Dec 09, 2023
Dec 09, 2023
Natural creams and lotions are great for your skin, but if you want your skin to look good day after day and year after year, you have to work on it from the inside out. Ayurveda - the 5,000-year-old system of holistic healing from India - contends that a balanced diet, proper digestion and regular elimination are vital for clear glowing skin. "Ama" - the residue of improper digestion that can accumulate in the body - is the Number one enemy of healthy skin, leading to lifelessness and breakouts, according to Ayurvedic dermatologist Rama Kant Mishra.
So what should you feed your skin to keep it looking good?
To follow Ayurvedic principles for diet, you first need to figure out which of the following three categories your skin falls into:
If your skin is dry, thin and sensitive, susceptible to dullness and wrinkles, you have Vata type skin. Pitta skin tends to be reddish, warm and extremely sensitive, prone to breakouts and easily affected by the foods you eat, heat and sun. Kapha skin tends to be lustrous, oily, and thick in texture. It is prone to clogged pores, breakouts and toxic buildup.
Once you've determined the predominant Ayurvedic category your skin falls into, you can try some of these suggestions for feeding your skin right -
Water is considered a life-giving force in Ayurveda, very important in maintaining skin health as well as overall health. Says Mishra, "It's not always enough to just drink eight glasses of water everyday. For the body, and the skin, to realize fully the life-giving properties of water, people with different types of skin need to consume it differently."
Ayurveda is very firm on one aspect of drinking water, and, indeed, all beverages. Ice-cold drinks are not recommended because they inhibit the digestive fire and lead to imperfect digestion of food, which can show up on the skin.
One internal water therapy recommended by Mishra is drinking 6-8 glasses of boiled water everyday. Use pure drinking water, and boil it for five minutes. People with Vata type skin should drink the water warm, Kapha skin types can sip it hot, and Pitta skin types should cool it to room temperature before drinking. The water should be boiled fresh each day, and should not be ingested on a completely empty stomach. This therapy helps the water flush toxins from the body and moisturize the skin from within, keeping it hydrated and lustrous.
Combining boiled water with herbs suitable for the skin type enhances the benefits. Mishra suggests the following procedure -
Boil one liter of water for five minutes, then pour it into a thermos or other type of heat-retentive container. Add the recommended herbs and spices and steep. Keep the container closed. Strain and use the spice-infused water as needed. Drink at the temperature recommended above for each skin type.
Basic combination of recommended herbs and spices:
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 pinches of ground licorice root
Vata skin types can add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, Pitta skin types 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds and Kapha skin types a one-inch slice of peeled fresh ginger root.
Note - Information presented in this article is solely for the purpose of imparting education on Ayurveda and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult a qualified health professional.
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