Vitiligo is a skin condition that can be genetically transmitted and is characterized by the development of discolored patches on the skin. Although there are several modern-medicine approaches to treat the condition, most of them are expensive as it takes time and consistency to get results.
Ayurveda practitioners also claim to be able to treat vitiligo. Ayurveda is an ancient form of treatment that uses herbal medicine. It originated from India over 5000 years ago.
The practice focuses on maintaining complete body health but can focus on specific issues like vitiligo. Anyone using Ayurveda understands the body, mind, and soul better and finds a way to adjust their lifestyle to gain and maintain balance.
How does Ayurveda View Vitiligo?
In Ayurveda, vitiligo is referred to as “shwitra” a skin condition where white patches appear on the body. Ayurveda is caused by aggravating muscle (mamsa), blood (rakta), lymph (rasa), and watery elements (Udaka) in the body.
According to Ayurveda, some of the direct and indirect factors, such as incompatible food, excessive eating, eating a lot of sour, sweet, salty, or fragrant food, being disrespectful to elders, participating in sinful acts, etc., can cause vitiligo. According to Ayurveda, vitiligo is a chronic condition, and treatment should be administered immediately based on the following four steps:
- Purification using herbs
- Oil massage based on results from patient examination
- Tolerable exposure to the rays of sun and
- Reception of medicine created from several herbs.
Ayurveda Treatment for Vitiligo
Ayurveda treatment of vitiligo includes herbs, some of which are:
- Neem: It is rich in fatty acids that help in promoting healthy skin. The leaves from the neem tree contain antioxidant and antibacterial compounds that can greatly reduce vitiligo symptoms.
- Bakuchi: Contains antioxidants that improve the synthesis of melanin and help reduce the discoloration of the skin caused by vitiligo.
- Manjistha: For people who usually consume toxic diets, the herb contains compounds that act as detoxifiers and boost the immune system. Its ingredients can also restore normal color to the skin by preventing damage to the epidermis.
- Khadir: Helps in absorption, detoxing, and reduction of skin discoloration.
- Jatamansi: Naturally tones the skin and purifies the body.
- Amalaki: Contains compounds that have dyeing effects on the body.
- Haritaki: It removes substances that cause vitiligo, antioxidants and is useful in extreme vitiligo cases.
- Turmeric: It prevents the production of inflammatory agents in the body, which in turn reduces inflammation due to vitiligo.
- Guduchi: Boosts immunity and minimizes vitiligo symptoms
The herbs above work in three steps to treat vitiligo. They stimulate skin cells to re-pigment, ensure a suitable environment for re-pigmentation to occur, and maintain the newly pigmented state of the skin.
Dietary Recommendations for Vitiligo
In the treatment of vitiligo, a well-balanced and maintained immune system is vital. Having a proper diet rich in Vitamin D and B12 helps manage and prevent vitiligo. Some dietary recommendations include light meals, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and gourds.
According to Ayurveda, vitiligo patients should avoid drinks and food such as coffee, tea, alcohol, spicy and flavored food, high sugar and processed food, tuber crops (potatoes, carrots), processed grains, and citrus fruits.
Since Ayurveda is a holistic treatment approach, lifestyle changes are crucial in preventing and treating vitiligo. Some lifestyle routines that Ayurveda recommends include:
- Personal hygiene, proper social conduct, and purification therapies
- Meditation and deep breathing to release toxins from the body
- Cardio workouts to increase heartbeats and encourage sweating to release impurities from the body
- Yoga that involves forward bending, headstands, and shoulder stands to increase blood flow to the face and help get rid of toxins
- Visiting holy places
- Worship, fasting, helping the needy, donating, and singing hymns according to one’s religion or belief system.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that cannot be transmitted, but it can be inherited. Because the Ayurveda treatment approach focuses on healing the whole body, including mental health and emotional health, it can help (though not everyone agrees on Ayurveda’s effectiveness).
In fact, according to maverick vitiligo researcher David Paltrow (who doesn’t follow the Ayurveda approach), the root cause of vitiligo isn’t even about melanin. He is also claiming that by targeting the real underlying cause, he is able to cure vitiligo in 45 days flat.
Check out his video presentation below: