Psoriasis – Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Herbs, Remedies

Article by – Dr. MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD (Ayu).
Psoriasis is a disease which has not been defined properly till today. Regarding its causative factors also no clear results are found with the research. Certain researchers have given evidence that psoriasis may be due to inheritance. Whereas some others considered it as an idiopathic disease (unknown cause). While some of the researchers mention it as a psycho-somatic disease. Other strong arguments are also found that it is mere due to stress and strain followed with inherited factors.

Anyhow the aim of this article is to explore contribution of Ayurveda system of medicine in treating this skin condition.

In Ayurveda, all skin diseases are grouped under a broad heading of Kushta Roga.
Ekakushta is one such disease explained under the heading of Kshudra kushta (minor skin ailments). Even though, in terms of severity, incidence and prognosis, psoriasis is not a minor kind.
The features of Ekakushta closely resemble the characteristic features of Psoriasis. Hence most of the clinicians co-relate it with psoriasis.

psoriasis - histo-pathology
psoriasis – histo-pathology

Causative factors of Ekakushta

Excess intake of mulaka (raddish), lashuna (garlic) etc
Prolonged intake of aquatic and marshy animals (fish) with milk
Intake of Pippali (long pepper), kakamachi (Solanum nigrum) or lakucha (Artocarpus likucha) along with curd and ghee
Intake of radish (mulaka) with jaggery
Excess intake of alcohol and green leafy vegetables along with milk
Intake of honey and meat after having the hot and spicy diet or vice versa
Intake of food mostly containing Hayanaka, Yavaka (barley) , Chinaka, Uddalaka(millets and grains) etc along with milk, curd, buttermilk, oil etc
Repeated, excess food intake, irrespective of hunger,
Unwholesome food
Continuous and excess intake of honey, molasses, fish, radish etc (especially when the individual has indigestion)
Oily food intake
Excess intake of marshy animals or aquatic animals
Food poisoning
Intake of sour and salty food together,
Suppression of vomiting, urinary urge etc
After effects of bad deeds(karma phala) etc

Origin of the disease

Due to the above said factors, all the three doshas (mainly Vata and Kapha) are vitiated and they further vitiate Twak (skin), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (flesh), Ambu (lasika-serum). Thus, they lead to manifestation of skin lesions in various parts of the body.

Prodromal features

Reduced perspiration (swedana) or increased perspiration (atiswedana)
Roughness of the skin (parushya)
Discoloration of the skin (twak vaivarnya)
Itching (kandu)
Pricking sensation (nistoda)
Numbness (suptata)
Horripilation (pariharsha/rohaharsha)
Fatigue (klama) etc

Clinical features

Reduced sweating (Asweda)
Extended skin lesions (mahavastu)
Scaling of skin similar to the scales of the fish (matsya shakalopama)
Pink discoloration (Arunavarna)
Blackening of the part (krishnavarna) etc

Ayurvedic line of treatment

Ghritapana (oral administration of medicated ghee)
Vamana (emesis) (According to the need  virechana-purgation can also be carried or else both are also recommended one after the other)
Shamana Aushadha (medicaments)- Both internal and external medication is carried.

Single herbs used

Single drugs useful in Psoriasis (Eka Kushta)-
Nimba – Neem
Khadira – Acacia catechu Willd.
Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus Schult.
Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia Linn.
Chandana – Santalum alba Linn.
Raktachandana – Pterocarpus santalinus Linn.
Patola – Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers.
Vasaka – Adhatoda vasica Nees.
Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.
Madanaphala – Catunaragum spinosa (Thunb.) Trivengadum.
Amalaki – Amla fruit – Indian gooseberry
Haridra – Turmeric
Daruharidra – Berberis aristata Dc.
Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica (Linn.) Wall. Ex. G. Don.

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations used:
Panchatikta ghrita
Mahatiktaka ghrita
Mahatiktaka kashaya
Guggulu tiktaka ghrita
Guggulutiktaka kashaya
Patolakaturohinyadi kashaya
Vasaguduchyadi kashaya
Arogyavardhini
Kaishora guggulu
Gandhaka rasayana
Amritadi guggulu
Padavaladi gana kashaya
Patolamooladi kashaya etc

Wholesome diets

Wholesome diet habits for Ekakushta (psoriasis):
Raktashali (red rice)
Mudga (Green gram)
Sukhodaka (warm water)
Snana (bathing)
Jirnahara (easily digestible food)
Tikta-kashaya rasa (bitter and astringent food)
Vishrama (rest)
Calmness (shanta shravana) (listening to calm music etc)

Unwholesome diets

Unwholesome diet and habits for Ekakushta (Psoriasis):
Alcohol (madya)
Garlic (lashuna)
Fish (matsya)
Incompatible food stuff (virruddhahara)
sour food(amla ahara)
Excess milk and milk products
Black gram (masha)
Spicy food (vidari ahara)
Stress (chinta)
Fear (bhaya) etc

Types of psoriasis

Even though varieties of presentation like plaque psoriasis, guttar psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, unstable psoriasis etc are present, in Ayurveda, all can be included under single heading- Ekakushta. Likewise, scalp, palm, soles, sacral region, nails, back side of the ear, neck, elbow, abdomen etc are the common sites, it may appear in any part of the body. So, one should be careful in its beginning itself and should consult the physician at the earliest.

