or any external topical solution is not a CURE for psoriasis. It can help manage the external psoriasis symptoms when used along with following all the rules of holistic healing- healthy restricted diet, no smoking, very less alcohol, regular exercise, stress management and consumption of dietary supplements like omega 3 fats and vitamin d.
Read more: Dr Pagano Diet for Psoriasis