Article by – Dr. MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD (Ayu).
Vitiligo is a condition where particular parts of the skin is deranged and get white discoloration. In general terms, it is also called leucoderma. ‘Leuco’ refers to white and’ derma’ means skin. In Ayurveda, it is referred as ‘shwetakushta’.
Kilasa, shweta, shouklya, aruna, daruna etc are the others synonyms of this diseased condition. Modern science explains it as a condition caused due to improper distribution of the melanin (impaired melanocyte production), beneath the skin surface. This may be hereditary, medicine originated (caused due to toxicity), side effects of radiation or chemotherapy etc. But, in significant percentage of people it is found without any above said specific reasons and are grouped under the heading of idiopathic leucoderma. In Ayurveda, the disease shwetakushta or shwitra is grouped under skin disorders. There is a myth attached with this condition as a ‘result of bad deeds’ or ‘after effects of the sin of previous birth’.
Table of Contents
Reason for its origin
Ayurvedic texts explain following factors as the direct or indirect reasons for vilitigo (shwitra)-
1. Viruddhahara (incompatible food)
2. Chardi vega dharana (suppression of vomiting)
3. Atibhojana (excess food intake)
4. Atyamla, lavana, madhura, katu rasa sevana ( intake of sour, sweet, salt and pungent food excessively )
5. Navanna, dadhi, matsya bhakshana (heavy intake of fresh grains, curd and fish)
6. Vipra-guru gharshana (teasing and disrespecting the elders)
7. Papakarma (sinful acts) etc.
Origin of leucoderma (shwetakushta):
Due to the above said reasons, all the three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha are aggravated in association with skin, blood (rakta), muscles (Mamsa) and watery element (Udaka). These altogether involved invariably in different grades and hence varieties of skin diseases are caused. If lymph (rasa) and blood (raktha) are significantly involved, it results in vitiligo i.e shwitra kushta.
Vataja leucoderma- non discharging skin lesions, often possess rough surface, dry in nature and erythematous (red).
Pittaja leuoderma- colour of lotus (coppery) associated with burning sensation and loss of hair follicles.
Kaphaja leucoderma- white, dense, heavy patches associated with itching.
Among these, Vata variety is difficult to cure. Pitta variety is still more difficult for treatment and Kaphaja kind is impossible to treat. Based on the clinical features, the condition where the lesions appear with black hair, thin, non matted, newly originated, caused due to other than burn reasons are curable. The lesions which are very white in colour, and chronic in nature are incurable. The lesions appearing in palm, sole, genitalia and lips are incurable.
Can Vitiligo be cured?
Line of treatment
All the measures explained under skin diseases (kushta roga) are incorporated here: They are – Snehana (oleation), swedana (sudation), Shodhana (purification by emesis or purgation) and Lepana (external application).
Single drug usage in vitiligo
Single drugs referred in the treatment of Vitiligo:
1. Khadira- Acacia catechu Willd.
2. Bakuchi- Psoralia corylifolia Linn.
3. Tuvaraka- Hydnocarpus laurifolia (Dennst.) Sleumer.
4. Bhallataka- Semecarpus anacardium Linn.
5. Mulaka- Radish – Raphanus sativus Linn.
6. Daruharidra- Berberis aristata Dc. |
7. Karanja- Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre.
8. Kakodumbara- Ficus hispida Linn. F.
9. Aragwagha- Cassia fistula Linn.
10. Haritaki– Terminalia chebula Retz.
Classical Ayurvedic Formulations recommended in Vitiligo:
1. Bakuchi taila
2. Somaraji taila
3. Avalgujabijadi lepam
4. Triphaladi taila
5. Shwitranashaka lepa
6. Panchanana taila
7. Tuvarakadi taila
8. Khadiradi ghrita
11. Shwetakaravira taila
12. Mahakhadira ghrita
14. Mahatiktaka ghrita
15. Arogyavardhini vati
16. Gandhaka rasayana
Medicines for Switra from Sahasra yoga Text book
1. Tiktaka Ghrita
2. Mahatiktaka Ghrita
3. Hapushadi choorna
4. Manibhadra guda
Proprietary Ayurvedic medicines useful in Vitiligo treatment:
Lukoskin ointment and oral liquid.
Wholesome diet and habits
1.Vrata-pooja-patha-dana (fasting, worship, enchanting the sacred hymens, donation etc..)
2. Enchanting ‘adityahridays stotra’
3. Bath in river Ganga
4. Offering food daily to poor on charity basis
5. Visit to pilgrimage places
6. Old rice (purana shali)
8. Green gram(mudga)
9. Light food (laghu ahara)
10. Patola (bitter gourd)
11. kKadirodaka(hot infusion of khadira) etc…
Unwholesome food and habits
1. Viruddhahara (incompatible food)
2. Guru ahara (heavy food)
3. Vidahi ahara (spicy, pungent food)
4. Vishtambhi ahara (constipatives)
5. Anupa mamsa (aguatic animals)
6. Kanda -moola (roots and tubers)
7. Masha (black gram)
8. Amla–katu-lavana rasa(sour, pungent, salty food)
9. Kritaghnata (being thankless)
10. Deva-guru ninda (speaking ill of teachers and gods) etc..
Experience from Mr Ramesh Lahoti:
A few years ago, I noticed that I was getting white patches on my skin particularly on the skull. First I thought that this has appeared because of the telecom tower on the roof of the building. Slowly the patches started increasing I started realizing that definitely
water must be playing a role in this occurrence. I started looking up what role plastic is playing in this. With the help of Google, I had getting a “hurrah” moment. I noticed that this is taking place due to antimony salts in the plastic bottles which are dissolving into the water. Large quantities of antimony salts are added in the production of strong bottles and less for softer ones. one cannot expect that both the manufacturer and the worker that the salts have to weighed before being mixed with the plastic pellets to manufacture the p-bottles. I do not want to go into politics as I know that politicians/ministers are stupid and know nothing of the
posts they clad. On the recommendation of the watchman I have started taking tulsi drops to find out how this shall help me.I have written of my experiences to enable your visitors to know what plastics are playing on our health.