Psoriasis is one of the most complex skin disorders and modern medical science is yet to conclude the exact cause of this problem. We all are witnessing the stubborn nature of psoriasis in our day to day life. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder where your faulty immune system becomes hyperactive and increases the generation of skin cells manifolds. It results in appearance of thick psoriasis patches on different parts of the body. Increase in the level of body toxins is one of the predominant reasons for triggering an auto-immune disorder.
Some of the most common reasons for increase in body toxins are –
- Food intolerance like sensitivity towards gluten, dairy
- Consuming high amounts of alcohol
- Consuming complex protein foods like red meat
- Higher consumption of processed foods like junk foods, bakeries, carbonated drinks
- High dose of antibiotics and steroids
- Genetic problems
- Improper food habits
- Disturbed lifestyle
- High level of stress and anxiety
These toxins accumulate in your body tissues and blood. When the level of toxins increases in your body, then your liver and kidney comes into action and they overwork to eliminate these toxins from your body. If you keep on accumulating toxins in your body, then eventually the liver and kidney would give up and they get weakened. Then your skin would come to support them and facilitate the removal of toxins from your body in the form of psoriasis patches on your body. Hence, psoriasis is deep down an internal body metabolism problem.
To heal psoriasis, you have to:
- Detox your body to eliminate the accumulated body wastes (toxins) from your body
- Re-strengthen your digestive system to avoid further accumulation of toxins
In this way, you would fix your gut to ensure a smooth body metabolism which would result in the gradual disappearance of psoriasis patches from your body.
To accomplish this target, you have to work on your diet and lifestyle in a holistic way. Holistic healing of psoriasis comprises of:
- Restricted psoriasis diet
- Positive lifestyle
- Less stress and anxiety
- Use of herbs like turmeric, neem, flaxseeds
- Use of dietary supplements like Omega 3, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12
- Use of natural oils and shampoos
Panchkarma is an Ayurvedic detox for Psoriasis
Body detoxification is the first step towards psoriasis healing. Unless the toxins are eliminated and the body is cleansed, the real healing process doesn’t begin. Hence, it is very important to separate toxins from your tissues and blood first and then flush them out of your body.
Read more: Relation between body toxins and Psoriasis
In Ayurveda, this process of body detoxification is known as Panchkarma. The word “Panchkarma” is made up of two Sanskrit (an ancient language) words, panch and karma.
Panchkarma = Panch (five) + Karma (action)
Hence, your body would be cleansed during the process of Panchkarma in five steps.
Panchkarma is an Ayurvedic detox for psoriasis which is a complete cleansing and rejuvenating therapy for the body, mind and consciousness. It is the complete mind-body healing experience which helps in removing the deep rooted stress and illness causing body toxins to detoxify the body, strengthen the immune system and restoring the right balance and well-being.
It greatly helps in restoring our natural state of health and wellness by cleansing our body of toxins, bringing balance into our system and improving bodily functions.
The process of Panchkarma in detail
Before starting the main panchkarma process, there is a preparatory process which aims at separating out the toxins from the body tissues to ensure their smooth elimination from the body.
Similarly, after going through the main panchkarma process, there is an after process also. This post process would ensure that your body wouldn’t accumulate any further toxins in the future.
Pre Procedure (Purva Karma)
This is the first stage of Panchkarma and its primary aims are:
- To liquefy the body toxins (doshas) and separate out them from the body elements
- To bring back the toxins (doshas) to the gastro-intestinal tract so that they can be expelled out easily from the body.
There are two procedures required to be performed during pre-procedure:
- Snehana: It is the lubrication of the body, mainly with the use of oil or ghee (clarified butter). The patient is given medicated oil or ghee in increasing quantity until some particular signs and symptoms occur. After that, the person has to follow some restrictions like only drinking hot water throughout the day, not to sleep during day time, eating food only when hungry etc.
- Svedana: Immediately after Snehana, fomentation especially in the form of a steam bath is given to produce sweating. This process is called as ‘Svedana’. This liquefies the toxins (doshas) so that they can easily flow down to the gastro-intestinal tract and get removed in the subsequent process.
Main Procedure (Pardhana Karma)
This is the real detoxification process where elimination of toxins from the body takes place. It consists of five therapeutic treatments. That’s why it is called as Panchkarma (five actions).
- Vamana (medicated induced vomiting): It is a therapy which removes Kapha toxins from the body, especially from the respiratory tract. The treatment involves loosening and mobilizing of toxins to eliminate them. It is highly beneficial to treat Bronchial Asthma, chronic allergies, Hyperacidity, nasal congestion, skin disorders, chronic indigestion, and many other ailments. The best season for doing this procedure is Spring or Autumn.
- Virechana : In this procedure, loose motions are produced to eliminate the toxins. This is quite helpful in treating diseases caused by pitta dosha like Hyperacidity, Herpes, Gulma (type of tumor), Jaundice, Anemia, skin diseases etc. The best season for this procedure is Autumn.