Basti for psoriasis

Basti – Enema Panchakarma treatment for psoriasis –
Some Ayurvedic doctors use Panchatikta ghrita or Mahatikta ghritham – bitter herbal ghees as enema for the treatment of psoriasis.

23 thoughts on “Psoriasis – Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Herbs, Remedies”

  1. Hi, if the fruits do not have any sour principles, then it can be mixed or cooked with milk and consumed.

    Reply
  2. Dr. Shri JV Hebbar Sir,

    My Age 37 yrs, Mild Plaque Psoriasis since last 8 yrs. Kindly advise select 2-3 medics in
    Ay. that I can take regularly.

    Thank you,
    Umesh

    Reply
    • Sir, would advise you take expert opinion for the same. The physician would prescribe the medicine based on the severity, age of the individual.

      Reply
      • Sir, As it is related to skin utmost care should be taken since there me be skin allergies or infections. And as we all are genetically different with different prakruthi we respond to treatments in many different ways. So over the counter medicines should be avoided. And without seeing the severity we cannot prescribe medicines to anybody.

        Reply
  3. Respected Doc
    Your articles are short and crisp. I daily read them. I want to know why the excessive intake of Barley is bad for the disease. What does aryuveda mean by excessive ? I am a PK constitution guy and I eat chapattis with 50% barley in them. Would it be considered excessive ?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi, as per Ayurveda, excess of barley intake may cause increase of dryness of the body and is difficult to digest. Hence, if you have psoriasis, it is best to avoid excess of barley.
      I am fine with making chapathi with 50 % of barley, if it is consumed just for one meal time per day, in a psoriasis patient.

      Reply
  4. Very informative article doctor. I just found the product called Winsoria oil from the Kerala Ayurveda….it is meant for Scalp as well as body psoriasis. I have scalp psoriasis since last 2 years…so would it better to use this oil?
    and can u please suggest me classical ayurveda oil for my problem? Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Very important point to mention regarding kushta and mahakushta rogas .Smritis and some rare old texts mention that Some diseases are also karmaj vyadhis oand vyadhi from past life. A senior yogi vaidya i knew used to ask kushta and mahakushta patients 1st question ?Do you respect your parents? Do you fight yell ,dont take care of your parents and elders in house. Do you want them to leave your house and go to oldage home,do you feel they are burden in you ? do you just want their money?..Some of us neaby used to ask..prabhu, why dont you first prescribe medicines ..why do you ask this question always regarding major skin problems?He used to describe astrological and shastriya connections and then give herbal medicines…so please follow these simple tips along with medicines…recovery is very fast..Doctors should recommend these tips .Sitaram.

    Reply
  6. Hi i read your article its really nice.. how do i contact you ..am sending my email please revert me back so that i can approach you.

    Reply
  7. My mother is having severe itching of scalp on the back of the head, which results in white/milk color liquid upon scratching and sometimes it bleeds. The doctor suggested it could be psoriasis and gave ointment and shampoo to use.She is having this issue for about a month. In the article you mention it is best to get a cure as soon as possible to avoid more severe effects.

    Apart from following some of the dietary guidelines above, is there any herb/medicine she can take to address this issue?
    Is there any ayurvedic medicine/oil that she can use to cure it?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
  8. Hello Doctor,

    I’m taking for the past 6 months Psorakot tablets 2-2-2 for my skin problem. I have this almost for the past 15-20 years – fortunately mild. initially appeared on nails then at the bottom of the foot and then on palms. not much on nails. was taking treatment for about an year with CNR herbs 5-6 years back but not satisfied, though a bit of curing was there. then switched to RJR – with an initial very fast curing – but the effect was not continuous. flakes at the bottom of the foot (for about a size of the coin) got cured. now having a small patch on my right palm – mostly cured by Psorakot. though the curing at the initial stage was fast – but very slow at later stages – but looks curing, slowly, very slowly. planning to take for next 3 months twice daily and then for next 3 months once daily and stop. pl. advice. should i have to take anything along with this. also using Psorakot ointment.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  9. Thanks a lot Dr.

    do i need to take Vitamins along with this or just eating fresh Vegetables / Fruits enough.

    Thank you Dr.

    Reply
  10. Hi All,
    I was going through this page today, i like the prompt response from docs for all the open book questions from needy. Thanks and all the best for the good communication and keep going…

    Regards
    Anitha

    Reply

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