A better , natural floor cleaner: a Krya launch update

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

The term “natural floor cleaner” is a popular search on the Krya website. There used to be a time when households used plain water to mop the floor after thoroughly sweeping the floor. Sometimes if the season was particularly muddy, or if this was pre festive season, a canny housewife would sprinkle cow dung / dried cow dung cakes plus a handful of turmeric powder into this water, and use this solution to mop the floor. Cow dung was considered a sacred dravya, infusing pranic energy into the home and also an effective insect repellent and anti bacterial agent.

Cow dung was used in ancient India to cleanse homes and floors and infuse positive energy within the home

Slowly, to increase their share of business anti bacterial liquids began to advertise, extending their use to cleaning the floor. Evocative images of babies eating off the floors, pets sleeping on the floor would be used to illustrate that our floors (the horror!) were JUST not good enough to eat off .

Just when households started getting reluctantly used to the smell of a strong anti bacterial liquid on the floor, convincing their families that the hospital like odour was for their own good, someone finally launched a specialised floor cleaner. In several toxic fragrance options.

Concerns with synthetic floor cleaners:

At Krya, we have several concerns over the rampant use of synthetic floor and toilet cleaners. We have listed these below:

99% germ removal or 100% growth of Super bugs?

Urban Indians today already suffer from “too clean” homes which are almost sterile. Children rarely play outdoors and schools and homes are sterile, air conditioned environments already.

Urban children live in too-clean, sterile environments

In this scenario, using a strong floor cleaner encourages the growth of antibiotic and triclosan resistant “super bacteria”. This is already an issue in India. Using such strong cleaners in Urban homes is an overkill – and promotes the growth of resistant bacteria And does not stimulate our immune response enough

No transparency in declaring contents

Household cleaners constitute what is called “Household hazardous waste”. This means that they cannot be disposed WITHOUT risk to human , animal or plant life. An example is this: is you are trying to get rid of your old synthetic toilet cleaner, there is no safe way to dispose it. You cannot pour out the liquid, put it into a water body or pour it onto the ground either. All of these will pose a risk for any form of life that may accidentally ingest the product.

 

Given that almost all synthetic household cleansers are hazardous waste, it is surprising that there is no declaration of their ingredients or any attempt to educate customers on their proper disposal. This is worrying in a country like India where literacy levels are low and waste is picked and sorted down the line by possibly illiterate sanitary workers, rag pickers and children.

Economically backward children, rag pickers are at risk when we dispose toxic household cleaners

Highly toxic and unstable formulae

All floor , surface and toilet cleaners come with severe warnings to be kept out of reach of children, pets, etc. Accidental ingestion can seriously harm or even kill children and pets. Skin contact is also supposed to be avoided. Eye contact can make you blind potentially. Also the contents cannot be mixed with other common cleaners like acid, phenyl etc and can lead to volcanic reactions.

household cleaners are toxic to use & dispose

Given these issues, we would be tempted to question why we are using actual poisons to clean our floors. We may also be right in asking how using a toxic cleaner to clean the floor somehow makes it safe for babies and pets crawling / licking these floors? The answer is that it is of course not safe – we get away with the use of these cleaners because we use them in small concentrations. But they obviously pose many risks.

A better alternative: natural floor cleaner research by Krya

We have been researching, piloting, experimenting and tweaking with a Krya answer to a safe, natural floor cleaner for sometime now. This product has been LONG in the making.  While researching the formulation, we turned to the Ayurvedic Samhitas for ideas on the use of herbs and how they should be combined for best use.

Ayurvedic approach: cleansing both etheric and physical spaces in the home

Studying Ayurvedic pediatric care texts (Bala chikitsa) is very useful in understanding the role of herbs and how they can cleanse both the physical and spiritual energy in a home.

This is of very great importance in Ayurveda to maintain a spiritually charged, positive and prana forward energy in the home for a small baby / child.

 

Ayurveda believes that infants and young children are very easily influenced by negative energy. Hence we are advised to use spiritually charged, Prana positive herbs to keep up the positive energy of the home and counteract these negative forces.

Ayurveda recommends charging the home with positive pranic energy

Techniques like “Dhumapana” (herbal smoke on the baby and mother’s person),  “Rakshoghna Praksalana” (washing of baby’s linen with natural, herb infused detergent), burning of “Dhoopa “(herb infused incense), and “Rakshoghna Bhumi Swacchakara” (cleaning of floors with Prana positive herbs) are all used for this.

The use of herbal smoke cleanses Vayu (air) and Akash (space) within the home.

Dhoopa is an ayurvedic cleansing technique that uses herbal smoke to cleanse vayu and akash within the home

In addition, the home is further charged with bunches of herbs, placed in the direction of the wind, so herbal fragrance wafts through the home uplifting the senses and increasing the positive vibration within the home.

Working on improving the etheric energy within the home by using prana positive , aura altering herbs is an important role of a Bhumi Swacchakara (Floor cleaner).

The Krya natural floor cleaner: in 2 variants

The Krya floor cleaner comes in 2 variants.

The Krya Scented Floor Cleaner  is made using 20 powerful ayurvedic herbs, resins and essential oils including Citriodora Oil, Pine Oil & Tamanu Oil. The formulation is very effective at repelling crawling insects like cockroaches, ants , etc. It is a good , safe, broad spectrum anti bacterial and anti fungal formulation which is adaptogenic.

krya natural floor cleaners use powerful rakshoghna & kirmighna herbs

As we use pure plants and plant essential oils, there is no question of microorganisms learning from and developing resistance to the product as plants vary across seasons and weather conditions and are far more adaptogenic compared to bacteria and fungi.

The Unscented Krya floor cleaner is made from  24 Ayurvedic Rakshoghna (anti bacterial) and Krimighna (insect repelling) herbs and plant resins like Vacha, Shirisha, Khadira, etc. This formulation is suggested for homes with very small children , premature infants, patients,  sensitive geriatrics and those with respiratory allergies / issue s(asthma, wheezing, hayfever, etc).

 

Both Krya floor cleaners contain prana positive, spiritually uplifing herbs and dravyas as suggested in the Ayurevdic Samhitas to cleanse the spiritual and etheric energy of the home.

The all natural floor cleaner by Krya

Pet safety:

Pets are extremely sensitive to odours in fine concentrations. Tea tree oil for example is a powerful and very effective anti bacterial E.O. However it is poisonous to cats and dogs at high doses. This is why I am perplexed to see so many brands putting up tea tree oil scented pet grooming powders – this is NOT safe!

There are Ayurvedic Samhitas that focus on veterinary science, but only large animals (horses, elephants) are covered, not small household animals like dogs and cats. Because of this, and because we do not have any experience with living with 4 legged friends, we have stayed away from making Krya products for household animals – although we have many many pending requests.

But, for homes with 4 legged friends, it is imperative to have a safe floor cleansing solution. This solution has to be safe for pets themselves and also handle any organisms that could be transmitted by the pets indoors. This needs much more R&D from our end. However, we promise to work on this. Please give us time – we will come back with a separate option that has been tested to be effective and is also safe for 4 legged friends.

Until then, if you have pets, please do not use either Krya floor cleaner – as an alternative, you can mop the floor with Krya detergent / Krya floor cleaner (unscented) alone.

Using the Krya natural floor cleaner:

The Krya natural floor cleaner is an ayurvedic choorna (powder format). We provide a cloth pouch along with every pack of this product. The choorna can be used either in the pouch or directly in your mop bucket.

 

Add the suggested quantity of the product to the pouch / directly into the bucket and add water as required. Allow a few minutes for the product to percolate into the water well or manually squeeze the pouch or disperse the product into the water. Use this charged water to mop the floor.

Available from:

Both Krya floor cleaner variants will be available on Viajaydasami Day (October 19th 2018) on the Krya website.

 

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Pitta balancing diet Part 1: Using specific Rasas (tastes) to balance Pitta

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

If you are suffering from a visible Pitta imbalance like premature greying, acne outbreaks, then a Pitta balancing diet can help holistically heal your condition. Ayurveda believes in following a holistic approach to understanding skin and hair issues. Hair and skin reflects the body’s state of balance. Diet, emotional well being, quality of sleep, quality of daily Vyayama (exercise) all affect the body. These factors create changes in the subtle alignment of doshas in our body. This reflects in the quality of our skin or hair.

Pitta dosha: qualities and life stage

Pitta is “snigdha” (oily), “teekshna” (sharp), “ushna” (hot), “laghu” (light) “vishra” (mal-odourous), “sara“ ( flowing / laxative), and “drava” (liquid).

