Camphor, also known as OCIMMUM KILIMANDSCHARICUM, has been used for centuries to treat malaria and fevers. However, there is more to Camphor than repelling insects and keeping our favourite woollens free of moths and silver-fish.
It is an evergreen tree with a magnificent and beautiful wide-spanning canopy whose branches feature bunches of tiny yellow and white flowers that produce clusters of fruit that are berry like and black in colour. The fruit contains the Camphor seed.
It has been used topically as a pain remedy for inflammation, wounds, tired muscles, joints and relief of rheumatism. Interestingly, long, long ago it was also used in incense form as a treatment for asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. A study undertaken on extracts of Camphor leaves revealed that they were found to have anti-microbial qualities that could manage bacterial strains.
On a visit to India a few years back I focused on the tradition and authenticity of lineages of work in different fields.
At OmVeda, our passion as a company has been to maintain a traditional family of products and treatments as we believe that if these ancient artisans are not supported they will disappear in the plethora of modernity. While we value advances in methods, our modality is based on ancient texts which have been tried and tested over centuries – in fact over 5000 years. This arguably cannot be replaced.
One very unique stop on my journey was Baroda, where I had the pleasure to see first-hand, the making of Sankheda furniture, a classically Gujerati style of furniture. There is a whole village devoted to this art and I toured in awe absorbing the process from raw teak wood to the intricate painting to final product. The people in the village are all largely devoted and grow into this art, each one specialising in an aspect of the process.
While it’s an essential part of our daily routine and personal hygiene, cleansing keeps the skin free of impurities, healthy, fresh and radiant. Instead of using soap, the Ayurvedic tradition is the Uptana, generally a combination of ground herbs and other spices that both cleanse and purify the skin. And, using this powder keeps the skin gently exfoliated and naturally rejuvenating and, afterwards your body moisturiser will absorb better so it can do its work.
We have the perfect solution in our Hibiscus Body Cleansing Powder, a real two in one product that is packed with skin stars of natural and pure finely ground herbs to keep the skin smooth and beautiful.
Bless that Neem Tree, it’s divine!
Good for so many things from soothing skin rashes and purifying the blood to keeping insects at bay, Neem’s uses are endless.
Considered the tree of life and pharmacy tree in India, the leaves and seed oil of the Neem tree have been used since ancient times to treat many issues, both internally and externally.
It has incredible medicinal benefits and plays a major role in Ayurveda for its amazing healing properties. Neem contains high anti-oxidant levels, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-septic properties, all of which makes it an ideal ingredient to support the health and beauty of the skin.
Nurturing special clients
For those clients who are suffering the effects from cancer treatments and for those in remission, the OmVeda individualised treatments help to safely soothe, nurture and comfort. We have a range of treatments for face, body and hair to help soul, spirit and wellness.
Mainstream cancer treatments have a tendency to dry the body internally and externally resulting in very dry skin. The effects of chemotherapy and other drugs can be hard-hitting on the skin resulting in dry, rough and flakey skin.
Cancer clients and those in remission require nourishing facial treatments to help the skin’s vitality and also help build healthy tissues. Rasayanas are herbs and minerals that aid in rejuvenating and nourishing.
If anyone is having problems with their pumps, please click to download a video of how to open the pump.
Replenish and cleanse
Start the day by drinking at least one glass (if not two) of warm water with a squeeze of half a lemon and some thinly sliced ginger. The lemon will alkalize your gut and the ginger will stimulate the agni or fire we sometimes need to help our digestion on cold winter mornings.
We lose water content and fluidity in our bodies with age. In Ayurveda this is known as shukhra and a regular oil massage (or Abhyanga) keeps us juicy and supple inside out. After a morning shower, take some almond oil in the palm of the hands and using long, gentle strokes, massage the oil into the body, moving from the extremities toward the heart.
Breathe and move
Do five sun salutations or a longer yoga practice.
Meditate to help calm the mind and focus.
The granular powder called “besan” is used to slough off dead skin and relieve oiliness. Besan can also be used in place of soap to wash/cleanse the face or mixed with milk and turmeric powder and applied as a mask to the face. After the mixture dries, it is removed with warm water and a washcloth. While the besan scrubs skin, turmeric (an anti-bacterial) cleanses and milk adds moisture.
Natural fragrances can calm, energize or relax, depending on the scent. Sandalwood, called chandanam, is offered as a stick, powder or paste. With natural cooling properties, as well as a woody, sweet aroma. When applied to the skin, it also can moisturize or alleviate stretch marks and scarring.
Dried sambraani, a tree resin, is toasted over an open flame and the smoke is used to scent the hair. The rich, woody smell helps the hair dry faster and may discourage colds and sinus congestion. Other common Indian fragrances include jasmine, hibiscus, coconut and lily.
There are various useful effects apart from the fragrance it imparts to hair. It aids in drying the hair faster. Also, it tends to draw the excess water in the head & face, being a good treatment for those with a heavy head from cold and sinusitis.
Sambraani smoke is also applied to new born babies, after each bath, to assure that the child does not catch a cold.
Special holders in various patterns are available for burning the coal. When sambraani powder is sprinkled on the burning coal, the smoke drifts out through the nozzles on the cover of the holder. Thus it is safe to hold it near head and face.
Ayurvedic Beauty Treatments
Ayurveda is the Indian system of philosophy developed over thousands of years. Ayurveda uses herbs and botanical ingredients to balance the skin, hair and body.
The all natural ingredients used in traditional Ayurvedic beauty care maintains health and keeps the skin vibrant and beautiful.
Found in the hilly areas of India, Indian Madder (or Manjishta, its Sanskrit name) is a herb whose roots, leaves and seeds are widely used in traditional medicine for a variety of ailments including detoxification and to boost circulation. It helps to relieve arthritis and to get rid of build up around the joints and to maintain overall health. It is used in many of our herbal oils and creams to help reduce joint aches, skin disorders such as uneven pigmentation, irritation, freckles, acne and eczema. This amazing herb imparts a colour, dyeing cloth red as well as shades of pink, orange and brown. OmVeda products made using herbs which means that products take on these colours eg Honey Sandalwood Moisturiser, Raksha oil, Pinda Tailum.
Shining hair and sparkling eyes: Indian women are associated with beauty traits beloved worldwide and the Ayurvedic beauty formulations and rituals are a time-tested and totally natural solution.
Beautification became and is a daily ritual, Dinacharya – for cleansing, healing skin problems, covering up imperfections and oral hygiene.
There is a traditional ritual for every stage and age of life which has become a family tradition, passed down from generation to generation.
Ancient remedies are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. More so with the increasing knowledge that artificial and chemical ingredients can be detrimental, not only to the skin but for general wellbeing. What is put on the skin is absorbed, as the skin is the largest organ of the body. Skin is an outer protective covering which protects the face, body and scalp.
One of the main reasons that Ayurvedic skin care products and protocols are taking the spa and beauty worlds by storm is the availability of numerous potent skin rasayanas in the Ayurvedic herbal treasury.