Ritucharya for Vasanta (Spring) – ayurvedic guidelines to get balanced and stay healthy in spring

Vasanta Ritucharya: ayurvedic seasonal regimen to reduce pollen allergies, spring fever
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Have you begun to sniffle, sneeze and put away your winter jackets? Has the season change caught you unawares? One of the most powerful concepts in Ayurveda medicine is the concept of Ritucharya – seasonal regimens to be followed to naturally balance the changes in your doshas due to the change in climate and season. This post will speak about the Ayurvedic concept of Ritucharya and also look at the Ritucharya recommended in Vasanta (spring) so that you can stay healthy in spring.

Preventive health care and staying healthy across seasons:

Ayurveda’s goal is to prevent the formation of disease by following certain guidelines of good living. This is best described by Acharya Charaka in his Sutra Sthana shlokas:

“Swasthasya Swasthya Rakshanam Aaturasya Vikara Prashamanam Cha”

He explains that the goal of medicine (Ayurveda) is to rejuvenate and preserve the health of the healthy and then to alleviate diseases in the ill. This order of first  tending to the healthy and then  treating the sick is specific to Ayurveda. It explains why so much of Ayurveda is primarily focused on health giving regimens rather than disease treatment .

This emphasis on preserving health is why Dincharya and Ritucharya regimes (regimes for daily living and special regimes to follow in specific seasons) come first in all 3 Brihat Trayee texts of Ayurveda (Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridayam).

Dinacharya: daily regimens to correct dosha imbalances and stay healthy

The Ayurvedic dinacharya is a very powerful , self healing idea that puts the responsibility for your health back into your hands. As Ayurveda’s aim is to prevent disease and keep you in health , enjoying a long productive life, The self care regimens are the cornerstone of harmony and well being.

The Acharyas split these self care regimens into 2 types: things to be done everyday (Dina-charya) and things to be done in each Season (Ritu-charya).

Dincharya comprises of regimens to be followed daily. Many of these suggested Dinacharyas may seem simplistic and even very difficult to follow. For those accustomed to waking up late, the idea of waking up 90 minutes before sunrise may seem impossible and unnecessary.

However, we can attest to the powerful, subtle and transformative nature of these Daily ayurvedic regimens. Each Dinacharya practice works in a nuanced and different way to calm down aggravated doshas, improves prana shakti and increases Ojas in the body when practiced over a long period.

We will do a more detailed post on Ayurvedic dinacharyas. For the purpose of this post, Dinacharya regimens include waking up at the right time (Brahma Muhurtha), doing correct amount of Vyayama (exercise) for the season & your prakriti, Oral care, Taila abhyanga , Hair Oiling (Keshya abhyanga) , Snana (bath) and leading a life of balance. When these tenets of Dincharya are followed, we are guaranteed a life of harmony and balance.

 

Staying healthy in Spring: Dinacharya is a daily set of practices to stay healthy.

Following the Dinacharya helps the body adjust everyday and bring back aggravated Doshas to balance on a daily basis. Dinacharya takes care of the small stresses, changes in diet, sudden change in plans, excessive travel, etc. It works like a checking mechanism bringing us back to the golden mean.

However, when Seasons change, the accompanying shifts in weather, humidity , etc leads to a larger scale shift in the dosha balance in our body. To bring these shifts under control, we add on Ritucharya practices to our existing Dinacharya practices.

The seasonal health regimens form a part of Ritucharya (seasonal tenets of living). Ayurveda divides the year into 6 seasons. Each season lasts roughly two months. The time of change of seasons usually throws the body into a series of minor health issues – these issues can be simply solved or avoided if we follow Ritucharya practices to stay healthy.

Staying healthy in Spring: What happens to us in Winter?

During winter (Hemanta and Shishira) , the severe cold weather drives Agni inwards from all parts of the body. This strongly increases our digestive capacity and hunger. So Ayurveda advises us to eat well and eat oily, rich foods that can satisfy this high Agni, in Winter.

Staying healthy in Spring: We are advised to eat heavy, rich food in winter to satisfy increased agni in the body.

At the same time, Ayurveda also recommends stronger and more intense Vyayama (exercise), Sun exposure, Regular and Frequent Taila Abhyanga, and to avoid being lazy, sleeping during the day, etc.

Staying healthy in Spring: What happens to us in Spring?

Vasanta is the spring season described in Ayurveda. The official start of Vasanta is marked by the festival of Holi. This can change slightly depending upon distance from the equator,etc.

Staying healthy in Spring: spring starts with Holi

In Vasanta, as the climate again starts to become warm, the sun rays melt all the Kapha that has been stored in our body during winter. The amount of Kapha that is stored in your body varies. It depends upon whether or not we have followed Ritucharya guidelines in Hemanta and Shishira. If instead of regular exercise, regular abhyanga along with a rich, oily and heavy diet, we have simply eaten but not done exercise or abhyanga, we would have accumulated a greater amount of Kapha in Winter.

This high accumulated Kapha melts and starts running in the body in Vasanta as Mucous through our body . This explains why so many of us are prone to spring fever, hay fever, pollen allergies and coughs and colds in this season. Even if you have not accumulated too much excess Kapha, the coming of Spring starts to melt whatever Kapha is stored in your body.

Staying healthy in Spring: Kapha liquifies through the body and flows leading to coughs, colds and seasonal allergies

This liquefied Kapha dosha, if aggravated can douse the digestive Agni. When Agni is weakened, our appetite is poor. We also have a reduce capacity to digest food and poorer nutrient absorption in the body.

This may lead to poor appetite, lack of interest in food, tiredness and fatigue. Therefore , in order to ensure our Agni is not impacted in Vasanta, we need to work on this liquefied Kapha and focus on drying it up.

Ayurvedic seasonal therapies to stay healthy in Spring :

Vamana therapy (a part of Pancha karma – controlled vomitting) and Nasya therapy (controlled application of nasal drops) are 2 Ayurvedic procedures that can be initiated by Vaidyas during Vasanta to remove aggravated Kapha dosha.

This is advised if you have Spring aggravation symptoms like severe mucous accumulation, pollen allergy, extreme lethargy, lack of energy etc, suggesting the presence of large amounts of liquid Kapha in the system.

For many of us, this may not be required. For those with normal kapha aggravation, the Acharyas have given us many milder suggestions that we can all do to dry out liquefied kapha.

Staying healthy in spring: correction routines

Avoid these foods in Vasanta (spring):

Ayurveda advises us to avoid Guru (heavy), Snigdha (oily), Amla (sour) and Madhura (sweet) foods during this season.

Heavy (Guru) and sweet  (Madhura) foods increase Kapha dosha accumulation in the body. Oily (Snigdha) and Sour (Amla) foods aggravate and increase Pitta in the body. When Pitta is stimulated, it will further melt Kapha, adding to the volume of mucous already flowing through the body.

Staying healthy in Spring: Avoid sweet, rich and heavy food that can aggravate Kapha dosha

Add these foods in Vasanta (Spring):

Apart from avoiding Kapha aggravating and Pitta triggering foods, we also need to add certain foods to our diet to help control aggravated Kapha. This is a good time to add Millets to our diet in small quantities. Millets are Laghu (light) and Rooksha (drying) so their addition can help absorb and dry out liquefied Kapha. Similarly, Yava (barley) is considered a good grain to be eaten during Vasanta.

Staying healthy in Spring: Eat drying, slightly astringent food with healing spices

Yava(barley grain) is considered to have a dual taste of both “Kashaya” (astringent) and “madhura”  (sweet) rasa. This balances the intensity of the sweetness of barley, making it  a good grain for Vasanta where we want less sweet substances.

As its guna is cold, it balances Pitta. As Yava has rooksha guna (dry property) and pungent vipaka, it also helps dry up excess Kapha well. Yava is both a mutraghna and bulk forming grain. It helps remove aggravated liquefied kapha both through urine and through feces.

In Vasanta, Yava helps us by its lekhaniya (scraping quality against excess fat), reduces picchila (sticky toxins in the body), and also ignites jataragni which could be diminished due to liquefied Kapha.

Add these spices to your food in Vasanta (Spring):

In Vasanta, it is important to use ushna but not teekshna, deepana (agni kindling), pachana (digestive), kapha drying herbs and spices. Hence the Acharyas suggest using spices like Haridra (Turmeric), Sounth (dried Ginger), Clove, Elaichi and Maricha (Black pepper) in the food.

Haridra is astringent and drying, and will help absorb excess liquids in the body. Dried Ginger is warming without being intensive and aggravating Pitta, so can be safely used to spice food. Similarly cloves and cardamom are both warming without aggravating Pitta dosha.

Staying healthy in Spring: use drying, warming spices to dry up aggravated Kapha

Maricha (black pepper) is recommended in Ayurveda to balance excess Kapha, aid digestion and open up the srotas . Maricha is a better spice choice for most people compared to red and green Chillies which are now commonly used in Indian cooking. Chillies are intensely pitta aggravating due to their teekshna and katu nature. Chillies are best avoided for everyone, but especially if you already have Pitta complaints like hair thinning, premature greying, high blood pressure, acidity, high stress, etc.

Making these minor diet corrections will help remove liquefied kapha, prevent toxin deposition and help us stay healthy in spring.

Staying healthy in spring (Vasanta): Right physical exercise

Vasanta is also a good time for physical exercise. We are advised to do it at a slightly lower level than we would have during winter.

The main purpose during exercise in Vasanta is to moderately (and not sharply) increase heat and provoke sweating in the body, to encourage drying and removal of excess Kapha dosha.

Staying healthy in Spring: Regular physical activity removes aggravated Kapha

There is another reason to recommend lower intensity of exercise. This is because we are currently in Adana Kala as per Ayurveda where the sun’s intensity is going to increase until Varsha season (monsoon ends). Adana kala is considered a time of depleting body energy as per Ayurveda.

So the ojas in the body can also deplete if we over-exercise or over-exert ourselves in any way. In fact in Summer (Greeshma) when the effects of Adana Kala + high agni peak and severely depleting, we are advised to do the least amount of exercise – please remember that we have to continue to do some form of exercise, but these are not the seasons to do high intensity marathon training, or 3 – 4 hour sessions in the Gym.

Staying healthy in spring (Vasanta) – other activities suggested

The Acharyas encourage us to spend time in the company of good friends and in Nature. Vasanta is the season where birds abound, and when Nature is lush and green with the profuse flowering of fragrant herbs and flowers. We are advised to picnic in gardens, visit river banks, and enjoy the season in pleasant hill stations.

Staying healthy in spring: drink the right warming drinks

Ayurveda does not universally advise to drink tea or coffee due to their many disturbing qualities. Also, neither of these drinks are native to the Indian sub continent, so many of us may not be naturally accustomed to their qualities. Coffee can intensely aggravated Pitta and tea can aggravate Vata. Neither quality is appreciated in any season, but particularly so in Vasanta.

Instead, Ayurveda suggests we sip specific, herbal warm drinks in Vasanta to aid expelling of liquid kapha. We can sip plain warm water, or water which has been boiled mildly with dried ginger powder (in cases of large volumes of aggravated mucous).  Do not drink too much Ginger water as it can heat up the body in large amounts.

You can sip 1 glass of warm ginger water per day, for a few days at a time, to help move aggravated Kapha , in case of high aggravation, out of the body.

Staying healthy in Spring: Spices like dried ginger help remove aggravated kapha in spring

A Spring health recipe: How to make Dried Ginger water:

Boil one glass of water until the water comes to a rolling boil. Switch off the gas. Add 1 teaspoon of freshly ground dried ginger powder. Allow the herb to steep for 4 – 5 minutes into the water. Strain. Do NOT sweeten. Sip through the day. Do NOT OD on this.

Staying healthy in spring (Vasanta) : Modified Taila Abhyanga with Mardana:

Taila abhyanga with emphasis on “Mardana” is a good practice in Vasanta. The right taila should be chosen which is warming and mala removing and not cooling. “Mardana” is the strong pressure filled kneading of limbs is recommended during Vasanta.

This Abhyanga modification forces liquefied Kapha through the body and out of it. This ensures that excess Kapha does not cool inside the body and create blockages. The limbs should be squeezed in a downward direction and not in an upward direction. This is an excellent practice to remove fatigue and lethargy caused by aggravated Kapha and helps your maintain health in spring.

Staying healthy in Spring: Taila Abhyanga and Mardana are recommended

 

Staying healthy in spring(Vasanta) – Modified Keshya Abhyanga (hair oiling):

Keshya abhyanga us strongly recommended as a Dincharya practice to cool additional Pitta in the scalp. However, in Vasanta where there is liquefied Kapha flowing through the body, adding a cooling practice without modifications, may intensify sneezing, coughs and colds, etc.

We recommend morning hair oiling in Vasanta, instead of night oiling. This ensures kapha does not aggravate in the body. As an additional precaution, we suggest applying oil that has been warmed well on the scalp with a longer head massage compared to other seasons. This improves absorption and slows down kapha aggravation.

Additionally, ensure that you oil the head in a room without a cold / draughty atmosphere. You may continue to use the Krya hair oil of your choice for Keshya Abhyanga. Please ensure you use Rasnadi choornam diligently after every hairwash.

Stay healthy in spring (Vasanta)  – Modified Snana (bath) with astringent herbs :

Snana is to be taken with pitta and kapha pacifying, slightly astringent and rooksha herbs. The choice of rooksha herbs is to help dry up excess Kapha. The choice of astringent is to deal with vitiated Pitta. This way we can avoid the oily pus filled breakouts, prickly heat and allergic skin conditions that are common in Vasanta.

Application of these astringent herbs on skin as a paste, helps open the minor Srotas and helps in removal of mala through the body. It also enhances circulation and ensures liquefied Kapha does not get solid and block the minor channels.

Staying healthy in Spring: Snana is to be done with astringent, drying herbs

All Krya Ubtans and bodywashes contain a good volume of astringent, Kashaya and slightly rooksha herbs. So you may continue to use your existing Krya Bodywash / Ubtan in this season. We advise a few Snana modifications as given below:

  • Have a bath in warm Water. Use only warm water to make a paste with your Krya bodywash / Ubtan
  • Use large circular motions while applying the bodywash / ubtan. Once you have covered the body, repeat this scrubbing action again all over the body (without adding more product). This intensifies the Srota cleaning and Mala expelling action.
  • Once Snana is complete, quickly dry the body and dress warmly in a non-draughty room which is not cold. Do not delay this as presence of water on skin can again aggravate Kapha.
  • When doing a hair wash, always use Rasnadi choornam. Ensure you inhale the choornam as well.


12. womens ubtan

To conclude:

The emphasis in Ayurveda is always on following a life of balance and moderation, along with carefully chosen , sensible, health giving practices. When we follow this method, we are guaranteed both Ayu and Ayush (long life and health) as per our Acharyas.

Many of the problems we face as we live our busy and chaotic lives in cities is because we are unable to balance the excesses we face. So we end up over using our eyes, over commuting, eating the wrong kind of food, and ignoring what we must be doing in each season.

Following Dinacharya and Ritucharya guidelines is the greatest investment you can make in your health. We hope this post gave you an idea of how you stay healthy in Spring.  If you have any doubts in the above, please do drop a comment or write to us.

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Reduce Eye Strain & naturally nourish the eyes with Ayurveda

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Reading Time: 13 minutes

Due to the high use of electronic devices, and excessive eye engagement, many of us commonly face eye strain & eye fatigue.  We have recently been receiving a lot of queries on tackling eye fatigue and improving vision through Ayurveda. So we have re-written and expanded one of our earlier posts on this subject. This post will explore how you can easily & visibly reduce eye fatigue & eye strain with Ayurveda .

Do you have eye strain?

Do you constantly feel eye fatigue? Do you develop headaches after a long bout at your computer? Are you experiencing premature greying and hair dryness?  Do your eyes feel dry, scratchy and itchy? You could be experiencing computer vision syndrome / computer related eye strain.

Eye strain is a real and wide-spread problem today, which affects both children and adults. For several hours every day, we stare at electronic screens across phones, tablet, TV and computers.

As we continually use our eyes for subtle / sookshma purposes, we strain the  minute eye muscles and do not allow them a chance to recover or relax. So we are all affected with eye strain to varying degrees.

