There are many invaluable things that India has given to the world. The number zero, chess, philosophical roots and Aryabhatta’s astronomical secrets. Yet what women world over find priceless are; the skincare and fitness secrets that has been keeping them in shape and gorgeous ever since globalization took place. Be it the worldwide yoga craze or the return to organic roots, yes women world over have a lot to thank ancient Indian monks for. Yet the most gratuitous gratitude should be reserved for this treasure trove of beauty secrets and ideas that can be dubbed as a magic elixir as far as its effectiveness is concerned. The simplest things in the world are most powerful in their remedy and Ayurveda is proof of the truth of this statement. Ayurveda is one of the four components of the holy Vedas that date back to five thousand years, possibly even older, and is meticulous in its listing of beauty tips and tricks that go far deeper than the skin. Combining all the scientific and holistic research that the highly advanced ancient India had to offer, these remedies are completely organic, inexpensive and lacking the multitude of corrosive chemicals that go into the composition of expensive skincare products these days. Ancient Indian texts are full of descriptions of unearthly beauties and their simplistic beauty regimes. Language beautifully describes the glowing complexions and lissom curves of these beauties who Indian women aspire to be even today. If you have tried all the expensive branded products that the western world has to offer you, but are not satisfied by the results then may be it is time to try something else. Look to ancient eastern science for answers. I promise you will not be disappointed.
10. Raw Milk For Clean Pores
It is said that Tara, the young and exquisitely beautiful wife of the great sage Brihaspati, used this trick for her dewy complexion. She would wake up at dawn to milk the cow. She would then wash her face with some of this raw milk before her morning ritual of bathing in rose water. According to Puranas, her beauty was so legendary that the debonairly handsome Moon God Som Dev was utterly seduced. That is a story for another day. But if you have desires of being similarly attractive, then follow Tara’s regime. Once a day dip cotton into a small bowl of raw milk and wipe your face thoroughly with it. Not only does this remove dirt and grime from the very depth of your pores, it also has tremendous moisturizing properties that will leave a dewy sheen on your skin. Your face will feel soft and pampered all day long.
9. Neem Leaves
Ayurveda firmly believes that beauty lies in good eating more than good surface care. You could be following the CTM regime with utmost discipline, but of your diet is askew your haggard skin will show it. Though the ayurvedic dictates on a good diet is too exhaustive to be listed here, one crucial ingredient is neem leaves. These bitter leaves are elixir for your skin, whether applied externally or consumed internally. Munch on a few raw or lightly toasted neem leaves every day. This will purify your blood stream and promote clean bowel movements. Once a week, boil neem leaves in water and then stema your face over this hot cleansing water. It will work miracles. Follow it up with a natural face mask. For face mask options, read on.
8. Face Masks Galore
One of my favourite things to do is scout online shops for beauty products and score perfect pocket friendly deals. But the outrageous things I come across during this journey. Be it Japanese Goji Berry, Swedish Spa Therapy or French crème de la mer face masks that promise the most tempting of beauty results, the pocket pinch on these are gut wrenchingly extreme. It is especially absurd when you can get the same results by venturing into your kitchen and rustling up recipes that cost practically nothing. Grind cumin seeds and add a little water to make a thick paste. This will help you with acne and pigmentation. Mix a tiny pinch of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of sandalwood powder. Add a little milk to thicken the mixture. Leave on for fifteen to twenty minutes and wash off. For deeply moisturized skin, apply 1 tsp. yoghurt and let it remain for a few minutes before washing off. Apply egg whites on your face and lie still till it dries firmly. Then peel it off gently. This gets rid of blackheads while promoting a clean and clear complexion. Take gramflour and add a little water to make a fluid paste. Apply this all over your face, neck, arms, and if you are okay with some discomfort, the rest of your body. Sit tight till it tightens. Then duck under the shower and scrub off every speck. Your skin will be thoroughly exfoliated and baby soft.
7. Food For Face
Many times skin lack lustre because of lack of essential vitamins. I have known people who suffered from bad skin despite following a healthy diet. One of the reasons for this is when, due to various factors, the body is unable to absorb the vitamins and nutrients the individual is consuming. For that problem, consult a doctor. But to address the skin problem, apply the fruit you should eat. Generously squeeze orange juice onto face. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and this gets directly absorbed in the skin when you try the abovementioned method. Cut slices of chilled potato and place it directly on the skin. This will replenish your skin with essential vitamin B. Apply pomegranate juice on the face as this is rich in antioxidants that will smooth lines and wrinkles and make you look younger. For intensely moisturized skin, slather on honey. Ironically, honey masks on hair work wonders too. Dip your hands in honey to condition them. Apply slices of tomato or thick tomato juice on the face for miraculous results.
