According to your expertise as a wellness pro specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, could you please tell me the reasons hair falls out in women?
According to Ayurveda, the hair is derived either as a by-product or produced as a breakdown product of Asthi (bone tissue). Any disturbance in this tissue metabolism, which very much depends on the digestive fire, can affect the health of the hair. To a certain extent, the quality of hair depends on the body constitution.
The major causes of hair loss/hair fall are hormonal, nutritional deficiencies and complications relating to some diseases and medications.
Hormone related hair loss may also result from an increased sensitivity of hair follicles to male hormones or due to greater number of male hormone receptors attached to the hair follicles. This is the component that is inherited through the genes — termed as Pitta constitution.
For example an excess of Pitta Dosha in the body is increased by hot climatic conditions, excessive intake of spicy, salty and sour food, hot and sharp food, tea, coffee, alcohol, meats and excessive smoking. Eating too much fried, oily, greasy, and acidic foods also aggravates Pitta. Pitta balancing herbs (Eg: Shatavari —Asparagus) and vegetables which improves the quality of Asthi dhathu (Eg: bitter vegetables) are effective in treating hair loss/hair fall.
Unfortunately, hair loss has become more common in modern times. Our stressful lifestyles, increasing environmental pollution and unhealthy food habits are all factors that cause damage to our health and, as a result, are reflected in the quality of our hair.
There are three main reasons for hair loss.
Firstly, anyone with an imbalance in Vata dosha is more prone to hair loss. The Vata dosha is responsible for movement and transportation of food nutrients through the empty channels and spaces of the body. Excessive or imbalanced Vata dosha can result in an obstruction in the flow of the food nutrients that supply nourishment to the hair cells, leading to a dry scalp, dry hair, split ends, and finally thinning hair or hair loss.
Secondly, healthy hair also depends on healthy bones. This is because hair and nails are by-products of the process of transformation from food to bones.
The third reason for hair loss is ageing, from about 60 years onwards. This later time in life is governed by Vata dosha, which as I have mentioned earlier, results in increased hair loss.
Other factors, also associated with Vata dosha, include: genetics/Vata body type, severe illness, post-pregnancy; rapid weight loss (which can result in slow but significant hair loss), worry, anxiety and stress, dry scalp, severe and uncontrollable dandruff, irregular lifestyle routine, excess travelling, variable eating habits, lack of sleep, eating cold foods, deep-fried foods, packaged, processed, canned or frozen foods, too much sugary foods or foods with chemical additives.
All of the above can disturb the digestion and create digestive toxins resulting in an increase in Vata dosha.
Other causes include smoking, excess alcohol, consuming too much vinegar, pickles, carbonated drinks and spicy foods. In addition, pulling the hair back or up too tightly, using hair rollers, hot and over blow-drying, using too many harsh hair dyes, chemical shampoos, setting gels and hair sprays and, using polluted water for drinking and hair washing.
There are a number of other causes for hair loss/fall such as illness, high stress, thyroid imbalance, certain drugs, sudden weight loss and high fever.
Those with a Kapha dosha do not usually have a major problem with hair loss as they tend to be calm and generally have strong bones.
A diet high in protein and rich in iron is recommended for hair loss. An adequate intake of fresh raw vegetables, including green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and salads should be included in the diet on a regular basis.
Topically, OmVeda recommends home care treatment of:
A natural herbal shampoo (such as our Amla Shampoo) to cleanse the hair and nurture the scalp. Amla (Embilica officinalis) and Shikakai (Acacia concinna) are excellent for washing the hair. OmVeda Amla Shampoo – 150mls V – Omveda
Oiling and massaging of the scalp is also very beneficial in reducing, controlling and further preventing hair loss. Pure, herbalised oils such as the OmVeda Neelini Hair Oil or Brahmi Hair Oil are beneficial. The oil is applied to the scalp, massaged gently into the roots and left on overnight.
Using Ayurvedic medicine principles, what would you suggest to remedy the hair loss issue?
For best results a holistic approach is recommended. A change in food and eating habits and lifestyle are quite often necessary.
In severe cases, taking herbs internally as prescribed by an Ayurvedic Doctor or Naturopath is highly recommended.
