Ayurveda Q&A: Gargle honey for mouth sores

Dr Gowthaman, Medical Director, Dr Gowthaman’s Ayurveda Panchakarma Center, Chennai, answers readers’ questions on Ayurveda. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Tuesday.

This week’s answers:

Hello Doctor,

I am 19 year old Bangladeshi male living in the UK. I have had Vitiligo since 11 years old. I applied herbal medication from Bangladesh for 3 years, this re-pigmented many of my patches including around my eyelids.

However it did not re-pigment all patches and after I stopped using it for a while, the patches around my eyelids came back. I have now got the Bangladeshi medication again and am applying it again.

I have now also bought Psoralea Corylifolia oil as well as tablets to consume, and I will use this medicine while getting sun radiation. Is this medication good or worth it?

I just wanted to ask you if there is other types of medication I can take or use? Something that will give me instant results, I don’t care about any side effects.

Many thanks,
Mohammed Chowdhury

Hi Mohammed,

Bakuchi is one of the most effective remedies for Vitiligo. Ayurveda recommeds detoxification therapy for Vitiligo.

Ayurveda detoxification for Vitiligo

Ayurveda adopts three kinds of therapy for Vitiligo depends on the condition, age etc

a. Pacification therapy – with Herbal, Mineral or herbo- mineral medications.
b. Detoxification therapies – Since this disease itself is because of vitiated Pitta dosha, Ayurveda recommends the two fold purification therapies like purgation and bloodletting therapy (Leech therapy)
c. External Application: Smaller and Non / slow spreading patches is usually treated with herbal powder or oil applications. Ayurveda also recommends this type of treatment for Children below 7 years.

Ayurveda texts mentions about many single and compound herbal combinations for Vitiligo. Interestingly, these medicational formulae are very well validated by the modern scientific researches. For example liquid extract of Acacia catechu bark is advised 60 ml every morning by Ayurveda texts for Leucoderma and Vitiligo. This particular practice is very well documented by modern scientific research.

One herb is praised for Leucoderma and Vitiligo in almost all Ayurveda and traditional medicinal texts is Bakuchi / Vakuchi (Psorolia corolifolia) as internal medication, external application etc. This is been used to prepared soaps, external applications, internal medications by both Ayurveda and Modern pharmaceutical companies worldwide. The modern scientific research does agree that this herbal application acts on melanoblastic cells and successfully stimulates it.

Ayurveda Pancha Karma for Vitiligo

Ayurveda recommends its fivefold detoxification therapies for the complete cure for Vitiligo.

a. Therapeutic Vomiting: Vamana is a medicated emesis therapy which removes Kapha toxins collected in the body and the respiratory tract. This is given to people with high Kapha imbalance. Daily treatment involves loosening and mobilizing the toxins in an effort to finally eliminate them.

b. Therapeutic purgation: Virechana is medicated purgation therapy which removes Pitta toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gall bladder; it completely cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract. It is a safe procedure without side effects.

c. Therapeutic enema Therapy: Basti (Enema) is considered as the mother of all Panchakarma treatments since it cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, through the colon. Basti is also highly beneficial as a rejuvenating treatment. Medicated oil or ghee and an herbal decoction is given as enema to clean the colon and increase the muscle tone. This procedure is usually applied for 8 to 30 days, based on the medical condition of a person

d. Therapeutic Nasal Drops: Nasya involves administration of medicated oil through the nose to cleanse accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region. Based on the medical condition of a person, it can be given up to 30 days.

e. Therapeutic bloodletting therapy: Rakta mokshana is procedure to cleanse the blood and is advised only in very rare conditions. It is not advisable during general Panchakarma.

Home remedies for Vitiligo

1. Take 5 teaspoons of turmeric powder and mix in 250 ml of mustard oil and apply on the white patches of skin, twice a day, usually advised for a period of 12-15 months.

2. Application of Sweet Basil leaves extracts with lemon juice, advised for 5-6 months.

3. Most of the Indian traditional practitioners advise water kept in a copper vessel for overnight as diet

4. Eastern India where there is less sun this is widely advised, Tamarind seeds and Psorolia seeds (Bakuchi Seeds) soaked in rice wash water for 7 days. Then grinded into paste and applied on spots gives immediate results. I have a personal experience in this preparation. Very effective how ever for some people it resulted in burning sensation and boils.

