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Causes and Symptoms: If white patches appear on the skin, the disorder is known as leucoderma (literally, white skin). There is a localised loss of pigmentation of the skin. The white patches on the skin are painless, but from a cosmetic point of view they are a nuisance. A leucoderma patient is more embarrassed than the victim of any pain or discomfort. In addition to being a medical problem , it also becomes a social stigma.

Person suffering from chronic dysentery and other digestive disorders are more prone to leucoderma than others. Many wrong beliefs are prevalent about the causative factors of leucoderma. It is not caused by eating fish and drinking milk at the same time, as is the belief of some people because even vegetarians are prone to it. Even thought the nexus between digestive disorders and leucoderma has not been clinically established, there does appear to be a connection between the two. That is why if a person suffering from leucoderma is found to suffer from digestive disorders also, the latter should be treated first.

Remedies: After the initial period of six months the disease is easily curable, but if it is left untreated, it may become intractable. The seeds of Babchi are particularly useful in cases of leucoderma. The seed should be steeped in juice of Ginger or a cow's urine for three days: the fluids must be renewed after every 24 hours. The seeds should then be rubbed with hands to remove their husk. They should then be dried in the shade and powdered. One masha of the powder should be taken every day with fresh milk for 40 days continuously. The ground seeds should be applied to the white spots.

Equal weights of Babchi and Tamarind seeds should be steeped in water for three t ofour days, shelled and dried in the shade. They should be ground and applied to the white patches on the skin for a week. If the paste causes itching it should be discontinued. When the white spots become red and a fluid begins to ooze out of them the application should be stopped. If there is no reddening or itching, Babchi seeds should be taken internally for forty days.

Another useful application is the juice of the leaves of Goose Foot (Bathua). It should be applied to the white spots thrice to four times a day.

Regimen: The patient must be kept on a salt-free diet; the absence of salt aids recovery. Only rock salt may be permitted in minute quantities. Vegetables like bitter gourd are beneficial for such patients. Exposure to heat should be avoided.


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