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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Herbs Useful In Skin Disorders


As we all know there are many types of diseases across the world which have an impact on the human brain in multiple ways. Like, if we talk through examples, a person suffering from ulcerative colitis is scared or gets stressed when he or she sees blood in their stools, a neurological patient gets stressed when he or she has symptoms which are hampering their day to day activity, a patient with chest related disorders is stressed when he or she has difficulty breathing, a skin patient is stressed when he or she has itching, burning, discharge, lack of confidence, scared about being ugly etc. as their symptoms and so on. Discussing especially about patients with skin disorders there is a continuous or constant fear of non acceptance in the society and also to be judged by various people too. The patients of all problems suffer but the fear of non acceptance is mostly in the patients who have skin conditions because they hate the look with sympathy, they hate the look with hatred and if someone doesn't care about their appearance they have a hard time believing in it. This article is on the solution for skin disease. The solution is the natural herbs and formulation prepared using these impressive herbs. So, let's start with the details about herbs and herbal formulation for skin diseases.

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Before starting with the skin diseases let's start with the anatomy and physiology of skin. Skin is the largest organ in the human body and covers an area of approximately 1.4 to 2 metres. It also constitutes the first line of defence. It is responsible for protecting the body from harmful agents such as ultraviolet light, chemical and infective organisms in the atmosphere. Skin helps in the regulation of body temperature, gathers inputs from the environment and stores water, fat along with vitamin D. It also plays an important role in the immune system protecting from diseases.

Moving forward we will discuss skin in detail along with the Ayurvedic aspect of Skin.

Layers of Skin

Skin has many specialised cells and structures. It is divided into three main layers that are as follows:

  1. Epidermis: Outermost layer of the skin and protects the body from external environment. It's a kind of shield or works as a shield. The epidermis layer has five sublayers:
    • Stratum Basalis: Lowermost layer of the epidermis and is closest to the dermis.
    • Stratum Spinosum: This squamous layer of the skin can be around 10 layers thick. Thus making it the thickest layer in the epidermis.
    • Stratum Granulosum: The third layer of epidermis gets its name from its constituents. It has granules that contain lipids which help in skin moisturization and protect your skin.
    • Stratum Lucidum: This layer is prepared with dead keratinocytes which provide protection to areas that are most exposed to external damage such as palms of hand and soles of your feet.
    • Stratum Corneum: The layer is the uppermost layer of epidermis and is made of corneocytes. These corneocytes are basically the mutated keratinocytes. It has around 15 layers of flattened skin cells.
  2. Dermis: The dermis is located beneath the epidermis and is the thickest layer of the skin. This layer makes up like 90% of the skin thickness. The purpose of the dermis is to provide or regulate the temperature and to supply the epidermis with nutrients-saturated blood. Much of the body's water supply is stored within the dermis. This layer contains most of the skin's specialised cells and structures, including lymphatics, blood vessels, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, collagen, elastin and nerve endings. This layer has two sub-layers:
    • Papillary Dermis: This layer has nerve endings that provide sensation to touch. It also has blood vessels which provide nourishment to epidermal layer.
    • Reticular Dermis: Hair follicles, sebaceous glands and sweat glands are present in this layer of dermis. It's a thick layer of connective tissues.
  3. Hypodermis: The dermis is attached to an underlying hypodermis or subcutaneous connective Tissue. This subcutaneous connective tissue is a layer of fat and connective tissue that houses larger blood vessels and nerves. This layer is present between dermis and the underlying tissues and the organs. This mostly consists of adipose tissue and is the storage site of most body fat. The Size of this layer depends throughout the body and from person to person it's different.
    • Skin Appendages: Hair follicles, sweat glands and sebaceous glands are the main skin appendages.
    • Skin Pigments: Melanin, Melanoids, Carotene, haemoglobin and oxyhaemoglobin are major pigments of skin which present through various layers of skin.

Functions of Skin

The functions of the skin are as following:

  • The skin is a kind of guard for the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs as well.
  • There are generally two types of skin: hairy and glabrous skin. The hairy skin is responsible for mechanical protection along with increased sensory function, and also aids in regulating body temperature. On the other hand glabrous skin is automatic control of precision grip while lifting rougher or more slippery objects.
  • The main role of skin is to provide a protective barrier against mechanical, thermal and physical injury and hazardous substances. Prevents loss of moisture. Reduces harmful effects of UV radiation.
  • Skin also helps in permitting growth and movement. It's a kind of flexible layer without which the human body is not complete.

Ayurvedic Aspect of Skin

Ayurveda explains skin as twak and twak is one among the 5 gyanendriya (sense organs). The twak or skin is also considered as the updhatu of mansa dhatu, attributed with the function of sensation of touch and is the location of sweat channels that is swedoveha srotas along with hairs (loma). Acharya sushruta and bhavmishra have described seven layers of twak, while Acharya charak and Vagbhatta have described 6 layers.

