Psoriasis is a skin disorder manifested as white scaly itchy skin rashes with small bumps and redness. The skin cells are known to multiply 10 times faster than normal condition due to which the above symptoms are noticed. These patches can grow anywhere on the body, but more often they appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.
The symptoms of this skin disease vary depending on the type one suffers from. Some common symptoms are:
Plaques of red skin often covered with white scales. These patches may be itchy and painful, and they sometimes crack and bleed. In severe cases, the patches grow and merge, covering large areas.
Symptoms on fingernails and toenails include discoloration and pitting of the nails. The nails even get detached from the nail bed.
People with psoriasis can also suffer from a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. It leads to swelling in the joints, which becomes painful.
Causes of psoriasis
According to experts, psoriasis occurs when the immune system causes inflammation, triggering new skin cells to form very fast. In normal condition, skin cells are replaced every 10 to 30 days. But with psoriasis, new cells grow every 3 to 4 days. These skin cells start piling up leading to patches and white scales. Psoriasis is a hereditary disease.
Ayurvedic approach to psoriasis
According to Ayurveda, psoriasis occurs due to an imbalance between two doshas or energies. These are the Vata and Kapha. Vata is responsible for controlling bodily functions and, therefore, contribute to the dryness and skin scaling of psoriasis.
Our skin conditions are also different based on the doshas. Vata disorders may lead to black or brown discolouration, dryness of skin, rough patches, pricking or piercing pain, stiffness of the local area, numbness, fissures, cracks, nervous involvement, etc. On the other hand, Pitta disorders may have symptoms like bright red discolouration, burning sensation, excessive sweating, pus formation, some liquid formation, fever, inflammation, ulceration, etc. Kapha disorders are accompanied by pale white discolouration, swelling, fluid retention, itching, oiliness, heaviness, etc
In people with Vata dominant conditions, the skin gets dry with excessive scaling. The spread is usually uneven, quick and is aggravated with Vata increasing conditions like stress, irregular sleep and lifestyle.
In people with Pitta dominant conditions, the skin shows discolouration with burning sensation and the hair follicles may be affected. This is accompanied with bleeding and pustule formation.
On the other hand, in people with Kapha dominant conditions, the skin shows whitish discolouration with thick skin and itching.
Ayurveda believes there are various causes of skin diseases:
- In case we take foods of opposing qualities, for example, yoghurt and fruit, dairy products and sour fruits, etc
- Suppressing any natural urges may lead to skin diseases
- Physical exercises after a heavy meal
- Travelling or going out in the sun after a heavy meal
- Excessive intake of foods like yogurt, slat fish, sour foods, etc
- Improper application and administration of Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification)
- When massages and oil therapies are done while ama is still present in the body
Ayurveda suggests that psoriasis can be treated only after ama is eliminated and the digestive fire is stimulated and strengthened. This should be followed by elimination therapies like Panchakarma. It involves internal and external oleation. While for internal oleation, Panchatikta Ghrita is used. Oils are used for external oleation.
Some herbs are very useful in the treatment of psoriasis such as Manjistha, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Gotu kola, Guggulu, Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri).
External application of oils like Jatyadi oil (jasmine oil) helps to treat lesions. Paste of jasmine flowers is also beneficial.
Psora capsules for psoriasis
Psora capsules, manufactured by Ayulabs Pvt Ltd, Rajkot, is an Ayurvedic proprietary medicine for treating psoriasis and other skin inflammatory conditions like fungal infection, skin allergies, skin infections, dry and wet eczema, dermatitis of various origin, etc.
Ingredients of Psora capsules
Panchtikta Ghrut Guggul – 100 mg
Neem Oil (Melia Azadirachta) – 100 mg
Chalmogra Oil ( Hydnocarpus Laurifolia) – 60 mg
Narayan Oil – 20 mg
Bakuchi Oil ( Psoralea Corylifolia)- 20 mg
You can take two capsules a day after meal or as directed by your Ayurvedic physician.