Whether Pitta or Vata imbalance, the external herbal solution is to use the appropriate Herbal Hair Oil eg OmVeda OmVeda Neelini Hair Oil which can be used by both or OmVeda Brahmi Hair Oil for Vata as it contains Gota Kola and Valerian with Brahmi which helps to reduce stress. The Brahmi Oil is also good for jet lag which can contribute to excess Vata disorder.
Highly beneficial is massaging oil into the scalp and leaving it on for a minimum of 1 hour (overnight is best). Washing the hair with either OmVeda Amla Shampoo (Vata), Henna Shampoo or Green Apple Shampoo for Pitta. Henna has cooling properties and helps to reduce heat in the scalp.
A must for Pitta is the OmVeda Hair Tonic which is a non-oily tincture for daily use. It contains Mint, Triphala and Bael Fruit that together helps to cool the scalp and promote hair growth. OmVeda Hair Tonic – 100mls V – Omveda
Would you suggest different hair-loss defence tactics for different Doshas? Can you elaborate?
Diet would be different for Vata and Pitta. The strength of scalp massage would also vary. For example Vata slow with light pressure ~ Pitta medium pressure and strength and a vigorous massage is best for Kapha doshas, as they require stimulation.
In the salon we would recommend:
Our Shirodhara treatment, particularly for an imbalanced Vata dosha, which displays signs of stress, hair loss, insomnia, anxiety and fear, for example. Shiro means head and dhara – flow of oil, so Shirodhara translates to the flow of oil on the head. This 45 minute to 1 hour treatment uses a specific herbalised oil to help calm the mind and balance or cool diminished doshas within the body. It is said to release serotonin resulting in an overall sense of well-being and relaxation.
Another is our Hair Spa Treatment which combines a warm oil scalp massage using a customised herbal oil (either the OmVeda Brahmi Oil or Neelini Oil) and the Neelini Hair Mask. Following the hair mask, the head is wrapped in muslin and kept warm to allow the goodness of the herbs to be readily absorbed. After which the hair and scalp are cleansed with the Amla, Henna or Green Apple Shampoo and the scalp spritzed with the OmVeda Hair Tonic.
Vayasthapana means maintaining youthfulness or arresting age. Vayasthapana herbs give support to the skin by balancing the skin, example, Centella Asiatica (brahmi, Indian pennywort) is rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids, and numerous potent phytochemicals. Extracts have been found to calm inflammation, speed wound healing, stimulate new cell growth, build collagen, and improve circulation. One of its many properties is to enhance collagen synthesis.
Varnya means to brighten skin glow. – Varnya herbs have the ability to enhance the radiance or brighten skin. Tyrosinase inhibition, is the most commonly reported method of skin lightening and brigtening. Dull skin is not considered youthful from an ayurvedic perspective. Varnya herbs include sandalwood, vetiver, Indian madder and Indian sarsaparilla to name a few.
Kantivardhaka promotes lustre, Sandhaniya (cell-regeneration), Vranaropana (deep healing) – red sandalwood and brahmi, Tvachya (nurturing) Gotu Kola, Silk Cotton Tree, Costus and Rose Petal are the most widely used, Shothahara (anti-inflammatory), Tvachagnivardhani (strengthening skin metabolism) and Tvagrasayana (retarding aging) herbs that are considered beneficial for skin health.
Feeding the skin properly is very important to prevent it aging.
Ayurveda described Skin (twak) in seven layers (As per Acharya Susruta). The outermost layer is called Avabhasini, reflects the complexion and the quality of the Rasa Dhatu (nutrient fluid, the first of the seven tissues of the body). It also acts as a mirror as it indicates whether the physiology as a whole is balanced or imbalanced, and whether there is inner health or disorder; it also reflects the aura of the individual. Mamsadhara is the innermost layer is the platform for the skin’s stability and firmness. When this layer is in balance, the skin looks young and supple.
According to Ayurveda, many factors decide skin health – three important body tissues that reflect our skin health– plasma (Rasa), blood Rakta and muscle (Mamsa). Plasma keeps the skin healthy, Blood helps in detoxification process along with the liver, while muscles provide firmness to the skin. An effective skin-care herbs should provide support to all these three areas.
