Ayurveda sattvik diet to help psoriasis


In Ayurveda treatment for psoriasis, all skin diseases are broadly classified under ‘Kushta Roga’. One among these Kushta Rogas in ‘Eka Kushta’ whose symptoms can be correlated with Psoriasis. To find the diet and regimen required to control psoriasis, let’s first take a look at the characteristic features of Eka Kushta. Understanding what causes the flareup in the first place is important.


Causative Factors (Nidana for Eka Kushta)

Excess intake of garlic and radish (Mulaka)

Virudha Ahara or incompatible food intake, especially the intake of Fish and milk together or meat of animals residing in marshy land along with milk

Excessive intake of long pepper or Solanum nigrum popularly called as Kakamachi in Ayurveda along with curd

Intake of millets and grains along with curd, buttermilk, oil, etc.

Vega Dharana or suppression of natural urges

Excessive intake of honey, molasses, fried foods, salty and sour food, etc.

If you look at the above, you might notice that most of the causative factors for Eka Kushta are related to improper diet. In addition, Karma Phala or bad deeds of past life has also been mentioned as a cause for Kushta.


When you constantly get exposed to the above causative factors, there will aggravation of all the three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha (Predominantly Vata & Kapha) and they further vitiate the Tissues like Tvak (Skin), Rakta (Blood), Mamsa (Flesh), and Lasika (Plasma). This can lead to the manifestation of skin lesions in different parts of the body.

Is Ayurveda effective for Psoriasis?

Ayurveda treatment protocol for Psoriasis involves the following steps.

Snehapana or Intake of medicated Ghee

Vamana or Therapeutic Emesis

Internal and External Medication

Diet and Lifestyle changes


Psoriasis is a disease which hampers the quality of life of patients. The extent of the effects of Psoriasis can reach up to chronic diseases such as depression, myocardial infarction, hypertension, etc.

In a random study to learn the effects of Ayurveda treatment on Psoriasis and to assess the quality of life of Ayurveda patients post-treatment Two groups of people were selected – Group A & B.

The first line of treatment for both the groups was ‘Koshtashudhi’ or cleansing the digestive system.

6 g of Eranda bhrushta Harithaki was given to them along with hot water at bedtime for 3 days. Here, the major ingredient of Eranda Bhrushta Harithaki are Eranda or Castor and Harithaki or Chebulic myrobalan. We can look at the properties of each of these herbs.

Eranda

Harithaki

Vatahara (Pacifies Vata), Vrushya , Rechana (Purgative)

Deepana (Appetizer), Pachana (Digestive), Anulomana (Carminative), Rasayana (Rejuvenative), Chakshushya (Beneficial to eyes), Medhya (Improves intellect), Prajasthapana (supports implantation)


This combination is used for various conditions like management of Vata Vyadhi, Sandhivata (Arthritis), Ajeerna (Indigestion) and Aruchi (Anorexia).



Foods that help Psoriasis

In Ayurveda, ‘Rasayana drugs’ are considered very important for the management of dermatological disorders including Psoriasis. Skin health is restored and maintained by directly targeting the different layers and cells of the skin involved in the process of skin aging & dysfunction and in the pathogenesis of a disease. Diet modification or dietary supplementation is also very much emphasized in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for the prevention, as well as management, of disorders including skin conditions which is popularly called as Pathya & Apathya.


Include

Avoid

Fruits & Vegetables

Beer, ale, porter, stout (usually barley)

Beans, seeds, and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms

Cakes & Pies, Candies, Pastries, Cookies and crackers

Eggs, Lean, non- processed meats, fish and poultry

Wheat, Barley, Rye, Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), Oats (in some cases)

low-fat dairy products

Processed foods like burgers, French fries, Hot dogs, luncheon meats

Grains like Amaranth, Arrowroot, Buckwheat,

Corn and cornmeal

Flax, Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean), Hominy (corn), Millet, Quinoa, Rice,

Sorghum, Soy, Tapioca (cassava root)

Salad dressing, sauces, bouillon or soup mixes, Seasoned rice mixes, Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips


The recommended diet includes old wheat, old barley, pulses like Moong beans or green gram, Masoor beans or red lentils, split pigeon peas, honey, Luffa cylindrical – vegetable from the gourd family also called as snake gourd, Neem (leaf), garlic, Purana Ghrita (Old ghee) and Tikta Rasa (herbs and food with bitter taste). Also, Triphala (made up of these three fruits, dried and powdered - Amalaki (Emblica officials or Phyllanthus Emblica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica)) is important.