Hence when we have Pitta aggravation in our body, we could experience sharp discomfort in the abdomen, diarrhoea, gastritis, temper flares, strong body odour, high sweating, oiliness on hair and skin, etc. We could also develop acne flare ups, experience premature greying & also hair thinning.

Pitta aggravation can cause strong body odour

Ayurveda tells us that every lifestage is dominant in a certain dosha. Middle age, i.e. 30 – 60 years is considered Pitta dominant lifestage. In this age period, we naturally tend to harness and utilise Pitta’s qualities to help us focus on our career, manage our responsibilities, etc. Hence at this stage, we become even more sensitive to Pitta aggravation.

Pitta aggravating foods:

We had written earlier in detail about foods that trigger or aggravate Pitta in the body. This includes fermented foods, salty foods, spicy foods, and sour foods. We have a pretty detailed list of don’ts in the earlier blog post. This list includes commercial packaged RTE foods which are high in hidden salts and imported delicacies like Greek yoghurt, tahini sauce and hummus.

Consumption of these foods is tolerable when our doshas in balance. At this time, Pitta drayvyas help stimulate appetite, aid digestion and allow for appropriately timed digestion in the body. The problem occurs when we have already aggravated Pitta dosha.

In a Pitta aggravated person, a single helping of curd or 2 meals with idlis and dosas in them can act like a lit match on a petrol doused bundle. Pitta sharply flares up and you will notice an increase in rage issues, skin oiliness, breakouts and inability to switch off and sleep on time.

A single helping of curd can tip teh balance if you are already pitta aggravated

Basics of a Pitta balancing diet:

The Pitta balancing diet is based on 3 principles to help balance aggravated Pitta:

  • Introduce Tastes (Rasas) that are opposite to Pitta to bring Pitta down
  • Introduce Agni balancing dravyas and Spices
  • Ensure Pitta is not spiked by controlling meal timings

Each of these work in a slightly different way to harmonise aggravated Agni. In this post , we will explore the use of Rasa (tastes) to help balance aggravated Pitta dosha.

 

Using Opposing Tastes (Rasas) to balance Pitta:

A Pitta balancing diet uses “bitter”, “sweet” and “astringent” tastes that act like a countermeasure to Pitta which is “amla” (sour), “lavana” (salty) and “katu” (spicy) in taste. The tastes are added in this order: Bitter, Sweet and Astringent for best effect on aggravated Pitta.

 

Using Bitter taste “Tikta Rasa” to balance excess Pitta:

Bitter taste (Tikta rasa) is very pitta balancing. Bitter taste has the quality of “dryness”, coolness” and “lightness”. Hence it helps balance the oiliness and heat caused by aggravated Pitta dosha. Therefore, including foods, herbs and seasonings which are rich in Tikta rasa, is an essential part of a Pitta balancing diet.

Many local vegetables and greens are inherently “Tikta” in rasa. For example, parwal, lauki, ridge gourd, ash gourd are native gourds. All of these gourds have an inherent “tikta” or bitter rasa. These vegetables can be added to vegetable / dal dishes to impart a bitter taste to food.

Local gourds are naturally rich in Tikta rasa

 

“Shukto” and Vempampoo-rasam (Neem flower rasam) are also examples of bitter rasa found in traditional cuisine. Neem flower rasam is introduced in Indian cuisine at the beginning of the onset of Summer, when Pitta is high.

Traditional cooking also has included many tikta rasa rich dishes seasonally

Certain spices and seasonings also have a “tikta rasa”. An example is fenugreek seed which is recommended to be eaten by diabetics and pre-diabetics in Ayurveda. Bitter rasa in moderate amounts is useful to control Pitta aggravation and Kapha aggravation. Similarly, rosemary, oregano and parsley seasoning also has a mild Tikta rasa.

Tikta dravyas can aggravate Vata dosha when eaten in excess and cause dryness in the body. Hence, as always, please follow moderation when planning your meals.

Some examples of Tikta Rasa dravyas:

  • Vegetables
    • Bitter gourd
    • Methi greens
    • Parwal
    • Lauki (Bottle gourd)
    • Ash gourd (white pumpkin)
    • Ridge gourd
    • Non sour locally available greens
  • Spices & seasonings
    • Turmeric
    • Fenugreek seed
    • Rosemary
    • Oregano
    • Thyme

Turmeric is rich in Tikta rasa and is highly nutritious

  • Ayurvedic Tikta Herbs used in Krya products
    • Neem
    • Neem flower
    • Kalmegh
    • Vetiver
    • Sandalwood

Sandal is cleansing and good for skin and high in tikta rasa

Meal plan suggestions:

From this list, we can look at including the following naturally Tikta (bitter) foods  to craft a Pitta balancing diet :

  • Local gourds added to liquid / gravy dishes in a rotational basis like Lauki, Parwal, etc
  • Use of Tikta herbs in cooking to season food like turmeric, Fenugreek, etc
  • Occasional use of Tikta dried herbs to flavour food like Rosemary, Thyme, etc wherever appropriate

Include seasonal local gourds into your cuisine

Using Sweet taste “Madhura Rasa” to balance excess Pitta:

Madhura Rasa is “guru” (heavy), “sheetya” (cold), “snigdha” (oily) and is nourishing and grounding due to the predominance of Prithvi Panchamahabootha. Hence it helps calm down and ground aggravated Pitta. This does not mean that we should gorge on desserts and sweets. These are artificially sweet due to the presence of sugar in them. In Ayurveda, when we say “Sweet” or “Madhura rasa”, we mean that the tongue recognises the substance as “sweet” (Rasa) and that its taste post digestion in the body (Vipaka) is also sweet.

An example of this is Milk. A2 cows milk when freshly boiled has Madhura Rasa (tongue taste) and Madhura vipaka (taste post digestion). Hence it is used to balance Pitta aggravation in the diet.

As Madhura Rasa is also “snigdha”, eating too much of this can trigger excess oiliness and heaviness in the body. Hence do not eat artificially sweet substances, or eat too much of Madhura rasa.

Some other examples of Madhura dravya / Substances are the following:

  • Cereals
    • Aged rice
    • Aged Wheat
  • Sweeteners
    • Mishri (unprocessed sugar candy)
    • Guda (jaggery)
  • Vegetables
    • Fresh coconut pulp, milk and water
    • Naturally sweet Vegetables like sweet potato, beetroot, Kaddu (yellow pumpkin), carrot

Beets and naturally sweet vegetables are rich in Madhura rasa

  • Fruits
    • Dried Black Raisins (draksha) – Munakka variety
    • Seasonal Sweet, juicy fruits
  • Dairy
    • Freshly boiled , unpasteurised A2 cow milk
    • A2 ghee
  • Ayurvedic Madhura Herbs used in Krya products
    • Liquorice
    • Guda (Jaggery)
    • Guduchi (Madhura vipaka only)

Meal plan suggestions:

From this list, we can look at including the following naturally Madhura (sweet) foods in our diet to help balance aggravated Pitta.

  • Melted A2 cow ghee – across all meals in small amounts
  • A2 cows milk – unpasteurised and freshly boiled – one small glass everyday

 

A2 Cows milk is nourishing and madhura in nature

  • Seasonal sweet, juicy fruits
  • Rotation of Natural sweet vegetables
  • Carefully sourced Aged organic Rice and wheat
  • 2 – 3 soaked Munakka (large black grape) raisins 3 – 4 times a week

Dried raisin is an excellent pitta balancing dry fruit

 

Using Astringent taste “Kashaya Rasa” to balance excess Pitta:

Kashaya rasa is a taste that is most often missing in modern-day foods. This is an important rasa which is vital to our health. Foods rich in Kashaya rasa usually have a lekhaniya (scraping effect) and are very useful in healing the body of excess fat, fluid collection, inflammation, etc. Kashaya rasa has “rooksha” (drying), “sheetya” (cold) and “laghu” (light) qualities- hence it helps balance Pitta dosha.

Kashaya rasa is wound healing, absorbs excess secretions and clears mucous. It helps clarify the tongue and skin and is calming and healing to the body. It is also a good blood clarifier.

In excess, Kashaya rasa can be excessively drying and vata aggravating on the body. Please do not overindulge in this taste.

