Vitiligo: Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Herbs, Remedies

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’.

Vitiligo Ayurveda

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’.

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.

Ayurvedic formulations

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
9. Kanakabinduarishta
10. Madhwasava
11. Shwetakaravira taila
12. Mahakhadira ghrita
13. Gomutrasava
14. Mahatiktaka ghrita
15. Arogyavardhini vati
16. Gandhaka rasayana
17. Khadirarishta

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:
Caratol-E Capsule
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)
7. Wheat(godhuma)
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..

Patient experience

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.

14 comments on “Vitiligo: Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Herbs, Remedies

  • Bernard John

    05/06/2014 - 8:03 pm

    This is interesting. I have heard that there are new findings in the treatment of Vitiligo using oil of black pepper, and also treatments with cream made from black chick peas. Could you please enlighten me on this, or any other new findings Dr.Hebbar? The lesions are almost white in color, and appear on the back of the hands, the hips, and some on the lips.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      09/09/2014 - 1:27 pm

      A few studies have shown that black pepper oil activates melanocytes, which helps to improve pigmentation.
      But there is nothing ground breaking to declare that a clear treatment exists for vitiligo. I personally have used Ayurvedic medicines like Chitrakasavam, Psoralea seed cream (Bakuchi lepa) etc, it is useful in smaller spots, but if the patches are bigger, then results vary.

      Reply to comment
      • Ram

        11/04/2016 - 2:45 am

        Doctor, how & where to get chitrakasavam or psoralen cream? Is there any diet restrictions?

        Reply to comment
  • santosh

    01/03/2017 - 1:39 am

    Required powerful medicines and oil for leucoderma or vittiligo.

    Reply to comment
  • Vishwanath

    11/03/2017 - 5:23 pm

    Dear Doctor,
    Are the medicines mentioned below, in combination with other standard medicines, useful in treating vitiligo:
    Suvarna Sutshekhar Vati
    Suvarna Brahmi Vati
    Mou. Kamdugha Vati
    Vijaysar Ghan Vati
    Lara Karanj Ghan Vati
    Thanks & Regards,

    Reply to comment
  • Dr Anandayogi

    05/09/2017 - 10:48 am

    I my 17 years experience I can tell you There is a traditional treatment for vitilgo.we practice that and able to cure hundreds of patients.

    Reply to comment
  • Bernard John

    07/09/2017 - 8:17 am

    Thank you Dr.Hebbar.

    Reply to comment
  • Hemant Gupta

    28/08/2018 - 1:11 pm

    CAn we intake Bramha Rasayana in vitilgo/Leucoderma? As it contains gooseberries and as per internet and doctors vitamin C is not good for vitilgo. Please put some light.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      30/08/2018 - 3:28 pm

      It does not contain much Vitamin c as amla loses much of its Vitamin C with boiling and frying.

      Reply to comment
  • Hemant Gupta

    30/08/2018 - 7:18 pm

    Ok, so that means I can take Bramha Rasayana? Also sir, can you help me to get rid of vitilgo?

    Reply to comment
  • Dr Harshitha H

    18/08/2019 - 10:37 am

    Hi doctor,
    Have you observed any boils or eruption on usage of Bakuchi thaila or lepa?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      23/08/2019 - 10:51 am

      No. But the skin turns red and gradually turns to normal colour. When the skin turns red, patient feels burning sensation.
      In Pitta prakriti persons, it could cause boils.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    23/09/2021 - 8:42 pm

    Will write about it shortly.

    Reply to comment

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