Eczema is a non-contagious and inflammatory skin disorder in which the skin becomes red, dry, cracked and itchy. It is classified as a disease under Kshudra Kushta or minor skin disease in Ayurveda and is known as Vicharchika.
There exist many conventional and non-conventional treatments for eczema. However, one of the best treatments lies in Ayurveda, in which therapies, herbs and dietary changes are used to treat the disease.
Causes and Symptoms of Eczema
Knowing the symptoms of eczema are extremely important to avail treatment on time. Some of the common symptoms of eczema are:
- redness of the skin
- swelling and itching in the skin
- skin lesions with oozing and scarring
Apart from knowing symptoms, you should also know the causative factors to prevent and treat the disease more efficiently.
There are many factors that can cause eczema, such as genes, abnormal function of the immune system, environmental factors, etc. It is usually visible when the skin is triggered by dry skin, irritants, stress, infections, hormones, etc.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Eczema
According to Ayurveda, eczema or Vicharchika is caused due to aggravation in the Pitta Dosha in the body. The vitiated Pitta Dosha leads to the accumulation of toxins or Ama in the skin and causes eczema. Therefore, the treatment of eczema in Ayurveda primarily revolves around pacifying Pitta Dosha and eliminating toxins from the body.
Treatment of Eczema in Ayurveda
The Ayurvedic treatment of eczema involves three major components: Ayurvedic cleansing and detoxifying therapies, herbs to balance Pitta Dosha and lifestyle and dietary changes to restore the health of the skin.
Ayurvedic Therapies for Eczema
Abhyanga involves massaging the infected area with medicated herbal oils to treat the disease. It helps to improve the blood circulation in the body, prevent dehydration and improve the healing of the skin.
Vamana is an Ayurvedic therapy in which vomiting is induced with the help of various herbs. It is considered one of the most effective treatments for eczema as it helps to remove toxins or Ama from the body.
In Virechana, purgation is induced with the help of herbs to remove Ama from the body and restore the balance of Doshas. It is highly effective in pacifying Pitta and Kapha Dosha in the body, and therefore, is considered one of the best treatments for eczema.
Raktamokshana is an Ayurvedic treatment to remove toxic blood from the body. It is used to treat various Pitta disorders, including eczema, headache, hypertension, etc.
A Lepa is a semisolid paste applied to the skin to treat various skin disorders, including eczema. It is usually prepared with a combination of herbs and ghee.
Panchakarma treatment is an Ayurvedic detoxifying and cleansing therapy that involves five procedures: Vamana, Virechana, Basti, Raktamoskhana and Nasya. Your Ayurvedic doctor may recommend a complete Panchakarma therapy instead of availing these therapies separately. It will help eliminate all the toxins and restore the balance of Doshas in the body.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Eczema
Ayurveda mentions many herbs to treat eczemas such as cardamom, Haridra or turmeric, Triphala, Neem, Kumari or aloe vera, Bakuchi and Indian sarsaparilla. They help purify the blood, reduce inflammation and eliminate toxins from the body.
Ayurveda also recommends using herbs such as Ashwagandha and Brahmi, to relieve stress and prevent eczema from worsening.
Dietary and Lifestyle Tips for Eczema Patients
- Dietary Regulations:
- Eat a Pitta pacifying diet and prefer bitter-tasting foods that are light to digest.
- Include cereals such as wheat and barley and pulses such as green gram and red lentils in your diet.
- Certain fruits are highly beneficial for eczema patients, such as Amla, pomegranate, garlic and bitter gourd.
- Add a generous amount of ghee to your diet.
- Keep yourself hydrated and drink at least 6-10 glasses of water in a day.
- Do not consume fermented, sour, salty, deep-fried and hot and spicy foods.
- Avoid coffee, milk, curd, jaggery, sesame seeds, alcohol, etc.
- Lifestyle Recommendations:
- Use herbal soaps and skincare products that do not contain perfumes or harsh chemicals.
- Avoid taking long and hot showers.
- Always take a bath after exercising to wash off the sweat.
- Do not wear synthetic fibre. Wear clothes made of natural fibres.
- Manage your stress with the help of stress-relieving techniques such as Yoga, Pranayama and meditation.
- Do not lead a sedentary lifestyle and avoid daytime sleeping.
- Maintain good hygiene and cleanliness.
Eczema is one of the most common skin disorders in the world. However, it can be easily treated with the help of Ayurvedic therapies, herbs and dietary recommendations. Most skin diseases are psychosomatic, so if the mind is balanced, the skin conditions can be managed very well.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Ashwini