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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Ayurvedic herbs for Psoriasis Management

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which mainly affects skin as compared to other organs of the body. From the last few decades, Psoriasis's incidence has increased in India. According to a survey about 2 to 3 crore people are suffering from this disease. Male are more prone to this disease as compared to females.



The main cause behind Psoriasis is explained as below:

  1. Genetic abnormalities
  2. Sedentary lifestyle
  3. Wrong dietary habits
  4. Environment factors

The chances of psoriasis are more increased in people with genetic abnormalities when they follow below lifestyle and habits:

  • Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the three main energies of the body. When vata and kapha is increased in the body it affects normal functioning of neuroendocrine system and immune system.
  • When a person's immune system is deficient or not functioning properly, it can lead to various health issues.
  • Vitiated kapha dosha hampers digestive fire, due to which the body is unable to digest food properly that leads to accumulation of endotoxin, i.e ama in the body.
  • This ama can block various channels of our body and further destroy skin cells.
  • After that vitiated vata and kapha dosha along with ama dosha travels through our whole body and deposits in the outer layer of skin (Epidermis).
  • The vitiated dosha and toxic particles further damages the local defence system and nervous system.
  • In the absence of a defence system skin cells begin to multiply in number. This multiplication of skin cells takes place within 4 to 5 days.
  • Skin cells multiply to 10 times faster than normal. Abnormal keratinization of cells leads to multiple layer on the skin surface in the form of scales.
  • Along with this process, pitta dosha is also increased which causes local inflammation.
  • Skin cells start forming scales which are red in color and itchy in nature.
  • Often heat increases itching and the problem is more increased.

In brief etiopathogenesis is explained below:

  • Dosha - Kaph and vata dosha is involved mainly.
  • Increased kapha dosha symptoms - Low energy, sense of heaviness, poor appetite, indigestion
  • Increased vata symptoms - Dry rough skin, Fatigue, bodyache, feeling confused.
  • Digestive fire - Digestive fire is weakened due to increased kapha dosha that leads to indigestion. Improper digestion of food causes formation of undigested food particles. These food particles further cause blockage of channels.
  • Channels - The channels of the body through which the material needed for tissue building and for nutrition flows from one corner of the body to another. Increased kapha dosha is the main culprit behind blockage of channels. It mainly affects Rasvah Srotas (The channel which helps in circulation of lymph, plasma). As disease progresses it also involves other channels too.
  • The target (Dushya) - Mainly skin and lymphatic tissue is involved, but with further progression it also causes damage to other organs and tissues.
  • Immune system (Ojas) - The main reason behind this disease is a weak immune system. It is the main cause which leads to various problems.


The main symptom of Psoriasis is the presence of reddish patches which are dry and itchy. They are present in the form of scales. The patches can range from small spots to major eruptions that can cover large areas. On the basis of scaling, psoriasis is divided into 5 subtypes:

  1. Plaque - It is the most common type, rash is raised and covered with silvery scales. These patches often appear on the scalps, knees, elbows and lower back.
  2. Guttate - Pink red spots on trunk upper arms, thighs and scalp.
  3. Inverse - Patches that are bright red and shiny but don't have scales mainly on armpits, groin.
  4. Pustular - It is an uncommon type and there's pus filled pustules. Mainly on hands and feet area.
  5. Erythrodermic - Severe itching and burning sensation. It affects mostly all parts of our body.

90% of people are found with plaque psoriasis and the rest are affected with other types of psoriasis.

Other Symptoms:

  1. Joint pain
  2. Swollen or stiff joints
  3. Depression


Herbs should be chosen on the basis of above pathogenesis of psoriasis. Things to keep in mind while choosing herbs by physician:

  • Herbs which are effective for dissolution of etiopathogenic factors.
  • They should be less in quantity.
  • Herbs which are easy available and easy to consume.
  • Herbs whose extract are based on Ayurvedic principles.
  • Herbs which are scientifically proven for treating psoriasis
  • Herbs with no side effect when used in proper dose as advised by physician
  • Total cost of treatment should be affordable.


1. Antipsoriatic Herbs

The main reason behind psoriasis is a weak immune system that can lead to antibody formation in the body.

  1. Shawet kutaj (Wrightia tinctoria)
  2. Avalguja (Psoralea corylifolia)
  3. Arushkara
  4. Katuki (Picrorhiza kurroa)
  5. Ankot (Alangium salvifolium)

These herbs are anti-inflammatory and antipruritic in nature. They are very beneficial in all types of skin disorders as they possess anti-toxic action. Due to all these actions and properties these are highly beneficial in treatment of Psoriasis.

2. Immunomodulatory Drugs

Immunomodulatory herbs play an important role in treatment of psoriasis. All these herbs enhance immunity power and provide strength to fight against diseases. The main herbs under this category are:

  1. Ashwagandha
  2. Guduchi
  3. Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri)
  4. Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica)
  5. Shunthi (Zingiber officinale)
  6. Suvarn
  7. Shilajit
  8. Yashad
  9. Tulsi
  10. Pippali
  11. Tamra
  12. Mal
  13. Harital
  14. Parad
  15. Gandhak

3. Locally Acting Herbs

Locally acting herbs play a vital role in treatment of psoriasis such as they help to reduce swelling and help in removal of dead skin cells. The main herbs are Shwet kutaj, Aargvadh, Durva, Madhuyashti, Bakuchi, Karanj oil, Nimba oil and narikel oil.

4. Anti Allergic Herbs

Psoriasis causes red scales which are itchy and sometimes cause discharge. We can use herbs like Shati, Jaharmohra, Madhuyashti, Yashad, Kantkari, Dugdhika, Haridra, Shirish and guduchi etc.

5. Anti Inflammatory Herbs

The main complaint in psoriasis is inflammation. Following herbs can be used to reduce inflammation:

  1. Shallaki
  2. Eranda Moola
  3. Jatiphala
  4. Guggul
  5. Rasna
  6. Dashmoola
  7. Ashwagandha
  8. Haridra

6. Nootropic Herbs

People who are suffering from psoriasis are also found to be depressed and stressed. These herbs can be used to soothe their nervous system and to reduce stress. Brahmi, Tagar, Shankhpushpi, Jatamansi can be used to improve their mood and current situation.

7. Antioxidant Herbs

Antioxidant herbs help in delaying the oxidation of free radicals and are highly beneficial in treating psoriasis.

  1. Shilajit
  2. Amalaki
  3. Abhrak
  4. Yashad
  5. Ashwagandha
  6. Kapikachhu

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