Ayurveda- The Alternative Treatment for Psoriasis

by | Jun 3, 2022 | Ayurveda

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, usually treated with corticosteroids and salicylic acid-based ointments. Those looking for an alternative, natural, less invasive and holistic remedy can turn to Ayurveda.
Today more and more people are looking for natural remedies and cures for chronic diseases, and psoriasis is no exception. Modern medicine offers psoriasis therapy in the form of corticosteroid creams which, when used long-term, pose a number of problems.

Read on to find information on psoriasis and alternative treatment that can be helpful and effective!

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition that affects the skin and accelerates the life cycle of cells. The condition ranges from mild (less than 3% of the skin is affected) to severe (more than 10% of the skin affected) and includes symptoms such as dry, cracked skin that tends to bleed, red, itchy patches and flaking, as well as the joints swollen and stiff, also known as psoriatic arthritis. Here the patient tends to have sore joints, which are often hot due to the inflammation. This commonly causes swelling of the fingers and toes and is accompanied by pain in the back or feet.

About 125 million people worldwide are affected by psoriasis, many of whom also develop psoriatic arthritis. This condition can present at any age, but most patients tend to show the first symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25 and progress to psoriatic arthritis between the ages of 30 and 50.

Psoriasis signs and symptoms

Aside from the common symptoms, psoriasis is often accompanied by many consequences on the quality of life, particularly for women. For example, patients experience a physical impact such as pain and discomfort, which limits the activities they can undertake, a psychological impact, such as being more aware of one’s image, and social implications, such as the tendency to avoid social encounters or the knowledge of new people.

Traditional therapy for Psoriasis

Nobody is entirely sure of the cause of psoriasis; however, some known triggers could worsen the condition, including stress, smoking, vitamin deficiencies, and more. There is also no known cure for psoriasis, simply medications and measures that patients can take to minimize discomfort and symptoms..

Causes of Psoriasis according to Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, the kushta roga (skin disorder) related to psoriasis is triggered by imbalances in the dosha Kapha (the body mood associated with the elements earth and water) and Vata (the body mood associated with the elements air and ether.). These doshas are believed to negatively impact blood tissues and skin, as well as the aqueous components of the skin. Kapha causes the skin to become coppery or whitish in color, while Vata causes it to become scaly and dry.

Furthermore, the accumulation of ama, also called metabolic waste, caused by environmental stressors, unhealthy eating habits, and lifestyle can contribute to the onset of psoriasis. In Ayurveda, improper eating habits are considered a significant cause of psoriasis; Certain foods such as citrus fruits, curds, fish, sweets, sesame oil, rice flour, and milk should be avoided. In general, all excessively salty, spicy, or acidic foods, carbohydrate-rich, refined or sugar-laden foods, as well as heavy and hard-to-digest foods, are not recommended. But that’s not all, as it also warns against the consumption of incompatible foods (viruddha ahara), as they could have a toxic effect on the organism; an example of incompatible foods are fish and milk.

Ayurvedic treatment for psoriasis includes:

Lepanam: In this treatment, medicines along with some herbal liquids are mixed together in the form of a paste applied to the affected parts of the body. Lepanam acts as a body scrub used to smooth the skin, rejuvenate blood circulation, relieve body aches, remove skin disorders, manage pain, etc.

Abhyanga: Abhyanga is one of the most important treatments in Ayurvedic treatment of psoriasis in India. External oleation or Abhyanga is a specialized oil massage. According to Ayurvedic theory, Abhyanga helps move toxins to the intestines to promote their elimination from the body. Abhyanga is also known to reduce skin dryness and decrease the severity of flaking.

Snehapanam: Internal oleation (Snehapanam) uses medicated oil. The type and volume (dosage) are determined depending on the constitution of the patient. Dosage and combinations are also based on dosha constitution and disease progression. Medicated ghee for the Ayurvedic treatment of psoriasis usually contains liver-cleansing, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating herbs. Snehapanam decreases the scaling (patches of skin that come off), itching, and dryness of psoriasis.

Pizhichil: For this therapy, the practitioner pours medicated oils continuously on the patient’s body for a few minutes. The therapy invigorates, relaxes, nourishes, and improves the body’s immunity by enabling detoxification.

Takradhara: Takradhara is a solution of butter, and medicated herbs poured all over the patient’s body. The treatment helps nourish the skin, and the medicinal herbs help repair skin cells and reduce inflammation.

Diet: Diet is very important in this treatment. Food consumption actually modifies the disease. The practice, therefore, advises the patients to follow a strict menu containing easily digestible and balanced diets with ingredients to maintain the appropriate levels of the Pitta and Kapha doshas.

Panchakarma – Ayurvedic way to finalize the cleansing of a detoxification of the organism:

As per the causes, psoriasis is caused due to imbalance between the body’s doshas due to the toxins present in the body. So if you want to cure psoriasis from its roots, then the only thing that can help you is by cleansing the body of all toxins. By doing this, the balance between doshas will be created within the body, and the immune system will restore its proper functioning. This deep cleansing of the body is accomplished by a process called panchakarma-in Ayurveda. A special diet accompanies these therapies.

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