A story for all
The year is somewhere between 100 BCE and 200 BCE. In the ancient city of Taxila, a Gurukul stands erect. A wise sage is dictating an assignment to three willing students. Based on how the students perform, the sage will take only one student under his wing. The assignment is simple. “Find a plant or its part that does not have any medicinal value.” The young pupils venture out into the woods and return one by one. One brings jungle weeds, the other brought back thorns and the last pupil, after a week-long search, came back with nothing. When the sage asked the last pupil why he stood empty-handed, the pupil explained, “I could not find a single plant or part of it that does not have any medicinal value.” Impressed, the sage selected this pupil and decided to teach him the traditional art of medicine, which is now well known as Ayurveda. This wise sage was none other than Rishi Atreya, one of the founders of Ayurveda and the pupil was none other than Jeevaka, who would eventually become the personal physician to Lord Buddha.
What is the basis of Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal science which aims at not only treating the illness but also promotes prevention practices to ensure the preservation of life altogether. It aims to keep the mind and body well and provides with methods to lead a happy and content life, apart from keeping illness at bay. This closely matches the description of ‘health’ as stated by 'WHO'. One part of Ayurveda talks about using plants for their medicinal benefits.
Plants promote good healthThe moral of the above story is quite simple that all plants have some degree of medicinal use. The book of Ayurveda provides with details how the plants should be used- whether by direct application of herbs or by the use of oils from the plants or by the use of its distillates or even the use of fragrant water containing plant parts. These can be used to achieve good health. Plants provide a host of biochemical compounds which give us the following benefits –
- Vayasthapana– defy ageing
- Varnya– brightens or gives a glow to your skin
- Sandhaniya – promotes cell regeneration
- Vranaropana – promotes both physical and mental healing
- Tvachya– nurtures your mind, body and soul
- Shothahara – has anti-inflammatory properties
- Tvachagnivardhani- strengthens skin metabolism
- Tvagrasayana- retards ageing.
Why is Ayurveda relevant NOW?
Eat, sleep, work and repeat. This has become our motto of life. While all of us try to chase our dreams and make a decent living, we have started to ignore our own needs. And this directly has begun to affect our health. And when your health isn’t well, your skin will show. Acne breakouts, dull skin, early hair greying, allergies, pigmentation and what not. From this list, which one do you suffer from? Ayurveda gives you simple home remedies that you can regularly follow to alleviate these problems and get back your youth.
Ayurvedic Home RemediesThere are three things that Ayurveda strictly recommends for healthy skin, and you’ll be familiar with them – Cleanse, Tone & Moisturize. Ayurveda makes use of plant or plant parts to achieve this. The following items can easily be purchased from your local bazaar or an organic store. The steps are easy to follow, and surely, you can benefit from it.
For cleansing –
- Neem – The reputation of neem precedes all other plants as it is widely known and accepted as an antiseptic plant. Neem pastes not just exfoliate your skin, but they also help treat acne. If you have inflamed skin, neem paste can help treat and soothe it.
- Sandalwood – Commonly known as ‘Chandan’ is a very auspicious item and not just for its fragrance. It is full of antibacterial properties which can help treat acne and is a very effective de-tanning agent.
For toning –
- Rosewater - By soaking the rose petals in lukewarm water and extract all its wellness and when you use this water on your face, you’ll notice that it is very calming and soothing. It acts as an age-defying agent as it tightens your skin and de-clogs your pores.
- Jasmine water – Similar to rose water, jasmine water contains the extract of jasmine, which has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties. It is perfect for sensitive skin and restores the pH of your skin.
For moisturization –
- Coconut oil – There is a reason why coconut oil is often used as a base when making soaps. That is because it is rich in all the good fatty acids. Applying a little coconut oil on your face while your face is still wet helps your skin retain the moisture. And no, it doesn’t promote oil secretion as many believe.
- Jojoba oil – This oil is known to be the closest to the oil that our skin produces, and thus using this oil to seal moisture prevents any adverse skin reaction. The oil is also recommended for people who are suffering from Eczema.
Cleansing, toning and moisturization are terms that you might already be familiar with because these days most cosmetic items are targeted towards achieving these. But the ideology stems from our ancient roots, and because Ayurveda has proven to work, you can easily make use of the Ayurvedic remedies and get a youthful and vibrant look.