Diseases Of Lips (Oshtagata Rogas) – Types, Symptoms Treatment

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
All the organs of the body can get afflicted with imbalanced Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas. Lips are not an exception.
Oshtagata Rogas are set of diseases occurring in the lips. They are part of Mukhagata Rogas (diseases occurring in mouth and its parts). They are also called Oshtaprakopa.

Introduction, number

Oshta = lips
Gata = happening / occurring in
Rogas = diseases
Read – Ayurvedic Remedies, Treatment, Medicines For Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Number of Oshtagata Rogas
According to Ayurveda 8 type of diseases occur in the lips.

  • Vataja Oshtakopa – caused by vitiated vata
  • Paittika Oshtakopa – caused by vitiated pitta
  • Shlaishmika Oshtakopa – caused by vitiated kapha
  • Sannipatika Oshtakopa – caused by simultaneous vitiation of all three doshas
  • Raktaja Oshtakopa – caused by vitiated blood
  • Mamsaja Oshtakopa – caused due to vitiated muscle tissue
  • Medoja Oshtakopa – caused due to vitiated fat tissue
  • Abhighataja / Kshataja Oshtakopa – caused due to injury to the lips
    Read – Ayurvedic Disease Classification – Charaka Sutrasthana 19

Vata lip disorder treatment

Vataja Oshtaroga, Oshtakopa

Symptoms of vataja lip disorders

  • Karkasha – lips become rough
  • Ruksha – lips become dry
  • Stabdha – lips become stiff / rigid
  • Tivra ruganvitam – severe pain in lips
  • Dalyate – lips crack
  • Paripatyate – fissures are formed in the lips
  • Shyavata – dark colour lips

Such condition is often found to occur during winter seasons when there is excessive cold in the environment. This climate is favorable for vata aggravation.
Read – Dry Mouth Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Remedies, Tips, Diet

Treatment of Vataja lip disorders –
Treatment principle
Vataja lip disorders will be healed by prompt administration of medicated oil / ghee, steaming with vapours of medicated and vata alleviating fluids, showering medicated liquids and fats on lips, drinking medicated ghee and consumption of meat soup / juice in food.
Read – How To Balance Vata Dosha? Line Of Treatment And Reasoning

  • Lips are massaged with four types of fats (combination of ghee, oil, muscle fat, bone marrow) mixed with bee wax.
  • Nadi sweda (tubular fomentation) and Shalvana sweda (herbal poultice fomentation) are done.
  • Vata alleviating oils are used for application over the head and for doing nasal treatments.
  • Lips are rubbed / anointed with powder prepared Shreeveshtakadi churna i.e. herbal powder prepared with Pinus roxburghii, resin extracted from Sal tree, Cedrus deodara, Commiphora mukul and liquorice.
  • Cream or ointment prepared by mixing wax in oil, ghee, resin of Sal tree (read about – resin of sal), Alpinia galanga, jaggery, rock salt and red ochre cooked together should be applied on the lips.
  • Oil or ghee prepared with resin of Sal tree, wax and jaggery should be applied on the lips.
  • Massage of lips with Madhyyashtyadi taila – oil prepared licorice, Celastrus paniculatus, Symplocos racemosa, Sphaeranthus indicus, Hemidesmus indicus, water lily, pointed gourd and Solanum nigrum should be done.
  • Oil processed with vata alleviating herbs and sweet tasting group of herbs should be used for massaging the lips and also for nasal medication. Steaming should be given to the lips by vapours coming out of milk boiled with leaves of castor plant.
    Read – Benefits of Sweet Taste – Ayurveda Description, Effect On Body
  • Master Vagbhata has called this condition as ‘Khandoshta’ which means broken or sliced lips.
  • Vagbhata advocates scrapping and suturing the split lips in Khanda oshta condition. Later it should be treated on lines of treating wounds and ulcers.
    Read – 6 Butter Remedies For Cracked Lips, Sex Power, Voice Hoarseness

Probable modern correlation
Based on explanation of master Sushruta, Vataja Oshtakopa can be compared with the cracked or chapped lips. Cracked lips are common in cold seasons.

Seeing the explanation given by master Vagbhata, the condition seems to be an explanation of ‘Hare Lips’. It is a condition wherein there is an opening in upper lip at birth which may sometimes extend to the nose. It is also called cleft lip. It is a type of birth defect / developmental anomaly. It can be successfully treated with surgery, as explained by Vagbhata. (read more)

Pitta lip disease treatment

Pittaja Oshtaroga / Pittaja Oshtakopa
Symptoms of Pittaja lip disorders –

  • Sarshapa akrutibhih pidikaabhih aachitau – the lips are covered with small boils or eruptions resembling the shape and size of mustard seeds
  • Daha – burning sensation in lips
  • Paka – suppuration in lips or boils
  • Samsrava – discharges from lips causing stickiness
  • Neela peetau – bluish or yellowish discoloration of lips and boils therein
    Read – Mouth Ulcers Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Remedies, Tips

kapha, Rakta, Sannipata

Kaphaja Oshtaroga / Kaphaja Oshtakopa

Symptoms –

  • Pidikabhih savarnabhistu chiyate – boils or eruptions having the same colour of the lips are formed over the lips
  • Avedanau – boils are not associated with pain
  • Kandumantau – lips and boils are itchy
  • Shuna – lips are swollen
  • Pichchilau – lips and boils are sticky
  • Shetalau – lips are cold
  • Guru – heaviness in the lips
    Read – Kapha Increase Symptoms – Kapha Vruddhi Lakshana

Raktaja Oshtaroga / Raktaja Oshtakopa
Symptoms of Raktaja lip disorders –

Sannipataja Oshtaroga / Sannipataja Oshtakopa
Symptoms of Sannipataja lip disorders –

  • Sakrut krushnau, sakrut petau, sakrut shwetau – in lip disorders caused by simultaneous vitiation of all three doshas, the lip acquires different colours, sometimes it looks black, sometimes it appears yellow and at other times it tends to become white in colour
  • Aneka pidakachitau – lips are covered by various types of boils, of various shapes and sizes
    Read – Clove And Clove Oil Benefits, Usage, Dose – Complete Ayurveda Details

Apart from this, it will have the symptoms of all three doshas mixed together. Lips smell foul and will have sticky discharges. Sometimes it is associated with pain and other times with swelling or burning sensation. Sometimes there will be suppuration and sometimes not.

