What Is A Collagen Vascular Disease?
Collagen is made up of proteins that form connective tissue and serve as a support system for your skin. This connective tissue plays a key role in holding ligaments, muscles, and bones together.
Also called connective tissue disease, collagen vascular disease is a group of disorders that affect your body's connective tissues. Types of collagen vascular diseases include:
- Heritable – genetically inherited from parents.
- Autoimmune – occurs as a result of the body's immune system turning against itself. In this condition, healthy tissues of your body are attacked by the body's own immune system. The root cause behind this immune system disorder is still unclear. The damaged tissues are often inflamed.
The disorders categorized as collagen vascular disease predominantly affect the skin, joints, blood vessels, and other organs of your body.
Common Collagen Vascular Diseases
Autoimmune collagen vascular diseases include the following:
Examples of hereditary collagen disease include:
- Marfan's syndrome
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also called brittle bone disease
Lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis are the group of diseases that are more prevalent in women than men, mostly affecting adults aged 30 to 40 years.
As for lupus, it can be found in children younger than 15 years but most commonly manifests in individuals older than 15 years.
Collagen Vascular Diseases Symptoms
A unique set of symptoms characterizes every type of collagen vascular disease. Nonetheless, some of the symptoms are common in most forms of collagen vascular disease. The typical symptoms include:
- body aches
- muscle weakness
- joint pain
- skin rash
Collagen Vascular Diseases Treatment
There are different treatment options for various types of collagen vascular diseases.
The common drugs that are typically used for numerous connective tissue diseases include corticosteroid and immunosuppressant drugs.
However, these drugs come with their own sets of side effects, particularly when used for the long-term.
This is why an increasing number of people are looking for alternative options for treating their ailment. Here's a list of natural herbs and plants that can be used to treat your collagen vascular disease.
List of Herbs and Plants Used for Treating Collagen Vascular Diseases
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been widely used around the world since ancient times for various skin and health conditions, including wounds, burns, ulcers, etc.
The natural therapeutic ingredients found in aloe vera include pyrocatechol, acemannan, anthraquinones, saponins, glycosides, phytol, oleic acid, and water-soluble polysaccharides.
Aloe vera's benevolent antimicrobial properties come from acetone extracts found in Aloe vera leaves and the natural bioactive compounds.
Aloe vera has great antioxidant potential, which gives it potent cell scavenging properties. Its active ingredients stimulate macrophages and T-cells, promoting a decrease in inflammation.
Aloe vera is thus found to speed up wound healing and significantly enhances the formation of granulation tissue, which helps in collagen vascular diseases. Aloe vera can be taken as:
- Fresh pulp used with or added to a drink, smoothie, or food
- Supplements in the form of tablets or capsules
Aloe vera oil is also used by people on the skin, but skincare products containing aloe vera should never be consumed.
2. Reishi Mushroom(Ganoderma Spp.)
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, edible fungi were used 3 pounds per capita in the U.S in 2015.
Mushrooms belong to the fungi family, and the edible ones are classified as vegetables and can be found in most grocery stores.
Besides, mushrooms play an essential role as a therapeutic agent, serving as a herbal treatment for collagen vascular diseases.
Mushrooms are known to boost vitamin D levels. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you will most likely experience prominent symptoms of connective tissue disorder.
If you suffer from muscle pain, the chances are that you have aggravated muscle and nerve pain. People who suffer from body aches and pains are most often diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency when they visit a doctor.
There are various types of mushrooms available in the market, including Oyster, Shiitake, Portobello, Reishi, etc. these can be eaten raw in their fresh form or bought as canned as well as dried items.
Reishi mushroom is referred to as an immune regulator with pain-relieving properties. Rich in immune-modulating proteins, reishi mushroom helps to regulate immune system activity and inflammation as needed.
3. Neem (Azadirachta Indica)
Azadirachta indica is known as Neem by most people. It is widely known for its antibacterial properties.
The leaf extract of neem is used as a topical application on boils and blisters.
A study has found that oral use of neem extract aqueous solution at a dose of 300 mg/kg body weight thrice a week for 20 weeks has potential chemo-preventive effects on skin carcinogenesis.
