Ayurvedic Medicine and Treatment for Fungal Infections
Fungal infections on the skin are very common diseases that usually affect the skin and the scalp. Fungi is everywhere like plants, on the skin, dirt, household surfaces, soil, etc. The fungal infection may spread from one person to another. We can find around 1.5 million species of fungi on the earth.
According to Ayurveda, a fungal infection is known as Kushta. Ayurveda says that the vitiation of all doshas like Vata, Pitta, and Kapha causes Kushta. Ayurveda follows different techniques to cure Kushta (fungal infections on the skin). Kushta roga is an aupasargika roga that gets transmitted from one person to another.
Fungal infections on the skin are very common and there are various effective remedies available in Ayurveda to cure skin infections. The treatment of all types of Kushtas are based on the predominance of doshas as understood by their features.
Causes of Fungal Infections on the Skin
Kushta may spread from one person to another person through touching or spreading. Following are the major causes of fungal infections on the skin.
Virudhashan is termed as when we follow wrong food combinations like citrus fruit and milk together, sour curd and milk together, seafood and milk, etc leads to skin prone to infections.
When we consume heavy food or when we eat very fastly causes the vitiation of Kapha and Pitta and leads to skin diseases.
Excessive food intake or eating more before the digestion of the previous intake of food also leads to skin infections.
- Kledakar Ahar
Some foods cause the vitiation of Kapha and pitta in our body like junk foods, oily foods, fermented foods, etc cause skin infections.
Fungal infections on the skin may arise due to various reasons like Wrong food intake, intake of heavy food, intake of excessive food and intake of junk and oily foods. By knowing the causes of Kushta, we can control the skin diseases through proper Ayurvedic treatments.
Symptoms of Skin Diseases due to Vitiation of Doshas
Following are the major symptoms of Kushta.
1. Vitiation of Vata dosha in Kushta
Common symptoms of Vata dosha and how they affect the skin are:-
- Parushya: Hardness.
- Harsha: Horripilation.
- Raukshyam: Dryness.
- Khara: Coarseness.
- Shyava Aruna: Brown as well as reddish coloration.
2. Vitiation of Pitta Dosha in Kushta
General symptoms of vitiated Pitta dosha in Kushta are:-
- Srava: Suppuration( The process of discharging pus from the sore).
- Raga: Redness.
- Anga Patana: Sloughing of limbs.
- Visra Gandha: Smell like raw meat.
- Daha: Burning sensation.
3. Vitiation of Kapha Dosha in Kushta:
Common symptoms of vitiated Kapha dosha in Kushta are:-
- Gaurava: Heaviness of the body.
- Shaityam: Cold in touch.
- Utsedha: Elevation.
- Kleda: Stickiness (disturbance with the body fluid).
- Shvaityam: White coloration.
- Kandu: Itching.
Symptoms of Kushta due to vitations of each dosha like Vata, Pitta and Kapha are different. If you are suffering from any one of these symptoms, don't worry. In Ayurveda, there are natural remedies to cure Kushta effectively.
Types of Kushta
Kushta can be classified into two and they are Maha kushta and Kshudra kushta.
1. Maha Kushta
Major skin diseases are called Maha Kushta. They can be again classified into seven(7)
- Mandala Kushta
- Kakana Kushta.
- Kapala Kushta.
- Pundareeka Kushta.
- Sidhma Kushta.
- Rushyajihwa Kushta.
- Udumbara Kushta.
- Mandala Kushta
Mandala Kushta means the shape of the Kushta is like a Mandala, fixed circular raised patches connected. Mandala Kushta will spread very slowly only.
- Kakana Kushta
Vitiation of all three doshas(Vata, Pitta and Kapha) can be seen in Kakana Kushta and can be curable to an extent only. Kakana Kushta looks like the color of Kakanantika(red color), a flowering plant. Kakana Kushta is severe and excessively painful.
- Kapala Kushta
Kapala Kushta can arise due to the vitiation of Vata dosha. Kapala Kushta looks very hard and rough in touch. Under Kapala Kushta, skin lesions are very painful and are hardly curable. Kapala Kushta got this name because of its shape like the reddish piece of a broken earthen jar.
- Pundareeka Kushta
Pundareeka kushta looks like the petals of a red-colored lotus flower. Kapha dosha and Pitta dosha are the main reasons behind Pundareeka Kushta. Burning sensation is an important symptom of Pundareeka dosha.
- Sidhma Kushta
Silvery scaly lesions are the major feature of Sidhma Kushta. Sidhma Kushta looks like the petals of an Alabu (bottle gourd) flower. Normally Sidhma Kushta affects the chest. Vata and Kapha dosha vitiations are the reasons behind these diseases.
- Rishyajihwa Kushta
Rishyajihwa Kushta looks like the tongue of a Rishya (a type of bear).Rishyajihwa Kushta receives the name because of its shape. The affected skin would be very rough in touch and looks blue-black at the center.
