Psoriasis Treatment in Ayurveda
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease which causes a rapid production of new skin cells leading to scaling and thickening of the skin in patches.
Psoriasis signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. Common signs and symptoms include:
Blackish, Brownish, pinkish or Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery or white scales.
Severe Itching, which creates a disturbance in the patient's regular routine,
A burning sensation is felt, wherein the patient doesn't feel comfortable when exposed to sunlight or heat, some even experiencing a piercing pain.
Scales can be very thick with severe itching in some cases while scales are thin with less itching in others.
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Common Types of Psoriasis
1. Plaque Psoriasis- The most common form of Psoriasis.
An individual with psoriasis typically has patches of blackish brownish or red patches, raised, scaly areas on the skin that may itch or burn. The patches are frequently found on the knees, elbows, trunk, or scalp. About, 9 out of 10 people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis. The flare-ups can last for weeks or months. The psoriasis goes away for a time and then returns (chronic).
2. Scalp Psoriasis
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe and include:
Dry, rough, itchy patches.
Flaking that resembles dandruff
Itching, burning, or discomfort
Raised pinkish, reddish patches
Silvery-like scales patient confuses it with dandruff
Bleeding or temporary hair loss from scratching or removing the plaques on the scalp
These symptoms may also extend to the, neck, ears, forehead and sometimes on other parts of face.
3. Palmo-Planter Psoriasis
It is localised in Palms of the hand and Soles of the feet only, sometimes associated with Plaque Psoriasis but some times it may be present alone.
Stress is usually associated.
Alcohol, Smoking and Tobacco are the trigger factors.
Commonly associated with Nail Dystrophy.
Symptoms include well defined areas of raised thickened Scaly Skin which may be blackish or red in appearance. There may be having severe Itching, sometimes pain or a burning sensation. Patients find difficulty in working with hands. There could also be some bleeding from the cracks.
4. Lichenfied Psoriasis
Chronically rubbed or scratched areas of psoriasis that have become very thickened. This thickness is because of deposition of dead skin over the plaque.
5. Other forms of Psoriasis are guttate, inverse, pustular, erythrodermic.
Many basic Ayurvedic texts have explained skin diseases, which resembles Psoriasis. According these references, Psoriasis can be considered as the vitiation of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Accumulation of low potency poisons (Dooshi vishas), are the basic pathological changes taking place in the system. Irregular food habits, consumption of foodstuffs that cannot be eaten together (E.g.: dairy products with fish), excessive intake of yogurt, black gram, seafood, sour and salted items etc can activate the pathogenesis. Alcohol and tobacco consumption will act as a catalyst here. Ayurveda emphasizes on the effects of stress in the pathogenesis of Psoriasis.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Psoriasis
Depending on the body type (prakarti) of the patient, symptoms and the season different medicines and Panchkarma treatments are planned. So it difficult to name some medicines for Psoriasis as medicines keep changing as per factors involved in progression of disease. Generally, two types of treatment plans are followed according to the severity of disease,
Shodhan (detoxification) and shaman (treatment with medicines).
Shodhan aims at the detoxification of the body or elimination of toxins from the body fluids. It is achieved with Panchakarma Treatments.
Shodhan ( Panchkarma Treatments):
Panchkarma is essential for the complete elimination of Psoriasis
Vaman Karma - Consumption of medicated ghee, considering the Kapha Dosha type of the Psoriasis and the person, for 5 to 7 days, followed by inducing vomiting (Vamana)
Virechan Karma - Consumption of medicated ghee considering the Pitta Dosha type of the Psoriasis and the person, for 5 to 7 days and followed by purgation (Virechana)
Takra Dhara (dripping medicated buttermilk over the head & body) is performed.
Shaman (Medicinal Treatment)
Internal medicines like herbal formulations, concoctions; medicated ghee etc. has to be consumed for at least 90 days. In this condition we normally use coconut oil infused with herbs like wrightia tinctoria, Rubia cordifolia, Hemidesmus indicus, Tinosporia cordifolia, Azadirachta indica etc or some other oils like Jeevantyadi Yamakam, Eladi Kera Tail, Nalpamaradi Tail, Maha Marichyadi Tailetc. depending on the condition of the patient for external application. In most of the cases these are found to be highly effective. These oils can be applied on and around the patches ever when patient feel like scratching.
Psoriasis can be cured if the patient is ready to accept the protocol and conditions fixed by the Ayurveda doctor for treatment as well changing the diet &lifestyle. If it is in the initial stage it can be cured fast. Otherwise in chronic cases, regular treatment continuing for months will be needed. All depends on how the patient accepts the treatment modalities and how strictly follows the dietary protocol for the rest of the life. In almost all the cases treatment duration is 6 months to 1 year. Treatment is rarely required beyond 1 year.
Avoid any kind of hot and spicy food. Salt and curd should be avoided. Bitter gourd, bitter varieties of drumstick and all other bitter food are very useful in this condition. Flowers of neem tree are really helpful in treating Psoriasis. A strict diet regime has to be followed during the entire treatment period and it is better to continue as vegetarian. Yogurt, black gram, chilies and salted thing have to be restricted. It is
better to avoid refrigerated/chilled foods. Sea food especially fish is to be avoided. One should strictly avoid junk food, oily food and spicy food. Citrus foods or fruits are to be restricted as a food. Preserved, fermented items like bread, pizza and pickles are best to be avoided. One should avoid alcohol; smoking and if possible non-vegetarian diet till the disease is cured fully. Red meat can be considered as trigger for psoriasis. Food restrictions are continued during the course of treatment after that there are some relaxations in restrictions.
For clothing, wear only light & breathable, cotton fabrics.