The skin is considered the largest organ of the body. The skin consists of several layers that protect the body from germs and other environmental toxins.
The skin has many purposes, like isolation and temperature control. A layer called “acid mantle” covers healthy skin and acts as a barrier.
The skin also contains natural oil called “sebum” which protects and lubricates our body. The skin can present many problems that may include a symptom of poor health like skin sores, spots, cracks, excess oil, dryness, flaking, itching, cracking grains and rashes.
The causes are varied which may include stress, caffeine overload, allergies, high levels of copper, poor digestion, constipation, poor circulation, lack of exercise, sun damage, irritating cosmetics, liver malfunction, pollution air, dehydration, and drug or alcohol abuse.
Ayurvedic View on Skin Diseases
According to Ayurveda, the skin has six layers, which is not only superficially but extends to the deepest levels of the body.
Skin disease is, in most cases, deeply rooted in various dhatus or tissues such as fat, muscle, blood, etc. Most skin treatments are generally based on external applications, such as oils and creams that, however, never reach the deeper layers of the skin.
As a result, the symptoms disappear for a while, and the disease is not rooted permanently. Ayurveda always tries to eradicate the disease by specific treatment according to their cause.
As the disease is deeply entrenched, it is difficult to solve the problem quickly. Skin products and Ayurvedic treatments can take a few weeks to eliminate the symptoms, but the diseases are treated permanently.
Causes of Skin Diseases
Two major causes of disease in Ayurveda are improper diet and lifestyle that a person follows consciously or unconsciously.
Following a diet or lifestyle that is against the season or Prakriti (nature) of a person, creates an imbalance in the body’s energies, thus contaminating the tissues of the body to produce a skin disease.
In Ayurvedic terms, although skin diseases are caused by imbalances in the three doshas, the main suspect is pitta dosha Pitta symbolizes fire or heat.
Therefore, all those foods or activities that increase the fire element in the body must be eliminated. This includes hot, spicy, fried, and oily foods.
Acidic foods such as yogurt, vinegar, tomatoes, and citrus must be avoided. Drinking too much tea and coffee, exposure to heat and sun and alcohol also aggravates the pitta.
Ayurvedic Herbs For Skin Diseases
- Aloe Vera (घृतकुमारी)
Aloe vera gel contains two hormones known as gibberellin and auxin both these hormones have wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation.
The Gibberellin in Aloe vera acts as a growth of hormone which stimulates the growth of new cells, allowing the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring.
Aloe vera has soothing properties that can reduce inflammation of the skin, itching, and blisters while helping the skin to heal faster.
Furthermore, in Ayurveda Aloe vera is used effectively to cure chronic skin problems such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema.
2. Sandal Wood (चंदन)
Sandalwood has many antimicrobial properties. In Ayurveda acharyas, it is recommended using sandalwood as part of the regimes of natural skincare to cure and relieve many ailments and skin diseases.
One of the main uses of this wonder herb is that it can kill germs, soothe inflamed skin, and clear blemishes left by acne, including stubborn. Clean and clear skin can be obtained from the regular use of sandalwood.
3. Turmeric (हल्दी)
It is known that pure blood always keeps the skin glowing and radiant. The Turmeric purifies the blood, nourishes the skin and gives a natural, healthy glow and radiant.
In India turmeric has been used traditionally as a face pack in every family. It consists of gram flour, pure turmeric powder, milk, and honey.
This reduces the pimples of the skin, acne and avoids many ailments. This face pack also prevents the formation of skin wrinkles.
4. Azadirachta indica (नीम)
Neem or so-called Azadirachta indica has proven beneficial in the treatment of skin diseases due to its antibiotics, antifungals, and blood purifying properties.
According to Ayurveda principles, skin diseases are caused due to vitiated Kapha and pitta. Neem pacifies vitiated kapha and pitta, thus helps to cure skin diseases.
It promotes the healing of wounds as it has antibacterial and astringent properties. In ailments like psoriasis, it reduces itching, irritation, skin roughness and cures psoriasis patches.
In the same way, it heals eczema and reduces the infection and inflammation of acne. The combination of neem and tulsi immensely helps to maintain the health of the scalp skin and dandruff. It has been proven best to control diseases of the skin.
5. Marigold (गेंदे का फूल)
Calendula (or Marigold), with its deep orange and yellow flowers, is one of the best for all the skin ailments like it is good for minor cuts and burns, insect bites, dry skin, and acne.
Marigold flowers have antiviral and antibacterial properties, that soothe the inflammation and helps in speed up wound healing.
It is best for all types of skin either it is soft or strong, it makes it very useful for all skin types. Calendula tea can be used as an astringent to rinse face for acne, two or three times may get the best result.
Most suitable preparations are available without a prescription as ointments, creams, oils, and lotions.
6. Flaxseed (अलसी)
Flaxseed is obtained from the herb flax, it contains omega-3 the essential criteria for the proper synthesis of the immune and anti-inflammatory compounds.
It is useful in the cure of skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema and that are associated with inflammatory processes. One can take one or two tablespoons of cold-pressed flaxseed oil daily, preferably with other foods.
7. Tulsi (तुलसी)
Tulsi is helpful in many skin diseases and it is effective in skin rashes, insect bites, and itching. The leaves of this plant are used effectively used in ringworm infections and leucoderma.
One can use Paste or juice of Tulsi leaves to reduce acne, pimples, and scars.
9. Saffron (केसर)
Saffron helps to reduce dark pigments; dark circles under the eyes, acne, and pimples and helps in increase fairness and glow of the skin.
10. Indian gooseberry (आँवला)
The amla juice helps in reducing the burning sensation of the skin. It reduces inflammation, strengthens hair follicles of the skin of the scalp.
The Amla boosts the immunity of the skin and helps to prevent pimples and acne.
Note: Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially during pregnancy or while taking prescription medications.