Psoriasis is a medical condition where inflammation affects the skin cells causing excessive and rapid growth of the skin cells which ultimately leads to the formation of thick and scaly plaques.
Ayurveda is an ancient holistic form of treatment that is based on maintaining a healthy balance between body, mind, and soul.
It has been observed that the medicines prescribed for psoriasis often lead to uncomfortable side effects and there has been a significant shift in people to move towards the more natural form of treatment i.e., Ayurveda. Practitioners of Ayurveda have claimed that Ayurveda not only helps in treating the skin condition but also does not lead to undesirable side effects.
Curious to know how ayurvedic treatments have been so beneficial in treating medical conditions like psoriasis, continue reading the article then as we share with you all the details.
What is psoriasis?
We will get to how Ayurveda helps in treating psoriasis shortly but before that, we should know what is psoriasis in the first place and what are the common symptoms of the skin condition, as it has been observed that early detection of the skin condition helps in faster amelioration.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that is caused due to rapid growth of the skin cells. The regular life cycle of skin cells is about one month but for people affected with psoriasis, the development of new skin cells occurs within five days to be approx and that does not leave any time for the old skin cells to fall off. This overproduction leads to the build-up of scaly and rough skin surfaces.
There are five different types of psoriasis that a person can be affected by:
- Plaque psoriasis- red and inflamed patches of skin covered by whitish-silver scales or plaques.
- Guttate psoriasis- small pink spots occurring on legs, arms, and torso
- Pustular psoriasis- white, pus-filled blisters scattered over red, inflamed skin
- Inverse psoriasis- red, shiny inflamed skin growing in armpits, breasts, and around skinfolds in the genitals
- Erythrodermic psoriasis- a rare type of psoriasis where large sections of the body are covered at once. This is a life-threatening condition and the doctor should be consulted immediately too.
Psoriasis can be caused due to a variety of reasons, some of the common being:
- consumption of two opposite foods like fish and milk together
- trauma on skin
- suffering from skin or medication irritants
How is Ayurveda used in treating psoriasis?
Now coming to the main part. Ayurveda is a centuries-old treatment procedure that believes that a healthy body can be achieved only when the soul, mind, and body are completely aligned. The goal of Ayurveda is to keep the energy patterns of the body or the doshas in proper order.
Ayurveda relies on herbal remedies and believes in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The treatment procedures of Ayurveda include a healthy and balanced diet, yoga, meditation, and detoxification.
The ayurvedic treatment that is mainly used to treat psoriasis is Panchakarma therapy. However, the length and success of the treatment depend on the severity of psoriasis and the individual’s commitment to the treatment.
Panchakarma therapy involves herbal remedies and specific dietary changes which are meant to detoxify and purify the body.
The treatment includes:
- Vegetarian diet being recommended
- Medicated ghee should be consumed on the daily diet
- Medically controlled purging and vomiting
- Dripping medicated buttermilk on the affected head.
- Covering the body in a paste of mud and medicines
- Performing medicated regulated enemas
Applying andira araroba paste which is a botanical powder made from the andira araroba tree on the psoriasis patches helps in reducing inflammation and redness.
Alternative ayurvedic remedies
Other ayurvedic remedies that are used in treating psoriasis
- Indian frankincense or boswellia to ameliorate inflammation and boost the immune system
- Neem to support the immune system and detoxify the blood.
- Turmeric to combat inflammation, swelling, and redness.
- Guggul, jasmine flower paste, and black nightshade juice to ameliorate inflammation
- Onion and garlic to purify the bloodstream
- Milk thistle helps in alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis as it helps the liver and immune system to work better.
- Ointments or paste containing cayenne powder helps in ameliorating psoriasis flare-ups. Capsaicin present in the powder, when applied to the affected region, helps in blocking the nerve endings that add to the pain. However, we do recommend you to be careful when using a capsaicin product as it leads to a burning sensation on the skin.
- Turmeric, aloe vera, and olive oil help in reducing scaling, itching, and redness.
Through thorough research and studies, it has been observed that both physical and emotional stress are one of the key factors that lead to flare-ups of psoriasis. Ayurveda can help you to ameliorate stress too. Popular ayurvedic herb ashwagandha is extremely beneficial in combating stress and reducing frequent episodes of psoriasis flare-ups.
Preventive measures to be taken care of!
Some other measures that should be followed by the affected to ameliorate the skin condition are:
- Maintaining a safe distance from factors that can risk the aggravation of the condition.
- Practicing yoga regularly. Yoga is a very effective form of exercise which not only helps in detoxing the bloodstream but also boosts the working of the liver and immune system.
- Prickling, scratching, and peeling of the affected skin should be avoided.
- The affected skin should be pat dry after washing. However, care should be taken to avoid rubbing vigorously of the affected area. Also, do not have cold baths or immediate cleanup after heavy workout sessions.
- Artificial cleansers should be avoided and a gram or besan flour can be used instead
- Avoid foods that cause indigestion and excessive salty, acidic, and other foodstuffs that can trigger flare-ups of psoriasis.
Is Ayurvedic treatment for psoriasis safe?
According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ayurvedic herbal remedies are classified as supplements, therefore, they do not undergo the same strict monitoring procedures as other medicated drugs go through.
Much research on psoriasis treatment in Ayurveda is not present and most of the claimed benefits are based upon anecdotal experiences. Therefore, it is always advised to be careful when using ayurvedic care for psoriasis. Also, try to obtain herbal remedies from an experienced and licensed ayurvedic practitioner who has in-depth knowledge on the subject.
Now there you go, everything you need to know on how Ayurveda can help in treating psoriasis. More studies need to be done to completely solidify the benefits of Ayurveda for psoriasis and it is always advised to consult your medical provider before indulging in ayurvedic treatments.