Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, itchy, and scaly. They range from small and localized to complete body coverage and also vary in severity. Skin Injury can be a trigger to psoriatic skin changes, this is known as Koebner phenomenon.
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According to Ayurveda the main cause of the disease is improper food habits, excessive intake of bakery products, excessive ingestion of yoghurt, sea food, salty or sour foods, exposure to very hot or very cold climate, heavy meals, persistent meals (having meals before the previous meal is digested), lack of exercise, day sleep, stopping natural urges, etc. These above causes result in accumulation of toxins in blood which then circulates in the body. The sedimentation of toxins takes place in the layers of skin causing itching, redness etc. called by modern medicine as Psoriasis.
Symptoms may vary according to the skin condition. It may be distributed over different areas of body. Grossly it may include folds of arm, wrist, neck, shoulder, upper or lower back, back of knee, etc. The common signs and symptoms may include:
- Red, raised, inflamed patches of skin
- Scaly skin or plaques on the Psoriatic patches
- Dryness of skin, may or may not be crack and bleed
- Soreness of patches or around the skin
- Itching and burning sensations around the patches and lesions
- Thick, pitted, raised or infection at nails
- Pain and swelling of joints
Psoriasis is often correlated to a disease named kustha in Ayurveda. All the types according to modern medicine such as plantar, erithrodermic, inverse, guttate, pustular, etc. are covered under the topic of Kustha and its types along with subtypes. Ayurveda suggests a long term treatment as the roots of the pathology are deeply seated in such kind of disease. Although a newly developed patch small in size can be cured easily in its early stage, but the treatment should not be left until the pathology is completely discarded or as per the advice of expert Ayurvedic physician.
A combination of specific herbs is selected according to the individuals’ body constitution, severity of the skin disorder, climatic conditions, lifestyle, etc.
Herbs like Shalmali (Bombax malabaricum), Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Kushta (Saussurea lappa), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Chandana (Santalum album), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus) etc.are beneficial for curing Psoriasis.
According to Ayurveda accumulation of toxins in body is the root cause of Psoriasis. So to amplify the effect of herbal medication detoxification is a very important part of the treatment. Detoxification through lower channels (Virechan) or through oral route (Vamana), Nasal Medication (Nasya), etc will be determined according to condition of disorder.
Herbal Massage based therapies:
These therapies may include body massage (Abhyanga), neck and shoulder massage (Shirodhara),etc. which mainly de-stress the body and mind helping to cure Psoriasis.
Local applications such as herbal masks (Lepa), herbal face washes (if facial area is involved) are also suggested to apply on the affected area.
Diet and lifestyle recommendations:
Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food intake habits lead to the aggravation of disease. Healthy cooking habits and dietary changes are suggested accordingly to improve your health as well as skin.
Yoga/Exercise and Yogic Breathing techniques::
Yoga and exercise are very essential part of the treatment plan. It improves blood circulation of body which gradually increases the quality of health and skin.
Yoga postures like Sukhasana (Cross Legged Pose), Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), etc and breathing techniques like Kapalbhati, Anulom-Vilom and Brahmri will help in relieving mental stress.
Psoriasis may be an acute or chronic skin condition which may relapse over a period of time. Thus healthy lifestyle and good cooking habits along with the above treatment plan will help in curing the disease permanently.