A few herbs that are known for their benefits in various skin conditions are aloe vera, neem, Yashti madhu (Glycyrriza glabra), Liquorice, turmeric
Anti-inflammatory (Shothahara) – protects the skin against allergens, inflammatory subtances, chemicals and stress. External environmental factors can cause inflammatory skin conditions. Inflammatory skin is considered a prime cause of aging – it forms a micro-scar that over time develops into a wrinkle or blemish. Inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins, cytokines and growth factors target skin texture, integrity and tone. The skin should be protected from the sun. Rose petal, Aloe Vera, Gum resin exudates of Boswellia serrata (indian frankincense), Silver Bhasam are anti inflammatory herbs have been used in the Ayurvedic to manage several inflammatory conditions.
Tvagrasayana means literally ‘skin rasayana’, which refers to refined and powerful formulations to prevent aging of the skin. Phyllanthus emblica (amalaki), a potent antioxidant, rich in Vitamin C, tannins and gallic acid, is foremost amongst the rasayana herbs, it has properties like ajara (usefulness in aging), ayushprada (prolongs cell life), sandhaniya (improves cell migration and cell binding) and kantikara (improves complexion)
What you use on your skin is as important as what you eat. Our aim is to provide you with skincare – “from the earth to your skin as is food for your body”
Understanding anti aging from an ayurvedic perspective
Natural and Organic Skin, Body and Hair Care.
We get so many people saying we want to change to natural products which are organic. The truth is there is a plethora of “green products “ and quite often very confusing. Eventually one arrives at a beauty routine that suits them.
We thought it pertinent to generically provide some information on this topic. Remember marketing words are often used to provide a perception and it is up to you to analyse what is and what is not. The most common words are natural, certified organic, organic, wild harvested, wild crafted to name a few. Then someone comes up with a new catch phrase and that becomes the buzz.
One has to remember that is no regulation by any governing body to state that the word natural is defined, so a brand can use natural as a marketing ploy.
Natural skin care can be products that are sourced from plants (plant based), minerals or animal by products (like Lanolin oil which is a secretion from sheep’s skin. It’s similar to human sebum, an oil secreted by the sebaceous glands that you may notice particularly on your nose. Unlike sebum, lanolin contains no triglyceride) . This means a product that contains a handful of natural skin care ingredients can claim it’s natural, despite the addition of synthetic ingredients.
As a discerning buyer reading the ingredients should become a habit. Usually the list of ingredients is from highest to lowest percentages. Some synthetic ingredients are naturally derived like benzyl alcohol used as preservative and is from plants.
Organic Skin Care vs Certified Organic Skincare.
Organic refers to a plant that is grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides, antibiotics or growth hormones. There is no single accredited body that governs the regulation , but in Australia brands must comply with the ACO guidelines – Australian Certified Organic. To make that claim a formulae must have 70-95% ingredients that are organic. To use Certified Organic the rules are stricter and a product must have 95-99% organic ingredients. They usually have the BUD logo.
Saffron has photoprotective and moisturizing effects. It contains flavonoid compounds like kaempherol and quercetin, which could be contributing. Saffron’s photoprotective effects may also be due to its other phenolic compounds, such as tannic, gallic, caffeic, and ferulic acids. A few of these compounds are used as active ingredients in various sunscreens and skin lotions
Saffron helps to lighten and brighten the complexion particularly in conjunction with Turmeric. Our Saffron Oil has both ingredients and has been effectively as both moisturing and brightening. The Gold Toner with its aroma of saffron gives a glow to the skin. The exotic saffron is a beauty aid used by queens and princesses. This spice can be used to get beautiful skin that you’ll feel proud to flaunt.
Saffron or Kesar is used in cooking, and has also earned a reputation as a beauty aid. The potassium in it helps with cell formation and repair. Saffron benefits skin because it contains many vitamins and antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin. It is anti-inflammatory and helps soothe the skin. Its antifungal properties can be used to treat acne. It will help with blood circulation, help lighten, hydrate and soften the skin leaving your skin with a healthy glow.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Recently there has much talk about its pharmacological activity and medicinal properties.
As per the writings of Hippocrates (often regarded as the Father of medicine), saffron is a wonderful treatment for colds and coughs, stomach issues, uterine bleeding, insomnia, flatulence, and even heart trouble.
The cooking tips:
You can do this by grinding the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle. If you find it difficult to grind the threads due to the moisture content, add a pinch of sugar to them and then grind. This will make grinding easier without affecting your recipe.
