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Unani Herbal Formulations Show Promise in Treating Chronic Plaque Psoriasis, Reveals Clinical Trial


Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin, can be a challenging condition to manage. While modern therapeutic options exist, finding an effective and safe treatment remains an ongoing pursuit.

However, recent findings from a clinical

Image: Plaque psoriasis

trial published in the esteemed Journal of Ethnopharmacology have shed light on a potential solution: Unani herbal formulations. This ancient system of medicine, with its roots in Greece and the Arab world, has shown promise in the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis. Let's delve into the details and explore the exciting results of this peer-reviewed study.

The clinical trial:

Conducted in India by a team of researchers from various institutions, the clinical trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Unani herbal formulations compared to standard therapies. The trial involved 66 male and female participants, aged 18 to 65, who had chronic plaque psoriasis with a psoriasis area severity index (PASI) of 10% or higher.

The Unani group received oral Itrīfal Shāhtra and topical Marham Ḥina twice daily, while the control group received oral 8-methoxypsoralen and topical petroleum jelly. Both groups were also advised to expose their skin to sunlight for a few minutes each day.

For those interested in reading the full article, the study can be accessed on PubMed with the PMID: 35724745, or through the following link:

Trial results:

The primary outcome measure was the change in the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI), assessed at each visit. Secondary outcome measures included patient global assessment and subjective parameters such as erythema, induration, scaling, and itching. Safety assessments were conducted through various tests including hemogram, liver function tests (LFTs), renal function tests (RFTs), chest X-ray (CXR), electrocardiogram (ECG), urine analysis, and stool tests.

The results were highly encouraging. The Unani formulations outperformed the control drugs in terms of clinically significant endpoints. In fact, all 25 participants in the Unani group achieved a PASI 50 response, while an impressive 76% achieved a PASI 75 response. Moreover, the Unani formulations demonstrated superior safety, efficacy, and tolerability when compared to the standard therapies.

Implications and Future Research:

Based on the positive outcomes of this trial, the researchers propose further evaluation of Unani herbal formulations in a well-designed multicentric superiority trial with a larger sample size. This would help validate the findings on a broader scale and provide more robust evidence for the potential benefits of Unani medicine in the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis.


Living with chronic plaque psoriasis can be a constant battle, but the results of this clinical trial bring hope. Unani herbal formulations, steeped in centuries of traditional medicine, have demonstrated their potential as a safe and effective treatment option. Published in the esteemed Journal of Ethnopharmacology, this study adds credibility to the findings. While more research is needed to confirm these results, the current evidence is promising. This study serves as a stepping stone towards unlocking the therapeutic benefits of Unani medicine and offers a glimmer of hope for individuals struggling with psoriasis.


Khatoon F, Azahar M, Jabeen A, Uddin Q, Husain N, Naikodi MAR. Treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis with herbal Unani formulations: A randomized control trial of efficacy and safety. J Ethnopharmacol. 2022 Oct 5;296:115456. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2022.115456. Epub 2022 Jun 17. PMID: 35724745.


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