How Ayurveda Can Help Treat Vitiligo

Vitiligo, an auto-immune disease, is a skin disorder wherein pigmentation happens due to the death of melanocytes, leading to a loss of skin color and formation of white patches. It can affect skin all over the body along with hair, eyes and the inner part of the mouth.

Vitiligo is also associated with other inflammatory and auto-immune diseases such as Diabetes, Thyroid, Psoriasis and Pernicious Anemia. Vitiligo is believed to be hereditary as children are likely to inherit it from their parents.

In Ayurveda, Vitiligo or Shwitra is a Tridoshaj, which means that it is caused by a vitiation of all 3 doshas together. The Pitta dosha has the greatest imbalance. Pitta is of five types, one of them being the Bhrajak Pitta which is responsible for the coloration of the skin. The imbalance of Bhrajak Pitta leads to the rise in ama.

The Ayurvedic or Herbal Treatment for Vitiligo

The Ayurveda or herbal treatment for Vitiligo not only involves treating the white patch itself but also treating the underlying causes of the disease, ensuring that it does not recur. The aim of Ayurveda is to stop the spread of the white patch, and then start working on curing the disease.

Incompatible food combinations

According to Ayurveda, the consumption of incompatible food combinations, eating salty-sour foods, fermented foods, suppressing the urge to vomit, and indulging in sinful practices aggravates the doshas causing an imbalance in tissues or dhatus such as blood or rakta, plasma or rasa, lymph nodes or lasika and muscles or mamsa. Some food combinations that Ayurveda recommends avoiding are: Drinking milk after eating green leafy vegetables or with sour substances. Combination of fish and milk obstructs the blood channels Milk combined with fruits

Other precautions

Cold water immediately after drinking a hot beverage like tea or coffee Curd or yogurt at night Animal meat which is cooked with honey, milk, jaggery, sprouts and black gram.

Food to Eat: Bitter vegetables

Eating a good amount of bitter vegetables like bitter gourd and neem. Avoiding sour foods or tangy citrus foods, fermented foods like curd and non-vegetarian food. Bakuchi is actually one of the most potent remedies for Vitiligo. It stimulates the liver which flushes out toxins, thus rejuvenating the skin. It also stimulates the megaloblastic cells which are responsible for the loss of skin color. It aids in countering indigestion and removing the sticky substance called ama from the body. Bakuchi acts on the white patches and reduces them, making the normal skin grow and cover the white patches. It can be used to counter leucoderma locally. It has irritant effects and thus, can remove the upper layers of the skin It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and analgesic properties.

The overall principles adopted for treating Vitiligo are:

Recreating a balance between the three doshas, especially the Pitta dosha. Making the immune system stronger. Improving digestion by shifting to a better diet and avoiding foods that Ayurveda claims are harmful in this condition

Panchakarma therapies

Ama or the toxic sticky substance has to be eliminated completely. Along with the aforementioned medicines, Panchakarma therapies are also helpful. Some of these therapies are Virechana and Raktamokshana which are performed with the help of leeches.

Foods to avoid

Some of the foods to avoid are alcohol, flavored drinks and soft drinks, ice cream, chocolates, junk food, citrus fruits, tomato, green tea, urad dal, dairy products, eggs, pickles, yogurt or curd, red meats, fish and refined carbohydrates like pasta and noodles.

Copper vessel

It is important to stay hydrated; one quick tip is to drink water stored in a copper vessel as this can stimulate the melanocytes. A simple way to get rid of the white patches is by mixing five tablespoons of turmeric powder in 250 ml of mustard oil and applying it directly on the white patches, twice daily.

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