The neem leaf extract is found to induce pro-oxidant effects on the tumor cells, making them prone to damage. This gradually builds to serve as antineoplastic action.
Another study performed on an anti-acne topical formulation found that the antibacterial activity had the potential to inhibit acne and improve skin health.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is a beverage that is very commonly consumed drink by people around the globe. It is known for its antioxidant property, which gives it its free radical scavenging potential.
There are several ways that green tea can be consumed. These include:
- Hot drink or tea
- Matcha powder as sprinkles or smoothies
According to experts, green tea extracts have been found to offer relieving effects on arthritis. However, it is not clear whether the concentration of green tea ingredients in a cup of tea is enough to ease out the symptoms, but it definitely gives a calming effect!
Additionally, green tea serves as a healthy alternative to sodas and fizzy drinks containing a high amount of sugars, carbon dioxide, and artificial preservatives.
It is proposed that more research should be done in order to understand if green tea can help reduce inflammation. Don't forget to consult your doctor or a dietician to set the right amount for the most beneficial results.
5. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a ubiquitous vegetable, the dried form of which is used as a spice throughout the world. It gives food its rich color and characteristic flavor.
It is also famous for its antimicrobial properties. A pinch of turmeric powder added to hot milk is often used as a tonic for strength and is also called gold milk. Turmeric stimulates gastric juices and reduces mucous formation.
Also called Curcuma longa, alternative medicine doctors utilize turmeric root as a topical application to reduce swelling for the treatment of numerous skin diseases.
A 2009 research reported that turmeric acts as a potent therapeutic agent with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-hepatotoxic potential. It is beneficial for treating several inflammatory and connective tissue conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, hepatitis, diarrhea, eczema, asthma, psoriasis, etc.
The potential effects of turmeric root against inflammation can be enhanced by adding a small amount of trikatu (three-pepper compound); this enhances its bioavailability in your blood.
This combination is very effective for individuals suffering from collagen vascular disease like arthritis.
One such supplement is the Organic Turmeric Curcumin Pills with Black Pepper & Ginger, which has enhanced benefits for your body with combined benefits of ginger.
6. Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)
Also called Zingiber officinale, ginger is a widely recognized remedial herb used in numerous food recipes, particularly in Aisa.
Ginger is especially prominent for its antibacterial and antiulcer properties.
Studies have shown that ginger possesses significant antiplatelet properties.
According to research, ginger's aqueous extract is found to have inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation. Thereby, its potentiating anti-inflammatory effects can help to treat collagen vascular diseases.
Some of the ways you can use ginger are as follows:
- Ginger tea – Boil fresh ginger in water for 5 minutes to make tea or by using ginger tea bags.
- Pour the ginger powder onto baked items.
- Add fresh ginger or ginger powder to flavorful meals.
- Add grated ginger to salads.
Always follow your doctor's advice on when and how much ginger to use, specifically if you take other medicines like warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner, with which ginger may interfere.
7. Garlic (Allium Sativum)
Also called Allium sativum, garlic has an unusual taste and a pungent smell. Still, it forms an essential ingredient in most cuisines around the globe.
The pungent odor of garlic comes from the sulfur-containing compound Alison present in it.
The potential anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of allicin result in a reduction in the inflammatory response, platelet aggregation, and blood clotting.
A study has reported that the odorless garlic powder can be effective in demonstrating antithrombotic properties. This allows the garlic to serve as a substance that decreases blood clot formation.
Another study on cooked blanched garlic leaves extract on rabbits found that A. sativum induces platelet-aggregation.
One of the components of garlic, ajoene, has been found to possess antifungal activity.
Research showed that topical cream containing ajoene cleared fungal disease in 7-14 days. However, be cautious when using garlic after surgery and consult your doctor if you are taking any drugs focused on blood thinning.
Garlic also has blood-thinning effects that can cause adverse interaction with other blood thinners, such as warfarin.
8. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Also known as Withania somnifera, Ashwagandha is commonly known as Indian ginseng. This herb has been long used as ayurvedic medicine. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial, antioxidant, anticonvulsive, and immunosuppressive properties.
Commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha has tremendous health benefits.
Doctors provide formulations containing Ashwagandha for various musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, etc. It is rich in bioactive compounds and several nutritive minerals such as calcium, iron, and other elements.
Several scientific pieces of research have been carried out, investigating the properties of Ashwagandha in order to confirm its therapeutic potential.
According to research, the roots of the ashwagandha plant are the most active part for remedial purposes because of significant amounts of active constituents present in it.
The Ashwagandha plant has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that provide protection against cartilage damage in conditions like osteoarthritis.
Topical ashwagandha tincture is also found potent against swelling and inflammation. It is an immune amphoteric substance that regulates the immune system in both low immune states and exhibits immunosuppressive action against autoimmune states, making it beneficial for patients suffering from a collagen vascular disease.
According to a 2014 research article, administering the root powder of Ashwagandha (W. somnifera) (600 mg kg−1) to the arthritic rats showed a significant reduction in the severity of arthritis.
This occurred through the suppression of arthritic symptoms, which leads to an improvement in the functional recovery of muscle tissue and motor activity.
The study concluded that ashwagandha root exhibits a protective role to combat collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in rats.
Collagen Supplements Serve as An Efficient Option
There are numerous natural reserves of plants and herbs that serve as potent therapies for collagen vascular diseases.
You can use the several parts of these plants in various different forms to enhance collagen formation, reduce swelling, inhibit the inflammatory process, protect cellular health, and alleviate the pain of the muscles and joints.
Additionally, you can also add supplements like Advance Joint Support Complex to your daily routine as an efficient and convenient alternative.
However, it is important to avoid supplements that contain added sugars, preservatives, or artificial flavors to escape their untoward effects on health because these ingredients can damage the collagen in your body.
Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements to ensure that you don't experience any adverse health complications. Also, remember to thoroughly check the ingredients of a supplement before purchasing them
- Xiao Y et al. Curcumin Inhibits Acute Vascular Inflammation through the Activation of Heme Oxygenase-1", Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2018, Article ID 3295807, 12 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/3295807
- Zampieron, Eugene R.; Kamhi, Ellen J. Natural Support for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disease. Journal of Restorative Medicine, Volume 1, Number 1, 1 September 2012, pp. 38-47(10) https://restorativemedicine.org/journal/natural-support-for-autoimmune-and-inflammatory-disease/
- Murell D. Collagen Vascular Disease. Healthline. Nov, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/health/collagen-vascular-disease#treatment
- Maver T. et al. Plant-Derived Medicines with Potential Use in Wound Treatment. Nov, 2018. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.72813. herbal medicine. https://www.intechopen.com/books/herbal-medicine/plant-derived-medicines-with-potential-use-in-wound-treatment
- Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(15):52-60. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.125531
- Aleksandra Shedoeva, David Leavesley, Zee Upton, Chen Fan, "Wound Healing and the Use of Medicinal Plants", Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2019, Article ID 2684108, 30 pages, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2684108
- Apurva Gupta & Surendra Singh (2014) Evaluation of anti-inflammatory effect of Withania somnifera root on collagen-induced arthritis in rats, Pharmaceutical Biology, 52:3, 308-320, DOI: 3109/13880209.2013.835325
- Nurul Huda Mohd Nor, Fauziah Othman, Eusni Rahayu Mohd Tohit, Sabariah Md Noor, "Medicinal Herbals with Antiplatelet Properties Benefit in Coronary Atherothrombotic Diseases", Thrombosis, vol. 2016, Article ID 5952910, 7 pages, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/5952910
- Wang XH, Di YH. [Mechanism of cooked blanched garlic leaves against platelet aggregation]. Zhongguo shi yan xue ye xue za zhi. 2014 Jun;22(3):753-757. DOI: 10.7534/j.issn.1009-2137.2014.03.033.
- Shenefelt PD. Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 18. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/
- Yunjun Xiao, Junjie Xia, Shuang Wu, Ziquan Lv, Suli Huang, Haiyan Huang, Xuefen Su, Jinquan Cheng, Yuebin Ke, "Curcumin Inhibits Acute Vascular Inflammat