 

Some examples of Kashaya Rasa dravyas:

  • Vegetables
    • Broccoli
    • Lettuce
    • Fennel
    • Banana flower

Banana flower is naturally kashaya in nature

  • Fruits
    • Amla (Indian gooseberry)
    • Pomegranates (choose well ripened, sweet fruits and not sour)

Pomegranate is a medicinal fruit which has strong Kashaya rasa

  • Sweeteners
    • Honey
    • Indian Date – Kharik

Indian date is Kashaya in nature

  • Herbs & seasonings
    • Parsley
    • Coriander
    • Basil
  • Ayurvedic Kashaya herbs used in Krya products
    • Amla
    • Haritaki
    • Vibhitaki
    • Triphala(combination of above 3 herbs)
    • Khadira
    • Arjuna Twak (bark)
    • Lodhra Twak (bark)
    • Sappanwood

 

Meal plan suggestions:

From this list, we can look at including the following naturally Astringent (sweet) foods in our diet to create a Pitta balancing diet .

  • Amla made in different methods 2 – 3 times a week: Can be made as a raita (using buttermilk or thin curd), Chutney, Preserve, or as a souring agent into Dal / Sambhar

Include Amla in your diet frequently

  • Pomegranates – 2 times a week – choose sweet fruits only
  • Chutneys / Dips / Pesto made from Basil / Coriander – twice a week
  • Overnight soaked Khajoora eaten once / twice a week

 

To sum up:

In part 1 of our post describing the Pitta balancing diet, we explored how using specific Rasas (tastes) in your meals can help bring down aggravated Pitta.  Using rasas which have opposing qualities as that of Pitta help balance spiked Pitta levels and also bring in better nourishment and satiety to the body, improving health.

In the next part of our blog post, we will explore how using specific dravyas and spices like milk, ghee, coriander seeds, etc help counter excess Agni in the body. In the case of certain dravyas, we will also explore how different prakritis (body types) should have these dravyas for optimal health. Part 3 of our post will have detailed daily meal plan suggestions that can help you plan a Pitta balancing diet.

 

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Why krya recommends A2 Cow Ghee for Good Skin and Great Hair

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Ayurvedic Recommendation :

Based on Ayurvedic texts, krya recommends regular dietary use of Desi A2 cow ghee for all prakritis. When we say “desi ghee” we usually refer to ghee made from the milk & curd of indigenous Indian cow breeds,  with a prominent “hump” on their shoulder . Theseindigenous breeds are derived from the primary strain of “Zebu cattle” , descended from Indian Aurochs.


Approximately 268 – 232 BC – representation of Zebu cattle on Rampurva Capital of the Pillars of Ashoka, excavated in Rampurva-West Champaran District, Bihar

 

What is commonly available today ?

What is available commonly today is A1 milk, curd and ghee. A1 milk is derived from the European version of Bos, which migrated away from the Asian and African heartland close to 4000 years ago. This species developed a slightly different version of Beta casein in the Milk which is now called A1 beta casein, as opposed to A2 Beta casein found in Indian indigenous cattle.

Why we recommend desi A2 Milk ?

As per Ayurveda and recent research, A2 milk is easier to process and digest by our bodies. In practice, we have found that A2 milk is usually less fatty, causes less bloating and digestive discomfort, and exhibits all the properties of Milk we have studied as per Ayurveda.

Issues with Commercial dairy farming and A1 Milk

When we buy Dairy from large conglomerates, they follow a collection + aggregation model . Here Milk is sourced from small dairy farmers with any breed of cow or buffalo , mixed together, homogenised to follow government
standards of fat percentage and then sold as toned milk, full fat milk, etc.
This is the case for all major co-operative dairy conglomerates across India.

• Milk is sourced from different kinds of daily cattle and mixed together: so we have desi (A2), foreign (jersey – A1), hybrid (desi+jersey), buffalo, and sometimes goats milk being mixed together . The properties of each of these are different and will have a different effect on the body. Depending upon the mixture we get, the body may accept it better or it may not.

• As Dairy farmers are rewarded for fat percentage of Milk (higher cost paid for higher milk fat), they are incentivised to replace lean indigenous breeds with foreign breeds which are naturally high in fat. Again to conserve milk fat, they restrict the animal’s movement and can feed the Animal high fat and unsuitable diet in order to extract high fat milk.

• Unnatural, cruel dairy farming practices: To extract maximum yield from Cows, dairy farmers unnecessarily induce lactation through hormone injections. The animals are often kept in crowded and unsanitary conditions leading to diseases and antibiotic injections. As the animal is subjected to so much strain, her natural life comes down to half.

• End user contamination: Often due to the presence of a very large cold-chain, on and off there is adulteration of Milk – Urea, Detergent powder, etc are used to preserve milk for a few days till it reaches you

Ayurvedic recommednation on sourcing Milk

Milk must be sourced from a farm where the animals are treated well. When we take Milk from a cow, we are taking a portion of food that she has produced for her calf. So we incur a Karmic debt towards the Cow and her Calf. We must ensure that we treat the Cow and her Calf well, look after their health and ensure they live happily with us to reduce that Karmic debt slightly. Hence these practices are specified in Ayurveda

• Milk must be taken after the calf has had her full
• Cow must not be subjected to extended lactation period simply to get more Milk out of her
• Cow and calf must be housed in clean, hygienic and pleasing environment
• Cow and calf must both be healthy and willing to spare excess Milk. We must not take milk from a cow who has lost her calf, or whose Calf is sick.
• Cow and calf must be allowed to graze and eat their normal diet. We must not give them food that is not suitable to them and which makes them ill (both are common practices in commercial dairy practice).
• As far as possible, we must take Milk from locally available breeds – their fat content and other nutrient parameters are most suitable for the climatic conditions we live in.
• We must source Raw, unpasteurised cow’s milk which we then boil at home as per prevalent Ayurvedic practice. Hence it is “cooked” for the first time when it reaches us.
• Dairy is precious. It is made by a Mother from her dhatus for us. We must use it as necessary and should not over indulge in it or waste it.

What to look for when sourcing Desi A2 Ghee ?

If you look at the above, it is ideal to make your own Desi A2 ghee from the Milk you buy everyday from a farm that you know of personally. This is a process – many of Us may not be there as yet. So here are some guidelines to determine whether the Ghee you are planning to buy is physically and spiritually correct for you and your family

• How are the Cows treated: A conversation / visit should have you enquiring about the health of the cows. Please remember sourcing ghee from badly treated cows is going to increase your spiritual / karmic debt. Ayurveda tells us that all food is endowed with “gunas” or spiritual qualities. The state of the people making the food, the state of the cow are both important to source truly good ghee. Therefore, it is preferable to source from smal local dairy farms or gaushalas which you can trust, to source ghee & milk.

• Milk – Ghee ratio: It takes about 30-36 litres of Desi A2 Milk to make 1 Kg of Desi A2 Ghee . This ratio is assuming normal fat proportion of Bos Indicus strains which is always lower than A1 strains. If you assume this ratio to be a factor in costing, Desi A2 Ghee should cost around Rs. 1200 – 1500 / Kg or more. Again costing depends upon many factors, primarily the fat percentage of the Milk produced by the Indigenous strain. Certain breeds like Gir and Red Sindhi have slightly higher fat percentage compared to certain strains like Kangeyam. So price will vary accordingly. If it costs less than Rs.700 / Kg, you should check whether it is actually Desi A2 cow ghee.

• How is the Ghee made: We are looking for Ghee to be made using the Ayurvedic method. Hence, Malai (cream) is taken out from Milk and stored. Curd starter is added to this Malai to make a thick curd. This is churned to extract Butter + Buttermilk (fat free chaas). This butter is then heated to make Ghee. This ghee is sweet, digestive, pitta balancing and chakshushya (good for the eyes). Many households also modify this process by adding Cream removed from curd along with Cream obtained from Milk – In this case, by the time we get to making butter, the cream has already become curd due to the presence of curd starter bacteria. Sometimes this can make the cream very smelly – so we recommend the first Method.

Generally if you use good quality A2 milk, you can make about 250 gm of ghee after saving Malai for 2 – 3 weeks.

How should Ghee look / taste and smell ?

Good quality ghee should have a characteristic pleasing, ruchi inducing aroma. It should not smell burned in any way (indicates that butter was excessively heated). It should be light and easy to absorb in your food.

Good quality A2 cow’s milk and ghee can have an excellent impact on your overall health and of course will help you build good skin and hair systems. It will be an excellent one-time investment of your time to switch to a good local brand so that you can ask the farmer all the relevant questions to re-assure yourself.

