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THE PHARMA REVIEW (DECEMBER 2008)

Vitiligo and Its Herbal Treatment

Faraz Raza Ansari, Sanjar Alam, Peeyush Jain, Sohail Akhter, M. Z.H. Ansari

Introduction: It is a pigment disorder characterized by circumscribed loss of melanin pigment secondary to melanocyte attrition. It is a acquired, sometimes familial condition, an autoimmune diseases in majority. Vitiligo is associated with other autoimmune disease such as thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, pernicious anaemia.

History
The term "vitiligo" has been derived from the latin word "vitelius" meaning calf. The characteristic white patches of spotted calf. The term was first used by Celsus, a roman physican of 2nd century A.D.The earliest information regarding the disease has been obtained from Trikh-e-tibbe-iran during the period of Aushooryan (2200 BC). After that, information has further been obtained from Ebers papyrus (1550 BC) in which two types of pigmentary dilutions have been distinguished. One type had tumors and mutation and the other type only change of colour. The former represented leprosy and the later vitiligo which according to Ebers Papyrus was treatable. In the sacred Indian book Atharva Veda dating to 1400 B.C. the condition "shweta kustha" was referred to vitiligo. white spots were also described in greek literature; heradotus (484-425 B.C) wrote in Clio 1:138 in 449 B.C. from the far east in Makatominoharai, a collection of Shinto prayers dating from 1200 B.C. "shira bito" or white man is mentioned. In the Buddhist sacred book Vinay Pitah (624-544 B.C.) "Kilas" is mentioned; those afflicted with Leucoderma could not be ordained.

Etiology
Genetic: A genetic factor is definitely important, as about 30% of patients have a positive family history. Inheritance may be polygenic.
Autoimmune hypothesis: vitiligo is frequently associated with autoimmune disorders. Antibodies to melanocytes have also been demonstrated, suggesting an autoimmune pathogenesis.
 
Neurogenic hypothesis: This theory suggest that a toxin which destroys melanocytes, is released at the nerve endings.

 

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