Do you have eye strain & fatigue? You could be suffering from Computer Vision syndrome.

The symptoms are blurred vision, double vision, dry eyes, headaches, eye pain, neck strain, eye-irritation and eye watering. The factors that induce eye strain are the number of hours of screen-time, the size of the screen, the strength of your vision, light levels and posture.

Causes for Eye Strain as per Ayurveda :

It is astonishing that our ancient Ayurvedic texts are able to give us a rationale behind a seemingly modern problem. Acharya Sushruta tells us that all Netra Rogas (diseases of the eye), occur due to the following causes:

Imbalance of hot and cold ( Ushnabhitaptasya) leading to eye strain

When the body heat is very high, there is a vasodilation of blood vessels to help excess heat to be transmitted outside. When this hot body steps into a cold environment, the dilated vessels suddenly have to constrict to ensure heat loss is minimal.

When we constantly keep having this change in temperature, we over-work all blood vessels, including the ones in the eyes, leading to eye redness, weak muscles and poor circulation.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: hot-cold imbalance causes eye strain

An example of Ushnabhitaptasya causing eye strain:

Many of us use our smartphones to read / chat whilst in our cars. The environment is usually an airconditioned one. Also, Indian roads are NOT smooth, so we travel in jerky conditions with sudden braking and stops – the eye muscle has to work harder in such a jerky / moving environment.

So apart from the strain of reading from a small device, we are also over-working the eye muscle by making it focus on a small screen in jerky, non-smooth motion.

All of this eye work is done in the cold confines of our car air conditioner, so we unknowingly causing Ushnabhitaptasya.

Vision distortion due to over-reliance on one kind of eye work – Doorekshanat :

All of us are subject to the complications of Dorrekshanat, as we have all transitioned to using our eyes for only one kind of work.

Increasingly, as we all become knowledge workers, we no longer use our eyes and muscles for doing work that involves eye work over the long distance or even over the medium distance. All work that involves using our hands to make large movements – sewing, cutting, cooking, pottery, painting, other forms of art involves both fine and moderate eye work.

Any form of outdoor physical work like working in the fields, cleaning, sweeping, walking to fill water, etc involves both medium and long distance eye work.

Instead, most of us who work in office environments work only using our laptops, computers and phones. So we substitute the wide range of work our eye is supposed to do, with a large amount of fine work or sookshma work.

This is referred to as “Doorekshanat” in Ayurveda – interestingly the Samhitas say that too much of any one kind of eye work – long distance eye work or short / fine distance eye work strains the eyes. This distorts the vision, over accustoming the eye muscle to only one kind of work.

In ancient times, the samhitas tell us that jewellers and those who worked with very fine and intricate crafts like small paintings and canvases, etc were subject to Doorekshanat.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Repeatedly straining the eyes to read fine print increases eye strain

Krodha, Shoka & Bhaya (Anger, Grief and Fear) leading to eye strain

Emotional strain in difficult environments over-aggravates the emotional qualities of Pitta and vata dosha. Krodha or anger activates Pitta dosha, and Shoka and Bhaya activates Vata dosha. The dosha aggravation strains the eye’s muscles.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Excessive anger, fear and grief increase eye strain.

Anyone who has undergone loss, depression or grief will know that the eyes feel wrung over after a bout of weeping. When this continues for a long time, it tends to affect eye health and vision quality.

A special note on PMS

Many women are prone to pre menstrual tension / depression. This is aggravated when we follow an improper diet which is high in Pitta and Vata stimulating foods. Not only can such foods increase bloating and discomfort, they can also trigger strong PMS symptoms like temper tantrums, fits of weeping, mood swings, etc. There is a lot of advertising and media driven acceptance of PMS and women are asked to “indulge” themselves during this time.

The acceptance of and acknowledgement of PMS is in itself a good thing. But unfortunately, this acceptance comes with encouraging unhealthy food habits which will further trigger PMS. For example: chocolates, wine, fried foods etc are common cravings during PMS and during periods. Chocolates and wine excite Pitta dosha. Fried foods excite Pitta and vata dosha.

If your diet consists of such foods before and during your periods, you will regularly notice that your temper is out of control and you have depressive mood swings leading to high amount of weeping, and eye strain due to binge watching television, etc. This should be observed and dealt with.

Ayurveda says that menstruating women should be cheerful and in good temper, eating healthy pathya food, and must avoid mental and physical strain at all cost. This is not just good for eye health but promotes overall feminine health and well being.

Vega vinigraha (suppression of natural urges) leading to eye strain :

In many office goers, we observe suppression of urges like urination – this is especially common among women. This leads to disturbance in Apana vayu and aggravates vata dosha throughout the body when it is carried out for a long time.

The urge to sleep (nidra) and the urge to cry (Ashru) are both urges which should not be suppressed as per Ayurveda. Working well beyond our bed time, suppression strong emotional responses, and not blinking often to help the production of tears to moisten the eyes, worsen the health of our eyes and increase eye strain.

Viruddha Ahara (incompatible food) :

Ushna, Lavana and Amla ahara (salty, spicy and sour tastes) aggravate eye strain because these  3 tastes aggravate Pitta dosha. When Pitta dosha is aggravated in the body, the amount of Agni energy in the eye increases – this weakens the accompanying muscles in the eye , causing higher eye strain and eye watering.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Foods that are sour, salty & spicy aggravate Pitta Dosha. This in turn, increases eye strain.

We receive a lot of enquiries from stressed out, type A individuals who write to ask seeing help for premature greying and hair thinning. On investigation, we find a predominance of Pitta aggravating foods being eaten by such people like curd, spicy food, chinese food, etc.

When such Pitta aggravating foods are eaten in a time of high stress, it further compounds the body’s Pitta dosha. This leads to hair greying, hair thinning, acidity, digestive issues, inability to relax / sleep and also affects eye health and well being.

Ratri Jagarati – (Night vigil) / Insomnnia or delayed sleep  :

In the texts, the Acharyas mention that certain occupations which require Night vigil (Ratri jagrati) are more prone to eye strain like soldiers, guards, etc.

Today, Ratri Jagrati has become a common feature in many urban homes. Due to late night working, late dinners, and late television watching, we are all prone to eye strain due to use of the eyes at the wrong time.

 

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Staying up late and night and delayed bed time can also aggravate eye strain.

 

Ayurveda says that a disease must be tackled from the “Hetu” or root cause. So also, eye strain  must be treated by examining the root causes listed above.

If you have nodded yes to any of the points mentioned above like Ratri Jagriti, Doorekshanat , Virruddha ahara, etc, you must first start by correcting some of these behaviors. In addition, here are some Ayurvedic recommendations on how we can reduce / prevent eye fatigue below.

Reduce Eye Strain with Ayurveda in these easy ways:

Control the hot-cold imbalance 1 : Regular hair oiling to reduce Ushna

Keep the head cool and allow natural removal of excess ushna everyday through daily oil application. Remember, we encounter fresh stress everyday – so this fresh stress which aggravates pitta dosha must be tackled everyday by regular and frequent application of the right Ayurvedic hair oil. We have given recommendations for Krya hair oils below.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Regular hair oiling reduces eye strain and fatigue.

 

Control the hot-cold imbalance 2 – regulate the body temperature

Regulate the body temperature, especially if working in an air conditioned atmosphere. We often advise that you carry a light jacket / shawl to simulate the normal temperature outside your office. Request office admin to set temperatures between 24 – 26 degrees centigrade (this will also bring down electricity bills), and drink warming, non diuretic, and nourishing drinks in your office (so no tea, coffee, cola, cold fruit juices – instead warm water and a warm, natural spiced beverage is ideal).

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Keeping your body temperature steady and warm and avoiding hot-cold imbalance improves vision.

When in your car, avoid working your eyes. Use this time to gaze out of the window, instead and engage in long distance eye work instead. Keep the temperature at a comfortable degree. If not, lightly wrap yourself using a jacket / shawl in your car.

Alternate between “Sookshma” and far vision:

Use your complete range of eye vision – so if you are constantly on a computer, take a break every hour or so to gaze into the distance (preferably at trees or greenery). Reduce your “Night vigil” and work towards saner and more balanced work timings.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Take a break from repeated fine use of your eyes to gaze into the distance. This relieves eye strain.

If you work in an air conditioned environment, it is possible that your neck muscles and shoulders are also strained from hunching over your laptop.  A short walk around the block every 2 hours will help stretch out these muscles and also give your eyes a rest.

Most of us also have strained our blink reflex with excessive screen use. Remember to  gently blink your eyes every 4 – 5 minutes or so to ensure your eyes do not go dry. Shifting your eye range also helps in this.

Do not suppress natural urges:

Do NOT suppress natural urges like the urge to use the washroom, the urge to sleep or the urge to blink or yawn. If you are doing this often to appear polite and well mannered , you are setting up yourself for a serious range of eye diseases later on.

Suppressing the urge to visit the washroom tampers with “apana vayu” a sub set of vata dosha. This also sets up for more serious disorders related to the urinary and reproductive tract. So, when you gotta go, JUST GO!

This is very common among women who are embarrassed to use the washroom due to public scorn / ridicule. This is also a problem when we are in public places and are afraid of unclean washrooms. Again: the possibility of an infection form an unclean washroom is less of a health issue compared to not using the washroom at all.

So, JUST GO! Please encourage your children to listen to their natural urges and not “learn the bad habit of suppression”.

Reduce screen glare and over-bright light :

Control the amount of bright light your eyes work in. Many computer and smartphone screens are set to the highest level of brightness. This is unnecessary and extremely fatiguing to your eyes. This along with the bright, white office lighting and pale walls, re-create the sun even in your office.

This amount of light is fatiguing and drying to the eyes. Re-set screen brightness and switch off a few lights if the room is bright enough. But do remember too much light AND too little light both strain vision – experiment and arrive at optimal light for yourself.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Turn down your phone's screen brightness to reduce eye strain due to screen glare and blue light.

 

Re-set aggravated pitta and vata through regular abhyanga:

Balance aggravated pitta and vata through the body through regular abhyanga – a regular abhyanga helps dissipate aggravated vata and pitta dosha and moves it back to its original seat, thus bringing the body back to balance. We often see that people with high pitta aggravation experience profuse eye watering and release of hot vapour from their eyes when Abhyanga is done. This is a good indication both of how aggravated the dosha is and how powerfully the abhyanga works in restoring the body back to balance.

Reduce eye strain with Ayurveda: Regular Abhyanga Snana balances aggravated vata and pitta dosha, reducing eye strain and fatigue.

Practice regular Pada abhyanga to improve eye strength and vision clarity:

Pada abhyanga is a gem of a dinacharya that is a gift from Ayurveda. When regularly done, Pada abhyanga deepens sleep, improves energy levels the next day, removes excessive fatigue and strain stored in the legs, balances vata dosha, and most importantly , gives “drishti prasadaka” or vision clarity.

A regular pada abhyanga helps reduce eye strain by nourishing the eyes, clarifying vision

This Drishti prasadaka benefit of Pada abhyanga can be explained using references from various Ayurvedic texts. Bhela Samhita tells us that one important centre of Alochaka Pitta is the feet. Alochaka Pitta is a sub division of Pitta dosha that is responsible for good vision. Alochaka Pitta’s primary centre is the Liver – so eating Pitta aggravating food over stimulates Alochaka Pitta which leads to eye degeneration.

But by doing a regular Pada abhyanga AND adopting a Pitta balancing diet, we can temper the Alochaka Pitta and help strengthen the eye.

Acharya Vagbhatta tells us that 2 important Siras (veins / circulatory vessels) of the eye end in the feet. Through the process of pada abhyanga using special herbs and oils, we can detoxify and strengthen these 2 Siras, thus helping nourish the eyes.

 

Regulating aggravated Pitta dosha through Ahara Niyama (diet + food regulation) :

Regulating Pitta dosha helps regulate Pitta aggravation in the eye.

At Krya, we advise various means of regulating Pitta through Ahara. This can be read in detail in some of our earlier posts on this.

In short, the addition of madhura and ojas building dravyas like milk and ghee to the diet, using a careful selection of spoces that warm and aid digestion but do not irritate the body (pepper, cumin and not red and green chillies), help balance aggravated Pitta. To ensure Pitta does not flare up, we advise following ahara niyama (meal regulations) like  eating meals on time. Delayed and untimely meals are a strong aggravator of both Pitta and vata dosha.

Regulating aggravated Pitta through right food is critical for eye health

Adding cooling grains and vegetables like split mung, aged rice, and gourds (ash gourd, ridge gourd, bottle gourd, snake gourd, parwal) are also very useful help in pitta regulation.

Night gazing:

Star and Moon gazing are prescribed Ayurvedic practices to infuse cooling, nourishing energies into the eyes. This also helps counteract the strain brought by close gazing.

Night sky gazing is an excellent practice to reduce stress and improve vision and well being

Night sky  gazing is an excellent practice to counter feelings of depression, high stress, inability to switch off and aggravated Pitta-vata dosha.  At Krya, we have seen that consumers with moderate depression, anxiety and stress related hairfall, benefit greatly from this practice. It helps calm down the brain and visibly brings down stress.

Electronic cut off time:

At Krya, we often recommend a strict cut off time in cases of aggravated vata and pitta dosha. Setting limits for smartphone and laptop usage go a long way in restoring health and harmony to the body.

Many of us use broadband and wi-fi at home to surf the net / watch television, etc. We often forget to switch off this wi-fi signal at night. Many of us also sleep with our cell phones in the bedroom  near our heads.

Radiation fatigue can excite vata in the body

These practices increase the amount of radiation our body absorbs over time. Research tells us that this radiation exposure causes deep seated fatigue and vibratory responses in the body. Minute nerve cells are excited by these radiation based energies and vibrate in response to them causing depletion of ojas and fatigue in the body. So from both eye health and overall well being, an electronic and radiation cut off is extremely beneficial for the family.

Application of cooling substances like Ayurvedic Kajal to the eyes:

Many synthetic eye make up products increase Pitta dosha in the eyes. They also contain ingredients like lead and other suspect minerals and substances which are transdermally absorbed through the eyes. Ayurveda recommends using only a suitable herbal kaajal that strengthens vision and cools the eyes.

Frequent eye washing using pure, clean water

Eye washing is an approved Ayurvedic practice to clarify the eyes, remove toxins and balance aggravated Pitta.. We will do a more detailed post on this later on the Krya blog.

Eye washing is recommended using pure clean water, or herb infused water in Ayurveda in the following times: on waking up, after meals. Each of these has a slightly different effect on the eyes, which we will read about in a later post.

For the best eye cleansing, we are asked to hold clean, cool and pure water in our mouths while washing the eyes. Once you have finished washing the eyes, the water held in  the mouth can be discarded.

A Summary: ayurvedic practices to strengthen vision naturally and reduce eye strain

Infographic on simple ways to strengthen vision naturally

To conclude:

Modern choices come with many serious, dangerous fall outs, which we remain unaware off. The practice of using a cell phone is barely 20 years old in India. Apps are even more recent : just 3 / 4 years old. However, we have already begun reaping the ill effects of over use of these conveniences.

Ayurveda is always immensely practical – the Acharyas are not strict or “Methodist” in their advice. They always recommend leading a life of balance for good health.

We hope our post helped you appreciate many of the deeper reasons behind eye strain and eye fatigue. We also hope you will go through and follow the Ayurvedic recommendations we have suggested to help you get the most out of your eyes.