Following table depicts the name of seven layers along with the thickness of each layer

Sr. No. Name of Different Layers Width (Thickness)
1. Avabhasini/ Udakdhara 1/18 vridhi
2. Lohita/ Asrugdhara 1/16 vridhi
3. Shweta 1/12 vridhi
4. Tamra ⅛ vridhi
5. Vedini ⅕ vridhi
6. Rohini 1 vridhi
7. Mansadhara 2 vridhi

Now after all this information let's come to the most important part of this article that is the herbs which help in any type of Skin disorders. There are many herbs which are mentioned in Ayurveda especially to be used in various types of skin disorders.

Moving forward we will discuss them in Detail.

Ayurveda Herbs useful in Skin Disorders

A healthy skin is a source of pleasure, not only to the owner but also to those who look at it. The positive health of skin is like an esurance of a disease free body. A healthy skin is clear, smooth, elastic, uniformly pigmented and is without wrinkles. The best way to keep your skin healthy and disease free is through Ayurvedic herbs and formulations. Following are the most amazing herbs in AYurveda for keeping your skin healthy and also for any diseases condition related to skin:

1. Sariva/Anantamool (Botanical name: Hemidesmus indicus; Family: Dogbanes)

Sariva is known by many names but most popular synonyms of Sariva are Anantmoola & Indian sarsaparilla. The herb balances all the doshas and is best for the purification of blood. Sariva also has anti-inflammatory properties. The herb has its cleansing effect on the level of the brain and helps in better functioning of mind. Better functioning of mind means no stress hormones and no bad impact on skin. The herb is very well known to have a soothing effect on skin thus results in dryness and irritation. It also has antioxidant properties.

2. Chandan (Botanical name: Santalum album; Family: Santalaceae)

Chandan or sandalwood is quite popular globally for its impressive effects on skin. In Ayurvedic texts the herb is having a pitta pacification effect on the body thus helps in cooling down the body. The paste of chandan can be applied on the area of sunburn as well. Sandalwood is rich in antioxidants and also helps in fighting acne as well. In case of oozing blood vessels under skin, Chandan Lepa acts as an hemostatic agent. It also helps in burning sensation, itching etc. which are common symptoms of many skin related conditions.

3. Amla (Botanical name: Emblica officinalis; Family: Phyllanthaceae)

Amla is a herb that has antioxidant and anti-aging properties. Amla which is commonly known as gooseberry is quite famous for its benefits and hence gives really impressive results as well. Herb is mostly used for maintaining the health of skin along with that it can also be used in various types of skin conditions as well. It helps in skin toning as well and provides protection against blemishes or dark pigmentation. It also helps in lightening the skin complexion of the tanned area due to its cooling properties.

4. Ghritkumari/Aloe Vera (Botanical name: Aloe barbadensis miller; Family: Liliaceae)

Ghritkumari, commonly known as aloe vera is popular from ages for its beautiful effects on skin. The aloe vera is given in many skin related conditions due to its various effects. The herb is best for the purification of rakta and pacification of pitta and kapha dosha as well. This herb is known to have anti ageing properties and also is balya that helps in improving strength and immunity. The aloe vera has a very great impact in fastening the wound healing process as well. The herb has a great impact on digestion too, it helps in easy evacuation. The herb also possesses antioxidant properties.

5. Lal Chandan (Botanical name: Pterocarpus santalinus; Family: Fabaceae)

The red sandalwood, also called as lal chandan in Ayurvedic texts is really good and helps in the reduction of inflammation. The inflammation is the commonest symptom of many skin related conditions like psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis etc. Aforementioned our skin is the first organ that comes in direct contact with the external environment and thus can develop many types of infections as well like fungal infections. Bacterial infections, parasitic infections etc. But lal chandan can help in all types of infections as well, especially the parasitic ones. It is an impressive cooling agent and helps in reduction of pain as well. Lal chandan also helps with the spots and eliminates scars or acne on skin.

6. Kumkum/Kesar/Saffron (Botanical name: Crocus sativus; Family: Iridaceae)

Kumkum or saffron is known for its antioxidant properties. The herb has impressive compounds that help in the enhancement of the body's metabolism so that you feel more energetic and your skin is more glowing. Some folks say that having an ounce of saffron is equivalent to having an ounce of gold. In some areas like Kashmir saffron is used in mild quantities in many cuisines as it gives good flavours and also has health benefits. Especially for skin. The herb is known to have tridosha balancing effect and has carotenoids along with thiamine thus acting as an impressive anti ageing herb too. The paste of saffron is applied in pustules and also on wounds. It improves skin complexion if used with milk or honey.