Abhighata, Sanskrit verse

Abhighataja Oshtaroga / Abhighataja Oshtakopa
Symptoms of Abhighataja lip disorders will occur following injury to the lips.

  • Videeryate – lips are torn / split apart
  • Paathyate – cracks appear on the lips
  • Granthitau cha samakhyatau – the lips are spread out with small cyst like boils
  • Kandu – presence of itching in the lips
    Read – Injury, Wound care -Ayurvedic Remedies, Medicines

Line of treatment

Treatment of Pittaja, Raktaja and Abhighataja Oshta Roga / Oshtakopa
Treatment of pittaja, raktaja and abhighataja lip disorders will be alike.

Rakta mokshana
Bloodletting is the ideal treatment in these conditions. Bloodletting shall be done by applying leeches over the afflicted lips.

Pitta vidradhivat chikitsa
After bloodletting, the afflicted conditions shall be treated on the lines of treating pittaja abscesses.
Read – Raktamokshana Benefits, Types, Procedure, Indications

The below mentioned strategies should be followed in treating the mentioned conditions:

  • Vedhanam siranam / siravedham – vein puncture for bloodletting (read here)
  • Vamanam – therapeutic emesis
  • Virechanam – therapeutic purgation (read more)
  • Tiktasya panam rasa bhojanam cha – foods and drinks rich in bitter tastes should be used
  • Sheeta pradeha – cold anointment and applications
  • Sheeta Pratishechanam – sprinkling or moistening the lips with cold liquids

Treatment of Kaphaja OshtaRoga / Kaphaja Oshtakopa

Raktamokshana – firstly bloodletting should be done in kaphaja lip disorders.

Following bloodletting, the below mentioned measures shall be adopted –

  • Shirovirechana – cleansing of head by administering errhine therapy
  • Dhuma – medicated smoking
  • Sweda – sudation (read here)
  • Kavala – herbal gargles
  • Pratisaranam – anointing / rubbing the powder of trikatu i.e. three pungents, alkali prepared from whole plant of barley, sodium carbonate and artificially prepared salt i.e. vid lavana
    Read – How To Do Oil Pulling In Genuine Ayurvedic Way?

Modern correlation

Pittaja, Kaphaja and Sannipataja Oshtakopa can be compared to ‘ulceration of the lips’. All these conditions look like one or the other stages of lip ulcerations. We can find the description of presence of boils on lips in all these conditions. Along with it, pain, discharges and swelling of lips are mentioned. All these symptoms can be seen in ulceration of lips occurring due to various systemic problems. (read more)

Abhighataja Oshtakopa can be compared with traumatic lip disorders.

Mamsaja Oshtaroga

Mamsaja Oshtakopa
Signs and symptoms of Mamsaja lip disorder –

  • Mamsapindavat udgatau – lips seem to be protruded like a mass of muscle
  • Guru – heaviness of lips
  • Sthula – lips are stout and swollen up
  • Jantavaha – lips are infested with worms and microorganisms
  • Srukkasya ubhayatah mukhat – it generally happens at the angles of the mouth
    Read – Oral, Ear And Head Therapy – Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 22

Treatment of Mamsaja lip disorder –
Since the mamsaja lip disorder is said to be incurable, there shall be no treatment options for this condition.

Modern correlation – This condition may be closely correlated with ‘papilloma’ or ‘epithelioma of the lips’ mentioned in the modern texts. (read more)

Medoja Oshtaroga

Medoja Oshtakopa
Signs and symptoms of Medoja lip disorder is as below mentioned –

  • Ghruta mandabhau oshtam – lips become similar to the supernatant layer of ghee in colour and appearance
  • Kandu – itching in the lips
  • Sthirau – stiffness of lips
  • Mrudu – smoothness of lips
  • Achcha spathika sannibham sravam – discharges resembling clean and clear quartz occur from the lips
  • Guru – heaviness of lips
    Read – Bleeding Gums – Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies

Treatment of Medoja Oshtakopa
Medoja lip disorders shall be treated by the below mentioned treatment strategies –

  • Swedana – sudation
  • Bhedana – piercing / breaking
  • Agnikarma – fire cauterization
  • Shodhana – cleansing / purifying treatment
  • Pratisarana – applying paste of Callicarpa macrophylla, triphala, Symplocos racemosa and honey

Modern correlation –
Medoja Oshtakopa can be closely correlated with Macrochelia wherein there is hypertrophy of the lips.


Jalarbuda explained by master Vagbhata
Master Vagbhata has explained yet another condition called Jalarbuda, which occurs in the lips.

Jalarbuda is a condition wherein boils resembling the bubbles of water occur on the inner side of the lips due to the vitiation of vata and kapha.
Read – Granthi: Cystic Swelling, Types, Features, Ayurvedic Treatment

Treatment – In this condition, powder of intense acting medicines should be rubbed against the afflicted lips. If the boils are too hard or large, they should be treated by administration of fire or alkali cauterisation.

Prognosis of Oshtakopa / Oshtaroga
Among the eight types of Oshtakopa, Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja, Abhighataja and Medoja are considered to be curable. The other conditions are incurable.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Email / Skype

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