Rediscovering Siddha treatment for Psoriasis (Kalanjagapadai) with Gandhaga Mezhugu a Siddha Herbo Mineral formulation - A Success story
Rediscovering Siddha treatment for Psoriasis/Kalanjagapadai with Gandhaga Mezhugu a Siddha Herbo Mineral formulation.
Kalanjagapadai is a dermatological problem associated with joint disease as mentioned in the Siddha system of medicine. This condition is expounded by Sage Yugi in his treatise Yugi Vaithiya Chinthamani. It is equivalent to Psoriasis vulgaris in modern classification of diseases. This disease condition is said to affect 2-5% of the general population which means it is a fairly common skin ailment. This condition can be aggravated or influenced by extraneous factors like stress, sunlight, temperature extremes etc.,
Kalanjagapadai or Psoriasis is characterized by scaling, redness and thickness with well defined skin patches. It is supposed to be an autoimmune condition characterized by clearance of psoriatic skin lesions and reoccurrence at ill-defined time intervals. This disease condition owing to the unsightly skin lesions causes a great deal of embarrassment and physical discomfort to the patients and is a tough condition to manage safely and effectively.
In Siddha system of medicine, Psoriasis can be effectively treated with various time tested and safe medicinal formulations. In the OPD of National Institute of Siddha, Chennai many Psoriasis patients report everyday and they are relieved from both the physical ailment and mental stigma attached to it getting a new lease of life. Patients are referred to this institute even from major hospitals from across the country and overseas for safer and effective management. A special institutionally funded research project is being carried out for the treatment of Psoriasis with Gandhaga Mezhugu a Herbo Mineral formulation with sulphur as the key ingredient processed with ginger and white onion juice.
Gandhaga Mezhugu is an internal medicine of waxy consistency with 5 years of shelf life according to Siddha literature. It is administered at a dosage of 500mg two times a day with cow’s milk for a period of 48 days. This course is repeated after a drug holiday of 3-4 days. This cycle is repeated until the last skin lesion is resolved. It usually takes around 2-3 months for the complete resolution of all Psoriatic skin lesions though 80% of the clearance is achieved in an average span of 20 days. While on treatment patients are advised to avoid intake of foods with sour and salt tastes, egg products, fish & sea foods and citrus fruits. Rice, Milk, Greens and Pulses are advised in diet.
The treated patients show maximum response in 20 days. Scaling gets reduced in one or two weeks, redness clears in 30-40 days and thickness is reduced in 60-70 days usually. The patients who are treated with Gandhaga Mezhugu until the last lesion is healed do not have relapse of the condition soon in the follow up. Many patients enjoy a relapse-free period of more than 1-4 years. All in all, Siddha management of Psoriasis with Gandhaga Mezhugu is validated to be a safe and effective mode of treatment in the stigmatizing condition of Psoriasis.
Joint in vitro (cell line - HaCaT) studies mimicking the Psoriasis were carried out by National Institute of Siddha and Anna University at AUKBC, MIT Campus, Chennai showed that the above Siddha drug was effective in reversing the inflammatory drive given by LPS to keratinocytes, an action that was comparable with the TNF alpha blocker etanercept a biologic drug imported from England presently.