7. Khadir (Botanical name: Acacia catechu; Family: Mimosoideae)

Kahdir is commonly known as kattha plant. In english it is known as Cutch tree. In Ayurveda the Khadir is termed as the sarva shreshta (the best) herb for skin health and skin disorders. The dried powder of khadir bark is well known for healing wounds and ulcers on skin. When it is mixed with berberis aristata and nimba, it helps in the improvement of complexion and relieves acne. In blisters, it is mixed with lal chandan and a paste is formed which can be applied over the affected parts. Khadir decoction is used in washing and healing open wounds. It is also known to be the best blood purifier and has the ability to manage challenging skin conditions in the present scenario.

8. Marigold (Botanical name: Tagetes erecta; Family: Asteraceae)

Marigold is known as Jhandu in Ayurveda. The leaves or flowers of the herb are used in various types of skin conditions. The paste of its leaves is used in the boils, carbuncles, muscle pain etc. The paste of flowers and leaves is also used in the fresh wounds and slo in controlling the bleeding. In wounds filled with pus this paste gives impressive results on application on the local site. In rough and dry skin, the paste of marigold flower along with cow's milk butter gives impressive lubrication. All these remedies are successful because the herb is having antimicrobial, antibacterial and blood coagulation properties.

9. Neem (Botanical name: Azadirachta indica; Family: Meliaceae)

Neem is a herb whose benefits is known to the entire globe and it's being ingested in the form of liquid, capsules etc. The root bark, stem bark, gum, flower, leaves, seeds and seed oil is used in various skin conditions. Mostly its stem bark is used in skin condition as it helps in easing the burning sensation. Neem is also beneficial in reducing skin wrinkles and stimulating collagen production. It has amazing healing properties thus helps in wounds and ulcerations as well. The acne, moles and scars are also very well managed by the neem herb.

10. Papaya (Botanical name: Carica Papaya; Family: Caricaceae)

Papaya is known to improve skin texture and also helps in providing radiant skin. The papaya fruit is known to enhance digestion and also helps in exfoliation of skin. Papaya is a herb that helps in fighting acne and also lightens the skin tone. The peel on the other hand is having Retin-A enzyme, that is responsible for removing dead skin cells and age spots. As it clears out bowels, it is known to be eliminating toxins from the body. The latex from the papaya peel is helpful in relieving local pain or burning after application. In case of pinworms, its dry seed powder is given with honey because it has an anti parasitic effect.

11. Haridra/Turmeric (Botanical name: Curcuma longa; Family: Zingiberaceae)

Haridra or haldi or turmeric is known from ages for its marvellous effects on the skin and we also know what are its effects on ingestion. Turmeric is a very well known healer, whether used internally or externally. Haridra is the best immunomodulatory herb and its consumption helps in fighting various types of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. The paste of turmeric is applied on various types of external wounds, scars, blisters and it is having an impressive healing effect. Haldi if taken with milk on regular intervals can help in enhancing skin complexion and also has a detoxification effect.

12. Manjishtha (Botanical name: Rubia cordifolia; Family: Rubiaceae)

Manjishtha is a famous blood detoxification herb and its roots are extensively used in many skin diseases. The English name of this herb is Indian Madder and is an ingredient of many oils and liquid decoctions used for uplifting skin ailments. Manjistha is very useful in skin cells rejuvenation and also helps in lighting the dark pigmentation in folds of the body. Manjistha is known to lower the melanin levels and helps in regulating its production. In case of heavy pus filled pop outs manjishtha gives impressive results.

With above mentioned herbs there are certain formulations which are prepared that can be given in many types of skin disorders. Such formulations are as follows:

  • Panchatikta Ghrita
  • Nimbadi Kwath
  • Kumkumadi Oil
  • Khadiradi Vati
  • Khadirarishta
  • Mahamanjisthadi Kwath
  • Gandhak Rasayan
  • Vran rakshas Oil
  • Panchatikta Guggul
  • Kaishore Guggul
  • Neem Oil
  • Manjistha Oil
  • Babchi Oil
  • Tapyadi Loha


The skin is the reflection of the body's health or body's inner status. That is the reason why people take skin health so seriously. You know taking care of your skin is the most difficult task these days and obviously it has to be done because your skin is the first thing that anybody sees when they meet you. So, one can try the above-mentioned herbs for taking care of their skin. In case of a diseased condition, opting for Ayurvedic treatment or Ayurvedic herbs is a really good choice then opting for something else that can worsen your situation with time. Ayurveda is a very deep science with a lot of secrets hidden. But such secrets are willing to be opened and revealed to the world. The aforementioned herbs and formulations can help in many situations and thus can prevent the aggravation in future. In case of any queries kindly visit

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