In Ayurveda, the therapy in the form of ‘Rasayana drugs’ and diets cannot be effective unless the body channels are properly cleansed, and toxic materials are eliminated. That is why before the internal and external administration of medicines a proper shodhana or cleansing is often recommended. Samshodhana (detoxification) is believed to purify or cleanse all the body tissues and bring about the harmony of Doshas to obtain long-lasting beneficial effects.3


Another popular conclusion about Psoriasis treatment is that weight loss may be a useful preventative and adjunctive therapy for the treatment of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Some patients were given gastric bypass surgery and were obtained with positive outcomes. 4


Therefore, calorie counting can help patients with psoriasis to an extent. Reduce calorie intake. Following an exercise routine and including Kale and Turmeric in diet along with other healthy greens can control weight to an extent. A healthy diet with a good amount of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains without gluten is a good idea for those looking for weight loss.


Sattvik Diet for Psoriasis

Like Gluten-free diet & Paleo diet, Sattvik diet is popular in the Ayurveda community. It is a regimen that gives emphasis to seasonal foods, fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat-based proteins. In psoriasis and other skin conditions, it is better to avoid dairy products and nuts. But it’s always helpful to include seasonal fruits, legumes and other non-meat-based proteins. Food, according to Ayurveda is one among the three pillars of life.

When food is sattvic, along with a healthy body the mind will also become clear and compassionate thereby reducing stress.


One of the sattvic foods is Khichdi, a popular Indian diet for psoriasis (and for many other digestion related ailments). Here is a recipe to a simple nourishing Khichdi dish. 




Ingredients:

1 Cup Mung Dal

½ Cup basmati rice

6 Cups of Water

16 oz Spinach (or so)

1 Cup chopped carrots

2 Tbs grated ginger

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt

1 tsp mustard seeds

Pinch of Hing (Asafetida)

Chopped Cilantro

Shredded Coconut

1 to 2 TBLS Ghee or Coconut Oil

If you have noticed the ingredients, all these are easily available plant-based protein-based ingredients which improves digestion and metabolism.


Method of preparation:

Soak Mung beans and rice together for at least 1 hour. In a medium saucepan, add 1 tbsp. of ghee and splutter Mustard seed. Add carrots, spinach, grated ginger and sauté well. Add the soaked rice and mung beans and mix well. Now add 6 cups of water. When the water comes to a boil add the spice powders and mix well. Reduce the flame to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Khichdi is ready when rice and dal are tender, and the vegetables are well cooked. Garnish with chopped cilantro and coconut. Serve warm.





Scientific Research

After Koshta Shudhi, the patients in Group A was given “Navayasa Rasayana leha” and “Dhatryadhyo lepa” for external application. Since stress is a known precipitation factor for most of the skin diseases including psoriasis, along with these drugs for external application Medhya Rasayana tablet was also given for internal administration for patients from Group B.

The criteria for assessment were Dermatology life quality index (DLQI) and Psoriasis disability index (PDI)

It was found that both the groups showed significant improvement in disease control and quality of life. [1]

There is significant clinical evidence to prove the importance of proper dietary habits in a person with psoriasis. It is important to engage in dietary recommendations and management options with psoriatic patients to shift towards comprehensive care for not only control and prevention of their skin disease but also for managing their overall and long-term health. 



References:

1. Mehta, C. S., Dave, A. R., & Shukla, V. D. (2011). A clinical study of some Ayurvedic compound drugs in the assessment quality of life of patients with Eka Kushtha (psoriasis). Ayu, 32(3), 333–339. doi:10.4103/0974-8520.93909

2. Afifi, L., Danesh, M. J., Lee, K. M., Beroukhim, K., Farahnik, B., Ahn, R. S., … Liao, W. (). Dietary Behaviors in Psoriasis: Patient-Reported Outcomes from a U.S. National Survey. Dermatology and therapy, 7(2), 227–242. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0183-4

3. Tirant, M., Lotti, T., Gianfaldoni, S., Tchernev, G., Wollina, U., & Bayer, P. (2018). Integrative Dermatology - The Use of Herbals and Nutritional Supplements to Treat Dermatological Conditions. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 6(1), 185–202. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.041

4. Debbaneh, M., Millsop, J. W., Bhatia, B. K., Koo, J., & Liao, W. (2014). Diet and psoriasis, part I: Impact of weight loss interventions. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 71(1), 133–140. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2014.02.012