There are numerous herbs described in Ayurvedic science that are specifically very useful for all kinds of skin diseases. In Ayurveda, excess pitta in the body is known to be one of the main reasons for skin diseases. Today I will give you Top 9 powerful herbs for skin, that can cure any skin disease, be it eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo, hives, acne, boils, rashes or any other by pacifying pitta and clearing the liver and blood of toxins. These herbs are generally good for all skin related problems, no matter how severe it is.
1. Manjishtha – Medicinal Plants For Skin Diseases
Manjishta also known as Indian madder or Rubia Cordifolia, is a prickly climber found in the Indian subcontinent. The roots of manjistha are red in colour and in earlier times, was also used widely as a dying agent. The red roots of manjistha are highly revered in Ayurveda as well the traditional Chinese medicine.
In Ayurveda, this herb is known to be highly effective in clearing toxins and imbalances from the rasa and rakta dhatu (out of the seven dhatus of human body in total i.e Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Meda, Asthi, Majja, Shukra meaning plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nervous tissue, male and female reproductive tissue). Manjistha pacifies aggravated pitta and breaks the excess congestion created by kapha. It is also an excellent herb for supporting the female reproductive system and brings the female system to balance. It detoxifies the skin and is very helpful for skin whitening, lightening scars, skin allergies. When applied topically, it combats dry skin, rashes, itchiness, and inflammation.
Manjistha is very useful for day to day skin issues and is an important ingredient of Mahanarayan Oil and Pinda Oil.
2. Kutki / Katuka Herb For Skin
Kutki / Katuka or Piccorrhiza Kurroa is a highly effective liver tonic and hepatoprotective in nature, which is beneficial in treating more than 20 types of liver diseases including liver cirrhosis and fatty liver disease. It balances the liver enzymes and brings them to normal levels, clears toxins from the liver. It is extremely bitter in taste hence also called katuka derived from the Sanskrit word “katu” means bitter.
Kutki regulates the excess production of bile in the liver which is considered a symptom of excessive pitta in the liver. In Ayurveda, excessive pitta is considered one of the main reasons for almost all types of skin diseases. Katuka is cooling in nature and it pacifies pitta which controls problems like rashes, hives, eczema, atopic dermatitis, itchiness and inflammation of the skin.
Kutki is used successfully in the treatment of jaundice and viral hepatitis. It also lowers long-standing high fevers, boosts immunity, regulates bowel movements, reduces constipation due to its mild laxative property and improves appetite as well. Read my detailed article on kutki and how I resolved my personal problem of eczema using this herb.
Khadira/Khair also known as Acacia Cetachu is an excellent Ayurvedic skin tonic. It is also called black Cutch and Cachou in English. It is bitter and astringent in taste and is cooling in nature. It pacifies kapha and pitta doshas. The decoction Khadirarishta mainly made from Khadira is used both for consuming as well as taking a bath in case of severe skin problem.
In Vedic texts, Khadira is described as a Kushthaghna, which is the Sanskrit name for a group of medicinal plants that cure skin diseases. In addition to khadirarishta, Mahakhadira ghrita, Kanakabindu arishtam and Khadiradi Gutika, Lavangadi vati, Samvardhana ghrita are indicated in skin disorders. The paste of khadira can be applied externally for relief in skin disorders. It is also an ingredient for a lot of Ayurvedic oils for external application eg. Erimedadi Taila.
Khadira is also excellent for diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract. It is anti-diabetic, blood purifying, anti-oxidant, an anti-bacterial agent, antimycotic and anti-diarrhoeal.
4. Bakuchi – Medicinal Plants For Skin Diseases
Bakuchi / Babchi, also known as Psoralea Cordifolia is a plant used for ages in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for the treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis, leukoderma, skin rashes, skin infections and allergies. It is known as kushtanashini, which in Sanskrit means ‘destroyer of leprosy’. The powder of Bakuchi seeds is used internally for leprosy and externally in the form of paste and ointment. It improves the colour of skin and complexion. Babchi oil extracted from seeds, promote pigmentation and support the stimulation of melanin pigments in the skin structure.
Note: Bakuchi seeds should not be used without purification. It can have drastic side effects for not used correctly. Read here for more details on this herb and how to purify it.