You can make liquid saffron by adding 3 to 5 teaspoons of warm or boiling water to powdered saffron and allow it to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Store it in a jar for a few weeks and use it when needed. Liquid saffron can also be prepared with milk, vinegar, or wine instead of water. It is usually added to other ingredients towards the end of cooking to draw out the colour and disperse the flavour throughout the dish. There is nothing like the aroma of saffron from food – quite aphrodisiac.
You can also make saffron milk. You need 1 cup of boiled milk, a pinch of saffron, and 2 teaspoons of sugar (if needed). Add the sugar and saffron to boiled milk. This saffron milk tea can be a good addition to your regular routine.
Microbead free exfoliation made with ayurvedic herbs
Ancient remedies are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. Arguably with the increasing knowledge that artificial and chemical ingredients can be detrimental not only to the skin but for general wellbeing as well. What is put in the skin is absorbed and is an outer protective covering which includes face, body and scalp.
One of the main reasons for Ayurvedic skin care products and protocols taking the spa and beauty worlds by storm is the availability of numerous potent skin rasayanas in the Ayurvedic herbal treasury. Skin rasayanas (rasa – essence, ayana – enter) are so called because of their ability to deliver penetrating holistic benefits to the skin without side effects or the damage caused by a fragmented approach to skin health. Whatever your skin type or needs for balance, there are Ayurvedic skin rasayanas that can help. Further, when used in combination, as is the Ayurvedic tradition, you derive the added benefit of synergy, with the combined formulation being exponentially more beneficial than any single herb in the formulation. These rasayanas should be seen as nutritional supplements to provide support to the skin- face, body and hair in topical formulations for the skin where they deliver their benefits trans-dermally. It should be noted that true ayurvedic formulations for internal or external use are only effective when used in combination with other herbs to help alleviate or balance a problem.
The therapeutic value of the rasayanas is maximized when they are used in natural topical formulations in combination with emollients such as milk, cream, yogurt or honey, exfoliating substances such as natural clay, salts, grain or lentil flours, vegetable base oils, and floral waters or pure vegetable oils to act as the yogavahi – the carrier of the healing values of the herbs to the cells and tissues. Both the herbs themselves, as well as the other ingredients in the formulations, can be chosen specifically for a skin type, or balanced to suit all skin types. Formulations that are tridoshic – suitable for all skin types – generally have many more herbs and ingredients to avoid aggravating an individual dosha (body type). The herbs should not be exposed to high temperatures, and should be of high quality and fresh. Formulations that add herbs to chemical bases or that contain artificial preservatives or fragrances are not as effective in maintaining skin health and appearance because the herbs in such formulations are not as active or have been processed. Just as processed food is said to have less nutrients than fresh food
Vata skin, space or air predominant, is delicate and tends to be naturally dry. Skin rasayanas that benefit Vata skin are mainly nourishing, with subsidiary properties such as enhancing natural glow or purifying the skin. Such herbs also balance Vata dosha in the physiology, calming and settling the mind and supporting stress management and mind/body coordination so that the ravages of worry and excessive mental pressure do not show up on the skin as fine lines, sagging and bags under the eyes. Nourishment and deep, ongoing rehydration are essential if Vata skin is to look healthy, plump and youthful.
Brahmi (Bacopa), Shatavari (Indian Asparagus), Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Gotu kola (Indian Pennywort) and Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry) are potent Vata-pacifying skin rasayanas that help support skin elasticity, moisture balance, texture and radiance. They are ultra-nourishing, helping to regenerate skin cells and keep skin looking youthful. Triphala, made from equal parts of Indian Gooseberry, Beleric Myrobalan and Chebulic Myrobalan, are also excellent for Vata skin because it combines nourishment with a gentle detoxifying effect that enhances skin clarity. Topical formulations for Vata skin infuses these herbs with nourishing oils using traditional methodology that make the formulation effective.
Pitta skin, fire predominant, is sensitive and is generally neither dry nor oily. Skin rasayanas that support the health of Pitta skin are mainly cooling and soothing, with some element of nourishing and purifying as well. These rasayanas also balance Pitta in the physiology, balancing the emotions and strengthening the heart/mind coordination so that the inner serenity and emotional balance are reflected on the skin as a healthy glow and brightness, and angry eruptions, redness are avoided by the inclusion of herbs that help constrict capilleries, cool and calm the skin. Pitta skin also requires protection, because it tends to be more photosensitive than other types of skin.