 

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The Krya Mini Abhyanga Guide : A Bridge to the Full Abhyanga

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

On the Krya blog, we have consistently extolled the benefits of the Abhyanga Snana as a very important Dinacharya ( Daily Habit). All the classical Ayurvedic textbooks have clearly defined the wide range of health benefits of a regular Abhyanga-Snana.

The full Abhyanga Snana involves a vigorous head-to-toe oil self-massage followed by Snana with a herb based bath powder.  And the Ayurvedic Acharyas recommend that all healthy adults can have a daily Abhyanga.

The Need for a Mini-Abhyanga

The very thought of a Abhyanga-Snana seems extremely daunting to many of us who have a packed, hassled morning routine. A quick shower with soap and shampoo is the most that many of us can cotemplate on a week-day

We have received a large number of message from our customers on how to get over the initial time and scheduling hurdles to incorporate this important habit into their routine – hence this guide which introduces the Mini-Abhyanga.

The Krya Mini-Abhyanga Guide

A Mini-Abhyanga should take around 10 minutes, focuses on key body parts that suffer dosha-aggravation and gives a few of the benefits of the full Abhyanga. You just need a Abhyanga skin oil and an ubtan to get started and it is recommended for all healthy adults.

We have designed this Mini-Abhyanga as a bridge to the full , proper Ayurvedic Abhyanga Snana. It will help new comers to get started and experience some of the important health benefits and motivate them to graduate to a full Abhyanga. For the regulars, it will help you to incorporate a mini-abhyanga when you have less time or when you are travelling.

The Mini-Abhyanga is not meant to replace the full Abhyanga. You can read about the full Abhyanga here .

In this guide we have given the instructions for both men & women and the different precautions to be taken.

Download the Krya Mini Abhyanga Guide  & do use it realize the wonderful health benefits of this important Ayurvedic Dinacharya.

 

 

 

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The Nourishing shampoo oxymoron

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

Are you also looking for a nourishing shampoo? Read on to find out why we believe the term” nourishing shampoo” is an oxymoron.

We often come across a weird statement when we quiz people with severe hair loss – they tell us rather proudly that they are using a very mild, very nourishing and very gentle shampoo. Some of them hasten to add, that they are using a mild nourishing baby shampoo. Some more, tell us that they are using an SLS free nourishing shampoo.

Can a synthetic shampoo actually be nourishing? We think not!

There are many oxymorons in the above statement. One is the oxymoron of the “nourishing shampoo”. The other is the oxymoron of the SLS free shampoo. The third is the oxymoron of the “mild baby shampoo”.

Why is a nourishing shampoo an urban myth?


A shampoo is a synthetic cleaner made from 2 sources: a degreaser invented in the 1940s to clean factory floors and cars and petroleum based emollients to artificially coat hair.
SLS and SLeS are 2 common synthetic surfactants that come from the original degreaser invented in the 1940s. Because of the strong customer backlash against SLS and SLeS, many other surfactants are now in use: For example, Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Decyl Glycoside, PEG 40 Glyceryl Cocoate .

 

A synthetic surfactant is scarily efficient at removing grease and dirt from any surface. This makes it great for a non living thing like a car or a shop floor, but terrible for a living organism like you and your hair.

 A shampoo is for cars - not hair!

Human body: adapts to changes in weather and environment


The human body is a complex, living mechanism that adapts quickly to changes in our diet, environment, age and other factors. So in winter, when the weather is cold and winds are drying, the body conserves moisture and oil by reducing sweat production. Sebum is tightly conserved in the body through various mechanisms to ensure skin and scalp is coated well.
Skin adjusts to changes in wetaher and conserves sebum accordingly.
The Agni production in the body increases, so you get hungry and are drawn to rich oily foods to supplement the need for sebum in the body.The body adjusts not just to external weather conditions. If you work in a cold, dry, winter Sahara like environment, the body adjusts to that as well – so you will find water conservation being practiced and sebum being tightly conserved.

A synthetic ‘nourishing shampoo’ – impervious to changes in weather


Obviously, a synthetic surfactant is impervious to all these minute changes. No matter whether it is winter, summer, freezing, and humid or dry, your nourishing shampoo will over cleanse and bubble the oil out of your scalp. In some seasons and some parts of your life, you could get away with this for sometime.
But in other seasons / life stages, this practice of over cleansing will catch up with you. Your hair will either over-react or increase sebum production leaving you looking perpetually oily. OR your scalp and hair will suffer, looking dry, brittle and rough as your Sebum production system literally gasps for breath.
Persistent shampoo use severely dries out skin & scalp

 

And therefore we come to the second part of a synthetic shampoo’s formula: the petroleum based coating agents that are put in to COVER UP the damage.

Cover up artists: added to make you believe your nourishing shampoo is actually nourishing


A synthetic shampoo without petroleum based coating agents will leave you depressed. A single wash will show you just how miserable, rough and dry your hair is. So these petroleum based coating agents and silicones are added to EVERY single synthetic shampoo to instantly coat the hair externally and cover up the damage.
A synthetic conditioner is a more concentrated form of the very same set of COVER UP ARTISTS: so if your hair NEEDS a conditioner after every wash and looks terrible without it, you should get a clue about how damaging your synthetic shampoo actually is. It is your nourishing shampoo that is damaging your hair, making it need the conditioner in the first place – there is nothing inherently wrong with your hair.
Silicone and petroleum derived ingredients are like cement – they are not food for your hair. They can at best coat the hair strands from outside. temporarily and cannot heal / nourish / repair it any way.

With constant use of these products, you run the risk of blocking the natural functioning of your scalp and coating it from outside . So your scalp is unable to breathe, cannot eliminate toxins, cannot produce the right amount of sebum and hair follicles are restricted form natural growth.

Conditioners are synthetic and coat hair, to cover up damage

Constantly using a nourishing shampoo has terrible consequences for hair


The combination of a Surfactant + Silicone and Petroleum derived coating agents is TERRIBLE for hair . Constant use of a synthetic surfactant thins down the natural scalp and skin membrane. This is because Surfactants are extremely good at dissolving all kinds of proteins (oils and grease).
Unfortunately hair and skin are both proteins – so consistent use of a protein dissolving surfactant on your scalp and skin is damaging and dangerous for your body. By thinning down the natural barrier your scalp and skin provide for your body, your shampoo allows all kinds of environmental toxins, and micro organisms to invade your body.

So a Synthetic shampoo is BAD NEWS for you, NOT NOURISHING and DANGEROUS for long term use.

A healthier, better alternative to a synthetic nourishing shampoo


Ayurveda suggests using a combination of WHOLE, NATURAL herbs, roots and flowers in the right combination for your hair type to cleanse your hair. Please note the use of the word “WHOLE” in this statement. This does not mean a synthetic shampoo with “Shikakai extracts” is okay to use on hair. This is an equally synthetic shampoo.
A truly natural hair cleansing option has to be:

1. Powder format

Krya uses a 100% natural, gentle cleansing base that uses whole herbs, lentils & healing clays
2. Using whole herbs that have been processed appropriately
3. No extracts should be used in this mix – we know a product does not contain extracts if it contains fiber and if residues remain on your hair
How to craft a truly natuarl product : start with whole herbs
4. Low foam that is thin and watery and not thick and creamy like a synthetic shampoo
We have written an extensive post earlier on some of the challenges we face when creating a truly natural shampoo at Krya.

Improvements to hair health when a truly natural shampoo powder is used:


When this truly natural shampoo powder is used in conjunction with regular hair oiling, we notice the following effects:

1. Hair has balanced sebum secretion, so you need to wash it less frequently
2. Scalp is healthy – it is not coated with residue and there is healthy hair growth

 

3. Scalp is not dry, itchy and flaky – indicating that sebum production is not under siege due to harsh cleansing

4. Hair feels smooth, silky, has good colour that is close to nature.

5. There are no split ends and little or no static when you brush / comb hair

6. Hair has good elastic strength – you can tug, twist or style it without it breaking

When you use a truly natural shampoo powder, hair's elasticity & tug strength improves

Is there a CON to using a truly natural shampoo powder? YES. It takes some getting used to. It is not as convenient as using a synthetic shampoo. BUT, it is great for hair. And it is NOT a CON-ARTIST like your synthetic nourishing shampoo.

To sum up:

Through this post, we hoped to disabuse you of the notion that synthetic shampoos are mild, nourishing or even good for you.  A truly natural, authentic , Ayurvedic shampoo powder is FAR better and healthier for your hair.