5. Fresh Ginger Juice with Bakuchi powder mix – Obese persons and with spots on high muscular areas (Widely advised in India)

6. Application of Raddish (white) seeds with Vinegour is widely practiced in Calcutta. 50 gms of seeds with 15 ml of Vinegour

7. Many parts of Kerala advises Bakuchi Seed powder with Coconut oil as external application

8. some specialised practitioners in Kerala advises the following as diet for 40 days with external applications – 600 gm raw cucumber and 3 betel leaves three times a day and food made from bitter gourd.

9. Ginger Juice with red Clay as external application in karnataka (some parts)


Vitiligo is like cold, cough it can affect any one in any part of life. The western medicine helps in reduction of symptoms and most of the times it ends up with complications. Ayurveda medicines and therapies, diet helps to resolve the condition swiftly and permanently.


I am suffering from melasma diseases

Pl give the remedies on same
Yashwant R Harak

Hi Yashwant,

Melasma is the specialty of Ayurveda. Ayurveda recommends life style modifications for complete cure. Ayurveda external applications like Thiktakam gritam, Acnederm helps. Check your Vitamin D levels, in a study at rVita suggesting Vitamin D contributing a lot.

a. Vinegar: Dilute vinegar equally with water, and use to cleanse and rinse your face. Allow to air dry to seal in moisture. Or, use the vinegar/water mixture in place of an astringent or toner. Vinegar is chemically acetic acid, and is capable of whitening and brightening, as well as making skin smoother and more radiant. It has also long been used for a skin softener. Apple cider or other natural vinegars are recommended, though some people use distilled white vinegar.

b. Onion Juice: To get onion juice, you can finely chop up an onion, or blend it, and squeeze the juice through a cheese cloth. Mix with equal part apple cider vinegar, apply twice daily with a cotton ball and watch for results over the next several weeks. Alternatively, you can cut a slice of onion, dip it in vinegar, and apply it to the pigmentation.

c. Lemon Juice: Applying the juice of a fresh lemon to the pigmentation has a similar effect to the onion remedy – it is acidic and can safely peel off the top layer of skin, causing spots to fade.

d. Onion, vinegar and lemon juice are excellent home remedies to relieve you of age spots, Melasma, pigmentation and discoloration. I found this treatment quite effective for lightening over several weeks – what I didn’t like was the onion smell. Though it was great in a pinch, I didn’t want to have stinky hands and face for life, so I learned of many more natural remedies to combat my Melasma.


I am 29 yrs old girl and my weight is 69kg and height is 147 cm.I am overweight and i have tummy too… i dont do exercise. Please advise me some home remedy which will help me to reduce my weight………Please… My weight is giving me lots of problem and also advice my some home eatable things which will help me to control my hunger.

Thanking you,
Smita Tari

Hi Smita,

As i have discussed many time, Simple apple diet is one of the best weight loss remedies. Take 1 apple before breakfast, 2 before lunch and 2 before dinner followed by your regular meals. This remedy is very effective for people who cannot exercise and dont want to compromise on diet. Please try this for 90 days for better results.

Dear Doctor,

I had what was diagnosed as plantar fascitis on both feet two years ago. It got well and about 7 months ago the right foot started hurting again. this time it seemed more like the ankle was the source of the problem. I am under going chiropractic alignment which is quite gentle and seems to be helping. But the pain in the right foot seems to come and go. I am interested in supplementing chiropractic treatment (which aligns the skeletal system because I have been walking lopsided) with Ayurvedic supplement to heal the connective tissue and musculoskeltal system and relieve pain.

Is Yograj guggulu a good choice or would you recommend a herbal combination ? ( I also have cold feet from time to time).

I am concerned with metals in Ayurvedic supplement such a lead, gold and zinc. Do you recommend something that don’t have these metals? I don’t want to solve one problem and end up with toxicity from metals.

Thank You.
Geetha Krishnan

Hi Geetha,

Please check the Vitamin D. Ayurveda therapies like Ela kizhi, Podi kizhi, Pizchil, Navara Kizhi etc helps a lot. Take 2-3 liters of water, avoid potato, coconut and green chilly in diet. Yoga raja Guggulu is one of the best anti inflammatory medicines prescribed in Ayurveda. However it is hot in nature hence i wont suggest you to take it for long time.