- Udumbara Kushta
Udumbara Kushta resembles an Udumbara fruit(Cluster fig). Vitiation of Pitta dosha is the main reason for Udumbara Kushta and itching, pain, and burning sensations are different symptoms of Udumbara Kushta.
2. Kshudra Kushta
Minor skin diseases are known as Kshudra Kushta. Kshudra Kushta can be classified into eleven and they are:-
- Eka Kushta
- Dadru Mandala
- Eka Kushta
Vitiation of Kapha-dosha is the main factor behind Eka Kushta. Here the lesions are spread over an extended area of the skin.
The affected skin is very hard and rough in touch. The predominance of Vata and Kapha are the reasons for Kitibha disease. Here one can find blackish-brown discoloration of the skin.
Here the skin looks like the skin of an elephant. Also, the skin would be very rough in touch. An increase in the Vata and Kapha doshas causes Charmakyam. The infection spreads in a vast area.
- Dadru Mandala
Redness and intense itching sensations are the main symptoms of Dadru Mandala. Pitta and Kapha predominance is the main reason for Dadru Mandala Kushta.
An increase in Vata and Kapha dosha leads to Vipadika. Cracks in the palm and severe pain are the symptoms of Vipadika.
Kapha dosha predominance causes Vicharchika. Here the symptoms are itching sensations and blackish-brown eruptions.
Redness around the skin with multiple lesions is the major symptom of Shataru. Pitta and Kapha predominance leads to Shataru. Severe pain is the main symptom of Shataru.
Here one can find white colour skin around the lesion and the skin over the lesion would be thin. Pitta and Kapha dosha predominance leads to Sphota.
Intense itching of the affected skin is the main symptom of Pama. Pitta and Kapha predominance cause Pama Kushta. Here the eruptions look white, yellowish, red, and blackish-brown in colour.
Here the symptoms are itching, severe pain, boils, redness around the skin, cracks on the skin, etc. An imbalance of Pitta and Kapha causes Charmadala.
Major symptoms of Alasaka are itching, redness around the skin, boils, etc. Vata and Kapha doshas cause Alasaka.
Maha Kushta and Kshudra Kushta are two types of Kushta. Maha Kushta can be again classified into seven types and Kshudra Kushta can be classified into eleven. Symptoms of each kushta are different and Ayurveda treats Kushta based on its nature.
Ayurvedic Treatments to Cure Kushta
- Ayurveda suggests administering herbal ghee internally is good for Vata related Kushta.
- A person who suffers from Kapha related Kushta, Vamana-emetic therapy is advised by Ayurveda. Vamana Emetic therapy refers to eliminating toxins from the upper channel like the mouth. Vamana therapy used to be done once in fortnight.
- Virechana-purgation therapy is advisable for people who suffer from Pitta dominated Kushta. Virechana -Purgation therapy is a part of Panchakarma therapy. Virechana-Purgation treatment aims to remove body toxins in a controlled manner through the lower pathways. Virechana therapy used to be done once in a month.
- Sodhana therapy is advisable for people who suffer from Bahudosha (more vitiated doshas). Sodhana is a purification therapy and aims to make the balance of all doshas naturally.
- Raktamokshana (bloodletting) therapy aims to remove blood in small amounts to decrease the pitta dosha which is very good for Pitta dominant Kushta. Raktamokshana is to be done in a gap of 6 months.
Apart from these Ayurvedic practices, Ayurveda suggests certain Ahara and Vihara practices to control Kushta.
- Have light, fresh and wholesome foods mixed with ghee.
- Always include leafy vegetables in your diet.
- Avoid wrong food combinations like citrus fruit and milk together; sour curd and milk together, seafood and milk lead to skin infections.
- Intake foods which will easily digest.
- Avoiding long term use of honey, fish, radish may be beneficial.
Vihar ( Lifestyle Changes)
- Always keep your mind so peaceful with positive thinking.
- Avoid too hot and too cold foods.
- Avoid excessive exercises and exercises in the noontime.
- Have a bath with lukewarm water. Bathing in lukewarm water helps to relax your mind, soul, and body.
- One of the best ways to remove acidic wastes which in turn becomes a reason for skin infections, practice the internal purification process through Shankhaprakshalana (Gastrointestinal lavage). Through the process of cleaning the intestinal tract and removing the wastes through salty water, Yoga Asanas (Tadasana, Tiryak tadasana, Kati Chakrasana, Tiryaka Bhujangasana, Udarakarshan, Kakhpadasana) and through healthy diet practices.
Ayurvedic remedies to cure Kushta are Rakthamokshana, Virechana- purgation, Sodhana therapy, Vamana emetic therapy, administering herbal ghee, to follow a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.
All the mentioned information are natural ways to cure Kushta and collected from various Ayurvedic resources. And, always consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before starting self-medication.
- Charaka Samhita Kushta Chikithsa 7th Chapter.
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