Krya Hair Oils to reduce Eye fatigue :

  • For very high Pitta aggravation – (premature greying, scalp dryness due to high heat, and hair thinning) – choose the Krya Vibrant hair colour hair oil . This hair oil is very potent. If you experience high premature greying, hair thinning, have anger management issues, are a type A personality and have high stress (and other such signs of classic pitta prakriti / pitta agravation), please choose this oil.
  • For moderate – high Pitta aggravation – (premature greying, scalp dryness due to high heat, and hair thinning) – choose the Krya Classic hair oil
    • Note : If in doubt whether your Pitta aggravation is moderate or severe, start with the Krya Classic hair oil . If after a month you do not see good progress, crank it up a notch with the Krya vibrant hair oil
  • For Vata aggravation due to high stress (difficult work atmosphere, frequent air travel / travel, long commute, missed / skipped meals, difficulty sleeping, long working hours AND dry and falling hair ) – chose the Krya harmony hair oil

Krya Abhyanga Oils for Pada Abhyanga :

  • Classic Abhyanga Oil – can be used by everyone in the family. Balances all 3 doshas
  • Intense Abhyanga Oil – Can be used by people with high vata aggravation, those with very high physical activity, Post partum women                                       
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Is using olive oil for baby massage good? – Krya shares an ayurvedic perspective

is olive oil for baby massage a good idea
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Reading Time: 9 minutes

Parents frequently write to us at Krya asking if using olive oil for baby massage is a good practice and what Ayurveda feels about this. With our worlds being opened up everyday and many of us being seasoned travelers, we come across many new, exciting plant oils and butters from around the world. All of them come with excellent nutritional benefits, and seem like they would be very good for skin. So how do we decide which oil to use while giving our baby a massage?

olive oil for baby massage - confused by teh plethora or baby oil choices?

To choose the right oil, we must first understand WHY we are asked to give baby a regular abhyanga-snana or oil massage followed by the bath by Ayurveda.

Benefits of a regular baby abhyanga / baby oil massage:

Ayurveda advises that we give baby a regular Abhyanga with special medicated oils and then follow it with an ayurvedic snana that is performed with special Ayurvedic herbs. The Abhyanga is to be done until the child is atleast 1 year of age, or even older.

At each stage of the child’s life, the Abhyanga gives special benefits to the child. In the first 3 months of the child’s life, the Abhyanga helps remove aches and pains from the ordeal of childbirth. It builds additional immunity to the child’s body through the use of special ayurvedic herbs. It also helps the development of the child’s sensory organs and helps create a loving bond between the Mother and the child.

olive oil for baby massage: abhyanga has different benefits at different ages of the baby

As the child begins to turn, hold its neck in position, crawl, etc, the Abhyanga lends strength and aids the correct development of the child’s musculo-skeletal system. When special Ayurvedic oils that have been processed via Tila Paka method are used, the herbs are able to enter the child’s body through the skin via the massage, positively affecting the health, strength and quality of the developing bones and soft tissue.

olive oil for baby massage: at teh crawling stage abhyanga boosts muscular growth and strength

When regular ayurvedic baby massage is done, we can see better strength, better musculo-skeletal development, better immunity and health, better sleep, and better digestion and nutrient absorption in babies. This is a huge range of benefits coming from a seemingly simple practice.

Regular abhyanga gives a holistic set of deep benefits to baby

BUT: there is a caveat here: these benefits accrue not just by the mere act of massage.

These benefits accrue when the right combination of oils and herbs are used along with the act of regular, correct baby abhyanga..

The right massage done with the right herbs and oil gives all these benefits to baby

Analysing various plant oils in Ayurveda: which oil is best for baby massage

The Acharyas have analysed in detail, the qualities of each and every plant oil that was found in the Indian sub continent. Every substance in this world, be it living or non living has its own prakriti. This prakriti is a unique combination of the 3 doshas : vata, pitta and kapha and is unique to the being in question. This combination arises as a result of the desha (geography where the being exists), kala (time period where the being was made), Ritu ( season in which they live) and is also influenced (if a living being) by the parents’ prakriti, time of conception, environment in which they live, etc.

So also, every single plant oil / butter has its own prakriti, decided by the above factors. A common oil that is potent, with high nutritive benefits and is available in India is Coconut oil / Narikela Taila.

Pros and Cons of a Coconut oil massage for babies:

Coconut oil is a very versatile, nutritive vegetable oil. Coconut oil contains important medium chain fatty acids like lauric acid, capric acid and Caprylic acid. Together this set of triglycerides has anti microbial and anti bacterial properties that are intelligent. This means they can boost growth of useful microbiota and bring down growth of invasive organisms.

As it is a vegetable oil, it can penetrate skin, unlike Mineral Oil / Light Liquid Paraffin which is a large component of commercially available baby oils. Compared to such synthetic oils, coconut oil is better at regeneration of damaged cells, helps skin heal fast and is nutrient dense.

However, we are not analyzing the benefits of Coconut oil VS a Mineral Oil. We are studying what Ayurveda says about the properties of Coconut oils and then analyzing whether it is a suitable oil for baby massage.

Narikela is considered to be “Snigdha” (oily), “Madhura” (sweet), “Sheetya” (cool) and “Vrhsya” (aphrodisiac) as per Ashtanga Hridyam.  Madanapala Nighantu describes it as “Brhamanya” (nourishing and weight gaining) but also “Durjara” – difficult to digest. The property of “Durjara” is mentioned for coconut pulp and oil and not for coconut water which is “laghu” (easy to digest).

Ayurveda says coconut oil is nourishing, regenerative, potent, heavy and cooling

As Coconut oil is Snigdha, Madhura and Brhamaniya, it can certainly nourish and repair skin and is nutritive in its nature on topical application. However, as it is Sheetya (cool) in its nature and also Brhamanya, it will be heavy and cooling both when consumed internally and when applied on skin.

To be able to penetrate skin and scalp effectively, the acharyas tell us that “teekshna” and “ushna” quality which is there in Pitta tending oils is required. Given that coconut oil has neither, it will not be as effective as some other oils in penetration. Also, due to oil’s cold and cooling nature, it can cause mucous build up, clogging, colds  – this is of particular concern in infants  who are already pre-disposed to these issues.

We have a much longer post on this subject which you can also read.

Pros and Cons of a Sesame oil massage for babies:

Sesame Oil / Tila taila is a natural choice in Ayurveda. The Acharyas tell us that if we are in doubt as to which oil to use in a formulation, we should automatically use Tila tailam.

Ayurveda says Sesame oil is hot, intensive, skin healing, hair health promoting and nutritive

Tila taila is said to be “teekshna” (sharp and penetrative), “ushna” (hot) , “vyayavi” (spreads quickly), “sookshma” (subtle), and does not aggravate kapha. It is a kirmi nashak (destroys worms). When used in Abhyanga it is considered skin healing, keshya (hair health promoting) and is also “Dhrishti prasadaka” (enhances clarity of vision).

Tila has a dual property which is very interesting according to Ayurveda: depending upon how it is processed it can BOTH nourish and also bring about Weight loss. The Acharyas call Tila an oushadhi taila – medicinal oil as it is capable of curing almost any disease when processed with the right herbs.
The last point is to be particularly noted by us. The Acharyas in their wisdom tell us that even such a beneficial oil like Tila, should be processed with correct medicinal herbs to enhance its ability to heal the body.

Here we have seen examples of 2 hoary and renowned oils in Ayurveda. We have seen that they both have potent nutrient benefits ,both when consumed and when applied externally. BUT, Ayurveda tells us that to balance some of their not so desired qualities and to enhance their healing qualities we have to process them further with herbs.

We can already begin to comprehend the Ayurvedic point of view on whether olive oil for baby massage is a good idea.

So is olive oil for baby massage a recommended Ayurvedic practice?

So we come to Olive oil. Even though we have grown up with wonderful oils like Coconut, Sesame, Peanut, Cow’s ghee, etc, we are tempted by all the reports and research that are sent our way about the benefits of new oils like Olive Oils.

Olive oil is a traditional Mediterranean vegetable oil obtained by processing green and black olives. Its cultivation dates to 8000 BC in this region. It was used by the Minoan civilisation for religious ceremonies. The Spartans and the Greeks used it as a skin application while doing gymnastics and wrestling.

Olive oil is an ancient Mediterranean oil with many benefits

Interestingly, Aristotle mentions that it is a good birth control aid, when processed along with cedar oil or frankincense.

As Olive oil was not part of the culture of the Indian sub continent, we have to try and analyse it ourselves as per Ayurvedic principles. We also have to take some hints from its historic usage and see what people who used it for a long time did with it.

Acharya Vagbhatta reminds us that that the property of the Taila we extract is derived from the property of the fruit / seed from which we extract the Taila.

So we can analyse by the source and its taste that Olive oil is Teekshna (sharp / acidic taste) and Ushna (slightly warm) and also appears to have slight Kashaya rasa (astringent taste). As research tells us that it is good to lower cholesterol and heart blockages, we can also conclude that it is “sookshma” (minute) and has a scraping / fat reducing property (lekhaniya).

Current research on topical application indicates that olive oil is a good cleansing oil when applied in skin. It is capable of breaking down fat based makeup, and is therefore a good non toxic cleanser instead of a make up wipe. This again would indicate that it has “Lekhaniya” or fat scraping property.

Going by the above properties, while Olive oil, by virtue of being Teekshna and Ushna can definitely penetrate the skin. But because it is not Madhura in rasa, and is in fact, probably “Lekhaniya” (fat scraping), it does not give us the nutritive and weight gaining principle we seek when it comes to baby massage oil.

If analysed by Ayurveda Olive oil could be thought of as hot, piercing, astringent and fat scraping.

As the Acharyas remind us, the very purpose of Baby massage is to nourish the baby, promote healthy weight and muscle grain and aid bone growth. For this a Madhura and Brahamaneeya property is desired which is present in both sesame and Coconut oil, but which is not present in Olive oil.

Hence, by analyzing through Ayurvedic principles, We can conclude that olive oil for baby massage is not a very good idea. It certainly has some skin nutritive properties. But these may be more suitable for cleansing and toning functions and not suitable for nourishment and nutritive purpose.

If we must proceed with olive oil for baby massage, we have to alter the undesirable properties of the oil slightly by processing  it with the correct set of herbs to ensure it becomes suitable for baby massage. Specifically, we have to taper down its teekshna, ushna and lekhaniya properties and make it sweeter and more brahmaneeya in nature by using the right herbs.

Herb processing to alter the properties of base oils: Important Ayurvedic concept

Herb processing is an important aspect of making an Ayurvedic oil. Even though we have many varieties of very good quality plant and animal origin fats and butters in India, we never use the base oils / butters directly for skin / hair application.

Instead, we process these base oils in a properly thought-through ayurvedic mixture of herbs. This herb processing is done for 2 reasons:

  • To reduce the undesirable properties of the base oil – for example, if we are using coconut oil we may want to cut down on its “Sheetya” guna slightly and also increase its ability to penetrate and act in a more minute fashion
  • To enhance the Oushadhi guna (medicinal qualities) of the Oil and make its action more targeted

 

Procesisng an oil with herbs is a specialty in Ayurveda to render the oil much more suitable

Krya’s herb processed traditional ayurvedic baby massage oils :a better alternative to olive oil for baby massage

The Krya baby massage oils are made using a combination of organic ,cold pressed Sesame oil and smaller quantities of organic, cold pressed Coconut Oils. We then use herbs suggested by the acharyas in the Varnya set (complexion improving, texture improving and skin health enhancing), Jeevaniya (health and immunity boosting), Brhamaneeya set (nourishing, improves weight gain and muscle development) and Twachya set (improves overall skin health) and Mangalya oushadhi (improve cheerfulness, and immunity, lends a positive aura).
krya baby oils: better alternative for baby massage compared to pure vegetable oils

Parents who use our baby massage oils attest to their health improving, immune boosting and sleep quality enhancing benefits. There is also an excellent improvement in overall skin health, even in the case of babies with otherwise sensitive skin.

We hope you were able to understand why, such ayurvedically processed, herb enhanced oils are a better choice when compared to modern and trending oils like organic olive oil, etc. We also hope you understand our point of view on olive oil for baby massage and why we prefer you choose something else.

Krya’s ayurvedic, whole herb based baby range can be explored here.

To sum up:

Being an active parent today can present us with a nightmarish set of large choices. We want to do what is best for our baby and also play an active role in choosing good quality, health and well being enhancing products for our baby.

In this rush, we come across many emerging pieces of information on new age ingredients. We might be tempted to reject the old fashioned choices in favour of these new products. We hope this post showed you our reasoning behind rejecting the concept of using olive oil for baby massage. We alos hope our post helped you understand why we say so and also give you a  framework to analyse other such choices in the future for your baby.

If you would like help choosing the correct Krya baby products for yourself or to gift to a new mother, please write to us or call us –(0)-75500-89090

 

 

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ayurvedic baby care practices : part 1

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Reading Time: 15 minutes

At Krya, we are often asked to describe in detail what the ayurvedic baby care practices are to be followed at home. We are also asked what the science / rationale behind some of these practices are. This is specially asked because in today’s day and age, many traditional baby care practices are being rejected by attending Pediatricians for many reasons. The foremost reason being there is a simple lack of awareness as to why these practices were instituted and the benefits behind the herbs, metals and dravyas which are used in Ayurvedic baby care.

Indian traditional medicine is highly advanced in its thought process and concepts suggested in many fields. However, due to oral transmission of texts, repeated invasions and the strong promotion of a Westernised concept of Education, we have lost both the language needed to interpret these texts (Sanskrit) and a large portion of the texts themselves.

Even what is remaining to us, (a fraction of a fraction of a fraction) if followed even to a small extent, can greatly improve the health, well being and outlook of both the baby and the post partum Mother. To speak about these practices will require more than 1 post. We will start in this post by talking about a few practices, and then build it from there.

Mother & baby in seclusion: ayurvedic baby care practices to improve health and reduce infections

Ayurveda frowns upon the frequent disturbance of the new Mother & baby. Both of them are said to be recovering from a great ordeal. In the case of the mother, due to the nature of pregnancy and child birth, she is greatly weakened. As the baby is extremely young and organ systems are still not fully developed, immunity is low. As the baby depends upon the Mother for nutrition, we have to be careful about giving strong medications to either.

ayurvedic baby care practices: seclude mother & baby for first 3 months to avoid risk of infection

Hence to avoid all these issues, an important ayurvedic baby care practice is to seclude the mother and baby until they recover strength after child birth. This period can vary depending upon age, health and strength of the Mother and general health of the baby. Visitors are asked to meet the baby after atleast 2 – 3 months. Unless necessary, the baby and Mother are to be at home and should not leave the home until 4 months have passed.

Visiting a New mother and Baby:  good gifts to carry as per Ayurveda and rationale behind this

Recently I had the opportunity to meet my friend’s 3 month old baby girl and take Ayurvedically approved  auspicious and good gifts. I had carried silver anklets, a silver bindi stamp and a bracelet made of vekhand (vacha / Acorus calamus) along with the Krya traditional baby massage oil and the Krya ubtan for baby girls for the Baby’s Abhyanga Snana.

Ayurveda tells us that a baby must be bathed, anointed, fed and protected with a combination of the right herbs, metals and of course be treated well in a loving atmosphere with positive energy. It goes without saying that this loving care MUST be extended to the newly delivered Mother who has sacrificed her blood, bone, tissue and vital Ojas to lovingly protect, nourish, grow and care for this baby from the time it was conceived.

The Mother and Baby must be given rest, freshly made warm food, a loving atmosphere of serenity, and must be nurtured to strength in a positive, Ojas building atmosphere with an emphasis on the use of good sounds and air purification.

The herbs must be delivered in a variety of forms as must the metals. To encourage the skin contact of these metals and herbs, we carry anklets made in silver, bangles / necklaces made in gold, Charms / bracelets made of vekhand, and strength and immunity infused ayurvedic oils, Ubtans, etc. More will be explained about the significance of these choices in the new few paragraphs.

A brief note on the use of Silver & Gold in Ayurvedic baby care:

Silver and gold are considered extremely beneficial for babies, and in fact everyone, as per Ayurveda. Silver is to be worn on the baby’s person under the waist region (and not above). The presence of this metal is said to enhance brain development and eye sight as it is minutely absorbed through the skin. It also helps cool pitta in the genital area.

Ayurvedic baby care practices: silver is beneficial for baby's health when worn below the waist

Additionally, if baby is fed using a silver spoon / bowl (once weaned), the food is also enhanced with very minute quantities of silver which further enhances this effect.

For baby girls traditionally, home made kajal or home made Kumkum (which has not been offered to the Divine) is used to draw Bindis and drishti dots. Using a silver bindi stamp instrument or a simple silver stick (as is used to draw Thiruman Kaapu) to draw this Bindi, is another way of incorporating Silver into the Baby’s Regimen. When used in this area, Silver helps clarify the Ajna chakra and also additionally helps cool the space around the eyes and the head.