Amla, Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba), Kumari (aloe vera), White Sandalwood, Red Sandalwood and Lajawanti (Mimosa Pudica) are considered the pre-eminent Pitta-pacifying skin rasayanas. They draw out excess heat, support the skin’s natural ability to withstand the ravages of the environment, and keep skin clear and healthy. They nourish sensitive skin tissue without irritating it. Triphala, Manjistha (Indian Madder) and Neem are also helpful for Pitta skin because they purify and clarify the skin without depleting it of moisture or youthfulness. Topical formulations for Pitta skin combine these herbs with soothing oils.
Kapha skin, water or earth predominant, is oily, and tends to be congested and susceptible to attracting dust and grime. Skin rasayanas for Kapha skin are therefore first purifiers that detoxify and clarify, with subsidiary properties of being nourishing and rejuvenating. These herbs also balance Kapha dosha in the physiology, invigorating the mind and body so that the skin appears alive and vital, and reducing the congestion that dulls Kapha skin.
Neem, Manjistha (Indian Madder), Triphala, Tulsi (Holy Basil), Cloves and Turmeric are potent Kapha-balancing skin rasayanas. They help detoxify the skin while nourishing it at the same time. They balance oil content in the skin and enhance clarity and brightness. Because of their effective detoxification properties, these rasayanas keep Kapha skin squeaky clean, so that it stays healthy and naturally radiant. Topical formulations for Kapha skin combine these herbs with light oils.
Tridoshic formulations which means for all skin types draw on skin rasayanas from each group to offer the combined benefits of nourishment, detoxification, protection and balanced temperature.
Ayurvedic formulations in the form Lotions and Creams do not have water in them, therefore they appear to be thick in consistency. The base is generally oil in which herbs are infused for maximum potency and beeswax. The importance of this is that they should be viewed as concentrates and can be made lighter on application by using wet fingertips to massage the them in. Massaging the cream or lotion helps the skin to absorb the goodness and impart the benefits resulting in healthy skin.
Some of the most popular herbs used in beauty care their uses:
Turmeric (Haldi) – Curucuma Longa:
Turmeric is mainly used to ensure glowing, bright skin. Turmeric face masks are extensively available for their skin-friendly treatment that prevents bacterial infection. Turmeric pastes cure pigmentation, maintain the pH factor and are constantly applied on the neck, face and over-all body to enhance the complexion and brightness of skin.
White Sandalwood (Chandan) – Santalum Album:
The external application of chandan is through oil, powder and paste derived from the herb. The aromatic essence of chandan has made it a favourite of the beauty industry. It possesses various soothing qualities that effectively work to improve skin ailments and alleviate allergies. Herbal face masks and scrubs made from sandalwood powder cleanses our skin thoroughly and brings a healthy glow to it. Chandan has cooling properties.
Red Sandalwood (Rakta Chandana)- Pterocarpus santalinus
Red sandalwood powder which has antiseptic properties and hence, it is used for healing the wounds. It is also calming and cooling. Red Sandalwood is used in face tonics, creams and lotions.
Neem – Azadirachta indica :
This herb is used as a skin cleanser, acne, psoriasis and eczema and to treat common hair problems like dandruff.
Basil (tulsi) – Ocimum sanctum:
• Effective against scars and blemishes. Basil has anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Basil leaves contains many health benefits such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Basil herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging.
Aloe Vera is used in many skin care formulations. It heals skin irritations and scars. The primal effect of this herb comes from its soothing properties.
Collagen, along with Keratin and Elastin are proteins which are found in skin and hair, all give the skin it’s firmness, youth, strength and elasticity.
Herbs that boost collagen used in ayurvedic skin care, include Aloe Vera, Bilberry, Calendula, Eucommia, Gotu Kola, Hawthorn and Horsetail. Aloe Vera is said to have a high content of collagen protein. Animal studies show that Aloe helps to heal wounds by increasing collagen production. When using Aloe, collagen production may increase by up to 90%.
