Psoriasis – Overview
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disorder that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in the formation of thick, raised, red, and scaly patches on the skin. It is a non-contagious skin condition that affects around 2-3% of the global population.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The immune system plays a critical role in developing psoriasis, as it mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, leading to skin lesions. Some triggers that can exacerbate or trigger psoriasis include stress, infections, injuries to the skin, and certain medications.
Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, but it most commonly affects the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. In addition to skin symptoms, some people with psoriasis may also experience joint pain and swelling, known as psoriatic arthritis.
There are several types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis (the most common form), guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis.
Psoriasis treatment may include topical creams, light therapy, oral medications, and biological therapies. The treatment approach depends on the type and severity of psoriasis, as well as the individual’s overall health and medical history.
What is EkaKushtha?
According to Ayurveda, psoriasis is known as “Ekakushta”.
Ayurveda considers psoriasis to be a result of an imbalance in the body’s immune system, which leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body and the manifestation of symptoms on the skin. In Ayurveda, psoriasis is believed to be caused by factors such as stress, poor digestion, and a diet high in acidic and spicy foods.
In Ayurveda, Ekkushtha refers to a group of skin diseases characterized by the formation of lesions, rashes, or eruptions on the skin. The term Ekkushtha is derived from two Sanskrit words – “Ek” which means one, and “Kushtha” which means skin disease.
According to Ayurveda, there are seven types of Ekkushtha, which are classified based on the involvement of doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) and the location of the skin lesions. The seven types of Ekkushtha are:
- Vataja Ekkushtha: This type of skin disease is caused by the vitiation of the Vata dosha and is characterized by dry, scaly skin lesions that are dark in color.
- Pittaja Ekkushtha: This type of skin disease is caused by the vitiation of the Pitta dosha and is characterized by reddish, hot, and inflamed skin lesions.
- Kaphaja Ekkushtha: This type of skin disease is caused by the vitiation of the Kapha dosha and is characterized by thick, white, and moist skin lesions.
- Raktaja Ekkushtha: This type of skin disease is caused by the vitiation of the Rakta (blood) dosha and is characterized by red, elevated skin lesions that are painful and tend to bleed.
- Mamsaja Ekkushtha: This type of skin disease is caused by the vitiation of the Mamsa (muscle) dosha and is characterized by the formation of nodules or lumps under the skin.
- Medaja Ekkushtha: This type of skin disease is caused by the vitiation of the Meda (fat) dosha and is characterized by the formation of soft, yellowish skin lesions that are painless.
- Kshudra Ekkushtha: This type of skin disease is characterized by small, itchy, and localized skin lesions caused by the accumulation of toxins in the body.
Causes of psoriasis:
Ayurveda considers several factors that can lead to the vitiation of the doshas and the accumulation of toxins in the body, including:
- Poor digestion: According to Ayurveda, poor digestion can lead to the formation of toxins in the body, which can contribute to the development of psoriasis.
- Stress: Emotional stress can also contribute to the development of psoriasis by disrupting the balance of the doshas and weakening the immune system.
- Unhealthy diet: Eating a diet that is high in acidic and spicy foods can contribute to the accumulation of toxins in the body and increase the risk of developing psoriasis.
- Exposure to toxins: Exposure to environmental toxins such as chemicals, pollutants, and pesticides can also contribute to the development of psoriasis.
- Genetics: Ayurveda also recognizes the role of genetic factors in the development of psoriasis.
Ayurveda views psoriasis as a manifestation of an imbalance in the body and recommends a holistic approach to treatment that focuses on restoring the natural balance of the body, eliminating toxins from the body, and improving overall health and well-being.
Psoriasis trigger point
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can be triggered by a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common triggers of psoriasis:
- Stress: Emotional stress can trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms, possibly due to the release of stress hormones that can increase inflammation in the body.
- Infections: Certain infections such as strep throat or skin infections can trigger psoriasis or cause flare-ups in people with the condition.
- Injury to the skin: Injuries to the skin, such as cuts, bruises, or sunburn, can trigger psoriasis lesions in the affected area.
- Medications: Certain medications such as beta-blockers, lithium, and antimalarials can trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms in some people.
- Climate: Cold weather and dry air can worsen psoriasis symptoms, while warmer, humid climates may improve symptoms for some people.
- Alcohol and smoking: Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms, possibly due to the inflammatory effects of these substances on the body.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms in some people.
Symptoms of psoriasis:
In Ayurveda, ekkushtha is a skin disease that is similar to psoriasis. It is characterized by the formation of thick, scaly patches on the skin. Here are some common symptoms of ekkushtha according to Ayurveda:
- Thick, scaly patches on the skin: Ekkushtha is characterized by the formation of thick, scaly patches on the skin. These patches may be red, white, or silver in color.
- Itching and burning: The affected skin may be itchy and burning, which can cause discomfort and irritation.
- Dryness and roughness: The skin affected by ekkushtha may feel dry and rough to the touch.
- Pain and discomfort: Ekkushtha can cause pain and discomfort, especially if the affected skin is located on joints or other areas that are subject to movement.
- Lack of appetite and weakness: Ekkushtha can cause a lack of appetite and weakness, which can affect the overall health and well-being of an individual.
- Nail changes: Ekkushtha can also cause changes in the nails, such as thickening, discoloration, and separation from the nail bed.
It’s important to note that these symptoms may vary from person to person and can be influenced by factors such as the individual’s dosha imbalance, diet, lifestyle, and other health conditions.
Complication of Psoriasis
- One of the most common complications of psoriasis is psoriatic arthritis, which affects up to 30% of people with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, and can lead to irreversible joint damage if left untreated.
- Psoriasis has also been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. This is because psoriasis is associated with chronic inflammation, which can contribute to the development of these conditions.
- In addition to physical complications, psoriasis can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. The visible nature of psoriasis lesions can cause embarrassment, shame, and social isolation, leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- Furthermore, people with psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, including lymphoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. However, it is important to note that the overall risk of developing these cancers is still relatively low.
- Overall, the complications of psoriasis can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It is essential to manage the condition effectively with proper medical care, lifestyle modifications, and emotional support to prevent or minimize the risk of complications.
Ayurvedic line treatment of psoriasis
The treatment of psoriasis in Ayurveda involves a holistic approach that focuses on balancing the doshas, eliminating toxins from the body, and restoring the natural balance of the body. The treatment approach may include the use of herbs, diet and lifestyle modifications, and Panchakarma therapies such as Vamana (therapeutic vomiting), Virechana (therapeutic purgation), and Raktamokshana (bloodletting). The specific treatment approach depends on the type and severity of the skin disease and the individual’s overall health condition.
- Panchatikta Ghrita
- Mahatikta Ghrita
- Panchtikta ghrita guggulu
- Vasaguduchyadi Kashaya
- Arogyavardhini Rasa
- Kaishor Guggulu
- Gandhak Rasayan
- Mahamanjishthadi Kashayam
- Patoladi Kashayam
Single Herbs for Psoriasis
- Nimba – Azadirachta Indica
- Khadir – Acacia Catechu
- Haridra – Curcuma longa Linn.
- Daruharidra – Berberis aristata
- Kutaj – Holarrhena antidysentrica
- Vasa – Adhatoda vasica
- Patola -Trichosanthes dioica
- Amalaki – Emblica officinalis
- Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
- Manjistha – Rubia cordifolia
- Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra
- SwetaChandan – Santalum album
- Rakta chandan -Pterocarpus Santalinus
- Sariva -Hemidesmus indicus
Ayurvedic panchakarma therapy is a comprehensive detoxification process that helps to cleanse the body of toxins, and it is one of the most effective ways to treat psoriasis. The process involves a series of five treatments, as outlined above.
- Snehana (Oleation Therapy): In this treatment, medicated oils or ghee are applied to the skin, and then massaged in a specific direction to help loosen and mobilize toxins from the tissues. This helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
- Swedana (Sudation Therapy): This treatment involves inducing sweat using steam, hot water or a combination of both. Sweating helps to eliminate toxins through the skin, which can reduce inflammation and help alleviate psoriasis symptoms.
- Vamana (Emesis Therapy): This treatment is used to eliminate toxins from the body by inducing vomiting. This process helps to remove excess mucus and toxins from the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.
- Virechana (Purgation Therapy): In this treatment, herbal purgatives are used to cleanse the digestive system and eliminate toxins. This process helps to eliminate toxins and waste from the liver, gallbladder, and intestines.
- Basti (Enema Therapy): In this treatment, medicated oils or herbal decoctions are introduced into the rectum to cleanse the colon. This process helps to eliminate toxins and waste from the digestive system.
These treatments are often combined with other Ayurvedic therapies, including dietary and lifestyle changes, and herbal remedies. The treatment aims to eliminate toxins from the body, restore balance, and strengthen the immune system.