Panchakarma Treatment for Psoriasis
Panchakarma treatments are the most advised ayurvedic treatments for treating psoriasis. Panchakarma treatments help eliminate the toxins accumulated in the body so that doshas in the body get normalized. The balanced doshas bring back the health from a diseases state.
Whenever psoriatic patients approach the ayurvedic hospital for a consultation, they have been advised to undergo panchakarma treatment even though they have mild symptoms. Once the psoriatic patient undergoes panchakarma treatment they feel better and the intensity of psoriasis drastically reduces. Now let us see how panchakarma treatment helps in psoriasis.
Panchakarma consists of two words pancha+karma. ‘Pancha‘ in Sanskrit means five, and ‘Karma‘ means action or procedure. So panchakarma can be translated into five procedures that are used in ayurvedic treatments.
These five procedures are well known as purificatory procedures or cleansing procedures termed as ‘Shodhana Chikitsa’ in Ayurveda. Panchakarma treatments help to eliminate toxins accumulated in the body and helps to normalize the doshas. The five procedure of panchakarma are
- Vamana (therapeutic induction of vomiting)
- Virechana (therapeutic induction of purgation)
- Basti (therapeutic enema)
- Raktamokshana (therapeutic bloodletting)
- Nasya (therapeutic administration of medicine through the nose)
The above treatment procedures helps in the elimination of one particular dosha from the body along with others. Vamana treatment helps remove excess kapha dosha. Virechana treatment helps remove excess pitta, basti/Vasti treatment helps eliminate Vata dosha, Raktamokshana helps remove the impure blood from the body. Nasya treatments help eliminate, pacify, and strengthen the doshas in the diseases that occur above the shoulder level.
As we know that all diseases are the result of doshic imbalance in the body, according to Ayurveda. The doshic imbalance can occur due to the food we take, psychological state, lifestyle, environmental factors, etc.… When there is an imbalance in doshas, it will lead to the production of diseases. When the body is cleansed through purificatory treatments, doshas become normal; people will regain their health. It will be the same for any diseases unless they are accidental. So psoriasis also results from an imbalance of doshas, and Panchakarma treatments help normalize the doshas by removing aggravated doshas to cure psoriasis.
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by the common features of erythema, thickening, and skin scaling. Psoriasis can lead to serious comorbidities such as psoriatic arthritis, reduced quality of life, depression, malignancy, and cardiovascular comorbidities. Psoriasis can affect all ages, including newborns.
Though there is no permanent cure for psoriasis, it is considered a lifelong condition that can make only manageable. Due to the recurring nature, duration of the treatment, and side effects of the medication remain a cause for concern to the patient; due to these factors, psoriasis patients look for natural therapies for treating psoriasis. Ayurveda treatments are the most sought-after psoriasis treatment around the world. Ayurveda treatments are considered safe and have no side effects as they are prepared using herbs from nature.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Psoriasis in general start with purificatory therapy known as panchakarma treatment. Suitable panchakarma treatment is advised depending on the dosha predominance so that the excess dosha can get removed. Once the aggravated dosha is removed, internal medications are administered to bring the balance of the doshas. The medications will end with the administration of preventive medications to prevent the reoccurrence of psoriasis.
What are the procedures involved in panchakarma treatment?
In general, we can categorize panchakarma treatment procedures into the following parts.
- Main procedure
Pre procedures prepare the body to take the main procedures. The pre-procedure involves the administration of pachana drugs which helps to metabolize the undigested materials in the body. Then the deepana (drugs that enhance digestive power) drugs are administered to improve and maintain the metabolic activities. These two pre procedures helps in keeping the digestive system working efficiently without any glitches.
Once the optimal metabolic activities are achieved, then administration of medicated ghee/oil is started. On the first day after accessing the digestive capacity, medicated ghee/oil is given in a small dosage to access the time taken to get it digested. Once the time taken to digest the ghee/oil is known from the next day onwards, appropriate dosages are given after analyzing the patient and the disease’s state to achieve the desired results. This procedure is known as snehapaana and is continued for up to 7 days. Once the proper symptoms of administrated medicated ghee/oil appear, then for the next three days, a steam bath is given after application of oil all over the body, which is known as the swedana procedure. Both medicated ghee/oil + oil massage with steam bath (snehana and swedana) helps to lubricate, liquefy and dissolve the impurities and toxins accumulated in the cells and channels brings them to the gastroenteric channel for expelling out.
The main procedures such as Vamana, virechana, and vasti are administered to expel the body’s aggravated doshas.
- Vamana (therapeutic induction of vomiting): Vamana is intended to remove excessive Kapha dosha from the body. Vamana is also done when kapha dosha is associated with the other dosha like pitta and vata.
- Virechana (therapeutic induction of purgation): The elimination of aggravated doshas through a downward route by administering medicines orally. Virechana is mainly indicated to eliminate aggravated Pitta dosha alone or along with Vata and Kapha dosha.
- Vasti or Basti (therapeutic enema): In Vasti, the medicines are introduced through the anus with the enema instrument. It is considered the most superior treatment in Ayurveda. Though it is mainly indicated for Vata dosha, it can be used when other doshas are also involved.
- Nasya (Nasal medication): Medication administration through the nose is called nasya. Nasya treatments are indicated in the diseases of the head and neck. They can help in purifying, balancing, and nourishing the doshas.