Other names for Bilberry may be Sara Roga ,nivarini, Indian lilac, heal all and village pharmacy. Marigolds were originally flowers of the Calendula family.S anskrit/Indian name for calendula include zergul or Genda. Eucommia has Chinese name du Zhong and is most effective for kidney and liver diseases. Gotu kola is also known by other names, including Brahmi, centella, Indian pennywort, marsh penny, thick leaved Pennywort, Marsh penny, thick leaved pennywort, white rot, hydrocotyle, Indian water navelwort and talepetrako. Gotu kola has been used in European countries to promote healing of burns and other skin wounds. Gotu kola herbs are also known as Centella asiatica, Indian pennywort, Brahmi (possibly like your Brahmi oil) or spade leaf. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti tumor, anti rheumatic type of herb among other medical uses. Hawthorn is also known by many other names including acacia, azalea, buttercup, camellia, daffodil, dahlia, jasmine, sweet pea, wisteria and water lily. Hawthorn is a source of antioxidants, and has been used to treat cardiac insufficiency. Horsetail is a plant. It is used for kidney and bladder problems, weak bones, brittle hair, skin and fingernails among other medical uses. Horsetail has silica in it, and can have antioxidant properties.
Most doctors believe taking collagen supplements is not effective because the collagen molecule is too large for the skin and parts of the body to absorb. Collagen has a high molecular weight of about 300,000 Dalton’s. Hydrolyzed collagen molecules are however, small enough (average 5000 Dalton’s) to be absorbed by the skin and intestines and then into the blood stream. The skin is made up of about 80% type 1, collagen so a supplement rich in type 1 collagen, or a supplement like a herb that encourages the brain and body to produce its own collagen, is best to use.
According to Ayurveda, a number of factors determine skin health and youthfulness. These factors include proper moisture balance (Kapha in balance), effective functioning of the metabolic mechanisms that coordinate all the various chemical and hormonal reactions of the skin (Pitta in balance), and efficient circulation of blood and nutrients to the different layers of the skin (Vata in balance).
Kapha type people can be cold, have a slower metabolism and can have oily skin and hair and have excessive moisture particularly if there are dominant or excess out of balance Kapha. Therefore proper moisture balance and Kapha in balance would require opposite qualities to Kapha qualities like dry, light and warm diet, Ayurvedic products, lifestyle and environment. When moisture in the skin is suitably balanced between not too wet and not too dry, the skin may look it’s best. It should be remembered that Kapha people are made from more Earth and water than other elements. Pitta people have more fire and water elements and to some extent fire and water qualities balance each other. Heat is both a by product of metabolism and a form of energy that influences the speed at which metabolism works. Pitta has the heat of the fire element in it, and as stated above heat can influence the metabolism. Higher body temperatures do speed up metabolism. Cooler core body temperatures appear to lower metabolic rate. When Pitta is in balance the metabolism is more effective and efficient and the various chemical and hormonal reactions of the skin are better coordinated leading to better looking skin. Predominantly Vata people have more qualities of the air and space elements in them and are responsible for movement in the body just as the air element that Vata is made out of, is responsible for movement. The atoms and molecules that make up the gas air, move about more in the atmosphere than the atoms and molecules that make up liquid, water and solid earth. Movement in the body includes the movement of air in and out of the lungs and blood as in respiration. Blood circulation is movement of the blood through the body. Blood circulation, transportation of food nutrients to various parts of the body including cells, gases and waste products are associated with blood movement and hence are a Vata activity. Dry skin can be associated with excess or dominant Vata Dosha, as can uneven skin tone, pigmentation and blemishes on the skin and hair loss which are also associated with poor blood circulation. When Vata is out of balance there is poor blood circulation resulting in cold extremities such as skin, hands fingers and feet even on warm days, swelling in the body, Oedema, blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. When Vata is out of balance nutrients and hormones do not reach target cells in the mind and body,like the skin,and wastes accumulate in the tissue. Vata is to some extent responsible for the pulsation of the heart and the circulation of the blood, along with the nutrients absorbed from the gut. Vata is also supposed to govern all circulation, transportation and communication in the physiology, including breathing and the flow of nerve impulses from the brain. Good balanced metabolism, moisture etc. leads to overall better health and skin and hair is better when the doshas are balanced. Thus the efficient circulation of the blood and nutrients to the different layers of the skin requires Vata to be in balance. Respiration involves air moving in and out of lungs and such movement is part of Vata activity.
Blood circulation is movement of blood and again anything due to movement in the body can be due to Vata Dosha. Blood circulation, transportation of food nutrients to cells, gases and waste products are associated with blood movement and hence are a Vata activity. Poor blood circulation is one of the results of excess,out of balance Vata or Kapha doshas. Vata is also predominantly made from the space/ether element,and spaces in the body such as spaces between cells are a Vata activity.
