Do not fear Psoriasis!
Psoriasis is an autoimmune, non-infectious disorder that causes plaques, which are itchy or sore patches of thick, red, dry skin. The word “Psora” is Greek word meaning “Itch“. Psoriasis affects any part of the body. Psoriasis has a genetic predisposition, can develop at any age though often occurs between 15 and 35 of age. Itchiness is the most common and nagging complaint in people with psoriasis which not only leads to physical ill-health but also a psychological distress. It has significant impact on Quality of life and profoundly alters their daily activities with impact on social, physical and psychological well- being.
Ayurveda describes psoriasis as Kitibha Kushtha, Kushta meaning that which makes the skin look disgraceful. Psoriasis (Kitibha Kustha) occurs due to vitiation of Vata, Kapha, Pitta& Rakta doshas.
Ayurveda explains the causes, manifestation and management in a holistic way.
Etiology / Causes :
- Dairy products such as curd, Buffalo milk, cheese
- Lentils such as black gram, horse gram, field beans, newly harvested rice
- Sweet dish prepared from sugar, carbohydrate rich food
- Citrus fruits, tamarind, tomatoes, green chillies
- Consumption of food items that can’t be eaten together (dairy products with fish)
Stress, Day sleep, suppressing the natural urges such as defeacation and hunger, excessive exposure to sunrays, excessive worry/grief, excessive physical exercises.
- Etiological factors
- Dosha prakopa
- Spread all over the body through channels
- Vitiates skin, blood, muscles
- Patches over the skin
- Kitibha (Psoriasis)
Holistic Treatment :
Nidana parivarjana – Nidanaparivarjana (abstinence from etiological factors)
Panchakarma–To detoxify the body using the panchakarma therapies of Vamana, Virechana, Basti, Nasya and Rakta mokshana based on doctor’s advise.
Naturopathy– Therapies such as neutral enema helps to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Other treatments such as mud therapy, diet therapy and acupuncture.
Yoga therapy– Includes a combination of Asana, pranayama and meditation for better mind body coordination
Pathya (Do’s and Don’ts)
Ayurveda, explains that there is no need of medicine when one follows a healthy diet, and when one doesn’t follow, then there is no effect of medicine. It’s therefore important to note diet is most crucial.
Wholesome Diet :
Old rice, barley, green gram, bitter vegetables and meat of wild animals.
Unwholesome Diet :
Sour, salty, heat producing items like pepper, green chillies, curd, milk, jaggery, meat of marshy animals, sesame seeds, black gram are contraindicated; and alcohol are to be avoided.
Olive oil– Olive oil has developed a reputation for being an effective treatment for mild cases of plaque psoriasis. It can be used for massage before bathing or as applicant after bath.
Aloe Vera– Topical application of aloe vera is a safe and natural psoriasis remedy to soothen
Turmeric – Turmeric has a long history of being used for infections and the anti-inflammatory components help heal skin. Oral consumption of turmeric in cooking and topical use of its extract is found to be useful.Orange turmeric powder with fresh turmeric .
The above insights help us understand Psoriasis and also throw light that a holistic management using Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy is crucial in initiating a change towards recovery. Being a SPyho somatic disorder, Psoriasis needs to be addressed by balancing the mind body complex.