Botanicals in Dermatology: An Evidence-based Review

Juliane Reuter; Irmgard Merfort; Christoph M. Schempp


Am J Clin Dermatol. 2010;11(4):247-267. 

In This Article

10. Conclusion

An increasing number of botanical extracts have been studied in randomized, controlled, clinical trials, i.e. in the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases and chronic venous insufficiency. Plant monographs such as the monographs of the former German Commission E, ESCOP, and ABC provide specific recommendations for the use of various botanicals in dermatology. Botanicals play an important role as home remedies or self-medication of trivial dermatologic disorders, but extracts with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant capacities seem especially useful in diseases of high actual and increasing importance such as AD, psoriasis, and infections with resistant microorganisms, where some botanicals might become first-line treatments. Wounds, burns, and acne are examples of applications where the traditional use of botanicals is helpful at least as adjuvant treatments. However, many more controlled clinical studies with well defined botanical extracts and preparations are needed to determine the efficacy and risks of popular plant-derived products in dermatology. Extensive use of botanicals in nutrition supplements and cosmetic care should also be accompanied by research, especially concerning long-term safety and tolerability.


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