6. Oil Wonders
Ditch the expensive night cream that promises the world but delivers too little. Apply olive oil in upward circular motion before bedtime for soft supple skin throughout the day. Massage your hands and feet with olive oil for moisturized skin and cuticles. Apply coconut oil in the sensitive area around your eyes to banish crow’s feet and dark circles. For rosy pink lips, ditch the synthetic lip balm and apply two drops of coconut oil. Tea tree oil is a wonderful but potent juice for skin. Take a few drops and mix it with a carrier oil like almond oil or apricot oil and massage your face and neck with this concoction. Do it regularly for clear blemish free skin. Apricot oil is also an extremely effective anti-ageing ingredient and regular use of it will yield dramatic results. Almond oil is very good for hair. It gets rid of dandruff and promotes hair growth. The effects of coconut oil on scalp are legendary. But a personal favourite is mustard oil. Apply mustard oil on hair and then proceed with turban therapy. You will end up with an unbelievably soft and gorgeous mane.
5. Turmeric Treasure
As mentioned earlier, Ayurveda places a lot of emphasis on a clean internal system. This is especially in regard to digestion and clear bowel movements. They mention many regular food items that can be consumed for this purpose. The most important of these is turmeric. Every morning, on an empty stomach, chew half a piece of turmeric. If this is too strong, then start with a minuscule piece and work your way up. Sprinkle slight turmeric powder on lentil soups, curries and vegetable dishes that you will be rustling up in your healthy diet. This will dispense your system of waste that accrues in your body and keep you feeling energetic and beautiful.
4. Holy Basil
This particular plant has tremendous cultural and religious significance in most Indian households. Religious perhaps is not as apt a term as the word spiritual. Holy basil, or the Tulsi plant as it is indigenously known, guards the entrance of most Indian households and is a symbol of peace, love and purity. The positive effects of this plant is too many to list here. Chewing a few leaves a day cleanses your system. It brings down stress levels significantly. It regulates diabetes and improves memory and concentration. Dried and powdered tulsi leaves make for excellent toothpaste. Brushing your teeth with it banishes yellow teeth, dispels bad breath and improves overall oral hygiene. Extract the juice of a few tulsi leaves and apply it on your face for skin that will glow throughout the seasons.
3. Aloe Vera
The aloe plant is nature’s most precious gift to humans. Pure aloe gel is an instant cure for sunburns, heat rashes, allergies and cuts and burns. It has very high moisturizing properties and slows down the ageing process. Drinking aloe Vera juice virtually guarantees protection against all stomach ailments. For tired puffy eyes, apply cool aloe gel in and around the tired skin. The results will be instantaneous.
2. The Healing Powers Of A Good Diet
Never underestimate the healing powers of a good diet. If faithfully committed to one, Ayurveda assures you lifelong happiness and good health. Most people don’t even know what it is for the body to feel so amazing when it is in sync with nature, the way it is supposed to be. It goes without saying that heaps of water should be the foremost element of a good diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of natural fluids and whole grains and fibres are essential too. But more than that, Ayurveda stresses importance on spices and cooking oils for wholehearted benefit. Cumin, coriander, fennel, black peppercorns, turmeric, asafoetida, cinnamon, clove, mace, cardamoms, and fenugreek are some of the spices you should incorporate in your cooking. Ditch the processed salt in favour of the mineral packed rock salt. Basil, thyme, rosemary, tarragon and like other herbs will ensure taste and health. Flax seeds and sunflower seeds are full of essential nutrients and vitamins you cannot afford to miss. Munch on these seeds every day to experience their benefits. Snack on almonds, cashews, walnuts and raisins whenever you can.
1. Stress: The Number One Enemy
This has to be the most poisonous element of twenty first century society. It is the major cause of so many common diseases ranging from obesity, diabetes, heart problems, headaches and migraines. Nothing drains the quality of life worse than stress and it has a terrible and negative impact on the health of adults and children alike. Ayurvedic science claims that imbalances within the body is the major cause of stress and when harmony is restored, the body is in perfect sync with nature and all negatives are banished from the individual’s life. It also comes up with a number of ways to tell you how to restore that balance. Yoga has wonderful calming effects on the body and mind. Apart from toning the body and helping you lose weight, it also helps you feel calm and collected. Meditation, according to Ayurveda, is the best way to beat stress. If you spend just fifteen minutes a day with eyes closed and a clear focused mind, your inner being is cleansed and you will have achieved some semblance of spiritual peace. You will be much less vulnerable to the hazards of the materialistic world, by being cocooned in a warm haze of spiritual and holistic sense of self-worth. Ayurveda also urges you to banish thoughts of self-doubt, insecurities and low self-esteem. You should focus on your duties and do the work you have set out to do, without caring much about the results. When you have no expectations, subsequent disappointments do not hamper your mental balance. When your work yields good results, the happiness will shine on your face. Don’t let stress have any part in your full and happy life.