Gold is used as a samskara as per Ayurveda for babies, post partum mothers and everyone in the family. One samskara that is to be regularly followed is to give the baby “baal guti” or “janam ghunti”  a combination of 25+ ayurvedic herbs, honey along with gold. (Here I am speaking about using the whole, authentic raw herbs along with honey and gold rubbed everyday on a herb grinding stone – I am not referring to newly available Baal guti syrups, compounded preparations, etc. If you would like to try these, please do your research and choose preparations made by reliable, authentic ayurvedic companies only after consulting with your Vaidya).

Each herb is moistened and then rubbed on the herb grinding stone for a specified number of circles. The dosage of the herb changes as per the baby’s age, prakriti and physical concerns. For younger children, the circumference of the circle drawn reduces, reducing the dosage. Depending upon the age, either water or breastmilk is used to moisten each herb. Once this is done, depending upon the baby’s age, a drop of honey is added to this mixture. Finally  gold is incorporated by rubbing it on the clean grinding stone in a clockwise direction along with the mixture of honey, and other herbs. If you weigh this gold after this, there will be no visible difference in weight, but extremely sookshma particles of the metal would have entered the herbs and therefore the baby.

Baal guti is an excellent immunity builder and strength enhancer for babies, if procured correctly upon the advice of a qualified, experienced ayurvedic Vaidya. It is better not to self diagnose in this case. If a Vaidya is not available, but the family traditionally uses this and an experienced older person can advise on the herb combination, one can go ahead too.

Gold is an important metal to be used in very sookshma quantities as a “Samskara” and not directly as a metal. When we say Samskara, we mean the process of energy transfer that occurs when gold simply interacts with the herbs or with the food. In this process, we use highly minute, undetectable quantities of gold every time we follow this Samskara. But as this is a powerful and potent metal, even these quantities are more than enough to improve our health and well being.

ayurvedic baby care practices: gold improves rakta and medhya

Gold is a powerful metal to improve Rasa, Rakta (quality) and Medhya.

Another way of incorporating gold and silver samskara for Adults, is to eat out of a silver plate which has a small gold coin embedded in the centre. As your food is ladled onto the silver and gold in your plate, the metals interact with food, transmitting their beneficial quantities in minute, controlled doses over time. If it is possible, it is excellent for the family, especially the mother to eat out of such a plate.

Vacha / Vekhand / Acorus calamus : a valuable herb to nurture a baby as per Ayurveda

We often write about Vacha / Vekhand on the Krya blog. Vekhand (vacha) is a critical herb for babies as per Ayurveda. This is why our baby ubtans, baby bodywashes, baby hair oils and baby massage oils all contain Vekhand. Vekhand improves both medhya and vaak (intelligence and speech) as per ayurveda. Hence we are advised to use it regularly for the baby.

Besides this, Vekhand is also a very good drishti and dosha nivvriti herb. It drives away fear and keeps negative energy at bay. Therefore the Ayurevdic Samhitas tell us that the baby’s nursery should always contain a herb potli (bag) with lots of vekhand (among other herbs).

The vekhand bracelet is also a good idea to incorporate the properties of Vekhand. Here we use a thread dipped in turmeric overnight to string together cured , even sized pieces of vekhand. This can be tied around the baby’s foot for older babies. In younger babies whose teeth have not yet developed, this can be tied securely around the wrist. As the baby explores and chews on this bracelet, some of the benefits of the vekhand will be absorbed internally. This is a traditional practice followed in Tamilnadu and other regions in the south. This bracelet is easy and safe to make at home, and makes a great gift for an infant.
ayurvedic baby care practices: vacha nurtures baby and strengthens immunity

Vekhand powder is another suggestion given by our acharyas to ensure that the baby’s routine incorporates this herb. We are asked to smear Vekhand powder after towel drying the baby after the daily Abhyanga-Snana and BEFORE Dhoopa / Fumigation. Vekhand on the chest increases valour and courage and also acts as an excellent immunity booster. As small babies are often subject to issues of kapha aggravation, Vekhand on the chest prevents the quick buildup of such problems.

Physical , Spiritual & Pranic cleansing of the Nursery: ayurvedic baby care practices that cleanse aura & ward off negative energies

The construction, care and protection of the child’s nursery is as an important subject that has been dealt at great length across the Samhitas. The Acharyas recommend cleansing on 3 levels: Earth, Air And space using a combination of herbs , water and sounds.

ayurvedic baby care practices: physical, etheric and auric cleansing

An important part of ayurvedic baby care practices is to clean the nursery floors with a specific mixture of herbs. The Samhitas suggest choosing a herb mixture containing rakshoghna (insecticidal and anti bacterial) herbs like Nimba (Neem), Mangalya herbs (herbs that contribute a positive aura like Benzoin, Tulasi) and Vekhand.

The Krya Sookshma floor cleaner is an excellent product for this purpose. While the Sugandha floor cleaner also fits most of these requirements, as it contains organic essential oils which are potent, we recommend using the Krya Sookshma floor cleaner instead in a home with babies.

Krya Sookshma floor cleaner is a 22 ingredient whole plant formulation that uses very powerful air and space cleansing plant resins like Benzoin , Edible camphor, and very powerful Rakshoghna herbs like Eucalyptus, Lemongrass and Mangalya herbs like Triphala, Tulasi, Soapberry, etc along with Vekhand.  We recommend that the room in which the post partum Mother and infant live , be swabbed twice a day with the Krya Sookshma floor cleaner. Use a slightly higher quantity than you would use in the rest of the home.

ayurvedic baby care practices: krya sookshma floor cleaner recommended to swab nursery floors

Medicinal Fumigation is part of ayurvedic baby care practices suggested in Ayurveda to cleanse Air and Space that surround the infant and the mother. Certain herbs are better suited to the medium of smoke, so we are able to absorb their properties better while doing Medicinal Fumigation.

As reliable products are not easily available for this purpose, we suggest that the nursery be regularly fumigated with well dried A2 cow dung cakes. If you can source good quality Medicinal Dhoops which do not have any added essential oils / fragrances and use only Ayurvedic herbs that are properly processed, this would be excellent.

Otherwise using desi cow dung cakes is a very good start. This is a Mangalya dravya, purifies and sanctifies the air and also naturally repels mosquitoes. This should also ideally be done twice a day after the room is swabbed as suggested above.

ayurvedic baby care practices: fumigation using ayurevdic herbs and desi cow dung is an excellent practice to cleanse the air and space

Additionally, after cleaning, swabbing and smoking the Nursery, Ayurveda recommends keeping bags of raw herbs at the entrance of the nursery and tied to the baby’s cradle. A mix of Drishti and Dosha nivvriti herbs , Rakshoghna herbs and Mangalya herbs are usually suggested. A good mixture to start with is a mixture of freshly sourced, sun / shade dried and lightly crushed Vekhand, Nimba (neam leaf), Tulasi (buy a mixture of different varieties like Thiruneetrupachai, Krishna tulasi, etc) and Nochi (leaf). After sun / shade drying the herbs as is appropriate, lightly crush them using a rolling pin to release the fragrance. Make this into 2 bags and secure one at the entrance of the room, and the other on the cradle.

ayurvedic baby care practices: raw whole ayurvedic herbs should be hung in the nursery to cleanse teh aura, and attract positive energy

Sound based auric cleaning – ayurvedic baby care practices that clean Akash  and improve health & wellbeing

Sound based auric cleansing is also suggested in Ayurveda. This uses certain vibratory notes and chants to cleanse the auric energy of dwelling spaces. This is a very interesting subject that deserves many separate posts of its own, so we will limit ourselves to a simple introduction in this post.

ayurvedic baby care practices: sound based energy cleansing is particularly effective in boosting health and immunity

A ubiquitous stotram we hear in many homes is the Vishnu Sahasranama. Our Purvacharyas tell us that this Stotra is very powerful to cleanse illnesses and disease. This is therefore suggested to be played in hospitals, sick room wards, etc. This is also a good Sound cleanser for a baby’s nursery and can be played on loop atleast for 1 hour every day , AFTER the room is cleaned, swabbed and fumigated.

In the 40 Samskaras prescribed for children in Sanatana Dharma, one Samskara is the introduction of the infant to the Aalayam (temple) of God Skanda / Muruga. Shree Skanda is considered a patron god of infants and helps protect children from unexpected illness, diseases and also aids in their healthy growth. So mantras like the Subrahmanya Trishati can also be played in the Nursery.

While playing chants and music, please be aware that the baby’s hearing is extremely delicate and sookshma (subtle). Hence the best method of introducing such sounds is to actually have a human being chanting these mantras as often as possible so the vibrations and sounds can be received by the baby. This can be done by elders in the home / mother when she is stronger. The next best option is playing a physical CD / cassette on a very low volume. We do NOT recommend radiation based online / cell phone based music in the baby’s nursery.

Indian Style Cradle (Jhoola / Thooli) and its benefits: ayurvedic baby care practices to promote sound sleep and healthy weight gain­­­­

An interesting suggestion given by our Acharyas is to allow the baby to sleep in a rock-able cradle / jhoola atleast some part of the day. This is a suggestion that is also given to thin, under-nourished and emaciated adults. The Acharyas tell us that the gentle rocking of a jhoola / cradle is very beneficial for healthy weight gain and muscle development in babies. It is very calming, relaxing and soothing to the brain and helps promote good sleep and immunity. This is probably why so many olden Indian homes had an internal swing / Oonjal. This was often used to rest in or for short naps.

At my friend’s place where I went to visit her 3 month old, I was thrilled to see that she had made a Thooli / Jhoola for the baby instead on investing in an expensive infant cot which many of us are sold these days. For her jhoola, she removed the ceiling fan in one part of the hook and had got her carpenter to install sturdy hooks. She had used one of her own sarees to make the Thooli / Jhoola – so as a bonus, it smelt faintly of her, soothing the baby. The baby spent half the time in the Thooli / Jhoola and the other half in the bed with her mother- so it was a good compromise which also allowed the baby to experience skin to skin contact with the mother.

ayurvedic baby care practices: indian thooli or jhoola is a good alternative to a western cradle

If you have the space and the time, please consider using a Cloth based Jhoola for your baby, atleast partially as seen above.

Importance of daily Abhyanga Snana for babies:

As a skin care company, we have written and will continue to write about the benefits accorded by the daily abhyanga Snana for everyone. An abhyanga Snana is even more critical among young infants as it helps establish the health of their newly developing immune system, and also sets the ground for a healthy colonization of microbiota on the baby’s skin.

The Ayurvedic texts tells u that an Abhyanga Snana for babies is a health giving, immune system strengthening, sleep improving and digestion aiding practice and NOT a cosmetic practice. When done regularly with the correct set of products, the Abhyanga helps good weight gain, muscle development and improves baby’s strength and sense of well being. The Snana when done with the recommended herbs boosts immunity and the sense of well being.

A daily Abhyanga Snana is extremely beneficial when done until the age of 1.

ayurvedic baby care practices: regular abhyanga snana is very beneficial for baby

Krya’s baby products receive tremendous support, admiration and appreciation from our loyal band of parents. Most of them start using our products when the baby is around 2 weeks old and continue to use our baby products until the baby reaches 2 years of age.

Krya’s Ayurvedic Abhyanga Snana products for babies:

Ayurvedic baby massage oils from Krya:

The Krya traditional baby massage oil is the cornerstone of our Krya baby care range. This is a special ayurvedic baby massage oil developed strictly as per Ayurvedic rules and includes the correct set of herbs recommended in Ayurveda to help baby’s healthy development. In case you are wondering why this is a better choice for baby’s skin over organic, virgin cold pressed coconut oil, please read our earlier post on this subject. 

The Krya traditional baby massage oil uses Varnya, Twachya, Jeevaniya and Brhamaneeya herbs which help healthy muscle development, improve immunity and natural health and aid in establishing good skin health. This is a 32 ingredient Ayurvedic formulation developed in-house which uses 27 herbs , fruits and fresh vegetables processed in the Tila Paka method in a set of 5 organic, cold pressed oils and butters.

ayurvedic baby care practices: krya traditional baby massage oil recommended for daily abhyanga for baby

The formulation uses traditional strength and muscle improvement herbs like Bala and Ashwagandha, traditional skin health improving herbs like Durva, Ela (cardamom), Kushta, Mangalya and immunity herbs like Nimba, Aswathha, Udumbura, Vekhand, etc.

This baby massage oil is suggested for baby boys and girls from the 1st week onwards, as long as the skin is healthy. If the skin is dry, eczematic, or has other such issues, we have 2 other oils available: the Krya Lemongrass nourishing baby massage oil & the Krya Rose & Palmarosa nourishing baby massage oil.

The Krya Lemongrass & Neem flower baby massage oil is designed for Pitta based skin abnormalities. Here the skin has redness,  warmth, and there is a lot of skin irritation and itching. The Krya Palmarosa & Rose baby massage oil is designed for Vata based skin abnormalities. Here the skin is dry, flaky, cool to touch and feels taut / tight in cold seasons.
ayurvedic baby care practices: krya nourishing baby massage oils are formulated for babies with sensitive skin

Both oils are 27 ingredient formulations made with 23 ayurvedic herbs, organic fruits and vegetables and processed in the Tila paka method in a set of 4 organic and cold pressed vegetable oils and plant butters.

Both these oils are used extensively by Krya parents across the world to manage sensitive skin in babies. Even in very cold and extreme climates, parents have been able to successively use these products as a better, safer alternative to corticosteroid creams suggested for these conditions.

A regular massage is extremely beneficial to baby, if done with the correct Ayurvedic herbs and oils. Here is an earlier post that explains the benefits of baby massage in  greater detail. 

Ayurvedic ubtans for newborns and babies from Krya

The Snana products for baby should also be chosen with care. The correct Snana products for babies use Astringent, Aura cleansing, Mangalya, Immunity improving, warming and skin health aiding herbs . When used along with the Abhyanga oil on a regular basis, baby’s skin and overall health is improved, body feels fresh and sweet smelling , sleep quality is good and a positive aura is maintained. To read in greater detail about the benefits of Ayurevdic Snana for your baby, please read our earlier post on this subject. 

Krya has 3 products for baby’s Abhyanga-Snana. The Krya traditional ubtan for babies is available as a variant separately for baby boys and baby girls and can be used along with the Krya traditional baby massage oil.

The Krya traditional ubtan for baby girls is a 20 ingredient formulation made using Mangalya herbs like Haridra, Vekhand, Vana Haridra, Amla, Nimba, Mushta, Daruharidra, etc. The Krya traditional ubtan for baby boys is a 19 ingredient formulation made using Ayurvedic herbs like Bala, Manjishta, Vekhand, Mushta, Kalmegh, etc. Both formulations are designed to be Mangalya (auspicious), Rakshoghna (anti bacterial), Jeevaniya (health giving), Balya (immune boosting & strength giving) and Twachya (skin health improving).
ayurvedic baby care practices: krya baby ubtans are a good choice for babys Snana

For children who have skin issues, we have formulated the Krya Gentle baby bodywash powder. It pairs with the Krya Lemongrass & Neemflower nourishing baby massage oil and the Krya Palmarosa & Rose nourishing baby massage oil.

This Gentle baby Bodywash formulation is a 19 ingredient formulation. In this formulation we have used a higher proportion of Vrana (wound healing) herbs and Twachya (skin health improving herbs) apart from our other herbs. So this formulation contains Indian Sarsaparilla, Babchi, Khadira, nimba, Amla, etc.

Parents report that using these sensitive skin products have helped heal and control the manifestation of skin allergies and also reduce the incidence of eczema, dermatitis, etc. This has been achieved without using topical steroid creams, special soaps, excessive synthetic moisturizers, etc. Most importantly, they are relieved to see that the Baby is cheerful and smiling without feeling irritable and upset due to a painful skin condition.

To sum up:

This post aimed at educating new parents, parents to be, and grandparents to be on important ayurvedic baby care practices . These traditional practices are safe to use even in newborns, and work in a variety of ways. They improve baby’s health and well being, aid good muscle development, improve digestion, kindle the appetite, and aid in sound deep sleep.

