Skin Disease (Kusta)


Indulgence in incompatible food and drinks, excessive intake of liquid, fatty and heavy diet (long term) suppression of the emesis and other natural evacuatory reflexes, (habitually) doing too much physical exercise and exposure to extreme heat after taking heavy meal, drinking cold water immediately after being exposed to the sun, physical exhaustion or fright, indigestion, eating again before the previous meal has been digested, (persistent), non-observance of proper panchakarma procedures, excessive intake of new cereals, yoghurt, fishes and salty and sour foods, (excessive) use of masa pulse, radishes, eatables prepared from ground and pasted grains, sesamum, milk and jaggery, sexual intercourse before the previous meal has been digested, (habitual) day sleep, persecution of  or brahmin’s teachers, and committing other sinful acts (constantly). All these aetiological factors vitiate all  the three humours, vata, pitta and kapha, which afflict the skin, blood, muscles and body fluids – this is the group of the seven body elements responsible for the skin diseases (including leprosy). Thus Kusthas of (seven) major and eleven minor types are produced

Seven major types.

Major kusthas are of seven types three due to vata, pitta and kapha, three due to their dual combinations and of all three dosas together. Though all the skin diseases owe their origin ti the involvement of all the three dosas, their nomenclature / classification is done according to the predominance (of the dosha concerned).


Marked glossiness or roughness of the skin to touch, excessive perspiration and anhidrosis, discolouration, a burning or itching sensation, numbness, pricking type of pain, appearance of raised patches and dizziness ( are the general prodromal features)  the ulcers are very painful and of quick onset, are chronic in nature, remain indurated even after healing and severe complications may occur even on the slightest provocation .(in addition) horripilation  and  blackish discolouration of the blood are also the prodromal features of kustha.


Because of the nidana all doshas vata pitta and kapha are imbalanced if the vata dosha is prominent (above pitta and kapha) then the rasa is vitiated and it effects the skin only,(vataja kusta), if the pitta dosha is prominent (above vata and kapha) then the rakta dhatu is vitiated and this effects the blood, (pittaja kushta), if the kapha dosha is prominent (above pitta and vata) then the medas dhatu is vitiated and this effects the muscles (kaphaja kushta).

When all doshas are vitiated and sapta dhatu are involved it vitiates the ambhu vaha srotas then  becomes maha kusta roga. (sannipatika kushta).

Vicharcika (Eczema).

Eczema is an acute or chronic disease, non-contagious, itching, inflammatory disease of the skin. The skin is reddened, the redness shading off into the surrounding unaffected areas.

According to western medicine the cause is unknown. Eruptions of similar appearance due to ingested drugs or local irritants are referred to as dermatitis medicamentosa, Contact dermatitis or dermatitis venenata. (From Blackiston’s Medical Dictionary).


Food and drinks that are contradictory. Excessively heavy type foods, Suppression of natural urges, particularly vomiting. Exercise immediately after food. Changing from hot and cold and from cold to hot environments rapidly. Eating freshly harvested corn, sour things and fish in excess. Sex before food is digested. Not showing respect to people who are worthy of respect. Improper metabolism. Affected lymphatics. Not undergoing the five elimination’s (pancha karma) when necessary. In samanya samprapti all three doshas are involved. Skin, muscle tissue, lymphatic and eventual presence of germs must be corrected.


Correct food habits and sinful acts; clean the system of waste products. Many skin diseases are psychosomatic; therefore the body and the mind must be treated.

The waste products must be taken out of the body; therefore the bowels have to be cleaned.

  1. Strong purgatives are given to the patient.
  2. Correct the blood and lymphatic. The controlling organ of the lymph is the liver. Give medicines, which correct the function of the liver, i.e. bitter drugs. Bitter substances will remove impurities from the blood and correct the functioning of the liver.

Avoid yoghurt, as this will obstruct the channels of circulation.

Don’t take salt in case of skin diseases; if salt has to given then give rock salt.


These are of two kinds:

  1. External, to kill germs and to heal skin lesions.
  2. Internal, bitter drugs for blood purification, purgation and correcting liver function.

Khadira (Acacia catechu).

Nimba   (Margosa indica).

There are many preparations containing these two drugs.

Haridra (turmeric).

Aloe vera is also very effective if applied externally. Sulphur, which is purified in the Ayurvedic sense, is made into an ointment with vaseline or beeswax. This kills germs.

The prepared sulphur is also used internally for correcting the liver, the doshas, against waste products and for the purification of the blood. ( Take 100mg twice a day with honey on empty stomach. Ready-made Ayurvedic remedies of this type are available).

Sulphur is of hot potency; therefore do not expose the patient to much sun. If too much s or Hg enters the blood this may cause a rash.

To correct this rash, the pulp of the coconut is best. The rash due to S or Hg is rare however, but it may appear.

S is normally good for Kapha prakrti people. But an adverse affect is found in pitta prkrti people only.

Emetic therapy is given on empty stomach, not after eating. After this give:

  • 1st day: thin gruel.
  • 2nd day: thick gruel.
  • 3rd day: and 4th day: vegetable soup.
  • 5th and 6th: meat soup.
  • 7th day: solid food. The first meal after vomiting therapy must be light.

Gandhaka rasayana: a tonic prepared from sulphur. Give 1 tsp twice daily with hot milk or honey.

If the eczema is not cured an Arsenic preparation is given. There is white arsenic, yellow arsenic (orpiment) and red arsenic (realgar).

To prepare yellow arsenic: soak yellow arsenic in the juice of a white pumpkin for seven days. (This white pumpkin juice is also given in the case of arsenic poisoning). After soaking,

The arsenic is triturated, dried, and the process is repeated, this is done seven times. The powder of this purified arsenic is kept inside two mica sheets and then heated on an oven.

Fumes will appear, these should not be inhaled, as they are harmful. The mica is turned over by a spatula, more smoke will come out. When the smoke ceases, let it cool down.

A beautiful red layer called Rasa manikya will be formed. Mix 100mg with honey and ghee and take together. Do not give this medicine to people on the summer.

Honey and milk should be given in large quantities and also ghee. Preferably no salt, if salt is given give rock salt.

Canda marutham is a siddha medicine. This is a preparation of mercury and arsenic. (The name of this medicine actually means hanuman in a state of terrible anger). Don’t give this medicine in summer. The patient may need 2-3 courses of treatment with this medicine.

There are side effects: Salivation ulcers in the urethra and the mouth, difficulty in passing stool, ulcers in mucous joints and eyelids. For correcting these side effects use pulp of coconut, as in the case of sulphur.

Soap is bad in cases of eczema and other skin diseases. Instead use chickpea flour to clean the body.