Here is what we recommend for various kinds of hair issues:
1. For pitta aggravation (premature hair graying, hair thinning), choose the Krya Classic hair range –http://bit.ly/kryapittaprakritihaircare
2. For vata based aggravation (dry scalp, dry, brittle, dull, rough hair that breaks easily) choose the Krya Conditioning hair range – http://bit.ly/kryavatahaircarerange
3. For high mental stress based vata aggravation (inability to sleep, wound up, long working hours, poor hair growth and dry hair), choose the Krya harmony range – http://bit.ly/kryastresshairfallrange
4. For poor hair growth and breakdown in hair quality due to high chemical damage (perming, straightening, re-bonding, re-texturing treatments, frequent synthetic colouring and heat treatments), choose the Krya Damage repair Range – http://bit.ly/kryadamagerepairrange
5. For fungal dandruff (thick, yellow, oily, itchy, thick dandruff flakes) choose the Krya Anti dandruff range – http://bit.ly/kryaantidandruffrange
6. For extremely slow hair growth combined with extremely high hair loss typically after illness or long term medication ( Dengue, malaria, chikungunya, Fertility treatment, Hypo thyroidism, PCOD, PCOS) choose the Krya Intense hair range – http://bit.ly/kryaintenserangeIf you are seeing a combination of symptoms or are unable to choose, write to us or call us (0-75500-89090).

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How to revamp Chemically Damaged hair – choosing the right Damage Repair Shampoo

Krya damage repair shampoo powder for chemically damaged hair
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Reading Time: 10 minutes

Desperately Seeking Susan a Damage Repair Shampoo for chemically damaged, over processed hair that actually works?

We’ve all been there. Flush with a salary cheque, and dreams of transforming the way you look, you find your way into the high end salon. Every single salon “artiste” there is sports a sharp cut and a heady mix of colours on the hair. Emboldened by this, you throw caution to the winds and go all out. a hair cut and a completely new style, recommended by the “Salon director” himself and a fresh new head of hair emerges. It looks great on day 1. A week later, after your first wash, the disaster strikes.

 

Synthetic hair colours look great only for a short time

A few months later, to your horror, you notice that your hair is dull, rough, limp a day after shampooing, and is JUST NOT GROWING! Your salon artist now says: “ Hair growth these days is weak due to pesticides / pollution / toxins in the air. Try our new salon conditioning spa / remineralising service / hair vitamin makeover treatment”.

Several visits, hair treatments and several thousand Rupees later, you realise NOTHING is working – your hair is damaged.

Shortly after colouring and synthetic treatments, hair is now damaged

If the above account sounded eerily personal, it is because I too was there.

Flush with cash and all the self confidence of a 25 year old, I started on my 5 year hair destruction journey. It started innocuously with a perm, then a hair cut. Then several hair colours. Then hair straightening. And before you knew it, I was 29, with oily limp hair, a decided case of hair receding and thinning and abysmal or no hair growth.

It took me many years of concerted effort and working on my hair to see results. You can read my hair repair journey in this earlier post.  So, when we created a Hair care “map” at Krya, a range for Chemically Damaged hair was very high on my priority list.

Why is chemically damaged & over processed hair so fragile?

We write constantly about the perils of chemical damage . Chemical hair colouring is a very easy way to damage hair. Unfortunately, many of the salon treatments sold to “repair” this damage are even more damaging. Our earlier posts will give you information on exactly how hair is damaged when we resort to synthetic hair colouring and synthetic treatments which are sold to us to “improve” our hair.

 

Characteristics of Chemically damaged and over processed hair:

Chemically damaged hair is very fragile and difficult to handle. When hair is damaged due to synthetic colouring, the cuticle loses its natural elasticity. Therefore it is unable to close and seal off hair from becoming too porous.

chemically damaged hair is fragile

As a result, chemically damaged hair quickly absorbs water and salts from washing. This dullens the appearance of hair. It also makes hair prone to breakage, especially at points where salts have entered the hair shaft.

To control hair’s fizziness and brittle texture, salon stylists advise using special conditioners and hair serums . This is suggested to soften hair texture externally and make it easy to work with. However, these products clog the scalp, and dullen the functioning of hair follicles. As a result, we see slow and delayed hair growth.

synthetic conditioners, masques, spa treatments and serums further clog the scalp, preventing good hair growth

Chemical treatments also aggravate the production of sebum in hair. and aggravate either Pitta or Vata dosha or both in hair.

Lightening your hair colour several shades from your natural colour  aggravates Pitta dosha severely in the scalp. So the scalp becomes excessively oily and hair starts to thin much faster than usual. Any effort to cleanse scalp aggressively only produces more & more sebum, making hair oilier.

When the texture of hair is altered (straightening / perming), there is a build up in Vata Aggravation along with Pitta aggravation. So hair becomes dry, straw like, rough and unmanageable. Split ends severely increase, and hair has a dull, greyish sheen with a dry, rough texture. Combing / brushing this hair is an ordeal. It tangles very fast and hair breaks if it is pulled even slightly or combed.

Hair texture alterations aggravate vata and pitta dosha making hair rough, dry & brittle

 

Challenges when formulating a truly natural Damage Repair Shampoo :

We spoke last week about some of our challenges in formulating truly natural products. Formulating a truly natural Damage Repair shampoo for chemically damaged and over-processed hair, is an extremely challenging task.

Some of the questions / issues we ponder when working on this challenge are:

  • How can we ensure the shampoo cleans the scalp thoroughly, yet ensure that Pitta / Vata is not aggravated?
  • How can we formulate our herbal powder shampoos in such a way that the herb particles do not irritate already frizzy hair?
  • Can we deep cleanse scalp and ensure we are able to unclog old debris and accumulated silicones?
  • How can we formulate our shampoo so that hair is left reasonably manageable after a wash, without loading our natural hairwash with synthetics like silicones?

The Krya Truly Natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder:

After many years of research, we launched the Krya Damage Repair hair system in early 2017. The Krya Damage Repair hair system contains the Krya Damage Repair hair oil . The system also contains the Krya Damage Repair hair mask , a once a week treatment for over processed hair. And finally, the system contains the Krya truly natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder.

krya damage repair hair revitalising system

Here are some key differences in the way we formulate this 100% natural, Damage Repair Shampoo powder:

Krya Damage Repair Shampoo Powder: Made 100% from whole Ayurvedic herbs and grains – synthetics free

We use 23 gentle, hair nourishing Ayurvedic herbs to formulate the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder. We create this product ONLY from whole Ayurvedic herbs, grains , lentils and clays.

By using a 100% natural formulation, we ensure the scalp is not irritated, coated with toxins, or stripped dry of sebum.

krya damage repair shampoo powder - truly toxin free & 100% natural

The benefits of using a 100% whole herb formulation are manifold. Specifically for chemically damaged hair, using this product will not stimulate excessive oil production, nor will it dry out and tax hair. So , in time, hair’s sebum production becomes better balanced. Hair is less limp and oily. The scalp is  cleaner, more clarified and balanced .

Krya Damage Repair Shampoo Powder: Carefully chosen set of Plant surfactants: for safe, gentle cleansing

Many with chemically damaged hair think that using a sulphate free shampoo would help hair. Many of us also believe that all Sulphate free shampoos are completely natural and non toxic.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Almost all synthetic shampoos used some form of synthetic surfacant. Sulphate based surfactants like SLs and SLeS have now been in use for 50+ years. With time, research indicates that these surfactants are pernicious, protein denaturing and can cause rips and tears in skin, scalp, in the gums etc. This creates gaps in the body which can be used by invasive microorganisms or synthetic chemicals.

HOWEVER: in the race to replace Sulphates and create “sulphate free” products, companies are using other kinds of problem synthetic surfactants.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) is a synthetic surfactant found in many sulphate free cleansers. It is marketed as “completely natural” and “non toxic” and is bought by those who believe it will help chemically damaged, dry hair.

CAPB is made from a chemical process which combines coconut oil with Dimethylaminopropylamine to create  an “amphoteric surfactant”. An amphoteric surfactant is a cunning chemical compound which can be used in both acidic and alkaline mediums . So depending upon the PH, Cocamidopropyl Betaine can double up as a lathering agent in shampoo, or act as a thickener in conditioners.

Despite being promoted as “wholly natural”, CAPB is just another synthetic surfactant. It is linked to allergic dermatitis, eczema and other allergic skin conditions.

Other synthetic surfactants like CAPB masquerade as natural cleansers - used in so called natural or organic shampoos

Most importantly, CAPB will irritate chemically damaged hair. It will strip scalp dry and excessively stimulate oil production. It will also further block and clog the scalp.

