Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin, which is non-infectious. It is characterized by reddish plaques with large sticky silvery scales. It is an abnormality in the skin caused by division of basal layers of the skin. This may cause severe itching sensation and dryness in the skin. Though about 3% of Indians are reported to suffer Psoriasis, it is more common in Americans and Europeans.
Though there is no definite cause for the occurrence of this disease, it is considered to be a genetic predisposition. A child with one or both parents suffering from this disease may develop this disease at some point in life. Infection of upper respiratory tract, deprivation of sunlight and mental stress could also aggravate this disease.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, Psoriasis could be caused due to the dysfunctioning of vata and kapha doshas. Accumulation of toxins or ama, could also lead to this disease condition. Excessive intake of yogurt, seafood, salty foods, black gram and sour food can cause an aggravation in the disease condition. Psoriasis may also develop due to excess stress.
An effective Ayurvedic treatment for this condition is Panchakarma which helps in detoxification of body fluids. Initially the person is given medicated ghee for about five to seven days, followed by inducing vomiting and detoxifying the body, a process known as Vamana and Virechana. Therafter a procedure wherein medicated buttermilk is dripped overhead called Dahara is done, after which the entire body is pasted with mud and other medicines. Finally medicated enemas (Basthies) are given for a week and internal medications in the form of herbal concoctions and medicated ghee has to be consumed for atleast three months.
During the entire treatment period certain diet restrictions has to be followed. Diet should be strictly vegetarian and yogurt, chillies, black gram and excess salt intake should be avoided. Refrigerated and cold foods should also be avoided.