Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated inflammatory condition which mainly affects the skin and joint. It affects males more commonly than females. Various sites of the body such as scalp, palms, face, trunk, soles are involved in psoriasis.
What is the cause of Psoriasis in Ayurveda?
In Ayurveda, skin diseases are categorized under a common term of Kushtha. According to Ayurveda, there is involvement of Pitta, Kapha and Rakta doshas and Rasadhatu, Mamsadhatu and Raktadhatu are the dushyas involved. which result in symptoms such as Kandu (itching), Daha (burning sensation), Raktavarnata (redness) etc.
Dosha-dushya samurcchana (pathological progress) takes place due to the circulation of vitiated doshas and their Sthanasamshraya (site of pathological changes) at Twak (skin).
Intake of Virudhahara (unwholesome dietary habits) is one of the important causative factors in the etiopathogenesis of skin disorders. Therefore, patient should avoid wrong dietary combinations for better treatment response and speedy recovery.
What is the treatment of Psoriasis?
In modern medicine, topical and systemic immunosuppressive therapy is prescribed which results in symptomatic relief only.
What is the Ayurvedic treatment of Psoriasis?
Due to the complex pathophysiology and chronic and relapsing nature of the disease, the multimodal treatment approach is adopted in Ayurveda involves Jirnajwara Chikitsa, Vatarakta Chikitsa, Kushtha Chikitsa and Rasayana Chikitsa.
Herbs having Tikta rasa (bitter taste) are prescribed for the treatment of Psoriasis as these help in Rasadhatu and Raktdhatu prasadana by pacifying vitiated Kapha and Pitta doshas.
Ayurveda also prescribes medicines for liver detoxification for the treatment of Psoriasis as it is believed that liver is an important organ for the normal functioning of Pitta dosha and Raktadhatu.
Some of the herbs useful in the treatment of Psoriasis are:
1. Nimb twaq (Melia azadirachta): Neem is one of the best herbs for the treatment of skin disorders including psoriasis.
• It has tikta rasa (bitter taste) which makes it an excellent blood cleanser.
• Neem has the property of balancing Pitta and Kapha doshas which makes it quite an effective herb for psoriasis.
2. Haridra (Curcuma longa): Turmeric is a well-known spice in India.
• It helps in correcting agni (digestive fire) due to its tikta rasa and laghu-ruksha qualities. Hence, it cleanses and detoxifies rasa.
• Haridra also helps in immune-modulation by correcting metabolism.
• Moreover, the anti-inflammatory property of haridra is beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis.
3. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia): Guduchi is a famous Ayurvedic herb which is known by the name ‘Amrita’.
• It is a well-known immuno-modulator herb used in the correction of auto-immunity. Due to this, it is quite useful in auto-immune disorder psoriasis.
• It is one of the few herbs in Ayurveda that balances all the three doshas.
• It has tikta and Kashaya rasa, Madhur vipaka. It is such a potent immune modulator which can enhance the chances of improvement in the symptoms.
4. Anantmool (Hemidesmus indicus): Anantmool is also indicated in psoriasis due to its anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anti-oxidant properties.
• In Charak Samhita, it is categorized under the group of herbs that relieve burning sensation.
• Due to its sheeta veerya (coolant property) and tikta (bitter) taste, it is very effective in the treatment of psoriasis.
5. Khadir twaq (Acacia catechu): In Ayurveda, khadir is commonly used in the treatment of skin disorders including psoriasis. It helps in purifying blood and possesses anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory actions.
• Khadira has Kledashoshaka (controlling the oozing from skin) property due to its Khara Guna (rough property).
6. Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia): Manjistha is known for its Raktashuddhikara (blood purification), Pitta-Kapha hara (balancing Pitta and Kapha doshas), Vranaropana (wound healing) and Kushtghana properties.
7. Makoy (Solanum nigrum): Makoy is commonly known as Black Night Shade plant. In Ayurveda, it is used as a Rasayana herb.
• Various skin issues such as psoriasis can be treated successfully with the use of Makoy.
• It is a key ingredient in various Ayurvedic medicines for the treatment of liver disorders.
Some Ayurvedic medicines useful in the treatment of Psoriasis are:
1. Gandhak Rasayan: The main component of Gandhak Rasayan is Sulphur. It has Kushtghana property.
• The Rasayana (rejuvenation) and Garavishahar (anti-poisonous) properties help in the treatment of psoriasis.
• Suphur possesses anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help in the treatment of auto-immune disorders such as psoriasis.
2. Kaishore Guggul: Kaishor Guggul is a polyherbal Ayurvedic preparation indicated in variety of skin disorders as well as in Vatarakta.
• It is anti-inflammatory in nature and acts as a blood purifier. It also acts as an anti-allergic and anti-bacterial.
• In Ayurveda, Guggul is well known for its yogavahi property. It acts as a drug carrier.
• Therefore, Kaishore Guggul helps in reducing redness, inflammation and acts as a natural blood cleanser by pacifying the deep seated vitiated doshas involved in psoriasis.
3. Panchtiktghrit Guggul: Panchtiktghrit Guggul is a medicated ghee tablet along with the goodness of guggul. It is a combination of herbs having Tikta rasa dominance. Conditions such as psoriasis have traditionally been treated with this ghrit which improves digestion, purify the blood.
• In the case of Kushta, doshas exist in dhatus such as Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa and Meda.
• Ghee has sukshamastrotogamitva action due to which it can penetrate deep into the tissues.
• Panchtiktghrit Guggul contains herbs that are Tikta (bitter) and Kashaya (astringent) in nature which work synergistically to treat psoriasis, possibly through liposomal drug delivery system.
4. Ras Manikya: Ras Manikya is an Ayurvedic medicine frequently used for Vataj-Kaphaj disorders.
• It is prepared by Shuddha Haratala, which is kept in between two thin transparent Abhrak sheets (mica sheets).
• Its main actions are Kushthahara, and Tridoshghana. Hence, it breaks the samprapti of the disease.
Ayurvedic herbal formulations such as Stams Syrup and Dezmocard Capsules manufactured by Yamuna Pharmacy contain all the above -mentioned herbs as well as Ayurvedic medicines. These products are completely natural and highly effective in the natural treatment of Psoriasis.
Diet and Lifestyle:
• Intake of excess salty and sour food items should be avoided.
• Simultaneous use of milk products and salty snacks should not be preferred.
• Consuming bitter foods such as pumpkin, bitter gourd, turnip, reddish and carrots are beneficial.
• Avoid citrus fruits such as orange, lemon.
• Acidic diet such as intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks should be avoided.
• Dairy products such as yogurt should not be taken.
• Deep breathing exercises are quite helpful.
• Practice Pranayam and Meditation to relieve stress as stress is the precipitating factor of psoriasis.
Therefore, strict dietary regimen along with Ayurvedic medicines help in successful treatment of Psoriasis.