Ayurveda is a broad and comprehensive Science. We have seen in this post how the Acharyas have taken care of various aspects of the baby’s health and used different techniques like herbal smoke, specific sounds, use of medicinal herbs and strengthening Dinacharya practices like regular Abhyanga Snana to boost the baby’s development.

It is a point of frustration for us at Krya that so much of this health giving, easy to do, practical and comprehensive Ayurvedic advise is lost to us. Many of us are simply not aware of these practices and are being misled about the correct set of baby AND post delivery Mother care practices to be followed.  It is an important part of our mission at Krya to help spread this knowledge. Through this, even if a few of the practices suggested in Ayurveda are adopted by you and you see a good improvement in yours / baby’s health, we would be happy.

This post is meant to inspire and not burden you. If you have not been able to follow these practices for your child, please do not feel frustrated / guilty. We are all living very fragmented lives with a great loss of knowledge. Whatever you are able to do for your baby with a loving heart is best for him / her. If you have the opportunity to help someone else with this knowledge, please do! Or you could keep this in mind for your next baby 😊

If you would like help choosing the correct Krya baby products for yourself or to gift to a new mother, please write to us or call us –(0)-75500-89090

 

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How to manage Atopic dermatitis (eczema) – an ayurvedic approach by Krya

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Reading Time: 14 minutes

Do you or your child suffer from Atopic dermatitis or dry, itchy, easily irritated skin? Have you been asked to use a special medicated soap or a lotion to help control the skin itchiness? Are you looking for natural remedies and safe skin care alternatives to manage this condition better? Read on for more information on Atopic dermatitis, the extent of the problem, possible causes and triggers and Ayurvedic advice on this condition.

What is Atopic dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis is defined as a chronic condition where the skin is dry, itchy , sometimes reddish and irritable for a long period of time. Even when they subside, there is always a chance that the condition can flare up and trigger in the skin. The rash can sometimes inflame and then ooze clear fluid. If the skin is severely dry and cracked, it may also bleed.

Atopic dermatitis is a non contagious chronic skin condition with dry itchy irritable skin

Atopic dermatitis is not considered contagious. However western medical science is unable to pinpoint an exact cause / trigger. It is considered a genetically inherited condition. It is also linked to other allergic conditions like asthma, wheezing, allergic rhinitis. This condition also tends to flare up in the presence of environmental allergens like cosmetics, laundry products, perfumes, make up, pollen, dander, cold & dry weather, stress, etc. It can also flare up with high sweating, high stress and high physical exercise.

Common Atopic dermatitis triggers are stress, sweat, cold weather, etc

Western medicine suggests that atopic dermatitis cannot be completely cured. The skin can be managed with the aid of corticosteroid based topical application products. It usually manifests before 5 years in 90% of Adult sufferers.

How common is Atopic dermatitis in India?

The Indian journal of Dermatology estimates that Atopic dermatitis currently affects nearly 15% of the population in India and has been increasingly rising with time (earlier estimates pegged it at 5% of the population). Studies from developed countries indicate that treatment and management of Atopic dermatitis is a “significant burden on health care budgets”.  The condition almost always starts in childhood and can continue throughout adulthood flaring and subsiding on and off.

Researchers across the world have called Atopic dermatitis a “costly and expensive disease”, both emotionally and financially. An estimate in UK suggests that parents spent 47 million pounds to manage Atopic dermatitis among children between 1 – 5 in one year alone : 75% of this went towards OTC prescription creams, ointments and soaps to manage this condition.

Atopic dermatitis is a financially and emotionally draining skin care condition

Costs in India are also high. The Indian journal of Dermatology estimates that Atopic dermatitis is as expensive a disease as chronic Adult Diabetes with high recurring costs. A recent study in an OP department of a hospital estimated that parents spent Rs. 12000 annually to manage Atopic dermatitis – which was about 15% of their stated family income! This estimate increases with an increase in severity of the disease. In countries like Australia, severe Atopic dermatitis cost families nearly $1225 annually (close to 40, 000 Rs).

What are the trigger factors for Atopic dermatitis ?

The Indian Journal of Pediatrics cites several studies, white papers and discussions in various symposia on the phenomenon of Atopic dermatitis. While there is no conclusive “ONE” factor that contributes to this disease, we have several practical hypotheses to explain why Atopic dermatitis occurs.

Many of us know the standard theories behind the spread of these “idiopathic” conditions like Atopic dermatitis.

Hygiene theory as a cause for Atopic dermatitis:

Atopic dermatitis is much more common in urban , and relatively higher sanitary conditions. This is especially true of Western countries.  As the immune system is relatively “untested” due to clean surroundings , repeated use of strong cleansers, the immune system tends to aggressively respond to relatively harmless antigens leading to development of Atopic dermatitis.

Studies indicate that the severity of Atopic dermatitis is much higher in countries like U.K and U.S.A compared to India due to the above reason.

This and the hereditary theory are the main 2 theories behind skin conditions like Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Apart from the above, we would like to highlight, 2 very critical hypotheses behind the spread of Atopic Dermatitis.

IgE triggers -cause for Atopic dermatitis

IgE is Immunoglobulin E. This is an antibody produced by the body’s immune system in response to invasion of the skin by micro organisms or allergens. When the body is introduced to certain allergen triggers, IgE production along with Basophils and Activated Eosinophils leads to a hypersensitivity reaction.

Here the body responds to this allergen threat by doing 2 things to control the entry of the allergen into the body:

  • It seals off the skin by tightening the brick and mortar structure of the skin: so skin pebbles up and feels tighter
  • It contains the allergens inside a sealed closed off environment in the form of red, visible, external bumps / cysts
  • It restricts the airway passages restraining the amount of allergen filled air being breathed in: simultaneously, it triggers mucous formation, enabling the body to sneeze, cough and expel the allergens that have invaded, OUT of the body

The body's normal response to allergens is intelligent & well thought out.

This response is a well thought through, fantastic piece of intelligent and adaptive design in our body. But, it is designed for an obvious, temporary allergen dose. It is not designed for frequent, in-your-face , subtle allergen attacks.

The question will arise: where are these frequent, in-your-face, subtle allergen attacks to be found?

Enzyme based detergents & household products – trigger Atopic dermatitis

A common IgE triggers is the enzyme Der P1 analogous to Papain . Der P1 is an enzyme present in the feces of the house dust mite. Dust mites can breed in homes where there is limited sunlight, where there are food sources available for the dust mite (they prefer feeding on fungal dandruff flakes form your head!) and also where bed linen is not changed periodically.

Even if you do not have a dust mite infestation, you could still be triggering an IgE reaction. How?

By using enzyme based household products like laundry and dishwashing detergents, contact lens cleaners !

Enzymes can also be found in cosmetic face washes and cleansers, make up removal products, cleansing wipes and sometimes even in synthetic processed foods.

Industrial enzymes, a common trigger for Atopic dermatitis are ubiquitous in a modern home

Another known IgE triggering enzyme is Subtilisin , a bacteria derived enzyme. Subtilisin is a protease enzyme that is linked to both allergic rhinitis, allergy triggered asthma and atopic dermatitis. Subtilisin has been identified as a IgE trigger for both air and skin allergic reactions over the last 40 years.

Enzyme activism – strongly opposed by Industry

Any activism to sensitize users to the potential effects of using these enzymes always faces a strong backlash from the industry. Despite several studies linking the handling of industrial enzymes to contact allergies in workers and animal models, the Industry continues to state that industrial enzymes are safe for home use. They insist that at these doses, it is not possible to develop IgE triggers or allergic reactions.

Allergic reactions need only very minute doses of allergens to trigger the Immune response. Estimates suggest that the average pollen allergy sufferer is exposed to 1 millionth of a gram per year – however even this dose is enough to produce asthma, allergic rhinitis and even anaphylaxis in extreme cases.

The enzyme onslaught around is very high: they have even found their way into food and medical applications. Papain, is commonly used in meat processing to tenderize meat. Chymopapain, a closely linked variant, is used in medical sciatica procedures – one of the rare documented side effects of chymopapain is anaphylaxis!

Papain an industrial enzyme used in food and cosmetic applications can also trigger Atopic dermatitis

A1 dairy linked allergic pathway to Atopic dermatitis:

In the last few years there has been a tremendous amount of research work that has emerged on the inflammatory and allergy inducing properties of commercial dairy. A dairy allergy is fast emerging as a quick diagnosis after nuts and shellfish allergies. Medical practitioners and patients who see a quick reversal in allergic symptoms, reduction of atopic dermatitis and eczema and improvement in asthmatic conditions erroneously conclude that the fault lies in dairy as a whole.

Ayurveda and traditional sciences teach us about the dhatu building and curative properties of carefully sourced dairy. The key point to note here is that “dairy: in Ayurveda and Siddha assumes dairy products sourced for the indigenous, humped Desi cow, which produces A2 milk. Unfortunately, a majority of us today consume commercially extracted, A1 milk. The milk is many times adulterated. The commercial dairy industry , like the commercial poultry industry is notorious with pumping hormones, weight enhancers, and antibiotics into dairy cattle – all of this trigger a wide ranging set of responses in the body.

Commercial dairy practices have spread antibiotics, hormones and synthetics into our dairy.

But apart from the commercialization of dairy and the consequences of drinking this milk, there is another critical issue with the dairy products we receive today: most of commercial dairy farming is sourced from cross bread Jersey / Holstein cattle which usually produce A1 milk or a mixture of A1 and A2 depending on the cross breeding.

 Histidine mutation in modern A1 milk – possible trigger to Atopic dermatitis

Casein is the main milk protein in milk forming about 80% of the protein constituent of milk. Casein is divided into 4 groups, which are represented in milk: S1 Alpha, S2 Alpha, Beta & Kappa type.  Beta Casein is a very important component of milk protein – it forms 30% of Milk’s total protein content.

Beta caesin has 13 variants of which A1 and A2 variant are the most common.  A2 Milk comes from pure bred Asian and African cattle. In this milk, a nucleotide called PROLINE is the 67th position of the amino acid chain. The nucleotide variation in this single position contributes to the difference between A1 and A2 milk.

Native indian cow - milk safe and nourishing for consumption

With the migration of cattle to Europe, a mutation developed in this 67th position in the amino acid chain in Beta Casein. Instead of Proline, European cattle mutated to HISTIDINE in the 67th position in the chain. Initially the entire bovine population contained only the A2 allele. The A1 allele developed after the histidine mutation when bovine cattle migrated to Europe. This is a mutation that did not occur in human or other animal species even though they too migrated to Europe.

European cattle have mutated to a special amino acid protein called histidine which affects human beings

With modern breeding techniques, European dairy cattle have developed further mutations along the 209-amino acid protein chain, but the most significant change from A2 native cattle is the presence of histidine.

Histidine and Proline are processed very differently in the human body. During digestion, Proline is much more stable compared to histidine . Histidine can cleave and break during digestion to release Beta Casomorphin (BCM) oppoid peptides including a variant called BCM-7.

While there has been research on Casomorphins for over 30 years, it was only post 2009 that researchers started focusing on the effect of CMs and BCM-7 release in the body after consuming A1 milk.

BCM 7 in particular and other variants of BCM do the following:

  • Reduce gastric motility increasing constipation:
  • Slows down time taken to digest food – leading to higher Ama buildup in the body
  • Interfere with nutritional uptake in the body by increasing mucous in the GI system
  • Alter the pattern and behavior of the Gut Immune system – leading to greater risk of inflammatory gut disease

Apart from these issues, consumption of A1 milk has also been linked to SIDS, autism, schizophrenia type 1 diabetes, etc. Most importantly, for this article, Beta Casomorphins trigger the IgE response, leading to increased wheezing, rhinitis and atopic eczema and Atopic dermatitis, particularly itchy, inflamed skin.

 Diet linked Allergen pathway to Atopic dermatitis:

We have already explored the correlation between enzyme exposure,  certain kinds of Dairy and allergy induced Atopic dermatitis. Apart from these triggers, natural triggers for Atopic dermatitis include the following:

  • Pollen allergy
  • Dust mites
  • Shell fish
  • Eggs,
  • Nuts and tree nuts (these allergens differ by country and exposure)

Causes for Atopic dermatitis from an Ayurvedic perspective

Ayurveda lists many causes / Hetu for development of Vicharchika (Atopic dermatitis / eczema) and other skin disease. Apart from these reasons, we can add the above to the already existing reasons of allergens and pollutants as a cause.

  • Ahara Hetu – Food based causes
    • Viruddha ahara – incompatible food combinations – radish + curd, sour fruits + milk / curd, honey + hot water, eating new cereals and pulses, excessive intake of sesame and jaggery, etc

Eating incompatible foods is a primary cause for Atopic dermatitis as per Ayurveda

  • Vihara Hetu (Habits / Lifestyle based causes)
    • Exercising and sun exposure after meals
    • Day sleep
    • Withholding natural urges (like the urge to go to the toilet due to fear of contamination, etc)

Withholding natural urges like teh urge to use a washroom is an important trigger for Atopic dermatitis

  • Achara Hetu (Mental conduct / thinking based causes)
    • Earing money by adharmic means
    • Behaving badly towards good people
    • Being disrespectful of Guru / Acharya and Wise and learned men

Ayurvedic Line of treatment suggested for Atopic dermatitis:

Ayurveda recommends the use of herb infused bath steeps, Lepas, Oils and bathing powders that are based on skin health improving herbs to manage Atopic dermatitis and eczema. Panchakarma treatment to correct deranged Kapha and Pitta are also recommended to correct the dosha imbalances in the body.

Ayurveda recommends the use of ayurvedic herbs, medicated bath steeps, lepas and oils to improve skin in Atopic dermatitis.

Apart from this, as a high percentage of Atopic dermatitis is linked to environmental allergens and food allergens, necessary changes are advised to ensure exposure to these allergens are limited.

Ayurvedic diet (pathya) & herbs to manage Atopic dermatitis

Ayurvedic pathya (diet) for Kushta (skin diseases) is also very strict and asks the patient to avoid certain standard skin disease triggering foods. These include:

  • Pitta-Kapha aggravating foods like Sesame seeds, Jaggery, Eggs, Curd, Cheese, Paneer, Cashew (all nuts in general trigger Pitta and Kapha unless processed properly, eaten in the right season and chosen as per body type)
  • Kushta (skin disease) triggering foods like brinjal, eggs, commercial poultry, fish

A pathya diet is recommended in Ayurveda to avoid triggering skin diseases

  • Reduction of extremely sour, salty and spicy food
  • Eating native gourds, aged grains and cereals,
  • Eating grains like wheat, barley, etc is also considered pathya for these skin conditions

Some of the herbs recommended for Atopic dermatitis are:

  • Khadira
  • Manjishta
  • Karanja
  • Kusta
  • Daruharidra
  • Haridra
  • Guduchi
  • Nannari, etc.

Specific skin healing herbs are used in Ayurveda to treat Atopic dermatitis like Nannari (Indian sarsaparilla).

The choice of herbs will depend upon age of the patient, season and symptoms . For example, if the presentation involves a higher Pitta based reaction like redness, inflammation, burning sensation, warmth, Pitta balancing herbs should be chosen over other herbs like Nimba, Khadira, etc.

If the presentation is Kapha based, for example scaling, thickening or oozing, Kapha balancing herbs should be chosen like Kushta, Haridra, Daruharidra etc. Such cases can also benefit by using herb based dusting powders to dry up the area.

Krya’s range of products for Atopic dermatitis, & psoriasis in Adults

Krya has a good range of products designed to help manage skin conditions. Our Sensitive skin line for Adults has a Sensitive skin cleanser and a Sensitive Skin Oil to help manage Atopic dermatitis, Dry eczema and Psoriasis in adults. We use a broad spectrum range of Ayurvedic herbs and skin healing oils like Chaulmoogra oil, Tamanu Oil, Babchi Oil and Neem oil in our range.

The Krya sensitive line of skin care products for adults with atopic dermatitis, psoriaisis, etc

Adults with such challenging skin conditions greatly benefit by following an Ayurvedic Pathya diet and in severe cases benefit greatly by getting a proper Panchakarma process done. It is important to do this under the auspices of a well qualified Vaidya who has good experience in treating these disorders.

