Psoriasis (Kiṭibha)

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? It is, in terms of both weight—between 6 and 9 pounds—and surface area—about 2 square yards. Your skin separates the inside of your body from the outside world. It protects you from bacteria and viruses, and regulates your body temperature. Conditions that irritate, clog, or inflame your skin can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, burning, and itching. Allergies, irritants, your genetic makeup, and certain diseases and immune system problems can cause dermatitis, hives, and other skin conditions. Many skin problems, such as acne, also affect your appearance. Your skin can also develop several kinds of cancers.

Psoriasis : Psoriasis is a non-contagious common skin condition that causes rapid skin cell reproduction resulting in red, dry patches of thickened skin. The dry flakes and skin scales are thought to result from the rapid buildup of skin cells. Psoriasis commonly affects the skin of the elbows, knees, and scalp.

Kiṭibha : Kiṭibha of Ayurvedic literature is compared and accepted with Psoriasis of Modern Medical diagnosis. Psoriasis (Kiṭibha) is well known disease in Ayurvedic fraternity from the time immemorial. A clear disease description is available in Caraka samhita. This disease description along with its pathogenesis, treatment etc. are well defined in Ayurveda.

A. As per Ayurveda As per Ayurveda causes of all varieties of skin diseases are common.
• Intake of mutually contradictory food like fish and milk, intake of unctuous and heavy
• drinks, suppression of natural urges like vomiting, sleep, thirst etc. Physical exercise in excess heat climate or after taking heavy meal, violation of lawsof Ayurveda in exposing to heat, cold, fasting and taking food.
Intake of cold water immediately after exposing to scorching sun.
• Intake of uncooked food and food before the previous meal is digested.
• Violation of laws of pañcakarma (5 purification procedures).
• Excess intake of foods like fresh grains, curd, fish, salt and sour substances; excess
• intake of black gram, radish, pastry, sesame seeds, milk, jaggery;
Sexual act in the state of indigestion; day sleep, performing sinful acts.

B. As per conventional system of medicine
Genetic factors play important role in its aetiology (7-36%). One parent has psoriasis chances are 7% and if both chances are 41%.
T lymphocyte mediated T helper cell (Th-1) type of immune response is responsible for psoriasis.
Local and systemic trauma (Koebner phenomenon), seasons (worsens in winter), emotional stress, upper respiratory tract infections, drugs like beta blockers, lithium, chloroquin, withdrawal of systemic steroids triggers the disease.
The incidences of this disease are more in people of fair skin and are rarely seen in dark colored individuals.


• Loose silvery scales • Emotional distress
• Itching or burning skin • Skin pain and inflammation
• Raised pus-filled skin bumps • Skin blisters
• Skin redness around pustules • Dry skin patches
• Restricted joint motion • Bleeding skin patches

Ayurvedic Psoriasis Treatment

According to Ayurveda, Psoriasis appears due to imbalance of two doshas - Vata and Kapha . Vata and Kapha doshas manifest in the skin and cause accumulation of toxins. These toxins accumulate in deep tissues like rasa (nutrient plasma), rakta (blood), mansa (muscles), and lasika (lymphatic). These toxins cause contamination of deeper tissues, leading to Psoriasis.
Purification of blood and tissues is the primary aim of Ayurvedic treatment in cases of Psoriasis. Toxins are cleansed from the body and the digestion restored to prevent further accumulation. Nourishing herbs are then administered to strengthen and tone the tissues to promote complete healing of the skin.

Note- Panchkarma (virechan karma) is the best treatment for psoriasis

Diet & Lifestyle Advice
• Avoid consuming opposite foods.
• Do not control natural urges like vomiting, urination, bowels, etc.
• Do not take cold water bath immediately after a heavy workout, traveling, a long walk, etc.
• Take care not to consume foods which cause indigestion.
• Absolutely do not eat too much of salty, sour or acidic foods.
• Avoid sleeping in afternoons.
• Say no to radish, sesame, jaggery (gur), curds, fish and other sour foods

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