Psoriasis Ayurvedic Treatment
Modern day Ayurveda practitioners have well-established protocols for treating and managing psoriasis. A very organised and disciplined Ayurvedic treatment can be very helpful in managing and controlling psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disease which results in a scaly and an itchy patch formation on the skin. Psoriasis is not contagious. Areas of the body that are affected by psoriasis are elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis is caused by new skin cells being produced faster than cells that die or are lost. This results in excess thickened skin.
What is Psoriasis
- A slow and gradual development of a deep red spot or patch on skin
- Patches covered by scale that can be scraped off
- Slight itching (for about one-third of people)
- Several spots merge together to form patches of 5-8 cm diameter
- Centre of the patch may revert to normal skin, leaving an oddly shaped rash
- Pitting and destruction of nails ( nail psoriasis )
- Severe crusting on scalp and at times even some loss of hair
- Psoriasis may develop in scars or recent wounds
Symptoms of psoriasis have been observed to be aggravated by some or many of the following factors:
- Trauma including lacerations, insect bites and burns
- Medications including drug for hypertension and antidepressants
- Viral and bacterial infections
- Excess alcohol
- Extreme Stress
- Cold climate
- Sunburn or even lack of sunlight
Common Types of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis or psoriasis vulgaris is the most common form of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is often found on the knees and elbows.
Plaques are raised, red and scaly. There is a sharp demarcation line between the plaques and normal skin. If the lesions are gently scraped off, the surface becomes whiter and scalier.
Guttate psoriasis is often seen in children and young adults. A sudden outbreak of small red scaly papules may appear on the trunk and back. About two-thirds of such people would have had a recent bacterial throat infection.
Seborrhoeic psoriasis is normally indicated by red and scaly lesions affecting the scalp, shoulders, armpits, groin, face and skin behind the ears.
Over fifty percent of people affected by Nail psoriasis show an abnormal change on nails. Changes on nails are usually distinct pitting ridges and a separation of the nail plate from the nail base.
There are a number of factors which are considered responsible for psoriasis. About two-thirds of psoriasis cases have a genetic predisposition and in such cases, psoriasis is inherited. Psoriasis is also an autoimmune disorder and may have been caused by an abnormal immune reaction.
Psoriasis cure in Ayurveda
Psoriasis in Ayurveda can be correlated to sidma kusha type of skin condition. Deranged Kapha and vata doshas vitiate skin, lymph, body fluid (rasa dhatu). This dosha imbalance is the root cause of psoriasis.
Excessive stress, improper diet, incompatible food combination, untimely food, fermented and spicy (food which causes belching and burning sensation in the stomach) and alcohol consumption causes pita imbalance or an imbalance in the digestive fire.
This pitta imbalance causes a build-up of toxins at the cellular level. These toxins gradually alter the other two doshas involved in psoriasis. These are kapha and vata.
Ayurveda way of psoriasis cure comprises correcting the three doshas. A common approach is via a comprehensive detox or cleanse. Panchakarma is a good starting point in psoriasis cure. This is supported by ayurvedic medicines.
One additional benefit of detox is cleansing bodily systems. This will enhance the acceptance and absorption of internal medicines administered for psoriasis cure.
Ideal purification therapy to prepare the body and bodily systems is Panchakarma. Panchakarma as the name signifies has five steps. Panchakarma starts with pre-treatment procedures of internal oleation (also known as snehana) and then continues with external oleation (also known as abhyanga).
Internal oleation ( snehapanam) is consuming medicated oil. Type and volume (dosage) are decided based on patient’s constitution. Dosage and combinations are also based on individual’s dosha constitution and the progression of the disease.
Medicated ghee for psoriasis related cleanse usually contains liver cleansing, anti-inflammatory and immune modulating herbs. Some of them are Nimba, patola, kutki, guduchi and aragwatha.
Snehapanam has been observed to decrease scaling, itching and dryness of psoriasis.
External oleation or abhyanga is a specialised oil massage and as per ayurvedic theory, abhyanga helps to move toxins towards the intestines in order to encourage their removal from the body.
Abhyanga is also known to reduce dryness of the skin and to reduce the severity of scaling.
Svedana or sweating is the next step in Panchakarma. This is done in parallel with Snehana. Svedana also helps in eliminating toxins collected in the process of massage.
Next in line is the Emesis therapy or Vamana. Herbal emetics induce vomiting which is essentially the elimination of toxins identified and collected in the earlier stages.
Purgation therapy or Virechana excretes toxins collected in the digestive area from the earlier oleation steps.
Enema therapy or vasthi excretes toxins collected in the large intestine during any of the previous cleansing steps. The two types of vasthi are decoction enema (niruha vasti) and oil enema (anuvasana vasthi). Vasthi is very effective for vata type of psoriasis.
On conclusion of a comprehensive cleanse, shamana therapy (pacification). Shamana is administering internal medicines for psoriasis cure. Shamana therapy requires a strict ayurvedic diet. A customised diet chart is prepared for each individual. This customised diet chart lists food to be included in the daily routine that enhances the efficacy of internal medicines. Diet should also not reduce or nullify medicinal impacts of herbal medicines consumed for psoriasis treatment.
Other complementing treatments in psoriasis cure
- Lepanam – Application of medicinal paste on the impacted skin area. This is beneficial in controlling itching and scaling on the skin surface.
- Thakradhara – This is a type of medicinal Shirodhara done with medicated buttermilk. Thakradhara is a very relaxing treatment for the body and mind and supports other forms of psoriasis cure.
An ayurvedic diet is very important in psoriasis cure. A proper diet complements ayurvedic psoriasis treatment. The following diet can be considered as a guideline while psoriasis treatment is in progress.
Reduce or totally avoid from diet the following items:
- Spicy food
- Pickled items
- Fermented sauces
- Sour cream and yoghurt
- Animal fat and red meat
Increase or add to diet:
- Liver cleansing herbal teas
- Burdock tea
- Fresh vegetable juice
- Coconut water
Yoga for Psoriasis cure
Yoga is very helpful in managing psoriasis. Simple meditation techniques and pranayama help in balancing the nervous system and improves quality of sleep.
While psoriasis takes different shapes, forms and severity, an Ayurveda treatment regime combined with ayurvedic lifestyle, an ayurvedic diet and regular yoga exercises can sometimes quicken psoriasis cure.
Ayurwoman Ayurveda clinic is located in Melbourne, Australia. If you need further information on psoriasis ayurvedic treatment, kindly give us a call or send us a message using our contact form. We will only be happy to guide you further in this regard.