Since, Ayurveda views every problem holistically and treats the problem internally and externally by using herbs, correct dietary regime as well as natural herbal remedies, it is one of the most suggested ways of getting several diseases treated.
Psoriasis, which has become a concern for many, is one of the feared diseases as it has everything to do with how you look. In other words, if you are unaware, it is a skin disease, that might leave a permanent scar and marks on the affected skin area.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a non-infectious yet inflammatory skin disease that is characterised by reddish plaques with large silvery scales that causes severe itching, dryness, pain and discomfort. The Modern View states that psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder disease, autoimmune in origin causing scaling and inflammation.
Ayurveda Understanding for Psoriasis
While the Ayurveda view states that generally the skin disease of Eka Kushtha or Psoriasis is caused due to an imbalance in the Pitta Dosha (Fire body humor), which is normally caused due to wrong dietary habits & sedentary lifestyle. Although the root cause of Psoriasis is not fully recognized, yet Ayurveda suggests that the imbalance and vitiation of the Vata and Kapha doshas (air and phlegm body humors) results into creating the disease of psoriasis. Although anyone can be affected by psoriasis, it mostly occurs in adults, particularly those with a family history of psoriasis. Other contributing factors that contribute in producing the skin disease of psoriasis include stress, alcohol and tobacco consumption, environment and immunological factors.
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
Ayurveda believes that the imbalanced doshas cause toxins (ama) to accumulate in body tissues of juice (rasa), blood (rakta), muscles (mansa) and also in the lymph (lasika), and thus manifests in the skin resulting in producing of the disease called as psoriasis. Common affected areas are elbows, knees, scalp & lower back, palms, and may lead to sero-negative inflammatory arthritis and pitting on nails. Sometimes, in the middle age, there may be additional symptoms of joint pains. This condition is termed as Psoriatic Arthropathy.
Ayurvedic Tips for Psoriasis Management
Ayurveda is a holistic healing science, which aims at providing overall relief from the ailment, and also no other disease should turn up in the process. These simple Ayurveda tips for psoriasis management would be of help.
-Reduce stress and practice Meditation for internal healing and support.
-Depending on your body type, avoid food items that are opposite in nature. Instead, eat healthy and fresh food that can reduce the imbalances between your doshas.
-Keep your agni (digestive fire) invigorated and take to bland diet which is easily digestible.
– Ayurveda also recommends to take care to boost your immunity so as to get rid of the disease of Psoriasis.
Diet Recommendation for Psoriasis
Correct diet regime plays a very important role as wrong foods can aggravate psoriasis while correct food and right food combinations can help in early treatment. Ayurveda suggests avoidance of foods that are spicy, hot, pungent, salty, acidic foods to prevent inflammation and delay in digestion which causes toxins in the blood. Avoid urad lentil, radish, sesame, curd, jaggery & seafood as they can activate pathogenesis causing more discomfort and itching. Rock salt is preferable in small quantities to normal market salt. Bitter tasting foods like bitter gourd, neem, bitter drumsticks are encouraged as they help in blood purifying and allow the kidneys to flush toxins from blood. Salad foods like broccoli, carrots, onions, radish, cabbage, turnips and all fruits, excepting citrus are suggested.
Ayurvedic Panchakarma Treatments for Psoriasis
Ayurveda Panchakarma or the five actions are most effective in treatment for psoriasis. The treatment includes nasal therapy (Nasya), Vomiting (Vamana), Purging (Virechana), two kinds of Enema (Basti) i.e. Anuvasana Basti and Niruhana Basti and Blood Letting (Raktamokshana). These Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments aim at thorough detoxification of body and also help significantly to balance the imbalanced doshas mainly by flushing out the toxins and imbalances doshas out of the body.
Ayurvedic Therapies for Psoriasis
Ayurvedic therapies (internal and external) aim at removing the toxins to cleanse the body internally using medicated ghee with bitter herbs like neem, guduchi & kutki. After the purification Mahatikta ghrita or Panchatikta ghrita are administered for a month. Other than this external Ayurvedic therapies like full body massage, steam bath, medicated steam and Ayurvedic medicated pastes are administered. Ayurvedic oils like Pinda taila, Chandana Bala Lakshadi taila, Mahamasha taila & Kushta Rakshasa taila are prescribed for applying on affected areas externally to reduce itching and helps to stop psoriasis from spreading.
Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Psoriasis
– Garlic (Allium sativum): Chewing few garlic cloves every morning on an empty stomach acts as a blood purifier by filtering toxins from the blood.
– Onion (Allium cepa) also has similar quality and is encouraged in the diet to improve the imbalance.
– Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum): The paste of crushed jasmine flowers is applied on the psoriatic inflammations to reduce pain and itchiness.
– Guggul: This Ayurvedic herb from a resin of a small tree, is anti-inflammatory and helps in restoring the balance of the vitiated Vata and Kapha doshas.
– Neem (Margosa Tree): The most effective, antiseptic, natural blood purifier and detoxifier in Ayurveda is Neem as it enhances immune system, destroys fungus and bacteria and most effective in reducing redness of skin and itching.
– Kakmachi (Solanum nigrum): The juice of the leaves is applied on the affected areas to reduce skin inflammation, pain and itching.
– Haridra (Turmeric): This spice is used a lot in Ayurveda and forms an important part of Indian kitchen. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties relieve pain, inflammation and swelling. Turmeric powder can be used while cooking food or can be taken as capsules. Preferably raw is used both externally as well as internally for providing relief in Psoriasis.
Home Remedies for Psoriasis
There are some easy Home remedies that help to provide relief in management as well as for curing the disease of psoriasis.
1. Sandalwood Application.
– 1 teaspoon sandalwood powder
– 3 cups water
– Rose water & sugar
Herbal remedy: Boil the sandalwood powder and water till it reduces to one cup. Add rose water and sugar and take thrice a day.
2. Epsom Salt Bath
– Epsom salt – ½ cup
Herbal remedy: Add Epsum salt to in the bath tub filled with warm water. Soak your body for some time to reduce skin inflammation and reduce itching and pain. Bathing in seawater regularly also helps in relieving pain and itching.
Herbal remedy: Take four marigold flower heads and boil them in four cups of water. Once cooled, apply on affected parts.
4. Coconut Oil Therapy
Herbal remedy: Ayurveda strongly believes in the use of coconut oil for skin ailments. This is because coconut oil can be easily absorbed into the skin and also it possesses natural anti-microbial and anti-septic properties. Apply it liberally on the skin patches of psoriasis.
Precautions for Psoriasis:
– Avoid pricking or scratching of skin and maintain a safe distance from possible psoriasis causing variables.
– Avoid artificial chemical cleansers and pat dry instead of rubbing harshly. Use cotton cloth. Maintain level of moisture in the skin and apply creams/gels infused with herbs that equalise Vata & Kapha doshas.
– Make sure to pat your skin dry after washing, and avoid rubbing vigorously with towel or any rough cloth.
– Refrigerated/chilled foods should be avoided.
– Exercise regularly, Practice yoga and don’t take bath immediately post exercise.
– Avoid artificial cleansers and soaps for cleaning the body and use gram flour (besan flour) and sandalwood paste instead.
– Practice deep breathing and keep a state of mental calmness.