I have been battling acne almost all my life. From seeing dozens of dermatologists to spending my hard-earned money on useless skincare products, nothing worked out for me in the long run. I even tried changing my whole lifestyle – I ate healthier, I worked out regularly and indulged in productive activities.
Unfortunately, it seemed that all my efforts were in vain. I was in a pit of sorrow. My face was full of scars and I loathed to look in the mirror. A close friend of mine had suggested that I try out Ayurveda on different occasions, and I brushed her off each time. I was done with experiments, and I had decided I’d just let nature take its course! Months passed by and life went on. I began to notice how my friend’s eczema was getting better. Putting aside my ego, I finally asked her about Ayurveda. It changed my life.
The Origin of Ayurveda
Ayurveda came to existence thousands of years ago in India. The word ‘Ayurveda’ is derived from two words ‘Ayur’ meaning life, and ‘Veda’ meaning science. The concept states that physical existence and mental existence are one unit, and when one of them is affected, the other one is also influenced.
Moreover, the five elements, or doshas, in your body should be balanced at all times. Those elements are Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Space. Vata is the dosha of Air and Space that defines dry and cold. Pitta represents fire and water. It is linked to heat and intensity. Kapha is an amalgamation of Earth and Water that defines heavy and slow.
Through Ayurveda, you can bring the body back into its balanced state encouraging to heal itself. Over the years, the holistic approach has evolved and in western countries, it is practiced as ‘alternative’ or complementary medicine. It encourages the use of herbal products, plant-based substances, yoga, and meditation.
The Benefits of Ayurevdic Therapies
Here are some of forms of Ayurvedic therapies that can help you with the following disorders.
1. Tackle Stubborn Adult Acne and Eczema
Adult onset acne is one of the most frustrating forms of acne. All your teenage life, you face the trauma of pimples and raging hormones. You dream about being a grown-up only to be greeted by erupting pustules. According to Ayurveda, your acne is connected to imbalance in your digestive system and a build-up of toxins in your bloodstream.
- If your acne is due to deficiency of vata, your skin will be dry. To cure it, have more good fats and oils in your diet. Increase your daily intake of dairy products, wheat, and rice. Have sweet and fatty fruits such as bananas and mangoes, and cooked vegetables like beets, and carrots. Flavor your food by adding ginger and cardamom. It will also help you deal with eczema.
- Inflamed and red skin characterizes pitta acne. It occurs because of imbalance of pitta in blood and liver. To cure it, avoid fermented products like cheese, yogurt, and pickles. Go for honey to sweeten food instead of sugar. Increase the intake of coconut oil, chicken, cool fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cherries, cucumbers, and green leafy vegetable. Avoid spices as much as possible.
- Kapha acne is due to excess production of sebum in skin. To balance the oil in your body, drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Have ginger tea, beans, light fruits such as apples, cranberries, and apricots. Avoid dairy products, oily food, and heavy fruits.
Apart from improving your diet, you need your mind to be free of stress as well. Do yoga and meditate in open air. Practice continuously and you will notice the change yourself!
2. Treat Autoimmune Diseases
In autoimmune diseases, your immune system wrongly attacks your own body cells. Some of the common autoimmune diseases are Diabetes Type 1, SLE, psoriasis, Celiac disease, and rheumatism. While treatments and options are available widely and you MUST NEVER overlook them, ayurvedic therapies can help you with the side effects.
According to Ayurveda, the body doesn’t attack its cells, but it in fact defends the body against incompletely digested toxic metabolite named ‘Ama’. Ama can occur in the body due to various reasons, most commonly because of unhealthy eating habits, addictions to drugs and alcohol, prolonged use of certain medicines and weak digestion.
Swedana ayurvedic therapy can help to extract Ama from the body and offers symptomatic relief as well. It is a steam treatment in which warm oil is applied all over the body, the head and eyes are covered with damp cloth to prevent overheating and steam is generated. The procedure is completed when the stomach and forehead are sweating profusely. Afterwards, the person is supposed to take a warm bath and have a light meal.
3. Fight Off Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are real disorders which are often taken lightly. People who suffer from them know how helpless and dejected they feel. Ayurvedic therapies aid in regaining the mental health. Usage of herbs like hawthorn, California poppy and lavender in your food help you recover as they nourish the body with vital doshas.
Apart from herbal treatment, healing massages make a huge difference as well. For instance, Nasyam therapy stimulates the vital points of your brain and battle stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It begins with a facial massage with infusion of steam and herbal oils via nasal route. It spread throughout the body. In the end, patient gargles with lukewarm water.
4. Improve Your Cardiovascular and Respiratory Health
In Ayurveda, human heart is divided into two parts: the physical heart that pumps blood, and the emotional heart that have feelings. Whether it is all those donuts you’ve been eating or hardships, both will affect your heart and its functions. To improve your cardiovascular health and battle diseases like high blood pressure, intake of heart-friendly herbs is necessary.
One of the most important ingredient to boost CVS health is the extract of Arjuna, an herb from a tree called Terminalia Arjuna. Have it in your tea, coffee or dilute it with water, regular use of Arjuna heals your heart, balances the doshas, and decreases toxic hormones and metabolites. Furthermore, it helps in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis as well. Other important herbs and ingredients for CVS health include onion use, ginger water, turmeric powder, and Alfalfa herb.
Ayurvedic therapies can offer symptomatic relief, boost your immunity, and nourishes your body. It makes you a stronger and calmer person. However, you should never treat yourself on your own at any cost. If you are taking any medicines for a disorder, don’t drop the course midway. Always consult a professional before trying out anything.