Psoriasis an Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurveda looks at skin as a ‘Fire’, or Pitta related organ. Skin therefore reacts very strongly to sunlight. One gets tanned, sun burnt or perhaps simply sensitive to too much sun. All skin ailments are considered as “Pitta imbalances” - therefore one must reduce excess heat or Pitta from the body.
Psoriasis, as a skin condition, is a Pitta ailment - the heat has exceeded the body’s limits for healthy containment, hence causing the imbalance.
- Ayurveda stresses upon avoiding certain “faulty food combinations”. The most common of these are fruit and dairy (therefore no fruit & yogurt or strawberries & cream), meat and dairy, fish and dairy. These combinations lead to the toxin accumulation in the body that directly attack the skin causing psoriasis.
- Always eat cooked foods. This helps to stimulate the digestive fire therefore digesting all the food. This ensures that no food is converted into toxins.
- Concentrate on tastes that eliminate heat from the body like natural sweets (sweet fruits), bitter (all green vegetables are bitter) and astringent (many unripe fruits).
- Buttermilk is also specially recommended. For this simply blend one quarter yogurt and three quarters of water. To this one can add spices like cumin powder, cinnamon, grated ginger, and cardamom. Buttermilk has astringent qualities and helps to eliminate excess heat. A glass 3-4 times a day.
- Regular intake of a cooling tea like the Re Fresh – Pitta Tea will help to reduce the heat in the body and improve the psoriasis.
- Keep your bowels clean. Constipation can also lead to skin ailments including psoriasis. Triphala is a cornerstone herb in Ayurveda known for its detoxifying, bowel cleansing and regulating qualities. Daily intake of Triphala will not only help to clear away toxins, regulate the bowels but will also help towards a clear and glowing skin.
- Turmeric is an essential herb of Ayurvedic pharmacy. It has anti bacterial, antiviral, anti fungal, blood cleansing properties. For this reason, it also an essential part of the bridal preparations in Ayurveda.
- Saffron, cardamom, fennel, cumin, peppermint are the common herbs/spices that can be added to your daily cooking.
- People suffering from dry flaky psoriasis should invest some time in regular ayurvedic oil massages. Either a self massage with warm sesame seed oil at home or visit your local ayurvedic therapist for a soothing calming Abhyanga massage. Make sure you have a warm shower after your treatment as this helps to get rid of any toxins that come up to skin level during the treatment.
- Ayurvedic foot massages are known for its heat removing properties. For an enhanced benefit, ask your therapist to use “Ghee”, commonly called clarified butter.
These simple approaches have a very high success rate of dealing with even the most stubborn psoriasis. If you try these techniques and still find that you are suffering, please book to have a full consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner.
- People who love a physical workout can try to incorporate Moon Salutations (Chandra Namaskar) in their yoga practise as this is a cooling exercise which helps to get rid of excess Pitta.
- Half Moon Pose and Spinal Twists are beneficial.
- Try Cooling Breath Exercise (Shitali Paranayama) and Left Nostril Breathing (Chandra Bheda).
- Lastly for the over-worked, stressed person suffering from Psoriasis, try to keep work away from your bedroom. Sleep time is the most personal to everyone to achieve complete rejuvenation and healing of tissues. This shouldn’t be disturbed by sights of work files, PC’s, laptops or even the mobile phones. Therefore separating your bedroom for sleep and your study for work is essential.