Psoriasis is a common skin condition which occurs due to the overactive immune system. In this condition, the immune system starts to attack its own cells and tissues.
Psoriatic arthritis follows a similar mechanism as that of the skin disease.
The immune system attacks the cells and tissues of the joints which eventually causes inflammation in the targeted region.
Psoriatic arthritis is the lesser occurring types of arthritis. However, this arthritic condition can affect one or more than one types of joints in the body.
The joint which is affected tends to change with time.
Among the several reasons for the occurrence of this condition, the two most common ones are external infection and inheritance of certain genes.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe Vera is a plant which is known for its medicinal and skin care properties since ages.
Aloe vera contains several active components such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, saponins, amino acids, flavonoids, sterols, aloin, aloesin .
Aloe vera has therapeutic properties such as antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune boosting and hypoglycemic properties.
8 Awesome Benefits of Aloe Vera for Psoriatic Arthritis
Aloe Vera has several pharmacologically active ingredients which are beneficial in treating psoriatic arthritis.
1. Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory agent
Aloe vera inhibits cyclooxygenase ( COX‒2) pathway which prevents inflammatory symptoms. It also reduces prostaglandin production (an inflammatory mediator).
It contains C‒ glucosylchromone, an anti-inflammatory compound. It has both protective and curative properties against inflammation.
What does this mean? Aloe vera alleviates the symptoms of inflammation in patients of psoriatic arthritis.
2. Aloe vera regulates immune responses in psoriasis
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Aloe vera modulates the immune system in several ways.
The active ingredients of aloe vera inhibit the release of free radicals from immune cells thereby preventing inflammation2.
Anthraquinones and chromone are the therapeutic agents which possess strong anti-inflammatory effects.
It inhibits the influx of calcium in an immune cell hence, inhibiting the release of inflammation inducing agents.
What does this mean? Aloe vera modifies immune system in psoriatic arthritis patients. This helps in treating this disorder by rectifying the activity of immune system.
3. Aloe vera gel helps to maintain healthy skin
The skin of psoriatic arthritis patient is also affected due to psoriasis. A study revealed that aloe vera extract cream cured 25 out of 30 patients with psoriasis.
Vitamins, minerals, saponins present in aloe vera relieves patchy skin by making it smooth.
It has been shown to increase the water content of the skin after a single application.
Hence, aloe vera improves skin hydration by acting as a humectant (a substance that has the ability to absorb water).
What does this mean? Aloe vera hydrates skin and helps maintain healthy skin.
4. Aloe vera has antioxidant property
The vitamins, flavonoids are the major antioxidants present in aloe vera. These prevent inflammation in arthritis.
The leaf and flower extract of aloe vera plant have antioxidant activity. It can scavenge free radicals thereby preventing the destruction of immune cells.
What does this mean? Antioxidants prevent inflammation and are beneficial in alleviating symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.
5. Aloe vera remedies psoriasis in a month
Some studies suggest that extracts of aloe vera are 81% effective against psoriasis. This may prevent the development of psoriatic arthritis.
Another study was carried out with sixty patients of psoriasis and efficacy of aloe vera extract 0.5% in a hydrophilic cream was tested. It was observed that aloe vera extract was 83% effective.
What does this mean? Aloe vera heals psoriasis and alleviates the symptoms which are further useful in lowering the risk of psoriatic arthritis.
6. It helps in collagen synthesis for skin health
Aloe vera significantly increases the synthesis of collagen (the main structural protein of skin)1.
Aloe vera is known to stimulate fibroblast (a cell that forms collagen) that produces collagen making the skin elastic.
It binds the superficial flaky skin of patients thereby softening the skin.
Aloe vera is rich in glucomannans which are the key contributors in collagen synthesis.
What does this mean? Aloe vera repairs the skin in patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis. It fastens the healing process of the affected parts of the skin.
7. Aloe vera relieves pain in psoriatic arthritis
Aloe vera has been suggested as a topical analgesic for sensitive skin. Aloe vera is rich in fatty acids and anthraquinones (phenolic compounds).
Aloin and emodin are analgesic anthraquinones. Lupeol is a fatty acid which has analgesic effect1.
What does this mean? Pain relief is very much required to heal patients of psoriatic arthritis as the major symptom is pain and inflammation of the joints. Aloe vera acts as a natural painkiller.
8. Aloe vera is a natural steroid that can help in arthritis treatment
Aloe vera contains mainly four plant steroids viz. cholesterol, campesterol, sisosterol and lupeol.
They have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic properties. Moreover, the topical application of aloe vera increases the absorption of steroid creams such as hydrocortisone.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 2009 demonstrates that aloe vera gel is better than steroidal cream, triamcinolone acetonide in reducing psoriasis symptoms in patients.
What does this mean? For the treatment of psoriatic arthritis medications such as steroids are generally recommended. Aloe vera being a natural steroid acts as a herbal therapist for psoriatic arthritis.
How to take Aloe vera in diet
The plant aloe vera can be grown in the vicinity of one’s home and it is also easily available in the market.
The plant does not require specific care and is considered a good houseplant.
The leaves of this plant can be mashed and taken but the prickly thorns of the leaves must be removed to avoid any problem while consuming.
The liquid-like gel substance can also be squeezed from within the leaves and taken regularly.
The aloe vera extract is also easily available in the market in various forms.
The most common form in which it available is the aloe vera juice which can be taken regularly for a healthy diet.
The extract of aloe is also found to be the main ingredient in lotions, creams and ointments which can be applied on the affected region.
The gel of aloe leaves is also added to cosmetic and beauty products which can also be applied on the skin.
The anti-inflammatory ointments also contain aloe vera gel which helps in reducing inflammation.
The extract of aloe is also found in the form of capsules and tablets.
However, these capsules and tablets should be taken under the supervision of a health advisor under recommended dosages.
Dosage of Aloe vera For Psoriatic Arthritis
One or two teaspoons are recommended for oral intake. Topical application can be done twice daily.
Precautions while taking Aloe Vera
Topical application of aloe vera can cause redness or allergic reactions. Abdominal cramps, diarrhea or constipation are certain side effects of oral consumption.
Oral intake of aloe vera is not recommended in pregnancy and in breastfeeding mothers it can cause gastrointestinal problems in the infant1.
Aloe vera indirectly alleviates the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis by its anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic properties.
As patients of psoriasis are at a greater risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, aloe vera relieves the symptoms of psoriasis thereby preventing psoriatic arthritis.
Aloe vera enhances the mechanism of skin hydration to relieve patchy and dry skin in patients.
Aloe vera is an efficient drug delivery agent that increases the effectiveness of the treatment.
Its therapeutic components have a beneficial effect on patients with psoriatic arthritis.