1. Fresh Ginger to ease muscular pain: Ayurveda recommends 5 gm of fresh ginger or 2 gm dried ginger as part of diet to prevent and manage muscular and joint pains. One of research from Denmark has shown Ginger’s positive effects on reducing swelling and stiffness. They have very well documented the physiological results of ‘Gingerols’ which is effective for reducing all kinds of pain

2. Clove for Tooth Ache: Ayurveda was the only system to recommend spices for pain management. Indians very well uses the clove powder or oil to beat the tooth ache and tooth problems. A team of researchers from US have documented the effects eugenol – one of the active components from clove for its anesthetic and anti bacterial effects. They also have documents that the intake of 2 gm of clove powder improves cholesterol ratio, maintains the PH in the GIT Tract which in turn prevents all kinds of oral infections.

3. Vinegar for Heart Burn: Do you know that Ayurveda was the first system to talk about preparing different kinds of Vinegars and its therapeutic and medical effects. Ayurveda recommends 30 ml of Vinegar after a heavy meal can make the digestion and metabolism smoother. One of teams of US colon and digestive disease center have documented the good results of Vinegar especially the Apple cider one. They have found that the mallic and tartaric acids are the components which help in the breakdown of harder, bigger food particles to smaller easily digestible ones.

4. Garlic for Ear Ache: If you are from a village back ground, you would know about this use of Garlic. Traditionally, Garlic is used to treat ear aches. The practice is pouring warm garlic oil 2 drops into the paining ear for 5-11 days heals it completely. In a study conducted by Mexican scientists, it is evident that the active ingredients of garlic like germanium, selenium and sulfur contents have physiological positive effects on pain causing chemicals secreted by common bacterial infection.

5. Cherries for Pain: Ayurveda the science of life recommends cherries as a part of diet to win and prevent pain. Some of the researches have shown that the anthocyanins, which are the active ingredients in any cherries, have ten times more positive effects on Killing pain than common pain killers like Ibuprofen etc. without any side effects.

6. Fish for Stomach problems: Most of us think that Ayurveda is vegetarian system. But the truth is Ayurveda recommends as much as non vegetarian foods for better health. For example, Conditions like Indigestion, Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel syndrome etc Ayurveda recommends as much as 200 gm of specified fish as diet. Ayurveda also opines that the waist size can very well be controlled by fish diet. Modern researches do agree about this as the EPA and DHA are the powerful anti inflammatory chemicals in fish are ten times more effective than the common corticosteroids.

7. Buttermilk for PMS: Ayurveda recommends Buttermilk for Pre and post menopausal syndromes and menstrual pains. One of research conducted in the Yale University has shown the positive results of buttermilk in women gynecological troubles. The richness in calcium helps calm down the physical and psychological irritability in PMS.

8. Reversing Diabetic pain with Turmeric: Ayurveda recommends use of turmeric as a part of diet to prevent the complications of Diabetes and pain. One of the researches has shown positive results of turmeric in healing pain in arthritis and fibromyalgia in Diabetic patients.

9. Salt to ease foot pain: As per the internet research foot pain is the condition affects everyone irrespective of age, sex, region etc. Ayurveda is the first system to recommend salted hot water therapy for foot pain. As many researches has shown the salt’s anti bacterial effects and anti inflammatory properties. One of the research from Stanford University shows that the regular soaking of infected parts in warm salt water acts better than the tropical pain killers and anti biotics.

10. Honey for Mouth Sores: Ayurveda recommends honey gargle for mouth sores. Even as general practice as part of Dina Charya Honey gargle is recommended for better voice, improved speech and to prevent all type oral inflammations and infections. One of the research conducted in the Dubai Medical center suggest that honey gargle heals the mouth sores 47% better than any medicines, creams available in the market. Honey is extremely effective in reducing the inflammation, improving the tissue healing is the verdict of the research

11. Muscle cramps with Tamarind Juice: Ayurveda recommends Tamarind juice to manage acute muscle cramps. An authentic research shows that the potassium deficiency usually leads to muscle cramps and one out of four aged more than 40 suffers from this condition. 50 ml of diluted tamarind juice is effective in bringing back the blood potassium levels – researchers say.

Ayurveda the science of life recommends something called ‘Dina Charya’ – daily regimen for the health and wellness of each and every individual and for the society. Unfortunately, in this fast paced life we not only lost the habit of following it but health benefits of these which led to ill health and innumerable numbers of medicine intake. All these above advises does not require much time, effort or cost. All it required is inclusion as part of diet or practiced as part of day. Even though these remedies look simpler, but the benefits are priceless.

g the pulses and examining the patient, an Ayurvedic practitioner designs a treatment plan to bring the doshas back into balance which in turn addresses obesity swiftly and permanently.

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