• Shruti GOCHHWAL

An Ayurvedic Approach to Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that mainly affects the skin and joints of individuals. Red, itchy skin that turns thick and scaly are its most common symptoms. This skin disorder affects close to 2-5 % of the population. Although its symptoms can be managed with various medications, yet the condition itself remains incurable.

There are various kinds of psoriasis. Palmoplantar psoriasis, or plantar psoriasis, affects the soles of a person’s feet and their hands’ palms. Rupioid psoriasis, in which cone-shaped plaques appear on distinct skin areas, and Erythrodermic psoriasis that disturbs the normal body temperature are some other manifestations of psoriasis.

Doctors prescribe several topical and non-topical drugs and medications for treating this condition. However, there’s another lesser-known treatment option for it. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian branch of medicine, also promises to psoriasis in a natural way.

Ayurvedic Interpretation Of Psoriasis

psoriasis diet

A plate of vegan food, Credit: Pixabay


Ayurvedic practitioners term psoriasis as a ‘kushtha’ health disorder. It refers to the disease being incurable. According to them, an imbalance of ‘Vata’ and ‘Kapha’ doshas of energy lead to this condition. Both these doshas are responsible for bodily functions and growth. Inflammation that is a characteristic feature of psoriasis is the result of the buildup of toxins and other harmful substances in the body due to the dosha imbalance.

Psoriasis Treatment in Ayurveda

Ayurvedic treatment plan for psoriasis is a mix of the following key elements.

  1. Healthy plant-based diet

  2. Regular exercise

  3. Adequate hydration

  4. Natural ayurvedic medicines

According to Ayurveda, excessive consumption of salty and spicy foods, dairy products like whey, yogurt, fermented food, and sea food are the principal triggers for psoriasis development. A sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle that leads to stress and obesity, consequently disrupting the digestive system, is also a leading contributor to psoriasis.

Triggers for Psoriasis According to Ayurveda

stress

Women under high stress, Credit: Pixabay


Ayurveda points out several factors that are responsible for triggering this condition.

  1. High stress levels

  2. Illnesses and viral infections

  3. Drugs like beta blockers and lithium

  4. Sunburn

  5. Various metabolic factors

  6. Hormonal fluctuations

  7. Skin injuries

  8. Depression

  9. Reaction to medications

What Is the Ayurvedic Cure for Psoriasis?

palmoplantar psoriasis

Woman avoiding cheese, Credit: Pixabay


Dietary changes are of foremost importance to deal with psoriasis in Ayurveda. Patients need to follow a strictly vegetarian diet that excludes carbohydrate rich food items and sugar. Food with high salt content as well as sour and acidic food items are also forbidden.

For people to notice a significant reduction in their symptoms, transitioning to a vegan diet and high protein low carb diet is recommended. People should avoid the following foods to minimize psoriasis:

  1. Sour and citrus food and fruits like lemon, oranges, apple, grapes, tomato, pickles, curd, buttermilk, etc.

  2. Fermented and bakery food items.

  3. Cold beverages, icecream, and junk food.

  4. Chocolates and sweets.

  5. Dried fruits except almonds and raisins.

  6. Fried food.

  7. Alcohol

  8. All kinds of chillies.

Some Natural Ayurvedic Remedies for Treating Psoriasis

psoriasis treatment in ayurveda

Turmeric and its powder, Credit: Pixabay


Ayurvedic experts recommend the following herbal treatments for psoriasis patients.

  1. Supplement your diet with turmeric. Use it in curries. You can also apply it topically. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich medication.

  2. A botanical powder made from the andira ararobat tree when mixed with lemon juice or vinegar and applied over the affected skin can give immense relief.

  3. Applying olive oil on psoriasis patches moisturises and eliminates dryness from the skin.

  4. The herb milk thistle can improve the functioning of the immune system and reduce the symptoms.

  5. Application of cayenne pepper paste gives relief from pain and eases inflammation. The compound capsaicin present in cayenne pepper is known to block nerve endings that causes pain.

  6. Aloe vera is a useful ayurvedic medicine that when applied to the skin minimizes itching and scaling.

Along with all the dietary changes, ayurvedic practitioners also recommend daily movement in the form of yoga and pranayam.

Although Ayurvedic treatments are not fully backed by scientific research but many patients have reported significant improvements in their psoriasis symptoms on following the diet and exercise as well as topical treatments prescribed in Ayurveda.

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