For Pitta skin good sunscreens for protection from the hot sun (Pitta is made from the fire and water elements and the fire element has attributes of warmth, so when the sun increases the warmth of Pitta Dosha people, Pitta becomes excess out of balance Pitta, which can have bad effects on health and condition of skin and hair),and good facial skin oils should be used daily. Tanning treatment and therapies that expose delicate sensitive skin for extended periods of time to steam/heat should be avoided.
For Kapha skin a daily warm oil massage and cleansing of skin with gentle exfoliation should be done.
For Vata skin to stay youthful, skin care products that can nourish and hydrate drier Vata skin should be used, otherwise it may be susceptible to wrinkles and premature aging. It should be remembered that most people have all of the three doshas in them, usually with one doshas higher in proportion than the other doshas. It is said a Pitta person would have a higher proportion of Pitta dosha in them, but may also have lower proportions of Vata and Kapha doshas in them. In Ayurveda skin health two types of therapy are included for anti aging treatment, namely promotive (Urjaskara) and curative (vyadhihara).
Urjaskara or Rasayana is that which brings optimum quality of the body tissues due to which it provides both physical and mental health, prevents aging and disease and thus enables us to live for a longer period of youthfulness.
A healthy person is known by the vigorous Urja(energy) he carries in himself to sustain life, to survive the struggles of existence and ultimately coming out as the best creature of this universe. The diet regimens, practices enriching the urja or vigor of a person are known as urjaskara. Urjuskara or Rasayana means causing strength of the body, sense organs mind and soul i.e. boosting bala or rejuvenating the vitality.
Medicines which help in protection and preservation of health in an already healthy person are called Swasthasya urjaskara type of medicines. These medicines help in prevention of diseases and provide long standing immunity and strength to fight off illness and preserve health. They are predominantly preventative and partly curative in nature.
Rasayana is a branch of Ayurveda that deals with the promotion of positive health by eliminating the ill effects of old age, thereby improving the quality of life.
Whether you go to an Ayurvedic internal medicine specialist or an obstetrician, or other specialist they will take both a preventative and curative approach.
Preventative medicine approach seeks to create and maintain health and longevity within the individual. It emphasises defining each persons Prakriti (or three Dosha influenced constitution) and creating daily and periodic regimens to support that prakturi and keep it in balance.
These health routines focus on everything from Ayurvedic products, diet, exercise, herbal therapies, massage, meditation, social behaviour and positive relationships.
Curative medicine seeks to heal an illness, which may be achieved by one or more of the following approaches:
*internal measures including Shodhana (Detoxification)and shaman (methods used to improve quality of life and reduce symptoms and suffering by palliative care).Internal medicine (kaya-chikitsa) focuses on doshic balance and imbalance, metabolic function and digestion.
*external measures including Snehana (oil treatments) and svedana (steam therapy using herbal steam,which vaporises and extracts the chemicals in the herbs)and use of herbal creams and pastes.External Ayurvedic medicine includes oleation (snehanam),sudation (swedana), bath, medical gargles, application of creams or paste, powders and other physiotherapeutic measures as an adjunct or addition to internal medicine.
One of the unique, and most beneficial aspects of the Ayurvedic home cleanse is the technique of oleation-which is essentially the internal and external oiling of the body.
Sesame oil is highly recommended but if that feels too heavy or too warming sunflower, almond or coconut oil can be used. Alternatively a specific abhyanga Herbal oil like soothing oil for fire and water influenced Pitta Dosha, calming oil for air and space influenced Vata Dosha or stimulating oil for earth and water influenced lethargic Kapha Dosha. Sudation is the process of the sweat glands of the skin secreting sweat or an salty fluid. Sweating is a homeostatic process, that is it helps the body maintain an internal equilibrium or Dosha balance.
*surgical methods, including removal of tissues, organs and harmful growths.
Conventional medicine focuses more on the curative aspect of illness, rather than also preventative aspect of illness.
The health of the following three types of body tissue are especially reflected in the skin: nutritional fluid or plasma (Rasa),blood (Rakta) and muscle (mamsa). To be effective, an anti aging application has to provide support to all of these areas. Rasa supports all the body tissues, particularly keeping the skin healthy, rakta in association with liver function helps detoxify the skin of toxins, while mamsa muscle provides firmness to the skin.