 

Adults should also follow the 3 pronged approach of examining their Ahara (food), Vihara (lifestyle) and Achara (mental conduct) and eliminate any skin disease inducing patterns. Many modern food diets and “health practices” fall under the list of Vriddha Ahara – like the practices of eating fruit and vegetable smoothies with curd, over dependence on jaggery and high use of nuts like sesame, cashew, etc.

 

Achara (mental conduct) is extremely critical in managing chronic skin conditions. There is a strong link between dosha aggravation and mental states as described in Ayurveda. Our diet influences our thinking and our moods and vice versa. So if you have strong rage issues, anger management issues , envy, jealousy, etc, these are all manifestations of unchecked Pitta dosha working on your mental and emotional state. Such mental states and ways of thinking WILL contribute to flaring up of conditions like Atopic dermatitis.

Krya’s range of Sensitive skin products for children with Atopic dermatitis:

A simple shift from a  commercial skin cleanser and moisturizing lotion to Krya’s baby cleansers and baby oils greatly helps young babies with itchy, irritable , Atopic dermatitis prone skin. A further important step would be to “detox” your home and remove all potential allergens like enzyme based synthetic cleansers, aerosols, cosmetic wipes, baby wipes, etc and adopt clean , non allergenic food.

Krya baby ubtans are ideal to cleanse sensitive itchy skin

Babies respond very quickly to these changes and there is a good improvement in their skin condition without having to use medicated corticosteroid based creams, special soaps and cleansers.

For babies with itchy , irritable and sensitive skin, parents can use the Krya gentle baby bodywash powder (unisex) OR the Krya baby girl ubtan OR the Krya baby boy ubtan to cleanse baby’s skin instead  of a soap / liquid bodywash.

A regular abhyanga (pre bath skin massage) also greatly nourishes and help’s heal dry, itchy, sensitive skin. Krya Palmarosa &Rose nourishing baby massage oil is recommended for dry , non oozing skin conditions like dermatitis, dry eczema. It is not recommended for oozing skin conditions.

Krya Lemongrass & Grapefruit nourishing baby massage oil is Recommended for dry , non oozing skin conditions like dermatitis, dry eczema (sensitive skin). This product is not recommended for oozing skin conditions. It can also be be used from the time a baby is 1-2 days old.

Krya’s sensitive skin products for toddlers and older children:

As skin conditions like Atopic dermatitis fully manifest around 18-24 months or so, we have a special cleansing product designed for toddlers to help manage this condition better. The Krya Toddler bodywash – sensitive variant is a herbal bodywash powder formulated with 23 ayurvedic skin healing and health restoring herbs and 3 ayurvedic cold pressed plant oils.  We have formulated this product with powerful skin healing ayurvedic herbs like Kalmegh, Neem flower, Indian Banyan, Peepul, Kushta bark and cold pressed skin healing oils like Karanja Oil & Neem Oil.

When children are bathed everyday with this special herbal bodywash powder, there is an excellent reduction in itchy irritable skin. Skin is calmer, and the severity of skin irritation reduces. Long term use of this product can greatly help control the severity of Atopic dermatitis.

A weekly abhyanga with one of the Krya baby massage oils recommended above also helps improve skin health considerably.

When parents follow the dietary recommendations for kushta and also take the effort to remove environmental and food based allergens, the effect is further enhanced. The biggest and best change you can do for food is to switch to unpasteurized, indigenous A2 cow’s milk for the family. This has excellent health, nutritive and skin benefits. Please ensure you also follow the relevant changes in Vihara suggested below to help your child.

Vihara (lifestyle) modifications & changes to help reduce flare up of Atopic dermatitis:

  • Avoid bathing in very hot water – luke warm water is best
  • Sun all bed linen thoroughly every fortnight to reduce incidence of dust mites
  • Choose your detergent and cleaning products very carefully. Avoid any products which focus on high stain removal and these are likely to contain industrial enzymes.
  • Avoid using fragrance based cleaning products, even if choosing natural products. Unscented products are based
  • Switch to carefully sourced genuine, unpasteurized A2 milk. Avoid commercial dairy preparations like cheese, paneer, Greek yoghurt, milkshakes, ice creams, etc
  • Avoid synthetic cosmetic products especially soaps and moisturizing lotions. Use a home made ubtan or a genuine ayurvedic ubtan. A regular abhyanga with the correct ayurvedic oil will also help the skin condition.
  • In summer, high pitta aggravation can cause the sweat secretion in the body to be extremely acidic, which in turn provokes atopic dermatitis. Ensure you follow the correct ayurvedic diet in Summer to avoid spiking Pitta. A natural ubtan will also help cleanse skin and Srotas thoroughly to avoid this problem.
  • For adults, a gentle exercise programme helps better with Atopic dermatitis. Avoid very strenuous and intensive exercise regimens.
  • Manage stress by doing less, regular hair oiling , nourishing food and sufficient time out to “stop and stare”. Stress is a strong trigger for Atopic dermatitis.

 

To sum up: Understanding & managing Atopic dermatitis naturally

We hope this article was able to help you understand how Ayurveda analyses, diagnoses and treats chronic skin conditions like Atopic dermatitis. By adopting safe, natural, tried and tested ayurvedic herbs and oils, many of our consumers have been able to control the severity and incidence of chronic skin conditions like Atopic dermatitis.

As with all ayurvedic advice, following a multi pronged approach of internal medication, the right diet, positive and uplifting thinking helps work on such chronic skin conditions more holistically and effectively. Ayurveda is a thorough and detailed science. For all internal treatment, we advise going to experienced and renowned Ayurvedic physicians who can diagnose your condition correctly and suggest the right treatment that can help you.

If you need any help on choosing the right Krya products to manage Atopic dermatitis, please call us or email us.

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Krya Body-Washes & Ubtans : Natural Intelligence for your skin

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Artificial Intelligence & machine learning in non-human systems is an accepted reality now. If it seems incredible that some human jobs could be replaced by AI, then even more incredible is natural intelligence, which is all around us but often not appreciated.

An excellent example of natural intelligence is the interaction of a good Ayurvedic Ubtan or bodywash with your skin.

Natural Intelligence for your Skin

In the Ayurvedic system, a herb & grain based powder is the ideal recommendation for clean, healthy and radiant skin. (they also recommend that you regularly apply a good skin oil pre-bath to balance aggravated doshas and nourish the skin)

All the natural orifices of the body like the ears , eyes , nose, axillia, genital organs , skin pores (sweat) and scalp secrete  waste material called “mala” , throughout the day and night. If this “mala” is not removed properly, the body loses its health and appearance of well being. This is one very important reason why a “Snana” is recommended as the first act of the day and is considered to be very beneficial.

The 3-Level cleansing process of a Ubtan & Body-wash Powder

Soaps use a purely surfactant method of dissolving all the oils and dirt on the surface of your skin , which are then removed as you pour water.

The Krya Ubtans & Body-wash powders work by combination of gentle exfoliation , natural surfactants and adsorption. The Ubtan powder is first made into a paste with water and then this herb paste is gently rubbed on the skin. This paste adsorbs excess oil, dead cells and dirt from your skin and then leaves it fresh and clean, as you pour water to wash off the mixture.

Because of the powder format and the quality of the herbs, this paste also gently opens up the Srotas or fine channels on your skin and cleanses the “mala” in them by suction. As the ubtan cleans, the herbs and grains also coat the skin with nutrients, oils and other bio-actives.

The Krya Ubtans and body-washes are also designed at a mildly acidic pH to match your skin so that your  skin’s micro-biome is properly maintained. So in this medium only those microbes that the skin deems beneficial are allowed to prosper while it eliminates other harmful bacteria.

Due to this highly intelligent cleaning method, your skin is nourished, thoroughly cleansed, and the skin’s moisture is protected. So you feel light and refreshed after an Ayurvedic Snana. Due to the deep cleaning of the Srotas, you will be protected from body-odour for several hours naturally without any recourse to artificial deodorants.

So a properly formulated Ayurvedic Ubtan or bodywash powder will cleanse at 3 – Levels

  1. The surface of the skin
  2. The fine channels or “srotas” and
  3. Protect & Nourish your skin micro-biome without destroying friendly microbes.

Soaps are NOT intelligent

Soap making technology was known to all ancient cultures and yet it was never accepted by Indian systems of medicine, and for good reason too. Synthetic soaps have a detergent like action that dissolves only the surface level oil and dirt on your skin and wipes it dry after your bath. Since the deeper level srotas have not been cleaned, soon after a bath, the sweat and poorly cleaned srotas will cause body-odour. Certain soaps may also unnecessarily load the srotas with scum and buildup, clogging the srotas further.

In this broad-spectrum cleaning , the soap also dries out the natural sebum of the skin , making it dry and crying out for a moisturizer. Also, because of their alkaline pH (your skin is at a mildly acidic pH) , soaps will also destroy the skin microbiome of friendly bacteria and make the body more vulnerable to disease causing organisms.

So effectively a soap bath is a superficial clean, and a deep level disturbance to your skin. It leaves your skin dry, unclean from within and robbed of its friendly microbial protective layer – this is NOT very intelligent.

The Difference between A Krya Ubtan & A Krya Body-Wash

A Krya ubtan has been formulated with special herbs to remove excess oil on an  Abhyanga (oil-bath) day. Whereas, a Krya body-wash has been designed for use on regular non-abhyanga days for use on plain , un-oiled skin. It is an ideal replacement to care for your skin by replacing harsh soaps. Customers who use our body-wash regularly are always surprised by the fact that their skin feels refreshingly clean, without needing an external moisturizer and is also naturally deodorized for several hours.

At Krya we have 14 different Ubtans and Body-Washes for men, women, kids & babies and by your skin type.

Buy natural intelligence for your skin here 

 

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Pitta Balancing Diet Part 2: pitta channelizing Dravyas & Spices

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Reading Time: 9 minutes

A pitta imbalance is responsible for many skin and hair conditions we see today like premature greying, hair thinning, heat rashes, acne, etc. Pitta imbalance is also the cause behind gastritis, GERD, IBS and high Blood Pressure.

Pitta imbalance leads to agner management issues and other hair, skin & health issues

Whenever we see signs of dosha imbalance reflected in skin and hair, it makes sense to correct the diet so we do not further overload the body. When these diet modifications are adopted ALONG with good quality ayurvedic oils and choornas, and external products and Dinacharya practices are followed, we can see a good improvement in the skin and hair condition. It can also positively impact internal issues as well.

Dravyas and Spices which are pitta channelizing:

In the first part of this series on Balancing Pitta through food,  we saw how introducing certain Rasas (tastes) into the food, helped balance aggravated Pitta dosha. Apart from this, aggravated Pitta always means that Agni is not channelized properly in the body. Aggravated Pitta dosha can travel and irritate other organ systems like skin, hair etc, as the Fire in the body is TOO high.

Aggravated pitta flows through the body aggravating other organ systems

Therefore, an important part of keeping Pitta in check is to channelise the flow of Fire (Agni) in the body. This makes the difference between an out of control forest fire which how aggravated Pitta dosha can be visualised vs a steadily burning , lamp , which represents Pitta in balance.

Dravyas and spices that are pitta channelizing help rein in and control Agni, improving the ability of Pitta dosha to work in the body and enhance metabolism and nutrient extraction while eating.

When pitta is balanced, it regulates all organ systems and keeps teh body in health & harmony

 

This is why reining in Pitta is very tricky – we cannot abruptly cool, freeze or totally bring down Pitta in the body as it is vital for digestion, metabolism , warmth and life in the body. So controlling excess Pitta does not mean dousing our Fire. It means subtly altering the fire and controlling it by using fire subduing rasas (tastes) AND by channelizing the fire by using certain spices and cooking methods.

Pitta should not be doused or frozen.

We saw some of these dravyas when we read about how the use of Opposite rasas can pull down aggravated Pitta, like Ghee. But these Dravyas are so critical to a Pitta Shramana diet, that we have discussed them separately again here.

Dairy based Dravyas for pitta channelizing:

Milk, Ghee and Buttermilk prepared to be pitta channelizing (Well churned, non-sour, watered down) are 3 important agni balancing dravyas that should be a part of a Pitta shramana diet.

All 3 of these should be preferably made from non pasteurised, organic A2 cow’s milk at home and not bought outside. We will put up a separate post on how these 3 dravyas can be taken by different Prakriti based individuals for best effect.

Carefully sourced and processed dairy help channelize pitta well

Milk (Ksheera) for pitta channelizing:

Warm, freshly boiled milk sourced ethically from an Indian desi cow is considered an elixir. It is prana positive, ojas building and is “brhmana” or nutritive and nourishing to the body and is also pitta channelizing. Depending upon your capacity to digest milk, you can have one or 2 small glasses of Milk a day as a meal in itself.

Desi cow milk is an elixer

Milk should ideally be had on an empty stomach and considered a full meal in itself. Most of us are unused to drinking plain Milk. So we recommend starting with a small glass (50 ml) of Milk , first thing in the morning to start with.

If you have any pre-existing health conditions like Diabetes, please check with your health practitioner before starting on this.

Given below are milk processing techniques for different prakritis.

Milk for Kapha leaning prakriti:

If you are overweight or have a strong leaning towards Kapha prakriti (catches colds and coughs often, tendency to put on weight) or have been diagnosed with Kapha disorders like hypothyroidism, PCOD, etc, please try this Milk combination. for effective pitta channelizing.

Boil Milk with 25% water added until the water evaporates. This is the basic ayurvedic milk boiling technique. 

Flavour this milk with a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Drink warm and unsweetened. Drink this first thing in the morning after bowel movement, around 6 am – a small glass (50 – 75 ml) would do.

Turmeric and black pepper are ideal for milk for kapha prakriti

Give a gap of atleast 2 hours before eating breakfast and do your daily exercise in this time.

Milk for Vata leaning Prakriti:

If you are underweight, restless, prone to insomnia and are easily stressed, have panic attacks, etc, please try this Milk combination to channelize aggravated pitta.

Boil Milk in the ayurvedic way as given above.

To this Milk, please add a pinch of pepper, 1 – 2 roasted and powdered cardamom pods and organic mishri (sulpharless sugar). Start with 50 ml, and gradually build it up as you find your absorption level improving. You can drink upto 150 ml of Milk / day for this prakriti. however, Vata leaning individuals have varying digestive capacity – so the body must be gradually accustomed to this drink.

Cardamom and sugar should be used to spice milk for vata prakriti

Drink this milk after bowel movements, first thing in the morning. Gentle yogic exercises should follow, 30 minutes after this drink.

Milk for Pitta leaning Prakriti:

If you have stable body weight, are neither under / over weight and are generally Pitta prakriti prone, please try this Milk combination for pitta channelizing.

Boil Milk the ayurvedic way, as given above.

To this Milk, please add a small amount of sugar (sugar level in between Kapha and Vata Milk), and a powdered spice mix of 1 elaichi pod, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of pepper and 2 pinches of dhania (coriander seeds) powder, roasted and ground. Pitta leaning individuals can start with 75 ml and go upto 125 ml of Milk.

Dhania and pepper should be used to process milk for Pitta prakriti

Do light household chores after this Milk (if unused to Milk) like light sweeping, folding of clothes, clearing up, watering plants, etc. and then go onto yoga.

Ghee (Go Ghrita) to balance Pitta:

A2 organic ghee is an elixir to the body. Small amounts of melted ghee help rein in aggravated pitta, channelizes pitta better, help the body absorb nutrients better and improve metabolism. This view of Ghee is not shared by Allopaths and Western Medicine. If you have a pre-existing Medical condition that frowns upon the use of Ghee, please check with your health practitioner before starting on this.

For those in good health, Ayurveda advises adding ghee to every meal. 1 – 1.5 teaspoons of melted cow ghee can be added to every meal. This helps each meal to be absorbed and assimilated better by the body. This is especially useful when Pitta is aggravated.

We have a longer, more detailed post explaining how Ghee should be sourced, why it is important to source Desi, A2 cow ghee. Please go through this post.

Takra (well churned buttermilk) to channelize pitta:

Ayurveda lists many ways of preparing Takra (buttermilk). This varies depends upon the prakriti of the individual. However, to be on the safe side, and to ensure Takra can be had by all, we suggest making well churned, fat free Takra (buttermilk).

