Lichen Planus – Causes, Symptoms, and Ayurvedic Treatment

हस्तिचर्मखरस्पर्शचर्म…………………… (अ. ह्र्. नि.१४/२०)

Lichen planus (LP) is a rare, chronic, inflammatory autoimmune skin and mucous membrane disease. It most commonly presents as itchy, shiny, reddish-purple spots (lesions) on the skin (cutaneous LP) or as white-gray lesions in the mouth or on the lips (oral LP). Less commonly, it may also involve the genitals (penile or vulvar LP), scalp (lichen planopilaris), ears (otic LP), nails, eyes, and esophagus. Similar to lichen found growing on trees and rocks in forests, the skin lesions are often flat-topped and can be somewhat scaly, hence the name “lichen” planus.

Skin diseases are collectively described as kushta roga in Ayurveda. Due to its resemblance in signs and symptoms, Lichen planus. seems similar to Charma Kushtha, which is a vata and kapha dosha dominant condition in class of kshudra kushtha. The vitiated dosha affects the skin and its blood circulation affecting the moisture of the tissue. Affected skin, therefore, becomes discolored and thick.

Causes of Lichen Planus

In most affected individuals, the exact cause of Lichen planus is unclear. It is suspected that exposure to infections, drugs, allergens, or injury may sensitize the immune system and cause the immune system to attack skin cells. This initial eruption may persist for weeks to months, and recurrences can continue throughout the individual’s lifetime.

Symptoms of Lichen Planus

Some of the most common symptoms of lichen planus include the following:

  • Purplish-colored lesions or bumps with flat tops on your skin or genitals
  • Lesions that develop and spread over the body over the course of several weeks or a few months
  • Itching at the site of the rash
  • Lacy-white lesions in the mouth, which may be painful or cause a burning sensation
  • blisters, which burst and become scabby
  • Thin white lines over the rash

The most common type of lichen planus affects the skin. Over the course of several weeks, lesions appear and spread. The condition usually clears up within 6 to 16 months.

Less commonly, the lesions can occur in areas besides the skin or genitals. These may include: 

  • Mucous membranes
  • Nails 
  • The scalp

Ayurvedic Reference of Lichen Planus

Ayurvedic Reference of Lichen Planus
Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

Dr. Gupta’s IAFA successfully addresses this condition and provides very safe and effective treatment for Lichen planus. Institute of Applied Food Allergy® aspires to be the destination of choice for people seeking authentic Ayurveda healthcare. IAFA cares about all your concerns related to health.”

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Lichen Planus

A combination of Shodana and Shamana chikitsa, nidan parivarjana, kushthahara dravyprayoga are useful in treating Lichen planus, if it is not so chronic and other conditions are favorable. The drugs with Kapha Vataghna (Doshahara) properties, along with VishaharamKandughnaKushthaghna, and Vranashodhanaropanam (Vyadhihara) properties can be chosen.

Internal Medicines for Lichen Planus

  • Aragwadhadi Kashaya
  • Patolamuladi Kashayam
  • Triphala
  • Jatyadi Ghritam
  • Arogyavardini Vati
  • Panchtikta Ghritam 
  • Mahamanjishthadi Kwatha
  • Mahatiktaka Ghritam
  • Tiktaka Ghritam
  • Mahamarichyadi Tailam
  • Gandhaka Rasayana
  • Kanakabindu Arishta
  • Mustadi Churna
  • Vajrak Taila
  • Raktamokshana

Single Drugs Used in Lichen Planus

  • Vibhitaka (Terminalia bellirica)
  • Surasa (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Shirisha (Albizia lebbeck)
  • Haridra (Curcuma longa)
  • Gandhak (Sulphur)
  • Katuki (Picrorhiza Kurroa)
  • Nimba (Aristolochia indica)
  • Guloochi (Tinospora cordifolia)
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Diet Management in Lichen Planus

Pathya (Do’s)

  • Apply cool compresses instead of scratching
  • Spices such as Turmeric, Ginger, Cumin, Tulsi, Cardamom, and Curry Leaves are all effective at dealing with Lichen Planus
  • Reducing stress and aiming for good mental health is important in tackling this condition
  • Keep skin dry in warm and humid climates as well as wearing cotton clothing and cotton bedclothes.
  • Good sleep is important in order to ensure normal functioning of digestive fire and immunity to toxins

Apathya (Don’ts)

  • Avoid soap or body wash in areas affected by Lichen Planus. Use clear water only. 
  • Avoid spicy, hot, acidic foods or drinks 
  • Avoid very tight clothes
  • Avoid injuries to your skin.
  • Limit the stress in your life.
  • For oral lichen planus, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, maintain good oral hygiene, and avoid any foods that seem to irritate your mouth

Yoga Therapy in Lichen Planus

Postures include,

  • Ustrasana
  • Dhanurasana Baddha konasana

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is Lichen planus?

Answer: Lichen planus is a common inflammatory disorder of the skin characterized by a dense band-like infiltrate on the skin with intense itching.

Question: What are the causes of Lichen planus?

Answer: Exact cause is unknown. But it may be present with many conditions of immunological compromise such as vitiligo, primary biliary cirrhosis, exposure to certain chemicals, and alopecia areata.

Question: What is the Ayurvedic treatment for Lichen planus?

Answer: The principle of management in the different stages of the Kushta (skin diseases) includes eliminative procedures (therapeutic emesis, purgation, etc.), vein puncture, local applications, and internal administration of drugs.

Question: What is the Ayurvedic treatment of Lichen Planus?

Answer: Ayurvedic treatment of Lichen Planus involves a comprehensive approach which involves strengthening of the digestive system, detoxification of the body and rejuvenation.

Question: What are the health tips to deal with Lichen Planus?

Answer: Avoid consumption of spicy, sour, oily, heavy, fried, fermented and processed food, refined sugar, keep yourself away from chemicals, excessive sunlight and reduce stress.

Question: What is the Ayurvedic view of Lichen Planus?

Answer: Due to the resemblance in signs and symptoms, lichen planus can be correlated to charma kushtha. The vitiated dosha affects the skin and blood circulation.


  1. Ashtanga Hridaya Nidana Sthana, Kushta Nidana, Chapter 14, Sloka 20.
  2. Arya MP, editor. Sahasrayoga. Reprint. 1st ed. New Delhi: Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, AYUSH Department, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 2011. Pp. 57-307.
  3. Varier PS. Chikitsa Samgraham. 3rd ed. Kerala: Arya VaidyaSala, Kottakkal; 1996. pp. 34-5. 43.
  4. Sharma RK, Dash B. Charak Samhita, Chikitsasthanam. Ch. 7, Ver. 22. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Series Office; 2012. pp. 329-30.
  5. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Aspects of Allergies and Fungal Infections, Edition 2021, Lichen Planus Chapter No. 44, Page No. 277-282.

Dr. Gupta’s IAFA aspires to be the destination of choice for people seeking authentic Ayurveda healthcare. IAFA cares about all your concerns related to health.

Uncompromising Excellence. Commitment to Care…!!! Dr. Gupta’s IAFA for your future health.

Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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