By Dr. Saumyaranjan Pandey, Ayurveda
Skin is the biggest organ of the human body, constituting of six layers. Unlike what many of us think, skin is not merely peripheral, but stretches itself to deeper levels in the body. Hence, Ayurveda believes that skin diseases have deep-rooted causes. Most skin diseases are rooted deeply into various tissues, and ‘dhatus’ like fat, blood, muscles etc.
July and August, the monsoon months, or ‘varsha ritu’ as mentioned in Ayurveda, is the time for aggravation of pitta. All the heat generated by ‘Greeshma ritu’ (Summer season) gets aggravated during the monsoon season, and hence several skin diseases are prevalent during this time. Knowledge of Ayurveda can help in prevention and treatment of these painful skin disorders.
Although topical application of oils and creams help in disappearance of symptoms temporarily, they do not reach deeper layers of skin. However, Ayurvedic treatments are not merely ‘skin deep’, and rather goes into roots of the problem. Ayurveda believes that skin diseases are caused through aggravation in pitta and vata, due to some external influences or due to imbalances in internal system.
Here Are Some Ayurvedic Treatments For Skin Diseases:
Removing the root cause of the disease is the main line of treatment in Ayurveda. As stress and mental fatigue are major factors in development of skin disease, you should avoid them. So, simple things like maintaining a regular sleep pattern can work wonders in this regard. Yoga, meditation and other breathing exercises can keep the body steady and allow a sense of stillness and of being in-tune with nature.
Since skin diseases are primarily believed to be caused due to pitta aggravation, all foods or activities that increase the fire element in the body should be eliminated. These include all hot, spicy, oil, fried and greasy foods. Acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, yogurt and vinegar also should be avoided. Also avoid excess exposure to Sun, drinking too much coffee and tea, alcohol and use of tobacco, all of which can aggravate pitta.
- A teaspoonful of powdered mixture of neem, turmeric and amla, consumed daily with water is beneficial for skin problems. These three ingredients have anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, which not only help heal certain skin diseases, but can also remove bruises and scars.
- If shampoos or soap are irritating the affected area on your skin, boil neem leaves in water and use this liquid to wash your body.
- Another useful treatment for skin disease is applying a mixture of granulated yellow sulphur, made into a paste by adding mustard oil and coconut oil to it. Keep the mixture on the affected area for half an hour every morning before washing it off. For best effects, sit under the sun after using the oil.
- A rather beneficial oil-based remedy is to mix coconut oil and powdered camphor together. Keep this mixture under the sun for 2 hours. Then you can apply this mixture on your skin.
- Consuming aloe vera juice and wheatgrass juice is extremely helpful in treating skin diseases.
Avoiding all foods and activities that increase pitta is a major treatment. Visiting an Ayurvedic physician can help you in this case, as the doctor can advise you a proper toxin elimination diet suitable for your constitution. Ayurveda believes that following a diet that is against the season or prakriti can cause imbalance in bodily energies, thereby contaminating body tissues resulting in skin disease.