Vitiligo or leucoderma is an autoimmune disease that causes depigmentation of the skin common in individuals. It is a skin disease and causes white, red or coppery-red coloured patches, roughness, dryness, itching, burning sensation of the patches, discolouration of the hair. The loss of pigment called melanin from the dermal layers results in patches. This disease affected nearly 2 per cent of the world’s population. The disease isn’t infectious. However, it does leave the skin look disfigured, causing psychological and emotional stress. In modern science, overrated treatment of diseases such as PUVA (Psoralen + Ultraviolet A exposure) therapy and corticosteroids have many harmful side effects like skin cancer, photoaging, nausea, and ultraviolet light burns. The traditional medicines are safe and don’t cause any harm. They are cost-effective, less complicated, and easier remedy for the disease.
According to Ayurveda, The development of leucoderma is said to be caused by not following wholesome regimes into their life, such as:
- Intake of mutually contradictory food, and drinks which are dense and unctuous
- Suppression of any natural urges
- Performing physical exercise in excessive heat and taking heavy meals
- Intake of combination foods. Something hot and cold at the same time
- Using cold water immediately after the exposure to the sun
- Ungratefulness, sinful acts, and misdeeds of past life
- Excessive intakes of food such as fish, salt and sour substances
Ayurveda practices usually find the roots in a body of knowledge and principles that were systematised in the Charaka Samhita. In this, the description and treatment of leucoderma are discussed. In the ancient healing system, A healthy individual is the one who is physically and mentally fit, who has balanced doshas, Agni, proper elimination of malas (a waste product), functioning bodily processes and whose mind, the soul is clean. Ayurveda views the balance of doshas which are Vata, pitta, Kapha.
In ayurvedic terms, it is referred to as Switra or Kailasa and classified into Kushta rogas (skin diseases). The imbalance of all the three doshas can be the cause. Switra can be classified into the following types:
- Daruna: If the dosha vitiates the blood (rakta dhatu), the patches turn red
- Aruna: If the dosha vitiates the muscle tissue (mamsa dhatu), the patches turn out to be coppery in colour
- Kilasa: When doshas vitiates the fat tissue( medho dhattu), the patches turn out in white colour.
The ayurvedic treatment is effective only looked after the following lin:
Shodhana chikitsa- A detoxification can be done with Panchakarma therapies, Ama is a toxic sticky substance that has to be eliminated. Some of these therapies, like Virechana and Raktamokshana, are performed with the help of leeches.
Shamana Chikitsa- This is done through oral medications and external applications. It can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of the disease as opposed to treating its root. The most commonly used medicines are Kashaya( Ayurvedic drinks), Churna( powdered compounds), Vati( tablets), Ghrutas( ghee preparations), Tailas (oil preparations) and Lepas(ointments) as treatment.
Patya (diet)- A strict diet should be followed, and a proper healthy lifestyle should be maintained.
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Consumption of food combinations that are incompatible, eating salty-sour foods, fermented foods, suppressing the urge to vomit can aggravate the doshas causing an imbalance in tissues or dhatus like blood or rakta, plasma or rasa, lymph nodes or lasika and muscles or mamsa. Avoid wrong food combinations like drinking milk after eating leafy green vegetables or with any sour substances. The blood channels are obstructed if milk and fish are added.
Apart from these, you can eliminate the disease by following these treatments:
Bakuchi can help to reduce patches, making your skin grow and covering the patches. It can remove the upper layers of the skin as it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic properties
Drinking water in a copper vessel
Drink plenty of water as it is essential to stay hydrated. Drink water stored in copper vessels as this can stimulate the melanocytes.
Mix five tablespoon of turmeric powder in 250 ml of mustard oil and apply it directly on the patches, twice daily. The natural ayurvedic treatment provides comprehensive treatment, focusing on the patches.
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