- Raktamokshana (therapeutic bloodletting): Raktamokshana or bloodletting is mainly indicated to purify the vitiated blood. It is also done in pittaja predominant diseases.
Post procedures :
Once the main procedure finishes, the digestive capacity reduces to minimal. If one starts eating regular food, one may not digest those and can lead to toxins inside the body and leading other diseases. To avoid this, Ayurveda has suggested a specific dietary plan known as ‘samsarjana karma‘. Samsarjana karma is a procedure where one starts consuming easily digestible food which is more liquid in nature and ends once the person comes to the normal diet. It’s a special way of preparing food that is very easy to get digested, started with, and then gradually progressed towards a normal food routine. The digestive fire is maintained at an optimal level at each state.
Post procedures will help the person restore his digestive power (Agni) to maintain the digestive capacity at an optimal level.
Is it necessary to undergo all the panchakarma treatments by a psoriasis patient?
The short answer to this question is No. The suitable panchakarma procedures are adopted after analyzing the dosha predominance. For example, if a psoriatic patient shows the excess amount of kapha dosha, then Vamana treatment is adopted first, and then depending on other doshas, the other procedures like virechana or Vasti are administered.
How many days required for the panchakarma treatments in psoriasis?
In general, one of the panchakarma treatments is administered depending on the doshas, or more are also administered. Here is the approximate number of days required for each panchakarma procedure.
Pre-procedure – 5 days to 14 days
Main procedure – 5 to 11 days
Post-procedure – 3 to 7 days.
For completion of Vamana treatment, it requires approximately 30 days.
Pre-procedure – 5 days to 14 days
Main procedure – 5 to 11 days
Post-procedure – 3 to 7 days.
For completion of virechana treatment, it requires approximately 30 days.
Vasti Treatment :
Vasti treatment takes 7 to 30 days, depending on the variety of vast treatments.
Raktamoskana treatment is done to expel the impure blood, which causes the diseases. The bloodletting is done through various methods such as applying leach, venipuncture, etc. The treatment sittings depend on the nature of the disease and the state of the patient. In general, up to 7 sittings of raktamokshana are done or as decided by the physician.
Can panchakarma treatments cure psoriasis?
The short answer is NO. Panchakarma treatments aim to eliminate the excess doshas and toxins accumulated in the body to get purified. Once the body becomes purified, the medications work efficiently so that one can get a quicker result. Many psoriasis patients experience betterment in their condition is because of the reduction of toxins after panchakarma treatment. So panchakarma treatments are the initial step to purify the body so that medications work effectively.
Can I take panchakarma staying at home?
Panchakarma treatments are complicated procedures that can not be done in staying at home. Any wrongdoing can lead to complications and can deteriorate a person’s health. Panchakarma treatments are to be taken under the strict supervision of the qualified ayurvedic physician admitted to the hospital. Taking panchakarma treatment in a hospital can minimize the risks and can handle emergencies effectively.
Should all psoriasis patients undergo panchakarma treatment?
All psoriatic patients are not advised or fit to undergo panchakarma treatments. There are specific criteria that one has to meet to undergo panchakarma treatment. Many patients can be treated without undergoing panchakarma treatment.
How frequently I have to undergo panchakarma treatment?
As skin diseases are challenging to treat and their complex nature its is advised to undergo repeated purificatory procedures to cure the skin diseases. Ayurveda suggests that one should undergo
Vamana – for every 15 days
Virechana – for every 30 days
Raktamokshana – for every six months
Nasya – for every seven days
It is complex or practically challenging to follow the schedule mentioned above for curing skin diseases such as psoriasis today. Still, one can undergo panchakarma treatments at least once a year or depending on the severity of the disease.
Few important factors to be considered when administering Panchakarma :
- Panchakarma treatments will not cure the disease, but help in removing morbid doshas from the body.
- All the patients are not fit to undergo panchakarma treatments.
- The strength of the patient is considered before advising panchakarma treatment.
- All the panchakarma treatments are not necessary for treating the disease.
Panchakarma treatments are not advised when the ama state is observed in the body.
- When there is an association of many doshas and when doshas are excited, panchakarma treatments are advised.
- The selection of panchakarma treatment depends on the nature of the disease.
- All the panchakarma procedures have pre-procedures to undergo.
- There are certain sets of rules one should follow while undergoing Panchakarma procedures.
- A healthy individual can also undergo panchakarma treatment to keep himself fit.
- All the Rasayana(rejuvenation) treatments are administered after panchakarma treatments to get the maximum benefits.
Benefits of Panchakarma treatment in psoriasis
Panchakarma treatments helps to minimize the intensity of the diseases by removing the morbid doshas.
Increases the efficacy of the medication by cleansing the body.
Clears the channels for free flow of doshas and nutrients.
Improves the physiological functions of the body.
In Ayurveda, panchakarma treatments are the most advised therapies to remove aggravated doshas from the body. After undergoing panchakarma treatment in psoriasis, one can feel better after undergoing psoriasis, but they only prepare the body to absorb medications effectively by improving the body’s state. Panchakarma treatment alone will not cure psoriasis, but it can only eliminate excessive doshas from the body. Panchakarma treatments are only the first step in treating psoriasis, and the other medications follow.