Green Tree Nutrition, Inc.
A review of the Green Tree Nutrition web site and its psoriasis information.
Green Tree Nutrition, Inc. (now More.com) appears to have set itself up to resemble a health information resource. While it does offer some factual information, much of it seems to be simply geared toward selling its products.
Their psoriasis page begins by offering an overview of psoriasis. Then, under the section “Nutrition and Diet Alternatives,” it states, “Vitamin D in ointment form has been found to improve symptoms of psoriasis.” This is a very misleading statement. The National Psoriasis Foundation writes,
Calcipotriene, a synthetic vitamin D3 analog, is used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. It is a prescription medication with few side effects. It is not the same compound as the vitamin D found in commercial vitamin supplements. Calcipotriene is sold in the United States as a topical, odorless, non-staining ointment under the prescription brand name of Dovonex.
Within Green Tree’s Vitamin D statement, a hyperlink is given to a page where the reader can purchase Vitamin D supplements. Unfortunately the implication is that the Vitamin D supplements may be as helpful as or even interchangeable with the prescription Vitamin D analogs.
In the section “Herbal Recommendations,” the site says, “Skin irritation — and itching, in some cases — can be alleviated with the following Commission E-approved herbs (to be used externally): agrimony, chamomile flower, jambolan bark, oak bark, oat straw, plantain, poplar bud, shepherd’s purse, walnut leaf, white dead nettle flower, and witch hazel leaf and bark. (Commission E is an expert committee on herbal remedies established by Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices.)”
While they do go on to mention possible problems related to the use of chamomile, potential side-effects or possible drug interactions with the others herbs are not discussed. The following are a few warnings:
The site then refers the reader who wishes more information to contact “The Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types, Inc.” While this might be helpful to some, it disregards the fact that there are many organizations around the world devoted solely to psoriasis.
Based on what I view as the sketchy and somewhat misleading information offered by this site, a person wishing information on psoriasis and its treatment would be better off visiting the site of the National Psoriasis Foundation.
October 2, 1999, Update: Green Tree nutrition has moved. At the old web address, www.greentree.com, I now find what appears to be an average online drugstore named More.com, but they do have a link to “GreenTree.” GreenTree now seems to only sell herbs and vitamins and other supplements, and the psoriasis information they used to have is now under More.com’s “Resource Center.” If the “new” page isn’t identical to the old one, it’s close enough to make little difference to this review.
March 31, 2002, Update: The greentree.com site is now down.
See also Herbal Warnings.
Linda M. contributed this review on August 11, 1999.