Curd is considered Pitta-kapha aggravating and abhisyandi (producing excessive mucous secretion) as per Ayurveda. Hence it is prohibited for everyone , except in certain health conditions. When eaten, it must be eaten only in certain seasons and only with the addition of certain dravyas in it to reduce some of its harmful effects. We will delve into this in a separate post.

Curd is pitta kapha aggravating as per ayurveda

But when we churn curd with water and extract butter from it, we get Takra or buttermilk. The ayurvedic qualities of Takra are very different from Curd. Takra is astringent to the body although it is also slightly “ushna” or hot in nature.

Hence, it is allowed only in measured quantities for Pitta aggravation, provided the curd it is made from is freshly made and not sour. This Takra can be had 2 – 3 times a week or even everyday if Pitta aggravation is not too high. It helps reduce inflammations, and is very useful in conditions like Hemorrhoids, which is a common Pitta complaint.

Buttermilk or takra is slightly hot, digetsive and astringent as per Ayurveda

How to make Takra:

Watered down Takra is made by adding 4 – 6 parts Water to freshly set, home made, full-fat, desi A2 curd and churning at slow speed in a mixer or using a hand blender. The butter that separates should be carefully strained and removed and can be stored aside to make ghee.

The churning is an important part of the ayurvedic process to transform Curd into Takra.

Churn curd until butter separates to make buttermilk

The strained Takra is seasoned with rock salt, roasted jeera powder, pepper, black salt, etc, depending upon the need, and then consumed. Do not drink chilled or ice cold Takra – it is better to allow curd to come to room temperature before making Takra.

Properly prepared and spiced Takra is extremely Pitta channelizing. It is digestive and carminative in nature without overloading Pitta dosha and sharply aggravating Pitta’s qualities.

Agni balancing spices:

In our earlier post on Pitta aggravating foods, we had discussed how certain spices like cayenne pepper, red and green chillies, etc severely aggravate Pitta as they are ”teekshna” (intense), “katu” (spicy) and “ushna” (hot) in nature.

However, spices are essential in cooking as per Ayurveda. They help enhance taste, cut down some of the undesirable qualities of food , and help kindle Agni and also help metabolise food better.

For pitta aggravation, Ayurveda recommends using the following spices: Rock salt, Pepper, Jeera, Curry Leaf, Dhania (leaf and seed). Additionally spices like Fennel ,Elaichi and Cardamom can also be used.

Certain spices like Jeera help channelise Pitta dosha very well

Rock Salt:

Rock salt (saindhav lavana) is considered to have a cooling effect on the body , which is unusual given its taste. Hence it is recommended by Acharya Charaka to be used everyday in meals. Rock Salt is much better for health than using refined, chemical salts which are commonly available in a super market. This is also available as Himalayan salt, Himalayan Pink salt, or plain Rock Salt.

Saindhava lavana is a pitta balancing salt

Ayurveda tells us that using the right salt , in quantities that are appropriate for our prakriti, aids digestion. Saindhava lavana improves digestion, aids metabolism, clears blocked channels, and aids nutrient absorption. Hence when Saindhav lavana is properly used it is pitta channelizing.

If we use too much of even Saindhava lavana we aggravate Pitta dosha. If we use iodized table salt, even in small amounts, we SEVERELY aggravate Pitta dosha. If we eat hotel food, which is often laced with high amounts of MSG, we are even MORE SEVERELY aggravating Pitta. If we eat food preserved in Vinegar and commercial salt like pickles, pickled vegetables and even so-called healthy foods like Kimchi, we are adding Petrol to the Forest Fire.

MSG laced foods aggravate Pitta severely

Mildly Ushna Spices:

Maricha (pepper) and Jeera (Cumin) are ushna  (hot), and digestive spices. However, they are considered essential for aiding digestion, taste and metabolism. When used in small amounts they help channelise Pitta and do not set it on edge. But spices like chillies, cayaenne pepper, commercial salt and vinegar all aggravate Pitta. Hence, “teekshna” or intense Pitta aggravating spices should be replaced with these Ushna, Pitta channelizing spices instead.

Digestive, Pitta balancing spices:

Certain spices like Dhania seeds, Fennel seeds, Elaichi are only mildly ushna and Pitta balancing in nature. These should be an essential part of a Pitta balancing diet and should be used to spice and season food as often as possible.

Spices like fennel should be used to make pitta balancing spice blends

For Pitta aggravation, it is worth replacing traditional masalas with specially made masalas that use the above spices. For example, Sambhar powder can be made using Mung dal(roasted) instead of Tuvar dal and pepper instead of red chilies to suit and balance Pitta aggravation.

To sum up – channelizing pitta through certain foods & spices:

In the second part of our Pitta balancing through food series, we explored the properties of Dairy based dravyas like Milk, Takra and Ghee and also looked at how they should be processed to suit various prakritis. We also looked at the benefits of a few Pitta balancing spices and seasoning substances like Rock Salt and understood their role in pitta channelizing restoring the body to a state of harmony.

Ahara niyama (food rules) are essential to maintain health and well being according to Ayurveda. The Samhitas tell us that these niyama should be subtly altered as per our individual prakriti to ensure that we what we eat support and heals our body, restoring it to a state f balance.

Pitta aggravation is a common aggravation we come across at Krya – this leads to certain skin and hair issues like premature greying, oily scalp, hair thinning, skin allergies, rashes, acne, etc. When this aggravation is tackled through food, lifestyle and external products, there is a much more holistic sense of balance achieved by the body. Therefore we are able to tackle skin and hair problems much faster.

In the 3rd part of this series, we will explore how controlling meal timings can greatly help control aggravated Pitta. We will also look at sample menu plans we could adopt if we would like to balance aggravated Pitta dosha.

For help choosing the right hair and skin products to control aggravated Pitta dosha, please call us (0-75500-89090) or write to us.

 

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Eating for Good Health – An Ayurvedic Perspective : Part 2

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Reading Time: 6 minutes


krya on ayurvedic eating

As I had written in Prat 1 of this article, many Ayurvedic diet prescriptions do not go with modern notions on health and nutrition. In fact, they seem contrarian and sometimes weird or even “unscientific” as per modern and often western expectations.

However, as I have always maintained, good health reflects in great skin and hair. At krya we get many queries every day on tackling skin & hair care problems, which cannot be solved with the just use of external products alone, so we do end up gently nudging people to take a second look at their diet and lifestyle.

So here is part 2 of my post on eating sensibly according to Ayurveda. As with all new information, please read this with an open mind.

IMPORTANT NOTE :This article does NOT discuss the ethical consideration behind these food choices as some of the Ayurvedic prescriptions use animal derived products. At this point of time, I am simply talking about how Ayurveda analyzes each food choice in terms of its dosha and how it would impact human health alone.

1. Ayurveda follows a holistic approach to eating. There is no measurement of micro nutrients or break up of food into the terms we measure today like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals etc.
Instead, Ayurveda and all traditional medicine talks about eating a balanced meal. And is concerned about eating local and seasonal food that is right for each dosha type. This cannot be compressed into a simple diet chart but has to be worked out according to the needs of the individual, their current state of health and the environment they live in and the nature of their work, etc.

So for example, the diet prescribed for me, a Pitta-kapha type would consist of foods that are cooling but do not cause mucous. So if I am prescribed milk, I would be asked to have it unsweetened. Milk is considered as “Madura rasa (sweet taste)” which means it is already high in kapha qualities. As milk calms pitta but can also increase kapha – I might also be asked to drink with a pinch of turmeric, and drunk warm to ensure that my dosha is not aggravated. I would also be asked to have only native cow’s milk and not buffalo milk, as cow’s milk is lighter and does not have the quality of tamas that buffalo milk has .

I might also be asked to cut down completely on consuming jaggery and sesame if my pitta dosha is aggravated or during summer . Both increase pitta, and would perhaps not be ideal for me to eat given my constitution. I would also be asked to include shitali pranayama as part of a yoga practise to cool down my body.

Someone with a high kapha dosha, who often gets mucous filled coughs and colds, would be asked to cut down dairy completely. They would also be asked to cut down sweets, perhaps eat millets for a meal instead of rice, and do brisk exercising or surya namaskar to melt excess kapha in the body and encourage its release.

2. Ayurveda and many new lifestyle diets or ethical diets do not go together. So there is no Vegan Ayurveda. Or Gluten free Ayurveda. Or Paleo Ayurveda. Or Grain free Ayurveda.

Ayurveda prescribes the use of limited quantities of dairy products for good health. This is non negotiable among 3 classes of people: children, people above 60 and pregnant women. For everyone who falls in between, certain kinds of dairy can be avoided as long as they are in good health. Ghee appears to be universally prescribed for everyone as it is considered extremely good for the body and useful to bring down both vitiated pitta and vata.

Many Ayurvedic medicines are made using ghee, honey and sometimes curd and even bone marrow. Each medicine has been formulated keeping the health condition in mind and depending upon what medium will deliver the medicine fastest to the patient.
In certain conditions like vitiated vata, ghee is used extensively to quickly bring down vitiated vata. Every fat is treated separately in Ayurveda, and the qualities of taila, ghrita and majja (oils, ghee, bone marrow) have been extensively documented. In cases where ghee is required, it is cannot be substituted with a vegetable oil, even with coconut oil.

In cases of extreme emaciation, the text books recommend giving very weak, debilated patients mamsa rasa (meat soup) to quickly build up strength. I have seen documented evidence of this treatment working, and working well.

Again here, Ayurveda does not treat plant protein and animal protein as the same. Both are said to have different qualities and are used in different situations. For example, plant protein like lentils is considered as high in vata. So in cases where patients are suffering from vata vitiation driven weakness and emaciation, animal fat like ghee or in extreme cases animal soup (which is considered higher in kapha) is given to build strength.

3. Raw food, is considered as difficult to digest and is considered as stressful to the digestive system. Also, raw food is considered extremely high in vata, and the quality of the food changes depending upon how it is cooked.

So foods already high in vata like cabbage, cauliflower, millets, bread, cornflakes must be eaten only after their basic nature is tempered by the way we prepare them. The texts suggest that these foods should not be eaten raw, and should be cooked in fats like ghee or coconut oil, and must be eaten warm and not cold to bring down their vata increasing effect. Spices like turmeric and jeera should be added to make it easy for the body to digest them. And they should be eaten at peak digestive capacity which is during noon and not after sunset.

For this reason, if your vata dosha appears to be high, eating cornflakes or toast for breakfast would be an absolute no. Both would further aggravate vayu. Instead, you might be best served eating a rice and mung dal pongal / khichdi, or a rice based upma.

4. The ideal meal plate in Ayurveda – would vary by season but would consist of a higher proportion of grain and lentil and a smaller proportion of mainly cooked, seasonal vegetable. This is in direct contrast to what many of us believe – in fact a lot of us consume a much higher proportion of both raw and cooked vegetables than rice/ wheat or lentils. Ayurveda believes that the essential nature of many vegetables and lentils is that it is high in vata. So it must be balanced by eating rice which is laghu (easy to digest), madura (sweet and kapha promoting) and which helps balance the vata nature of lentil and vegetable.

A meal which consists only of vegetables, or vegetable + lentils or only fruits would be extremely unbalanced according to ayurveda and promote vata.

5. Food combinations and prohibitions: The Charaka Samhita mentions many improper food combinations and restricted food, which is unhealthy and sometimes downright lethal to your body. I have listed a few basics below.

• Curd – considered very high in heat and difficult to digest. Only very young people and people who do a lot of high physical exercise are considered strong enough to eat curd. As it is high in heat, curd can be eaten in limited amounts, only in extremely cold weather, and that too only during the day (when the digestive system is very strong). Prohibited in pregnancy, other seasons, at night, and for people with high pitta dosha.

• Heating honey or honey in hot drinks – honey is an amalgamation of flower nectar sourced from many types of flowers, plus bee saliva. Some of the flowers from which nectar is collected could be mildly toxic. When honey is heated, it breaks down to its individual combinations and could release these toxins and become poisonous to the body. So honey is never used in cooking or heated in any way. So drinking honey in hot water is absolutely prohibited. As is adding honey to hot liquids like tea or coffee.

• Drinking large amounts of tea and coffee (even green tea) – tea and coffee are high in vata and are astringent in nature. They should not be consumed at all, and can only be consumed y people who live in regions where they naturally grow. They should definitely not be consumed immediately after meals.

• Drinking large amounts of water – puts a strain on the kidneys and removes nutrients from the body. Water should be drunk when you are thirsty (unless you work in an unnatural environment like an air conditioned office, in which case you should monitor your water consumption).

• Dairy with fruits / vegetables – Dairy is considered heavy to digest and a meal in itself. Most fruits have the opposite qualities of dairy, so by combining them, we are putting a strain on our digestive system. For example, a banana or chikoo milkshake is an absolute disaster.

• Milk with a meal – milk is considered a meal in itself. And difficult to digest. So when milk is prescribed, it should be consumed as a separate meal. And you should give your system atleast a few hours to completely digest it before eating the next meal

This list does attempt to be a complete prescription or a substitute to visiting a qualified Ayurvedic Vaidya. This is merely a starting point to think about what you put into your body and your health. As with everything, your body and your health are unique and what works for you is something you will have to evolve with time and experimentation.

As always, do remember that good health has no shortcuts. You have to eat your apple everyday and not seven on Saturday night to keep the doctor away. Great skin and hair comes from every meal you eat and every liquid you drink.

click here for part 1 of the article .

 

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What Everyone Must Know about ayurvedic oiling

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

The practice of ayurvedic oiling , i.e using ayurvedic skin and hair oils is essential for maintaining skin and hair health. Regular ayurvedic oiling improves hair and skin health, helps restore and repair these organ systems, balances dosha imbalances and gives many other important health benefits for the body.

 

ayurvedic oiling is an excellent practice ti give health and transform hair & skin.

Ayurveda also recommends the balanced consumption of “sneha” or oils & fats to keep the bones and joints in good working condition. Certain organs like the brain and the eyes are high in fat composition so the regular intake of good fats is recommended to keep these organs in good working order.

Properties of different vegetable oils – as per Ayurveda

Every vegetable oil / fat has a different quality as per traditional medicine.

Cow ghee:

Cow ghee is considered tridoshic in its nature, and helps calm down pitta and vata without increasing kapha greatly. So if your skin and hair is extremely dry or chemically damaged, the addition of cow ghee in your diet will be very beneficial. To avoid aggravating Kapha, it is better to consume only melted cow ghee. Do keep in mind that this ghee should be made the ayurvedic way from the milk of hormone and antibiotic free, A2 desi cows only.

 

Cow ghee is an excellent tridoshic fat to be consumed regularly

Sesame Oil:

Sesame oil is considered “the” base oil in Ayurveda. It goes into every external abhyanga, hair and skin formulation at Krya. Sesame is fantastic at balancing vata dosha, so if you have a lot of aches and pains, external application of sesame can go a long way in correcting this.

Sesame, however, can increase pitta – so if you have a high pitta constitution, it is better to cut down on the consumption of sesame seeds and oils, although you can continue to use this externally. High pitta dosha manifests itself as premature greying, balding, a quick volatile temper, skin that is dry due to excess heat, burning and inflamed skin conditions and hair that tends to have a reddish / brownish hue.

Sesame oil is the base oil of choice in Ayurveda. It is nourishing, intense and hot in nature

Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is extremely nutritious and good for the body. Its composition is close to that of human breast milk, so it is very beneficial for the body. However, it is very cooling and can increase mucous in the body and also stimulates hair growth. So if you have a kapha prone body tend to catch colds easily and are also slightly hirsute, it is best not to apply coconut oil on the body.

Coconut oil is highly nutritious but very cooling and kapha aggravating

In the Winter season, coconut oil is best avoided on skin for everyone. However, it can be used for the hair , after processing with herbs, as it helps stimulate hair growth and cools the brain, scalp and eyes.

Some issues with Sneha (vegetable oils and fats)

What we have stated above are facts given in the Samhitas. However, in modern times, the properties of these wonderful base oils are altered due to the way they have been extracted. Also, we have seen that each base oil comes with its own suitability issues.

