Psoriasis is a common dermatological condition where the cells of skin replenish very fast resulting in redness, itching, thickened skin.
Psoriasis is derived from the Greek word, Psora means itch and sis meaning acting condition.
Psoriasis is a non-infectious, chronic inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by the well defined silvery-white scale on the skin and it looks dry.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which the itching and scaling in the papulosquamous lesion of skin disturb the daily routine of the person.
Most common sites: on palms, soles, knee, elbow, scalp, and behind the ears.
All the skin diseases and conditions are defined as Kustha diseases in Ayurveda. Here, Psoriasis is co-related to Eka– Kustha in Ayurveda. According to classical texts, Eka–Kustha which is a Vata Kapha predominant Kshudrakushtha
Etiology/ Causative factors
The exact cause for psoriasis is still unknown but different factors like the environmental immune system and genetic things play role in this. Some of the triggering factors for Psoriasis are:
- Psychological factors like stress.
- Medicines (Beta- Blockers etc.)
- Antecedent infections involving skin/ throat.
According to Ayurveda, its cause is due to imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha
- Vata is responsible for controlling bodily kinetic functions and could contribute to the dryness at the cellular level and scaling occurs.
- Improper lifestyles, incompatible diets, and digestive fire dysfunction also have the role to elicit Psoriasis.
- Red patches surrounded/ surmounted by silvery dry scales (loosely held), itchy (kandu )
- Skin may be dry (Parushya)
- Sites: found especially on scalp, ear, soles, palms and sometimes genitals.
- Nail changes can be seen dissociating in Psoriasis, thick, pitted, ridged nails.
- Sometimes associated with Psoriatic arthritis (joint pain)
There are various types of Psoriasis.
- Plaque psoriasis
- Nail psoriasis
- Scalp psoriasis
- Guttate psoriasis
- Inverse psoriasis
- Pustular psoriasis
- Erythrodermic psoriasis etc.
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Eye problems like conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and uveitis.
- Type 2 Diabetes (DM)
- Oral infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Vit D deficiency
- Psychological and emotions consequences
Ayurvedic Management of Psoriasis:
In the modern medicine, there is no certain cure for Psoriasis. Modern medicines provide symptomatic relief but also has side effects in the long course of use
Ayurvedic management of Psoriasis includes Panchakarma procedures and therapies to clean the body and mind.
For the management of psoriasis, Panchakarma therapy is the best of all. After an initial Ayurvedic consultation with the doctor, a series of panchakarma treatments is tailored with the combination of diet program, lifestyle and Ayurvedic healing herbs. Some of the major events in the Panchakarma program are follows
The duration of Panchakarma treatment may vary from person to person, depending upon the age, body disposition, condition of the disease like its aging & type, dietary habits, and lifestyle of the patient, etc
Pre procedures includes:
- Consumption of medicated ghee, considering the Dosha type of the Psoriasis and the person, for 3 to 7 days.
- Abhyanga: Abhyanga is an oil massage, which reduces dryness and reduces scaling.
- Snehapana: Taking medicated oil/ghee based on disease severity, patient body type, and age. This therapy also oleate the skin form very depth, alleviates itching. This pacifies Pitta dosha along with Vata dosha.
- Vamana: Emesis therapy which removes the toxins from the upper part of our body. Skilled doctors do it with different herbal medications being very cautious and under supervision.
- Virechana: Purgative therapy, which removes toxins from, lower part of the body and improves the gut physiology.
- Vasti: Enema therapy for Vata dosha i.e dryness and scaling. It also nourishes the body and cleanses the toxins collected in the rectum and large intestine. It should be done by a skillful doctor with profound medicated oil/ghee/decoction based on the patient’s condition as a whole.
- Lepana: Applying medicinal herbal paste over the skin. It is also beneficial and potent therapy for Psoriasis, done with suitable medicines.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Psoriasis
- Neem– Azadiracta indica
- Khadira– Acacia catechu
- Manjistha– Rubia manjith
- Chandana– Santalum album
- Haridra– Curcuma longa
- Amalaki– Emblica officinalis
- Kutaja– Holarrhena antidysenterica
- Sariwa– Hemidesmus indicus etc.
Some compound herbal formulations for Psoriasis
- Panchatikta ghritam
- Mahatikta ghritam
- Aarogyavardhini vati
- Mahatikta Kashayam
- Kaishor guggulu
- Manjisthadi kwatham
- Avoid alcohol, garlic, fish, and sour foods.
- Avoid stress, fear.
- Do relaxation therapy like yoga-nindra
- Do have healthy, non-spicy foods and light foods.
Pranayama- Breathing techniques
- Nadi shodhana
- Anulom viloma
Yoga-nindra and meditation can be done under guidance.
Note – This article is designed for general awareness of Psoriasis management according to Ayurvedic principles. Please do not use this information for your self-diagnosis and treatment without the proper guidelines of a professional. If you wish to follow the Ayurveda program, you are advised to book a consultation with a qualified Ayurveda doctor who is specialized to design a personal program comprising a diet, a combination of herbs, and a detox program according to your personal needs. Sunshine Ayurveda offers effective and holistic management of Psoriasis based upon the ancient principles of Ayurveda.
Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari
Disease We Manage