 

Krya’s special cleansing base in all natural shampoo powders

Krya, uses a unique cleansing base in all of our natural Shampoo powders. We use whole plant surfactants like Desert Date (Balanites aegyptica), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) and Sopberry (Sapnidus trifiliatus). In addition, we also use whole grains like Whole Mung bean (Vigna radiata), Whole black gram (Vigna mungo) . We also use healing clays . This combination of whole plant surfactants, whole lentils and healing clays creates our very gentle, cleansing base in our Damage Repair Shampoo powder.

This whole natural cleaning base is mildly acidic . This ensures that the sebum production in your scalp is not taxed. It also means that the entire mixture works WITH and not against the scalp’s natural system.

Krya uses a 100% natural, gentle cleansing base that uses whole herbs, lentils & healing clays

This formulation makes the Damage Repair Shampoo powder SUPER MILD, mildly acidic and extremely gentle on the scalp.

Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder: Gentle plant conditioners that improve hair quality and manageability:

Synthetic hair fixers, serums and conditioners offer us temporary highs. On the day of use, they leave hair feeling soft, shiny, manageable and tamed. BUT: the persistent use of these silicones forms a temporary cement like coating on hair and scalp.

This clogs the fine pores in the scalp slowing down hair growth. Also, as hair is only temporarily fixed, it is back to its original unmanageable condition after your next wash. As no steps have been taken to repair hair, the passage of time tends to worsen its health and appearance.

Our ayurvedic herbs are more than just natural conditioners for hair. Every hair texture improving herb we use also revitalises & improves scalp health.

krya whole herb conditioners improve hair texture, manageability and stimulate hair growth

For example, Arjuna leaf and Fenugreek seed both work to improve fungal dandruff, scalp itchiness and flaking. . Hibiscus leaf and flower, detoxify and clarify the scalp and promote healthy hair growth as well. Therefore, as you use the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder, there is a steady improvement in hair manageability and hair health .

 Herbs chosen specially for their Rasayana and Dosha balancing properties: Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder

Chemically damaged hair has very slow hair growth and poor hair quality of new hair. The new growing hair is fine, thin and weak rooted like baby hair.

Ayurveda advises using Rasayana herbs here to help improve the quality of new , sprouting hair. To work holistically, these Rasayana herbs should be used across oils, lepas and shampoos. This helps build up their bio availability to the body. When these  Rasayana herbs are used in our Shampoo formulation, they help unclog and detoxify the scalp, promoting conditions for better hair growth.

Some of the Rasayana herbs we use in the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder formulation are Amla, Bhringaraj, Punarnava, Mulethi & Bala.

Rasayana herbs are used in the damage repair shampoo to revitalise and improve hair quality

 

In addition, to balance aggravated Pitta and Vata dosha, we use Brahmi, Neem flower, and Neem leaf.

Scalp clarifying and promoting micro-circulation in the scalp for better oxygenation, blood supply and hair growth:

Chemically damaged hair also has a unique problem. The scalp and hair is usually coated with salts and other minerals as the cuticular structure is damaged . This causes a dull, greyish scum like coating on the hair and scalp surface. This also prevents healthy hair growth and weakens hair strands terribly leading to breakage and split ends.

To work on this, we use scalp clarifying and micro-circulation promoting herbs like Rosemary, Manjishtha, Lemongrass and Triphala. These herbs encourage the removal of heavy salts from the scalp. They also improve blood circulation in the scalp and promote healthier hair growth.

Krya also uses scalp clarifing & micro circulation enhancing herbs like Rosemary, Lemongrass, Manjishta, etc

 

Please note: simply using the Krya Damage repair Shampoo will not help completely improve chemically damaged hair. For holistic damage repair, you must use both the Krya damage repair hair oil and the Krya Damage repair hair revitalising mask, in addition.

 

How to use the Krya Natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder :

Chemically damaged , over processed hair should be treated extremely gently.

Scalp oiling: 

As the scalp needs clarifying and detoxifying, it is unable to absorb too much oil at first. But, this kind of hair REALLY needs frequent oiling to regain its health.

So, please oil the hair with the Krya Damage repair hair oil, in tiny doses, spread through the week. Massage the scalp gently with 4 – 5 drops of the oil on the scalp alone. Do this 3 – 4 times a week.

 

Krya Damage repair hair oil must be used 4 - 5 times a week to improve scalp health & encourage damage repair

Hair Washing : 

As hair is porous, and greatly damaged, chemically damaged, over processed hair should be washed only once a week.

On the day of the hair wash, oil hair using the Krya Damage repair hair oil. The oil must completely coat the hair strands with oil. Do this atleast 1 hour before wash. This oiling helps seal the hair externally and prevents any further salts from penetrating the hair.

After an hour, wash the hair with the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder.

Make the Hairwash into a slightly drippy, pancake batter like paste, using cool water. In order to be gentle on the hair, we advise applying the Shampoo powder like a hair mask / pack / Lepa. Section the hair using a well made comb, and apply the paste gently all over scalp and hair.

Ensure you do not tangle hair during this application – so please comb and detangle hair before applying the Shampoo paste. If hair is reasonably strong, the portion applied to the scalp can be massaged using circular motions. If the hair is very weak, skip this step.

Put on a shower cap on your hair after applying the Shampoo paste and leave it on for about 20 – 30 minutes. Then rinse off gently using cool water. The shower cap is to ensure that the Shampoo paste does not dry out on hair. This is critical.

Use the Damage Repair mask once a week : 

Once a week, apply the Krya Damage Repair Hair Mask / Lepa to treat chemically damaged hair. We will cover the properties of this product and how it should be used, in greater detail in a separate post.

 

Apply the krya damage repair hair mask once a week

These 3 products are ALL chemically damaged hair needs. You should not use anything else on your hair. NO synthetic conditioners / serums / hair sprays, etc should be used on chemically damaged hair . Using such products will simply undo the good work you are doing for your hair.

 

To Sum up:

This post was an introductory post. We explained why choosing the right products is CRITICAL for chemically damaged, over processed hair. Hair that is this badly damaged cannot afford any further assault with synthetic chemicals. Therefore stop using synthetic shampoos and switch to a truly natural, Damage Repair Shampoo for this hair.

At Krya, many of our consumers have seen extremely good results with the consistent use of the Krya Damage Repair hair products. With dedicated effort and regular use, they have been able to reverse the signs of chemical damage. Hair growth has gradually normalised and hair quality has also significantly improved.

Along with these products, following a hair nourishing and dhatu building , healthy balanced diet also helps greatly. If you too have chemically damaged hair, and would like to try this system, please explore the products here. If you have any doubts / questions, please email us or call us (075500-89090).

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Is my shampoo truly natural: Krya’s perspective

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Reading Time: 9 minutes

When we describe our products and talk about how our products contain only purely natural, ayurvedic herbs, we often hear a counter: “But how can I tell if my shampoo is truly natural” (or face wash or body wash). This is an interesting and challenging question.

What makes a product “a truly natural product”? Do we go by the conventional easy definition which says that if a product’s main  ingredients are derived from renewable, plant based resources and not petroleum, a product is natural?

Is something a truly natural product? This is the modern dilemma

If we did follow the above definition, Krya would be a completely different company today and we would be selling loads and loads of shiny, water based products in bottles with pretty colours and scents. So, clearly, this is not Krya’s definition of a truly natural shampoo / face wash / face serum.

What is a truly natural product: Krya’s standard

Krya follows a much more stringent and strict standard of what consists of a truly natural product. All our products are made only from 4 kinds of ingredients:

  • Whole Plant parts (  herbs, roots, shoots, leaves, fruits, flowers and seeds). When we say the word “Whole” we mean harvested fresh or dry plant parts , not extracts, distillates or essences.
  • Whole plant based, expeller pressed, organic Oils and Butters
  • Whole Plant pressed essential oils
  • Clays, Earth and Soils with specific healing characteristics

Any ingredients that does not meet the above 4 criteria is not used at Krya. So we do not use Plant based extracts, even if they are more potent and concentrated: as they do not fall into or “Whole Plant” definition. We do not use solvent extracted oils even if they are cheaper, as they are neither organic nor cold pressed.

The 4 ingredient types behind creating a truly natural krya product

And we do not use any ingredients that are DERIVED as a secondary or tertiary by product from plants. To us these are simply chemicals which have been extracted from Plants and are not truly natural. So we use no surfactants like Sodium Coco Beteine. Nor do we try and pass of Sodium Laureth sulphate as a natural, coconut based surfactant. Because we understand that even though these ingredients may have once formed a part of a plant, their extraction and isolation process have transformed them into something else- they can no longer be called “truly natural”.

