The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Indigo naturalis to treat plaque-type psoriasis

    Topical indigo naturalis is a traditional Chinese herbal therapy.

    In this study by researchers from Taiwan studied its use in treatment-resistant psoriasis.

    First, the details.

    • 42 people with chronic plaque psoriasis applied either indigo naturalis ointment or vehicle ointment to each of 2 sites of psoriatic plaque lesions for about 12 weeks.
    • Changes in reddening, scaling, and induration (hardness) scores, and clearing of the target plaque lesions were assessed by 2 observers who were not aware of the treatment.

    And, the results.

    • There were significant reductions in scaling, erythema, and induration after indigo naturalis treatment vs the control.
    • The percentage of plaque area also decreased significantly: to 39% after indigo naturalis vs 90% in controls.
    • 74% of the areas treated with indigo naturalis were cleared or near clear.
    • No side effects were reported.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Topical indigo naturalis ointment was a novel, safe, and effective therapy for plaque-type psoriasis.”

    They also believe that a more potent form of the product than used in this study — one that is better absorbed and easier to use — will improve patient compliance with this treatment.

    There’s limited research on indigo naturalis. Another positive report that includes favorable changes in cell proliferation and inflammation, as well as clinical response to treatment is here. It appears that all the research comes from the same group of researchers in Taiwan.

    11/17/08 20:58 JR

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