“Sudu Kabara” or “Speethra” - the indigenous equivalents for Vitiligo or Leucoderma – arouses diverse feelings ranging from anxiety to anguish and pity to revulsion. This is a disorder of the skin where the natural colour is gradually displaced by small white patches that first appear around the eyes, lips, at the finger tips etc, and then spread inexorably to all other parts of the body. Though it does not cause any physical pain or hinder the day to day work, it carries with it a severe social stigma and creates much mental agony.
Causes of Vitiligo
The causes of this disorder vary from fact to fiction. Many a popular belief points to rat, cat or snake bites as the primary cause of this disorder while a despairing few even believe it to be a curse of God. According to Western Medical Science, the actual cause is the gradual erosion of Melanin in cells – the pigment that gives the skin its natural colour. Even the other factors like Diabetes, Chronic Catarrh, and mental stress too can contribute a great deal to the causes of this disease. Though “Sudu Kabara” or Vitiligo is a despair of Western Medicine offering little or no help to its sufferers, ayurvedic medicine has been highly successful in arresting and curing it completely and permanently.
According to Ayurveda, the human body stays healthy as long as the three vital elements – air, bile and phlegm remain in balance. Any imbalance in the composition of these elements will result in man's losing his health. Vitiligo too is symptomatic of such imbalance. According to this classification identified three types named Rheumatic Vitiligo, Bile Vitiligo, Phlegm Vitiligo. But the important factor is any type of vitiligo can cure completely by ayurvedic treatments.
The treatments for the disease consist of application of unguents (ointments) and medicinal oil on the skin and administering of herbal tablets and powders into the body. They aim at regaining the lost balance of the immunity system so that the body can function normally and restore its production of Melanin. As usual with Ayurvedic medicine, there are no side effects or after effects and the cure stays permanent. The medicine can be complemented with the food one takes.
Herbs like “Kathurumurunga” (Coronilla Grandiflora), “Mukunuwenna” (Illecebrum sessile) and fruits such as wood apple together with gruel made with weed rice and curry leaves will greatly enhance the benefits and expedite the healing process. The same way, all types of fish, flesh and fowl as well as pickles and sour fruits are to be strictly avoided. They have adverse effects on the healing process. As Ibne Masooya, the author of the famous book on Unani Medicine Al Mahajeer, writes:
“One who adds milk and fish in his diet, should not blame anybody for his suffering from Vitiligo and Rheumatic pain”
So, proper treatment augmented with disciplined diet will make wonders and cure within a short period this unpleasant skin condition that evokes in many a person a sense of despair and depression.