Psoriasis is a chronic auto immune non-contagious skin disease with unknown aetiology. It is believed to be driven by overactive immune system. It is a common Skin condition with speed up the life cycle of skin cells which cause scaling on skin surface. The scales commonly develop on joints such as elbow and knee but can expand to different body parts like hands, feet, scalp neck and trunk. Though the ethology of Psoriasis is Unknown but various factors such as Stress, certain medications, hormonal imbalance, injury, weather and infections were found to trigger the course of disease.
The common symptoms of psoriasis are:
- Red patches on skin with thick silvery scales
- Dry cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning and soreness
- Pitted and thickened nails
- Stiff and swollen joints
The Ayurvedic concept of Psoriasis: In Ayurvedic literature skin diseases are broadly explained as “KUSTHA ROGA”/ Kustha diseases. One of its type named “ kshudra kustha: can be clinically compared to Psoriasis as the signs/symptoms explained in Ayurvedic literatures are similar to what conventional medical sciences say about Psoriasis. According to Ayurveda, psoriasis is a vatta Kapha disease which aggravates with the virudh Aahar ( consumption of non compatible food products together such as fish and milk). It is believed that the opposite diets when taken together get converted into slow poisons which aggravates the doshas. The stress, irregular & excessive physical activities, imbalanced diets and environmental factors imbalance the vatta obstructing the normal flow and movement of doshas and chats, which further triggers the impurities towards the progression of the disease.
The ayurvedic approach towards treatment: Although there is no cure for the disease the conventional medical sciences offers limited options of treatments for auto-immune disorders. In Psoriasis, the commonly prescribed treatments are PUVA and corticosteroids which have been criticised for hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity, if use for long duration whereas Ayurvedic literatures promises the long term effective management of Psoriasis and associated symptoms, when treated with Ayurvedic medicine and therapies. The ayurvedic management starts with the identification of individual’s body constitution and level of doshas imbalance.
The Panchkarma therapy is believed to be the best treatment for Psoriasis which include; Shodhana (body external and internal cleansing), Shaman (Pacifying the aggravating factors) and removal of the identified causes with specific therapies. The use of Panchkarma therapies and herbal medicines has shown positive results in numbers of studies and have been continuously used for the treatment of psoriasis. Panchkarma therapies detoxify and rejuvenate the body organs which act as new platform for herbal treatments and therapies. The herbs and therapies enhance the immunity and reduce the Psoriasis associated symptoms. According to Ayurveda, the symptoms and progression of disease can be reduced with Ayurvedic medicines and following the principles of dietary behaviour and activities.