Psoriasis Treatment In Ayurveda
The Skin giving protection to our body expresses the harmony inside. It is one of the Gyanendriya (Five sensory organs) as told in Ayurveda, which is responsible for the perception of touch. It also performs functions such as protection against physical, chemical, mechanical and biological injuries, thermoregulation etc. Besides all this it plays an important role in the expression of beauty.
One of the mystifying problems of mankind since time immemorial are skin diseases, which manifest in a variety of forms. As skin diseases are noticeable to others, it is more mentally painful for the patient. Also several skin diseases disturb the social life of an individual. Among those conditions psoriasis is most common, because it affects both the body & the psychological status of the person.
Skin diseases in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, skin diseases are explained under the common terminology ‘Kushtha’ which implies exposed diseases. In Ayurveda, there is in total 18 types of Kushtha as per the various dosha dominancy.
Psoriasis in Ayurveda
Among 18, Eka kushtha and Sidhma Kushta are very similar to psoriasis and it happens with the dominancy of Vata Kapha. Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by erythematous, swollen skin lesions covered with silvery white scales. The involvement of Vata results in dry silvery or blackish plaques of psoriasis. Whereas itching in those affected areas is due to Kapha. The Eka kushtha can be correlated with psoriasis due to its maximum resemblance with it. But Sidhma Kushta also develops in a body due to Vata Kapha dominancy.
Psoriasis modern treatments
Modern medical science treats psoriasis with PUVA and corticosteroids. But the therapy gives serious side effects like liver & kidney failure, bone marrow depletion etc. Hence there is no any satisfactory result.
Ayurveda treatments for psoriasis
In classical text, the Acharya emphasises Shodhana therapy (Detoxification) as the line of treatment of Kushtha roga. Acharya Charaka has highlighted the role of Panchakarma therapy by stating that the disease treated by Shodhana will never recur whereas the treatment with Shamana therapy may recur in due course of time. Vamana therapy mainly removes the vitiated Kapha Dosha from Amashaya followed by Virechana and Vasthi which corrects the metabolism and palliation of Vata respectively to manage Ekakushtha.
The disease is easily curable in its primary stage; it becomes incurable or difficult for cure as and when it reaches the advanced stage. The individual, who resorts to proper treatment of the disease before it is manifested or in its early stage, gets very good results after the Ayurveda treatments. Shodhana Therapy is mentioned in all classics to get the best results in the management of psoriasis. Followed with Rasayana (Rejuvenative) therapy, Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation, better management at stopping the relapses is obtained.
Preventive measures that can be taken for psoriasis are:
- If one of the parents is affected by psoriasis (there is 15% chance), and if both parents affected then there are 50% chances of their kids for having psoriasis. Such couples should undergo shodhana therapy before having child.
- Pregnant woman should strictly avoid the causative factors which lead to skin manifestations.
- Following Ritucharya (seasonal regime) and Sadvritta (good conducts) is always helpful in prevention of disease like Kushtha (any type of skin disease).
- A person who is suffering from any kind of skin disease or who just got relief from any such kind of disease should avoid taking fat, meat, milk, curd, sesame oil, Kulattha (Horse gram), Masha (Black gram) and Nishpaava (Long gram).
- Preparations of sugar and jaggery, Pishti (food prepared with rice boluses), salty, pungent and sour foot items.
- Incompatible foods, over eating, anything taken before proper digestion of the food already taken is completed should be avoided.
- Foods which cause Vidaaha (acidic eructation), obstruction of the vessels and channels, through which they pass.
- Sleeping in the daytime, excessive indulgence in sexual activity.
- Varieties of grains such as Shali Rice (Unpolished red rice), Shashtiaka rice, Koradoosha, Shyamaka (Indian barnyard millet), Uddaalaka can be used. It should be old and mature. Soup or Yusha should be prepared by using above grains.
- Mudga, Aadhaki, Nimba, Arooshkara (Bhallataka), the soup or decoction so prepared and mixed with the above can be used.
- Medicated Ghrita (ghee) prepared from Mandukaparni, Avalguja, Aatrooshaka (Vasa) and the flowers of the Arka or the medicated oil prepared with the oil of the Sarshapa with the above drugs can be taken. Though the oil is contraindicated in Kushtha, it can be used in a condition where there is a predominance of Vaata and Kapha dosha.
- Medicated Ghrita prepared from Chakramarda, Patola, Vaartaku can be given.
- Generally, Meat is contraindicated in case of the Kushtha, but those who are habituated to non-vegetarian diet, can be given with the meat of the jangama animals (animals living on dry land) devoid of all fat content.