Vitiligo is a disease which causes uneven white spots on the skin because the melanin on that part of the skin has been lost. Melanin is the pigment on which the colour of skin, hair and eyes depends. Vitiligo is also called leucoderma. Its exact cause is not known yet but disturbed immune system or genetic inheritance are considered important factors in development of this condition. Ayurvedic treatment of vitiligo involves several formulations that are useful for this disorder which has more of an emotional and psychological adverse effect than anything else.
Vitiligo is called Shwitra or Kilaas in Ayurveda and it is rightly considered a disease which is not contagious and neither shows up symptoms like other skin disorders.
Ayurvedic medicines for vitiligo can be certain formulations useful for this condition and some herbs.
The Ayurvedic formulations for vitiligo are Krumikuthar Rasa, Mahamanjishthadi Qadha (decoction), Khadirarishta, Krumikuthar Rasa, Krumimudgar Rasa, Saarivasav, Rasa Manikya, Trivanga Bhasma and Arogya Vardhini. Some herbal Ayurvedic medicines for vitiligo are Bavachi (Psoralia corylifolia), Manjishta (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Triphala, Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Khadir(Acacia catechu) and Vidanga (Embilia Ribes).
Bavachi in particular has a special place in treatment of vitiligo. The patient’s skin is applied with paste or oil of Bavachi after which the affected parts are exposed to mild sun rays. Such rays can only be caught at specific times of the day. This herb is also given orally in the form of tablets or powder. This medicine may be given with a gradual increase in intake followed by similar gradual decrease of the intake.
Since vitiligo is linked with the immune system, some Ayurvedic medicines that correct it are Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera),, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus).
Ayurvedic practitioners also advice for blood letting by leach application or through a syringe or surgical knife from the skin patches as part of therapy. It is mostly believed that krumi or worms is important for the treatment.
The Ayurvedic treatment for vitiligo is a long-term process. It can take between three to eighteen months. Disturbed immune system is the most important factor for the result of treatment. In general, people with big vitiligo spots on their skin are likely to respond more noticeably while those with few and smaller spots, respond slowly to treatment. For best results, it is advisable to stay away from fruits such as oranges, sweet lime, too much salt in food, sour and fermented food items.
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