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Article: Ekakustha (Psoriasis) Disease | Psoriasis Treatment | Ekakustha Treatment

Ekakustha (Psoriasis) - Care & Diet by Ayurveda

Author:
Dr. Imlikumba

B.A.M.S, M.D (Panchakarma), KRTC (Jamnagar)  
MO (Ayur) Bokajan PHC  
Chief Consultant @Health Naturally Clinic  
Kevijau Colony, Dimapur  
Email: imlikumba@gmail.com  
Ph: 09483328411  

This article was published in the Nagaland Post on June 18, 2017.

Psoriasis is not all of you; it’s just a part of you like everything else. Psoriasis is a complex, chronic, multifactorial, inflammatory disease characterized by hyper-proliferation of keratinocytes in the epidermis, with an increased epidermal cell turnover rate. It is one of the most common human skin diseases today. In Ayurveda, most dermatological disorders are described under the category of Kushtha. Ekakustha is a type of Kshudra Kushtha (minor skin ailments) described in various Ayurvedic classics. It is considered a Vata-Kaphaj disorder. The classical symptoms of Ekakustha resemble those of Psoriasis, including remission, relapse, and seasonal variation as described by Acharya Kashyap.

Modern medical science treats Psoriasis with therapies like PUVA and corticosteroids, which can cause serious side effects such as hepato- and nephrotoxicity, and bone marrow depression. Thus, there is a need for safe and effective treatments, where Ayurveda plays a crucial role. Ayurveda provides long-lasting results through its three basic principles: Shodhana (purification), Shamana (pacification), and Nidan Parivarjana (avoidance of causative factors).

Causes and Clinical Features of Psoriasis

Premonitory Signs and Symptoms:

Psoriasis can initially go undetected with mild symptoms such as small, faint, dry patches.

Clinical Features:

  • Plaques of Red Skin: Often covered with loose, silver scales, which can be extensive, itchy, and painful. Cracking and bleeding may occur.
  • Irritated Patches and Dots: Raised and thick, ranging from pink-red to salmon-red, often covered in silvery scales.
  • Redness on Elbows, Knees, Trunk, and Scalp: Symptoms can occur anywhere on the body.
  • Nail Changes: Thickening, yellow-brown spots, dents, pits, nail separation, and crumbling.
  • Severe Dandruff: Plaques of silver scales or crust that shed as loose flakes.
Types of Psoriasis:
  1. Plaque Psoriasis: The most common form, characterized by raised, red patches with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells.
  2. Guttate Psoriasis: Appears as small, dot-like lesions, often triggered by strep infections.
  3. Inverse Psoriasis: Red lesions in body folds, appearing smooth and shiny.
  4. Pustular Psoriasis: Characterized by white pustules surrounded by red skin, often on the hands or feet.
  5. Erythrodermic Psoriasis: Severe form causing widespread redness and skin shedding, often in people with unstable plaque psoriasis.

Ayurvedic Approach to Psoriasis

Ayurvedic Principles:

Ayurvedic treatment for Psoriasis follows the principles of Nidana Parivarjana (avoidance of causative factors), Shodhana (purification), and Shamana (pacification).

Nidana Parivarjana:

Avoidance of etiological factors like Mithya Ahara-Vihara (improper diet and lifestyle) and Viruddha Ahara (incompatible foods) to stop further disease progression by restricting the vitiation of Doshas.

Panchakarma Therapy:  

Repeated Shodhana (purification) is required due to the chronic and relapsing nature of Ekakustha. Panchakarma therapies include:

  • Vamana (Emesis): Induced vomiting to eliminate toxins.
  • Virechana (Purgation): Induced purgation to cleanse the intestines.
  • Shamana Aushadha (Medications): Internal and external medications.

Shamana Chikitsa:

Includes internal medications and the following practices:

  • Moisturizing the skin with suitable healing creams.
  • Regular skin massage with suitable oils.
  • Restoring the digestive fire to its optimum level.
  • Reducing stress through meditation or leisure activities.
  • Sunlight exposure for 30 minutes daily.
  • Gentle sweating to excrete toxins.

Ayurvedic Dietary Recommendations for Psoriasis

Pathyāpathya (Dos and Don'ts):

Dos:

  •   Eat plenty of leafy, green vegetables.
  •   Consume cooked, warm food.
  •   Eat only when hungry.
  •   Drink water when thirsty.
  •   Maintain regular, healthy bowel movements.
  •   Include old rice, barley, green gram, bitter vegetables, and meat of wild animals.

Don'ts:

  •  Avoid frequent small meals or snacks.
  •  Avoid acidic foods, red meat, red fish, tropical fruits, red wine, tomatoes, cold raw salads, nuts, and seeds.
  •  Avoid sour foods like yogurt and dairy products.
  •  Avoid sexual intercourse and alcoholic drinks.

Conclusion

Psoriasis is a non-infectious chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by well-defined erythematous plaques with silvery scales. It affects both sexes and different age groups. Ayurvedic literature describes Psoriasis under Kushtha, covering a wide range of dermatological disorders, their etiopathogenesis, clinical presentation, prevention, and management. Ayurvedic treatments provide natural management without adverse effects, emphasizing lifestyle modifications and immune modulator drugs to achieve better results.

Note: Ayurvedic medicines and treatments should be taken under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic doctor/physician. The drugs described in this article are for general information and educational purposes only and should not be used without consulting a qualified Ayurveda doctor/physician.