- by Dr Chaithanya Ks
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- Jun 22 2017
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS
Ayurveda has the view that psoriatic arthritis can be put into a component between Vatarakta ( a joint disorder caused due to the pathological amalgamation of morbid vata and rakta i.e. blood) and Kushta (skin disorders).
It is seen in practice that the medicines and treatments applicable to Kushta are also beneficial in Vatarakta. When the Kushta, especially complicated skin conditions not responding to any medicines or treatments advised in Kushta when treated with some formulations explained in the treatment of Vatarakta have found to give stunning results.
Ayurvedic treatises give a clear idea that certain skin disorders are related to joint disorders and they can be dealt in identical ways by identical approaches in terms of formulations and treatment strategies.
Thus Psoriatic arthritis is treated either on the lines of Kushta or Vatarakta or both.
If the skin component is more i.e. if the psoriasis is evident by the skin picture and if the patient also has joint involvement, we shall treat on the basis of Kushta treatment line up.
If the skin component is less or if it has been treated so that the lesions are not available or feebly available and if the patient has developed the arthritis component on a later period (as a complication of kushta), we shall treat that condition on the lines of Vatarakta. In these conditions, the joint manifestations are superseding those of skin.
If the joint pains or arthritis has been diagnosed as Psoriatic arthritis by modern parameters (in the absence of skin psoriasis), our job becomes easy. In these conditions we can skilfully mix up the treatments of both Vatarakta and Kushta, giving importance to Vatarakta line of treatment.
Vatarakta can be effectively handled with:
- Lepa – external application of medicinal pastes
- Abhyanga – herbal oil massage
- Parisheka – stream pouring or sprinkling or showering of medicinal liquids like decoctions, medicated milk, oil etc over the afflicted areas
- Avagahana – dipping the afflicted parts or joints in the medicinal liquids
- Upanaha – poultice
These treatments are of immense use in Psoriatic arthritis.
Clinical experience has shown that the above-mentioned treatments have shown tremendous results in combating Psoriatic arthritis, especially those which are not very severe or not complicated. The results are outstanding. When skilfully combined they reduce pain and swelling and give good relief to the patients. Of course, they should be combined with disease-modifying medicines and formulations according to the involved dosha along with a regular laxative for detoxification.
Internal medications are also administered like:
- Khadirodaka – Juice, decoction, powder of Khadira (Acacia catechu) should be used for anointing, upward massage, application, bathing, drinking and eating (mixed with food)
- Khadira rasa – pieces of bark, wood, leaves, roots of Khadira plant (Acacia catechu) should be boiled in a big vessel, when they are processed well, filter, mix juice of Indian gooseberry, ghee and honey and should be used internally
- Nimbadi Kalka – eating mixture of leaves of Nimba (neem plant) and Amalaki (Indian gooseberry)
- Vidangadi Kalka – Paste of Vidanga (Embelia ribes) and Bakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia)
- Vidangadi Churna – Powder of Vidanga (Embelia ribes), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), Pippali (long pepper) mixed in hot oil.
Panchakarma methods that are proved to be very useful are:
- Snehapana – internal administration of medicated ghee and oils
- Swedana – sweating treatment or steaming
- Vamana – therapeutic emesis
- Virechana – therapeutic purgation
- Niruha Vasti – decoction enema
The panchakarma treatments keep flushing out the toxins and morbid doshas and malas (waste products) on regular basis. This makes sure that the disease doesn’t progress further and the pathogenesis takes a halt at the initial stages. As the treatments are repeated on a regular basis we can see the regression of pathology and the skin getting its normal texture, color, complexion, and contour. The inflammatory symptoms, pain, itching etc come down in due course of time. When combined with external treatments like abhyanga (massage), dhara (stream pouring of medicated liquids) etc, the pain and inflammation in the joints will reduce and the movements are seen to improve. Vasti comprehensively combats psoriatic arthritis and is, therefore, a preferred line of treatment in the later stages of the disease.