Home remedies, herbal treatments and DIY treatments are often looked upon as compromises – some kind of short term fix, perhaps. And when they don’t work, well, one has to eventually turn to “actual” medication or “proper” medical treatment.
Not always, though! There are certain cases where Allopathic medicines and treatments don’t work – and old-world knowledge has to step in to save the day. This is illustrated rather well in a study published in the International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research. As part of this study, researchers looked closely at a common skin condition known as Seborrheic Dermatitis.
This is a skin disease that mainly affects the scalp but can also be found on the forehead, ears, eyelids, armpits and chest. It causes scaly patches, inflamed skin and dandruff on the scalp. It is an itchy condition that causes considerable discomfiture. Modern medicine has tried all kinds of drugs to treat this condition: selenium sulphide; azole group antibiotics like Ketoconazole, Econazole and Clotrimazole; and even strong corticosteroids like Betamethasone Dipropionate. None of these have yielded clinically efficient results.
The study mentioned above found that the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda already contained an effective solution: cold-pressed Mustard Oil, referred to in the ancient treatises as Sarshapa Taila. Researchers found that the heating property of Mustard Oil enables it to penetrate subcutaneous levels of the skin by opening up the pores. The oil has powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. The oil is, therefore, able to penetrate deep inside the epidermis and address Seborrheic Dermatitis in a way in which conventional medicines are unable to do.
Mustard Oil is also an ideal substance for providing relief from itching because it is a natural moisturiser – it removes the dryness and flakiness, and makes the skin soft and supple.
The study also makes one ponder whether the time has now come for us to get deeper into natural remedies and explore the ways in which the ancient science of Ayurveda can be used for interventions in areas where conventional medical treatments fail to work.