The months of July and August represent the varsha ritu or the rainy season. According to Ayurveda, this is the time for pitta aggravation. All the heat that accumulates in the body in the greesham ritu (summer season) is aggravated in the rainy season. There are a number of skin diseases prevalent in the rainy season. Especially in India, this is the time when one can see big crowds in skin clinics. A simple knowledge of Ayurveda can help us prevent and even treat painful skin disorders.
According to Ayurveda, the skin has six layers, located not only superficially but extending to the deeper levels of the body. A skin disease is, mostly, rooted deeply into various dhatus or tissues like fat, muscles, blood etc. Most skin treatments are generally external applications like creams or oils. These, however, never reach the deeper layers of the skin. As a result, the symptoms disappear temporarily, and the disease is not rooted out permanently. Ayurveda always tries to root out the disease by treating it specifically according to its cause. As the disease is deepseated it is difficult to fix the problem quickly. Ayurvedic skin treatments may take a few weeks to remove the symptoms but the diseases are treated permanently.
Two of the main causes of diseases in Ayurveda are a wrong diet and lifestyle, which an individual follows either knowingly or unknowingly. Following a diet or life style that is against the season or the prakriti (nature) of a person, creates an imbalance in bodily energies, thus contaminating the body tissues to produce a skin disease. In Ayurvedic terms, although skin diseases are caused due to imbalances in all the three doshas, the prime dosha involved is pitta. Pitta symbolizes heat or fire. Therefore all those foods or activities that increase the fire element in the body should be eliminated. This includes hot, spicy, fried, oily and greasy foods. Acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, yogurt and vinegar should be avoided. Exposure to heat and sun, drinking too much tea, coffee, and alcohol, and smoking also aggravate the pitta.
Removing the root cause is the main line of treatment in Ayurveda. Therefore eliminating all the foods and activities that increase pitta is the main treatment. Here are some general remedies for all kinds of skin diseases.
- Prepare a powder by mixing equal quantities of turmeric, Amla, and Neem leaves. One teaspoonful of this powder can be taken twice a day with water. In case Amla and Neem are not available, only turmeric powder can be used in the dosage of half a teaspoonful twice a day with water.
- If Neem leaves are available, boil them in water everyday and wash the affected area. Soaps and shampoos should not be used on the affected area.
- Take 50 grams of powdered yellow sulphur and mix it with 250 ml. of mustard oil or coconut oil. Apply this mixtureto the affected area everyday in the morning and wash after half an hour. It is better to sit in the sun or in a hot place after applying this oil.
- If purified sulphur (certified good for internal use) is available, it can be taken in the doses of 1-2 grams twice a day with water.
- Take 100 ml. of coconut oil and add 5 grams of powdered camphor to it. Put this mixture in a glass bottle and screw the cap on tightly. Put the bottle in sunlight for two hours. Applying this mixture on the affected area is helpful.
- Taking soft or mild laxatives to clear the bowels is also beneficial in the treatment of skin diseases. A teaspoonful of Triphala powder can be taken at bed time every night, with warm water or milk. Any other natural laxative such as prunes, figs and raisins can also be taken.
- Fresh juice of apricot leaves may be applied on affected parts of the body. It gives relief in eczema and scabies.
- Wheat grass juice is also beneficial in skin diseases as it boosts the immune system, which helps to fight the disease.
- The patient should get as much fresh air as possible. Restrictive and tight clothing should not be worn. The patient should drink 3-4 litres of water everyday.
- Aloe vera is also beneficial for skin diseases as it purifies the blood. Fresh aloe vera gel can be taken in the dose of two or three tablespoonfuls on an empty stomach everyday.
One should avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, hot spices, fried foods, acidic and sour foods. White sugar, white flour products and preserved or tinned foods should also be avoided. Consumption of meat, especially red meat, should be minimized. Following these simple remedies and dietary tips can relieve even the most irritating skin problems. Thousands of patients suffering from chronic and irritating skin disorders have received relief through Ayurvedic remedies. Jiva Ayurvedic Research Institute has also formulated a combination of Ayurvedic tablets, tea and powder to treat skin disorders. It is called the Jiva Sattva Skin Disease Healthcare Pack. In addition Jiva Ayuniqe Clinic offers personalized Ayunique packs for treating various diseases.