5. Lodhra – Herbs For Skin
Lodhra or Lodh is a tree found northeastern hilly areas of the Indian subcontinent. The root of the tree is highly revered in Ayurveda for treating mainly women health and liver-related issues. Due to its effect on liver health, it is known to show beneficial properties of skin related problems as well. It is sheeta (cool) and laghu (light) in nature, which contribute to its pitta pacifying properties. It also balances vata dosha.
Lodh is an important ingredient in all Ayurvedic skin related products, because of its amazing ability to heal bad skin. Lodhra powder paste, when applied on the skin, clears blemishes, pimples, marks and black and whiteheads and acne due to its astringent properties. Lepa (paste) made from the bark is also very beneficial in curing skin diseases like Leprosy and Eczema. Lodhra powder balances the pH levels of the body and skin which is beneficial in faster healing of wounds as well.
Other benefits of Lodh include curing female reproductive organs related issues, dental problems, eyesight issues, haemorrhages, and increases bodily strength.
6. Sariva Herb For Skin
Sariva / Anantamool (Hemidesmus Indicum) or Indian Sarsaparilla is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic herb, sweet in taste and cooling in nature, known for its skin curing properties found especially useful for controlling acne. It is considered a raktashodhak (blood purifier), Vishaghna (antitoxic – neutralizing poison), Krimighna (a group of herbs that kills worms and parasites). It also has antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is cool (Sheetal) in nature and is known as a kushthara. It balances all three doshas.
Due to its blood purifying properties and coolant properties, the roots of Sariva are considered great for skin problems like acne, itching, redness. It is also an active ingredient of Pinda Thailam which is an Ayurvedic oil with pitta pacifying properties used for skin eruptions, rashes, redness, paresthesias and burning feet. Sariva is also described as varnya, which is a plant that improves the complexion of the skin, making it brighter and more easy on the eyes.
Sariva is also used in the treatment of gout, arthritis, glandular swelling, chronic rheumatic disorders, UTI, dysuria, syphilis, burning sensation, leucorrhoea and cough.
7. Kuth – Medicinal Plants For Skin Diseases
Kuth root / Costus or Saussurea Lappa is an integral herb in Indian Ayurvedic system for its anti-viral, anti-cancer, hepatoprotective, anti-ulcer, and vermifugal and febrifugal properties.
Kuth root is a ‘Ramban’ for wrinkles, acne, and dark spots on the skin. Just make a paste of the root made with water and apply on the affected area and you can feel the difference in a few weeks. The root can also be used for healing wounds that are not healing for a long time. Costus is mentioned in Unani medical book ‘Khazain-ul-advia’, where many ways of using this herb for skin diseases is written. It is mentioned that applying the juice of the leaves of Kuth tree, can be used to treat eczema, rashes, redness, itching, acne.
Caution: Kuth has a tendency to increase the blood pressure so it should only be ingested in expert guidance of a trained Ayurvedic professional.
Ratanjot, commonly known as Alkanet, is a plant which was used in ancient times for the red colour dye that its root produce. It was used as a food colouring agent (especially for rogan josh which is a mutton dish with a deep red colour), in addition to being used to colour wines and alcoholic tinctures, vegetable oils, cosmetics, and varnishes, but later the health benefits of this amazing herb also became renowned.
Alkanet is used in many commercial beauty products for the face. This is due to its amazing ability to heal scars and marks from the skin. Regular use of ratanjot infused oil on the skin can even remove marks as bad as sunburn and any other burn marks. It can also be used as a powerful sunblock.
It has antiviral and antibacterial properties and is also cool in nature and pacifies the aggravated pitta in the body. Ratanjot is also very effective in removing pigmentation, wrinkles and bacterial infections like ringworm, herpes and eczema. It has a skin lightening effect.
Apart from skin issues, it is also considered great for hair fall, premature greying of hair, baldness, piles, dental problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and insomnia.
9. Chirata – Herbs For Skin
Chirata (Swertia Chirata) is a bitter Ayurvedic herb which is mainly quite known for its anti-diabetic properties. It is very beneficial for skin diseases due to its blood purifying and antioxidant properties. It cleans the blood of toxins, which improves the skin quality, and reduces impurities and problems like acne, blemishes, pimples, dark and uneven skin, rashes, itching, burning sensation, redness, dullness and dryness.
Its other uses include treatment of constipation, loss of appetite, intestinal worm infestation and fever. It detoxifies the liver, and also slightly helpful in weight reduction as it can help boost the metabolism.
Caution: Any herb that lowers the blood sugar levels should be taken under expert guidance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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