Skin diseases and Ayurveda.

Ayurveda the science of life originated from the desire of men to live happy and healthy life. This ancient system of medicine teaches the principles to maintain and preserve health and to combat the diseases. Human body is developed by assimilating nutrients from the food. food is the prime cause of the excellence of the health and unwholesome is responsible for the illnesses. Ayurvedic rishis has given more importance to the wisdom of diet. concept of Ahara (Food ), Vihara (Lifestyle) and Aushadha ( herbal medicines which can be taken orally and applied externally in a oil or paste form ) are accepted for the prevention of diseases and cure of the diseases.
Today we are going to discuss and learn about skin diseases. and how we can use Ayurveda for the skin issues. Skin disease are the fourth common cause of all human diseases. almost more then thirty person of the world population is affected by skin diseases. skin diseases comprises conditions that irritates, clogs or damages the skin which causes itchiness, dry skin or rashes. skin issues can be minor to severe. as per modern medicine these issues can be controlled with medications, proper skin care and lifestyle changes.
Ayurvedic sages have described skin diseases under the name of kustha. incorrect diet and lifestyle has been considered as the the prime factor for the emergence, development and recurrence of various skin issues. skin is the largest organ of the body which covers 20 square feet of the area. it protects us from harmful agents such as atmosphere, ultraviolet rays, contagious organisms and many other external objects. skin regulates body temperature.
As per modern science skin has three layers.
Epidermis: the outer most layer of the skin which creates our skin tone.
Dermis: This layer is under the epidermis, which contains connective tissues, hair follicles and sweat glands.
hypodermis: this the last layer of the skin which is made of connective tissues and fat. Ayurvedic sages has described skin as one of the five sense organs and it is the location of sweat glands and hair. some scholars has described as it has seven layers while some has suggested as six layers.
Ayurvedic masters have described skin diseases as Kustha. there are many etiological factors which includes physical, physiological, psychological, genetical, and sinful activities. There are several Nidana (Causes) described as the causative factors of the skin diseases. That includes Sannikrista Nidana (The closest or direct or real causative factors) , Vipralrista nidana ( indirect causative factors) , Janmottarkalaja ( based on lifestyle and diet) , and Kulaja ( genetical factors).
Sannikrista Nidana: The direct causative factors for in skin disease can be the involvement of three doshas(vatta, Pitta and Kapha) and four dushyas (Tissues) which are Rasa ( Plasma), Rakta (Blood) , Mansa(Muscles) and Ambu or Lasika ( Lymph). These seven factors are the direct causative factors of the skin diseases.
Viprakrista Nidana : These are indirect causes of the skin issues that includes Life style , diet and genetical issues. These causes takes long time time to start to show the symptoms.
Janmottarkalaja : These factors can be can be classified as diet and lifestyle related and psychological.
Kulaja: Kulaja cause are considered as genetics as these types of causes originates from the day of consumption. this can be described as the sperm and the ovum has that particular weak tissue.
so as per Ayurvedic pathology, incompatible food and drink, excessive intake of salty and sour food, heavy food, opposite food, undigested food, combining cold and hot properties of food, fear, holding the natural urges, napping in the day, and sinful acts. These factors imbalances three doshas, fire and rakta dhatu(blood). so the involvement of doshas, skin, blood, muscles and lymph are root cause of the skin issues. so involvement of these seven are the pathogens of skin diseases.
Poorva roopan( Primary symptoms) : excessive or lack of sweat, itching, dry and rough skin, numbness or lake of sensation, burning sensation, discoloration of skin, urticaria etc. There are eighteen type of kustha (skin diseases) described among them seven are are Maha kusta and eleven kshudra kustha.
Maha Kustha (intensive skin diseases) : in these types of skin conditions more doshas are involved, more severe symptoms, severe pain, deeper tissues involved, skin senses are less and are little hard to treat.
Kshudra Kustha: These skin conditions has less doshas, tissue involvement and have less severe symptoms and can be easy to treat.
The motto of Ayurveda is to prevent the health of healthy person. as per this principle, skin issues can be prevented by healthy habits of diet and life style. if the Nidana(causes) which are under our control can be avoided then there are less chances of having any issues weather they are related to skin or any other tissues or organs. That is why Ayurveda has given more importance to lifestyle management.
The other principle of Ayurveda is to treat the diseases of the ill person, skin issues can be handled by two types of line of treatment. Shamshodhana or Panchakrma and Sam shamana or palliative treatment. The first one is panchakarma therapy. in this therapy various types of procedures performed. after the in depth analysis of the person, dosha and tissues involvement this procedure can be performed. This is known as panchakarma procedure which is widely accepted and very well result oriented. Panchakarma therapy helps to remove the clogged toxins from the deep tissues and rejuvenates the tissues. various types of herbal medicated Ghee, oils and herbs and spices are used in this procedure following a restricted lifestyle and diet. The ingredients used for the Panchakarma varies as per the type of skin issues. The procedures of this therapy can be different for each individual based on person’s body constitution and involvement of Doshas and tissues.
In Samshaman or palliative treatment various herbs are used. These herbs helps to minimize the symptoms and severity of the skin conditions. These herbs can vary as per the individual’s body constitution type, doshas and tissues. These herbs are more effective if administered after Panchakarma Therapy. These includes Turmeric, Saffron, Triphala, Gudcuhy, Manjistha , Punarnva, Patol, kaishor guggal, Jyotishmati and many more as per the type and subtype of skin issues, as per individual and considering many other important factors.
The information provided in this article is for information purpose only should be used any of the described above under the qualified Ayurvedic physician only. Thank you very mech for taking time to read this article. see you next month, with new interesting topic, till then, take care of your self and your loved ones.

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