- Nasya: This process involves injection of medication (in the form of a medicated oil / ghee, juice or even powder) through the nostrils to eliminate the toxins accumulated in head and neck region. It helps in treating various diseases related to head and neck parts such as fall of hairs, graying of hairs, migraines, headaches, epilepsy etc.
- Basti: It is called the mother of all panchkarma treatments. In this procedure, enema with medicated oil, herbal decoction, salt and honey is given. Since it has a direct action over the large intestine — which is the main site of Vata dosha — it acts immediately. It cleanse the colon and increase the muscle tone. The procedure is especially useful for all kinds of diseases caused by Vata Dosha like- back ache, arthritis, dystrophies, piles, digestive disorders, multiple sclerosis, muscle wasting etc. The best season for this procedure is the Rainy Season.
- Raktamoskshana: Impurity in the Rakta (Blood) due to toxins (doshas) is the cause of many diseases e.g. skin disorder like psoriasis, hypertension, herpes, varicose veins, arthritis etc. The procedure here is to let the blood flow out of the body along with doshas. This procedure is advised only in rare conditions because of the high risk of infection involved in the process of blood cleansing. The best season for blood letting is Autumn.
Post Procedure (Paschat Karma)
The third stage of Panchakarma is Paschat karma i.e., the aftercare measures that a patient need to take care of to get the full benefits of panchkarma treatment. It describes the various measures taken after the main treatment such as diet, daily routine and medicines.
- Samsarjana Karma: It is the restoration of digestive power by advocating a specific diet after completion of Sodhana Therapy.
- Rasayanadi Karma: It is the the administration of Rasayana and Ayurvedic drugs after Elimination Therapy.
- Samana Prayoga: It is the administration of medicines required to treat the particular disease after the process of toxins elimination.
Going beyond Panchkarma
As explained in the Post procedure, it is very important to understand that panchkarma itself is not a complete treatment. Once you have eliminated the accumulated toxins from deep down in your body, then you have to make positive changes in your and lifestyle to prevent any further accumulation of toxins in your body. Use of herbs and dietary supplements also plays a vital role here. If we wouldn’t follow the diet and lifestyle rules, then the healing effect would not be effective in the long run.
It is a common testimony of many psoriasis patients that panchkarma detox program improved their skin condition tremendously. But, the improvement didn’t last long because they fail to avoid unhealthy diet and lifestyle. It is something like- you get your house clean with the help of housecleaner and feel happy. But, after cleaning, you didn’t bother to change your habits and still continue to pile dirt and garbage in the house. So, eventually you would fill up your house again with even more dirt and garbage.
Always remember- Panchkarma is an Ayurvedic detox for psoriasis and it is the first step towards healing. Without making suitable changes in your diet and lifestyle, panchkarma alone wouldn’t be of much help.
Duration of Panchkarma
A session of Panchkarma would last for 10-14 days as per the severity of the problem and availability of time. Every day, a session of 2-3 hours would take place. But, due to low calorie diet and in between fastings, it would not be possible for the patient to do any work thereafter for the whole day. Hence, you are not supposed to do any serious personal and/or professional task during the whole panchkarma treatment.
Best time to do Panchkarma
There is a general belief that the time of panchkarma should be decided as per the disease. But, in today’s modern world where the life is so busy and hectic, this concept of season wise panchkarma doesn’t exist any more. Because it is not sure if the patient would be able to get free for such a long duration in that particular season.
The best time to do Panchkarma is the time that suits you. You should consult a good Ayurveda doctor and plan your panchkarma as per your comfort. You have to keep in mind that you need to spare 10-14 days for this treatment and during that time period, you wouldn’t be doing any other task and would enjoy complete body and mind rest.
Are there any side effects of Panchkarma
There are no documented side effects of Panchkarma. But, you should not over do. Never undergo more than one session of Panchkarma per year.
Can I do Panchkarma at home?
While it’s certainly possible to do the entire process of Panchkarma at home, I would recommend you to go to an Ayurvedic retreat for the following reasons:
- It’s almost impossible to recreate the peaceful, undisturbed, calm and soothing atmosphere of the Ayurvedic center at home.
- Chances of making some mistakes during the procedure are high for beginners as Panchkarma is an involved and lengthy process.
Panchkarma is an Ayurvedic detox for psoriasis which helps in speedy elimination of body wastes (toxins) from your body so that your body can respond to various dietary changes and supplements that you would take to heal your psoriasis. Apart from investing time and money, it needs a strong willpower and discipline to enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful detox program. Getting a right doctor is also very crucial here.
But, it is just the primary step for psoriasis treatment. It actually prepares your body for the healing and it is not the ACTUAL healing. If you don’t make changes in your complete lifestyle (including diet) and you don’t take the required herbs and dietary supplements, then spending enough time and money on this vigorous treatment would be of very less use.