Which brings me to the second important part of what makes a product, truly natural: the way it is processed.

What is a truly natural product: Krya’s processing standard

As we have seen from the above examples, ,today even harmful chemical surfactants like Sodium Laureth Sulphate are being passed off as natural. This is because the source this chemical compound was originally isolated from was a plant.

To keep our process truly natural, and ensure such chemicals do not pass muster at Krya, we follow a stringent processing standard in our factory:

  • We start production only with WHOLE herbs – we do not work with isolates, extracts or essences as many of them are made using chemical isolation techniques

How to craft a truly natuarl product : start with whole herbs

  • The herbs are bought WHOLE, cleaned and then processed in the correct manner and then sent for final manufacturing
    • The herbs are not altered with or tampered in any way – we do not change their colour, aroma, texture or any other properties deliberately
  • We use only solid formats which do not require any preservatives. By avoiding the use of water in our products, we are bale to ensure that not a single preservative, base, or any manner of manufactured ingredient goes into our products

krya truly natural procesisng technique: use solid formats that do not require preservatives

  • The herbs used in each of our products add up to 100% – there is no OTHER filler, base or any other synthetics used in our products
  • All fresh herbs, fruits and oils used are sourced only from organic sources, in season. We do not use out-of-season, chemically treated produce.

Krya's truly natural processing technique: use of seasonal organic produce

  • Oils are made from scratch using the ayurvedic tila paka method. This method of ayurvedic oil manufacturing helps extract botanical nutrients much more efficiently into oil. It also helps us avoid the use of fillers, colours, stabilisers and preservatives.

krya natural processing technique - oils

This definition of “100% natural” or “truly natural” is unique to Krya. This definition goes way beyond legal requirement or license guidelines. Even the strictest of natural product certifications allow some inclusion of synthetics to make up a format. But we, are proud to say, that our internal requirement is the strictest and most accurate definition of a truly natural product.

This definition of creating “truly natural” product imposes some restrictions and challenges for us as formulators. It is the solving of these restrictions and challenges that lead to the differences between how natural products look and feel compared to synthetics.

 Challenges faced when creating a truly natural product

One of the reasons large corporations gravitate towards making standardized chemical formulations is their ease of use and simplicity to manufacture. Because standardized chemical ingredients are used in the making of these products, the output we get is also standard.

So your synthetic detergent will always look , feel, and smell the same. You can literally close your eyes and smell its chemical fragrance and identify what you are using.

Mass market products are consistent because they are essentially synthetic

This simplistic consistency is not possible to achieve in a truly natural product due to a number of factors. This is possibly why many Krya consumers can  observe minor variations across our batches of cleansers, oils and lepas. Sometimes there is also a variation across seasons. why does this occur? We will explain this through today’s post.

Seasonal variation in produce : truly natural products

Krya uses fresh organic produce seasonally in each of our skin and hair oils. Our skin oils use varied organic produce like pomegranates, muskmelon, pineapple, mangoes, etc. These organic fruits go into the Krya Classic skin oil and the Krya Moisture Plus skin oil and the upcoming Krya After sun Skin oil and the Krya Dauhridini Body oil.

krya's products vary slightly depending upon the seasonal organic produce that goes into them

The selection of this set of organic fresh produce depends upon season, and the problem we are trying to solve. Every single fruit comes with its own inherent colour, taste, aroma and texture. So if the organic produce that goes into the oil changes, the oil will also subtly change, echoing the characteristics of the produce that goes into it.

So, it stands to reason that if a company says it is adding an organic mango into its product, you should not see this variant in february. It should only be available in the organic mango season!

Time to be suspicious?

 Availability of herbs : a challenge faced when creating truly natural products

The Ayurvedic Samhitas and Nighantus document several thousand herbs with many variations in sub species depending upon geography and climatic conditions. However, due to dwindling interest, urbanisation and lack of proper collection mechanisms, many of these herbs are not easily available to us.

But, as we expand our product base and widen our search, we stumble upon certain herb collectors or organisations who can source some of these herbs for us. Therefore, our formulations always have a small percentage kept aside for these kind of rare herbs. Whenever they become available to us, we add them into our formulations.

An example of this is “kaala haldi” or Curcuma caesia. This is a rare variety of Zeodary which is documented as being found in the eastern wetlands of Bengal and Assam.

Curcuma caesia is a renowned herb to help cure certain skin diseases, reduce vata aggravation and joint pain, etc due to its high camphoraceous content.

Black turmeric: renonwned ayurvedic herb for inflammation, skin cleaning, etc

We have been searching for reliable suppliers of Kali haldi for a few years now and have just stumbled on a source. So when we get access to herbs like this, they find their way into our formulations.

So formulae can also vary / change depending upon availability of herbs. This affects the way the final products looks / feels and smells.

The effect of regional and geographical differences on herbs:

The Ayurvedic Samhitas tell us that the “kala” (season) and “desha” (geography) from where a herb is harvested alters the properties of the herbs subtly. This is because of the climatic conditions under which the herb grows and also the richness and natural nutrients available in the soil.

An example of this is one variety of organic turmeric which we source from Meghalaya. This variety of turmeric is the same species of turmeric which is used across Indian households in cooking. But due to its cultivations in this hilly region, presence of abundant rain and relatively un-urbanized and pristine surroundings, the turmeric has a much higher percentage of Curcumin as is seen in the plains. This makes the turmeric slightly higher in oil content, and its colour is a distinct yellow-orange with a strong and rich aroma.

high curcumin turmeric is used in krya's skin care products for its potent skin healing properties

In this example, the herb is distinctively different from its counterpart that grows on the plains. But this does not make it superior to other varieties of organic turmeric – just different and more suitable to its “desha”.

We see subtle differences across many herbs depending upon “desha”. For example: the Sapindus trifoliatus (soapberry) we use across our products has regional differences when sourced from wet climates vs dryer climates – the colour of the fruit, aroma and foam head all differ depending upon geography.

 Seasonal variations in herbs

The Ashtanga hridayam tells us that herbs are less juicy, intense and more woody in Adana Kala and in seasons like Greeshma Ritu (summer season).  So when we make our hair and skin oils in Summer vs say Winter, there is a marked difference in the Swarasas (fresh juices) , Kashayas (deocotions) and Kwathas (herb infusions) we make as a prequel to making our final oil.

The Swarasas make in dry season is typically darker, more intense in its aroma and is much more concentrated. This makes the oils made in this season look darker and feel slightly thicker.

All these above reasons cause minor , subtle variations in truly natural products like Krya’s hair, skin and home care products. These differences do not affect how the products works for you, but it will affect the consistency of aesthetics you come to expect from a product.

The Krya “Signature” – what continues unchanging across all our batches

Someone reading this could very well ask what unites our products across batches despite minor changes in the formulations. Yes a truly natural product can expect to get perfect consistency across every single batch due to all the factors listed above. But, at Krya, we try and ensure there are a few uniting factors across our formulations:

Use of Signature Ingredients in Krya’s products:

In some of our products, we use certain “Signature Ingredients”. An example of this is Chamomile and Green Tea which go into the Krya Classic face wash formulation. Since our test launch of this product in January 2013, these signature ingredients go into almost every batch of the formulation.

Signature ingredients in Krya classic face wash: chamomile and green tea

We have, so far, made only one batch without the use of organic Chamomile due to lack of availability from our regular supplier. Regular customers were quick to pick up this difference and demanded to know why their facewash was not smelling the way it used to!

Signature Colours across Krya’s products / product categories:

Many Krya hair oils and skin oils have a signature colour or belong to a specific colour family. For example, the Krya traditional Baby massage oil usually has a reddish-brown colour due the use of Manjishta in the formulation.

Krya traditional baby massage oil - caries a signature colour, aroma and texture

Both the Krya Abhyanga Oils (classic and Intense) also have this reddish brown colour and a distinctive fragrance due to the use of certain herbs like bala, ashwagandha, nochi leaf, etc.

Signature properties across each batch

Notwithstanding the minor differences in formulation depending upon seasonality, herb availability, etc, obviously the one major uniting factor across each batch is the way each Krya product works for you.

We take care to ensure that the texture of the product is similar across batches. This is especially important in products meant for sensitive skin like the Krya toddler bodywash for Sensitive Skin and the Krya Sensitive Bodywash for Adults.  Here due to the dosha vitiation in skin, skin is particular sensitive to rough edges in the product and a small texture change can trigger a reaction like a rash.

