Updated: May 22, 2019
Traditional Chinese Medicine continues to use Indigo Leaf (indigo naturalis) medicinally to treat; high fever, child epilepsy, nose bleeding, mouth inflammation, sore throat, gum inflammation, tonsillitis, coughing, insect or snake bite as well as inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Until recently the had been little scientific research to support its use.
However, recent studies have shown strong evidence to suggest that indigo leaf has a positive impact on psoriasis when applied topically. Let's have a look at why we believe Indigo Leaf is one of the kindest skin care ingredients.
So what exactly is indigo leaf?
Indigo Leaf (Indigo Naturalis), also known as qing dai, has long been used as a traditional Chinese herbal medicine and as a natural dye. Manufacturers extract it from a variety of different plants, including Baphicacanthus cusia.
How can it be used in skin care?
Indigo Leaf is often turned into a powder and added to a number of skin care products includes; creams, scrubs, masks and soaps.
What skin care benefits does it bring?
A trial from 2004/2005 showed that, of the 34 patients who completed the study, none experienced worsening psoriasis in the areas treated with indigo naturalis, while the treated plaques were completely or nearly completely cleared for 25 of them (74 percent). None experienced serious adverse effects.
This and further scientific trials have found reasonable evidence to support a recommendation of topical indigo naturalis on a trial basis for patients with mild to moderate psoriasis. Its beneficial action is believed to result from an anti-proliferative effect on keratinocytes and repair of the epidermal barrier. In practical terms what does this mean?
Regulates keratinocyte proliferation - Keratinocytes are any cell which produces keratin. When we think of keratin we most often think of hair but it also on of the structural elements of the outer layer of the skin. One of the key characteristics of Psoriasis is the over production of keratin which is also accompanied by abnormal differences between the cells produced. Indigo leaf appear to regulate keratin production; reducing plaques.
Helps to restore the epidermal barrier function - The skin barrier is made up of three main components; lipids (fatty acids), cholesterol and ceramics. Indigo leaf appear to support the repair of this barrier when applied topically.
Reduces Inflammation inflammatory processes - Those treated with topical indigo leaf have been shown to present lower levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17), which is a marker of inflammation in people with psoriasis.
Who is INDIGO LEAF beneficial for?
The proven primary benefit is for those suffering with psoriasis; specifically plaque psoriasis. However, due to its impact on inflammation it may be beneficial for anyone dealing with an inflammatory skin condition.
Does it come with any side effects?
In scientific trials the only observed side effect from topical application is temporary itching for a small proportion of those taking part in the study. Indigo Leaf appears to be safe and effective.
Which Kind of Products contain indigo leaf?
Bloomtown's Spring range of products are all unscented, cruelty free, vegan and palm oil free. From this range three are infused with Indigo Leaf making them a great purchase for those dealing with psoriasis.
Blue Clay & Indigo Leaf Soothing Mask
Massively nourishing and surprisingly moisturising. This clay mask is unlike any we've ever tried and at this price for 25-30 applications worth of product it really is luxury at an affordable price. Great for those with dry skin and psoriasis who have felt that clay masks were not suitable for them.
Unscented Blue Clay & Indigo Leaf Sugar Scrub
A 3-in-1 product that effectively cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises dry skin perfect for those dealing with plaques associated with psoriasis.
Unscented Blue Clay & Indigo Leaf Soap Bar
This Unscented Blue Clay bar has been formulated especially for sensitive skin. Blue bentonite clay is valued for its soothing properties while as discussed above Indigo Leaf is a natural anti-inflammatory used to treat stubborn skin conditions such as psoriasis.