Similarly, despite minor formulation changes, our skin products meant for Pitta prakriti skin like the Krya Classic range or the Krya After Sun range is always designed to cool, soothe and draw out excess Pitta from skin. So the products always feel refreshing during use and skin feels lighter and fresher after use.

Signature properties: krya's aftersun range always balances pitta and soothes skin

To Sum up:

Truly natural products are a minuscule minority. Most often , we have standardised commercial products hiding under the guise of a truly natural product. Therefore, when we do come across truly natural products, we are taken aback at their aesthetics and the textural and minor differences we see across batches.

I hope this post educated you on why these differences in texture, aroma or colour could exist in a truly natural product. I also hope this post helped you appreciate the many challenges behind creating a truly natural product.

If you too would like to try our truly natural range of skin, home and hair care goodies, please explore our offerings online. For product queries or doubts please write to us or call us on (0)75500-89090.

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What time to do an Abhyanga?

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We often speak at Krya about the health giving benefits about doing an Abhyanga. The question we are often asked is what time to do an abhyanga? Should abhyanga time be chosen by prakriti? This post will answer this question.

Choosing the right abhyanga time: body clock

Everything in Ayurveda is calibrated to the body clock which in turn has a strong correlation with the movement of the Sun. This clock varies subtly according to season, and also depends on whether the Sun is in Uttarayana or Adana Kala (travelling northwards or Southwards).

However, given these subtle variations, we can practically set our clock, by the body clock. The body will carry out its repair and re-set functions relentlessly during the day according to schedule.

So all things going well, our liver will proceed to re-calibrate and repair itself around 11 pm which is the second peak Pitta period. The liver is considered an organ of Agni , therefore strongly influenced by Pitta dosha in Ayurveda.

Brahma Muhurtham – second Vata peak, ideal for waking up

Similarly, we are advised to wake up in Brahma Muhurtha which is roughly 90 minutes before Sunrise which is smack in the middle of the second peak Vata period. Due to the increase in Vata in the body at this time, we can wake up without strain (if we have eaten and slept properly the previous way). The body is full of lightness and mobile energy at this time influenced by Peak Vata dosha.

On the other hand, the later we wake up up after Sunrise, we find ourselves in Peak Kapha territory. This makes us hit the snooze button, sleep some more and feel heavy and lazy.

Choosing the right abhyanga time: depends upon what you are trying to correct

By this time it should be obvious to you that depending upon what you are trying to fix, you should choose your abhyanga time. Each dosha peak time lasts around 4 hours. The beginning and ending times of this period are lighter times and times when one dosha is subtly morphing into the next one.

So at 5:55 am for example, Vata is subtly moving into Kapha territory. So BOTH doshas are at their weakest point.

But at 8:30 am, we are right in the middle of Kapha peak time where Kapha is at its strongest best. So if we have a Kapha prakriti, we will have the strongest disinclination to do an abhyanga at this period – we will be tempted to eat something, or sleep in and will try and dismiss the abhyanga to the next day. So the texts advise that we be aware of both this clock and our prakriti when we choose abhyanga times!

Choosing the correct Abhyanga time - The ayurvedic body clock

Difference between Peak & non-Peak Dosha period

Peak Kapha period

Having said the above, there is a difference between the peak Kapha time in the morning (6 am – 10 am) and the evening (6 pm – 10 pm). In the morning, the Kapha time is tempered by the energy of the rising Sun. Therefore, even though this is peak Kapha time, this period is considered nourishing and dhatu building in Ayurveda. This is why we can have a light breakfast or drink a glass of milk at this time. Due to influence of the sun, the digestion will be smooth and food will not sit in the system, unless we over-eat, do not chew well, or do not follow other ayurvedic eating rules, etc.

But the evening Kapha period does not have this advantage. As the Sun has already set, the evening Kapha period is much stronger in its scope. So if we over-eat, eat Kapha aggravating foods, etc, we will produce excess Ama in the body , put on stubborn weight, create a feeling of lassitude and heaviness in the body.

Although each dosha repeats itself twice during 24 hours, only one of these are very strong – we call these peak Dosha times.

Peak Pitta: 10 am – 2 pm (mid morning Pitta)
Peak Vata: 2 am – 6 am – (before sunrise Vata)
Peak Kapha – 6 pm – 10 pm (late evening & night Kapha)

Peak Pitta period

Peak Pitta is the morning Period between 10 am – 2 pm. Hence we are supposed to AVOID stepping out, getting into a strong Pitta flaring argument, over-eating spicy food , tamarind and curd and any sudden shocks to the system (like a bath, swimming, etc) which can interfere with Pitta building up in the system as is natural.

An Abhyanga at this time will NOT have the effects we want as Pitta is already building upto a crescendo in the system due to the Sun. Instead Abhyanga will interfere with Pitta building and douse the Pitta in the system suddenly if done at this time.So we should have bathed long before this phase has started.

The dead centre of this phase is best for digestion. Hence Ayurveda advises to have the largest meal of the day at this time, as the body has enough Pitta to digest food well.

Peak Vata period

Peak Vata period is 2 am – 6 am (early morning). Ayurveda says this is the time when brain activity has re-started so there are rapid eye movements in this stage. This is NOT the time of deep sleep. Instead the body is preparing to wake up having processed everything. So if we GO to sleep at this time (as is common among night shift employees), the body will feel tired, dissipated and restless as we have tried to sleep at the time when it wants to wake up.

Abhyanga to centre aggravated vata

An abhyanga is advised towards the end of this peak Vata period – around 5:30 am, just around sunrise. If we do it in the middle of this period (say around 4 am), there is too much Vata in the system for Abhyanga to re-set. Towards the end, if we catch the body when Vata is winding down and BEFORE Kapha increases, we will be energetic and be able to re-set aggravated Vata dosha.

We have tackled Vata prakriti and Kapha prakriti doing Abhyanga and what time they should choose. So what about Pitta prakriti?

Abhyanga to settle aggravated Pitta

As per the clock, it seems like we should be doing Abhyanga at 9:45 am! But by this time, we are supposed to have bathed and eaten breakfast, drunk our milk , etc. Abhyanga cannot be done unless atleast 2 hours have passed after last meal. This would bring our Abhyanga close to 11 am which is at the time Pitta is building up.

Hence for Pitta prakriti people, we choose the first hour after Sunrise. As the sun climbs, it becomes more and more uncomfortable for Pitta prakriti people. They may not have the resistance to physical work that Kapha prakriti people can have, so they need not stick to doing Abhyanga around Sunrise. But the later the wait, the more uncomfortable it will become for them, so we suggest 1 hour within Sunrise.

So to sum up:

This post described the ayurvedic body clock and explained how each peak and non peak dosha period allows our body time to re-pair and re-set itself. The post also explained the rationale behind choosing the correct abhyanga time for each kind of dosha aggravation.

  • For strong vata aggravation : The right abhyanga time is 30 minutes before Sunrise or just around Sunrise
  • For strong Kapha aggravation: The right abhyanga time is around Sunrise or within 30 minutes of Sunrise
  • For strong Pitta aggravation:  The right abhyanga time is within 1 hour of Sunrise – this can be stretched to slightly later if weather is not too hot

 

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How to use Rasnadi Churnam – a video guide

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One of the fears that people have when we recommend regular hair oiling for good hair growth is the fear of catching a cold. For those with high kapha aggravation or an existing sinusitis problem, this is a very real worry. The answer? Rasnadi Churnam – a safe , effective ayurvedic chooranam (powder) that retains warmth in the head, prevents mucous formation and helps clear blocked sinuses with regular use, safely and effectively.

Here is a short video we just shot for the Krya Product Support Group,  a facebook community, on how you can effectively use Rasnadi Churnam correctly & effectively.

Rasnadi Churnam is a classical ayurvedic formulation that has many uses. It can also be effectively used to control Migraine attacks which are Pitta based. For external application, Rasnadi Churnam is safe even to be used for small infants. For inhalation, we recommend that it be done only for 5 years and above. As a precautionary measure, pregnant women should NOT inhale Rasnadi Churnam – they can apply it on the scalp as demonstrated in the video.

The Krya Product Support Community is a Facebook community we created to help support the use of our products, share Ayurvedic guidelines for better skin and hair care and answer product usage doubts quickly. Do join us here.

Now for the video:

If you have any queries on our products, or would like our help choosing the right products, do write to us. 

 

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