Issues due to sourcing:

We have written a detailed post on Cow ghee and how it should be sourced and consumed. If we are having ghee made the commercial way where we are not extracting ghee from naturally fermented curd / cream, or sourcing ghee form hormone and antibiotic pumped A1 cows, then we will not get the benefits of ghee that are outlined in the Samhitas.

Issues due to the essential nature of Oils:

For example, Sesame oil is a wonderful base oil, but its essential nature is pitta aggravating. So in conditions of high Pitta aggravation, it is better to temper down the properties of Pitta present in sesame. Similarly, we have seen that Coconut is hair growth promoting but is also kapha aggravating. So how do we continue to use its beneficial properties without aggravating mucous or stimulating hair growth? Let us see how we tackle both of these problems at Krya.

Issues due to extraction method followed:

All commercial brands of cooking oil unfortunately follow the chemical extraction method where “food grade” hexane is used as a solvent to extract oil. In this method, an oil seed can release almost 70 – 80% of its oil content. The recovery process in the mechanical chekku /  ghani is only upto 40%.

The solvent extraction process allows us to extract oil from even brand and husk, where oil content is very low – this explains how we are seeing new oils today like rice bran oil which were traditionally unheard of, as it is impossible to mechanically extract oil from rice bran using a chekku / ghani.

Cold pressed organic oils used at Krya : the first step towards ayurvedic oiling

We use only old fashioned chekku (in tamil) / ghani (in hindi) extracted oils that have been pressed from organically grown seeds. The chekku / ghani is a wooden press that uses mechanical pressure, sometimes aided by the use of cattle to squeeze out oil from an oil seed like copra, sesame seeds, mustard etc.

 

This kind of oil is also called a “cold pressed oil” although this is a misnomer strictly speaking as the chekku / ghani also generates a small amount of heat as the wooden crushes uses force to crush seeds and extract oil.

This “old fashioned” method of extracting oil is safe, retains the aroma of the oil and is extremely nutritious to the body.

Some of the qualities of a chekku / ghani extracted oil is that there is some degree of moisture preset in the oil. Also, the oil contains minute volatile compounds that oxidize releasing a characteristic aroma for each type of oil. As the oil ages and is exposed to oxygen, these volatile compounds start to ferment , so the oil with time will have a “riper” aroma and will eventually go rancid. This is why a chekku / ghani extracted oil will never have a shelf life of more than 9 months – it will start to go rancid.

Cold pressed oil extraction is a traditional method that retains nutrients in oil

A high quality, cold pressed oil pressed from organic seeds & nuts is the first important step in ayurvedic oiling. 

Compare this with the 3 year shelf life of a hexane extracted oil – this oil has been chemically extracted, refined, bleached and deodorised to remove all its individual characteristics and has been made to unnaturally stay edible for 2 – 3 years.

If an external products company like Krya does not use commercially extracted oil for our hair and skin oils, then you should certainly not use these oils for edible purpose at home. Think of the effect using these oils can have on your body.

Transforming a vegetable oil for for ayurvedic oiling: Tila Paka veedhi process

By sourcing only cold pressed, ghani extracted vegetable oils from organically grown nuts and seeds, we are able to solve one part of the oil sourcing  problem at Krya. We are able to avoid any chemical contamination and begin with only the purest and best form of the vegetable oil.

But how do we handle the fact that the vegetable oil is suitable only for certain prakrities? We widen its suitability and improve its bio-availability by cooking it with herbs to change its properties and make it suitable for ayurvedic oiling.

When the Tila Paka veedhi process is done correctly using the right herbs, the right process and the right temperature, the base vegetable oil TRANSFORMS. It becomes a potent, bio active rich oil by transferring the actives from herbs into the oils through this process. In this process, the base oil absorbs the properties of the herbs and its nature subtly transforms.

 

Tila Paka veedhi is a transformative ayurvedic oil manufacturing process

Depending upon the herbs used, we can make the oil less kapha aggravating (in the case of Coconut oil), and less intense (Sesame Oil). By judiciously formulating the right mix of base oils, herbs that go into the final oil, we can create an oil which is readily penetrative without being “teekshna” or intense, and which is nourishing / nurturing without enhancing mucous production. This is why we say that an oil made from an organic cold pressed oil and then further transformed using herbs by the Tila paka veedhi process is the ideal oil for ayurvedic oiling. When ayurvedic oiling is done with this kind of oil, you can see holistic and widespread benefits in hair, skin & health.

How is the Tila Paka veedhi process done?

The Tila Paka Veedhi is an ayurvedic oil manufacturing process. One of the reason this process is not used widely is because it is slow, and highly labour intensive . For example, it takes between 6 – 10 hours of SLOW boiling in the Tila Paka Veedhi process to get an oil ready for use. And it needs to be gently stirred throughout this time – so it is really tough to create but totally worth the effort.

When we do this process correctly, we start by extracting nutrients in 3 separate ways: through Herb deocotions (Kashayas), Herb Cold pressed Juices (Swarasas) and Herb churned pastes (Kalpa). Depending upon the herb you are incorporating into the oil, you should be following one of these 3 extraction methods which depends upon the nature of the herb. Juicy herbs lend themselves well to swarasas. Woody herbs to Kashayas.

Kashaya - one of the 3 bio actives added to an oil in Tila paka veedhi

Once the extraction is done correctly, each of these is added to the oil, and cooked with the oil, slowly stirring the oil mixture throughout the process. This disperses the actives which we have extracted into the oil. This also slowly and gently “nano-ises” the oil, breaking it down to smaller particles.

At the end of the process, the oil we get is highly potent and penetrative. Its texture, color and aroma are completely new and different from the base oil and it is absorbed very QUICKLY by skin and hair, allowing the body to absorb the nutrients we have so painstakingly extracted and incorporated.

Tila paka veedhi is a transformative ayurvedic oil manufacturing process

To sum up:

In this blog post, we discussed the important topic of ayurvedic oiling and explained its importance in maintaining and improving skin and hair health. The Samhitas are emphatic about the many skin, hair and health benefits we can see with frequent and regular oil application.

 

But simply using a cold pressed oil may not be enough / suitable for us. There may be issues of dosha imbalance. Also,  with the rampant use of harsh synthetics in the commercial extraction technique, these oils would be contaminated by these chemicals as well as the additives that are routinely added to vegetable oils.

We saw how we address both these important concerns at Krya . We source only authentic, organically grown cold pressed oils. We then process these oils using herbs in a special ayurvedic process called Tila Paka veedhi. Through this process, we transform the oil making it suitable across prakritis and also make it more potent, penetrative and therefore a much more effective product to help with skin and hair concerns.

If you too would like to experience the holistic benefits of ayurvedic oiling for hair & skin, do explore our wide range here. If you would like help choosing the right Krya oil for your skin / hair type, please call us (0-75500-89090) or write to us.

 

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The Ayurvedic Dandruff Primer: how an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil can help heal chronic dandruff

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

Looking for a safe, effective and completely natural ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil? We just finished making our most recent batch of the Krya all natural, ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil and thought we would share a small update on how we create our formulation, why it works so effectively against dandruff, etc.

 

The Krya ayurvedic primer to dandruff

Consider this your complete ayurvedic primer to Dandruff!

The Genesis of the Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil

We started experimenting with Krya’s range of Ayurveda inspired hair oils in 2016. The first set of formulations we created after research were an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil and an ayurvedic hair oil for premature greying and hair growth.

With R&D & feedbakc, we kepy on workingon and improving our ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil formula

Our earlier test batches were much more simpler formulations with 9 – 10 ingredients. As we tested, re-tested and kept on working on each batch taking consumer feedback, we worked more and more on the formulation and adding different kinds of herbs, fresh vegetables and fresh juices to make the formulation even more potent.

How is dandruff caused according to Ayurveda?

Dandruff is described as a minor “roga” in Ayurveda and there are several minor differences in the presentation of dandruff depending upon which dosha is aggravated. With all Dandruff, there is itching / irritation in the scalp, flaking of the scalp, sometimes thickening of the scalp flakes, and hair loss .

Dandruff can be of two types and are commonly called Dry dandruff and Oily Dandruff.

In Dry dandruff there is an aggravation in Vata dosha, caused primarily by the use of strong drying shampoos on the hair and neglecting regular hair oiling. This is further exacerbated by eating dry, crisp , hard foods, high mental stress, long commutes and a vata aggravating lifestyle.

Dry dandruff caused by excessive shampooing, infrequent oiling

 

 

Oily dandruff is often referred to as seborrheic dermatitis . This manifests as thick, yellow oil looking flakes, with scab formation and scalp thickening in these areas. There is intense itching and when the scalp is scratched, there is a visible sticky clump of scalp flakes that is dislodged form the scalp.

Oily dandruff has a Pitta-Kapha aggravation along with Vata aggravation. Pitta contributes the oily, smelly scalp secretions that attract fungal micororganisms to the scalp. Kapha contributes to the thickening of the scalp due to the oily, fat rich deposits in the sebum. Vata contributes to the scalp prickling and irritation and painful, scratchy feeling.

Oily dandruff is due to tridosha aggravation plus a fungal infestation

How oily / fungal dandruff progresses in the scalp:

When you have a serious Lice infestation or a serious Oily / Fungal dandruff issue, apart from scalp damage, you tend to see very high hair fall. This tends to alarm everyone and they seek to address this first – but we have seen that UNLESS the underlying issue of Lice / Fungal infestation is addressed, the hair and scalp health will become increasingly worse.

In the case of Oily / Fungal dandruff, the  actual problem starts internally . Perhaps due to an improper diet, lifestyle changes, there is an internal dosha imbalance. The quality of all secretions from the body (sweat, urine, semen, etc) is determined by the quality of food we take. So when our system has a pitta kapha imbalance, the sweat will also be rich in pitta and kapha based substances. To repeat: the  underlying body imbalance causes the sweat emanating from the scalp to have a composition that is sweet & fat rich. This attracts the presence of otherwise benign fungal organisms which then begin rapidly multiplying on the head.

Sweet oily scalp secretions attract fungal organisms that trigger dandruff

As the condition develops, there is itching, thickening and scaling of the scalp with thick, oily , large, creamy looking flakes. Due to incessant scratching, there could be micro tears in the scalp, which offer more food to the fungal micro organisms. In very chronic cases, at these infestation spots there is poor hair growth, and sometimes the hair falls out in clumps in these areas.

Challenges behind creating an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil for Oily / Fungal dandruff:

We face a unique challenge in creating the Krya  ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil to discourage fungal dandruff. Ayurveda does not ever recommend the use of harsh “silver bullet” products which harshly discourage fungal organisms. As the underlying imbalance is not addressed, such products tend to give only temporary relief but also severely damage the scalp and make it very dry. This is why dandruff tends to be such a chronic problem.

A commercial Anti dandruff shampoo can be harsh and very drying on the scalp

The tricky part of creating an ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil is this: All ayurvedic oil formulations that encourage good hair growth essentially need to be Madhura (sweet), and Sheetya (cooling) in nature. But such formulations are tasty and give more nutrition to fungal micro organisms. So we cannot use a regular ayurvedic hair oil formulation to tackle dandruff.

Instead, an ayurvedic anti dandruff oil formulation needs to be bitter, slightly astringent and cooling in nature – this will cut down the growth medium of the micro organisms and encourage proper scalp growth without the thickening and flaking we see. To encourage proper scalp nutrition, mildly bitter ayurvedic herbs are used, which continue to nourish the scalp WITHOUT encouraging fungal growth.

Ayurvedic formulations to discourage dandruff are bitter, not sweet.

Therefore, our Anti dandruff formulation is HIGHLY bitter. We use different herb , fruit and vegetable compositions from our regular hair oils, selected to discourage the organisms we are dealing with.

 The Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil : an ayurvedic hair oil made with 25 herbs + 4 cold pressed oils

The Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil is made from 25 ayurvedic herbs processed in 4 organic , cold pressed hair oils. Some of these herbs are repeated across Swarasa (fresh juice), Kashaya (herb decoction) and Kalpa (herb paste) to increase their potency in the formulation. Each method of extracting them selectively extracts different kinds of actives from the herb / vegetable. The Samhitas guide us with the right extraction method for each herb – so for example, Bhringaraj is always used fresh as a Swarasa / Kalpa, never as a Kashaya as it loses its potency this way.

Krya oil is made using many ayurvedic extraction methods of herbs

For this formulation, we add a mixture of highly bitter , moderately bitter and mildly bitter herbs ! So we can see Bitter gourd, Bottle gourd, Ridge Gourd, sometimes Ash gourd and sometimes Snake gourd in the formulation!

Potent anti bacterial and anti fungal herbs like Krishnatulasi, Neem, Triphala and Desert date help discourage the growth of fungal micro organisms. Herbs like Jushta and Ratanjot soothe the scalp, improve scalp health and reduce the scalp irritation and itching we see in dandruff.

Moderately and mildly bitter herbs like Bottle gourd, Neem, Manjishta, Fenugreek and Ratanjot boost scalp health, help seal micro tears and improve scalp blood circulation and encourage healthier hair growth.

Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil - made from 25 potent ayurvedic herbs and 4 cold pressed oils

 Tila Paka veedhi: the ayurvedic oil processing method followed at Krya that boosts nutrition

We are proud to say that we make all our oils using the approved Ayurvedic manufacturing technique of Tila Paka veedhi at Krya. In this method, base oils are slow boiled and “cooked” over 8 hours with a large volume of fresh herb juice (Swarasa), herb decocotions (kashayas), and fresh and dry herb pastes (kalpas). Generally the oil volume in this mixture is only about ¼ the volume of all other ingredients put together – this can vary depending upon application and formulation .

Tila paka veedhi is a potent ayurvedic oil manufacturing process

When the oil is processed this way, the nature of the base oils change completely. The addition of these different mediums of herbs (fresh juice, boiled decoction, and paste) delivers potent bio actives to the oil. Due to repeated boiling and stirring the oil is gently broken down over the process and the particle size of the oil becomes smaller, making the oil easier to penetrate skin and scalp. The oil also becomes less dense, less sticky and more penetrative.

Tila paka veedhi is a transformative process

The tila paka veedhi method is a transformative process. It transforms a good vegetable oil to a nutrition rich powerhouse – which can give your scalp and hair quicker and much more deeper and holistic benefits.  We use this manufacturing technique across all Krya oils to boost their potency and increase the bio availability of the herbs that are delivered via the oil to hair or skin.

User feedback for Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil :

The Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil has often been termed slightly unpleasant to use by many users because of its bitter aroma and fragrance, but it is loved for its very high EFFECTIVENESS.

We have been able to help even very chronic cases of scalp psoriasis, very long term fungal dandruff which has lasted for years. No amount of ketoconazole / coal tar products can work as effectively as this oil – this is something we have seen and experienced repeated with users.

The Krya anti dandruff hair oil - potent and effective against chronic dandruff

The best part of using this oil? Unlike ketoconazole and coal tar products, the scalp is left well hydrated and healthy. The regular use of this product promotes scalp micro circulation and boosts root health.

The Krya Anti Dandruff hair system:

For best results, we recommend the use of the the complete Krya anti dandruff system with the  Krya anti dandruff hair washKrya anti dandruff hair mask along with the Krya ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil. Use of all 3 products multiplies the bitter principle effect and helps effectively create an environment which is unpleasant for fungal organisms, helping solve the problem faster.

The Krya anti dandruff system : holistic and highly effective for chronic dandruff

The Dandruff discouraging Diet:

All dandruff starts with an improper diet which leads to the sweet / fatty secretions that fungal organisms seem to love. So it is important to watch your diet and cut down pitta – kapha aggravating foods like curd, cheese, sweets , etc.

Here is a quick list of foods / lifestyle modifications we suggest that can help fungal dandruff:

Cut down on:

  • Maida
  • Curd / yoghurt
  • Ice creams
  • Cakes, pastries
  • Sweets
  • Chocolates
  • Cheese
  • Paneer (especially if bought outside)
  • Oily , fried food
  • Do not binge eat
  • Avoid getting dust into your hair (cover with a scarf)

Ensure that you:

  • Eat strictly on time
  • Eat home made food
  • Eat food spiced with turmeric, black pepper, ginger and other Pitta-Kapha balancing spices
  • Include fresh Amla in your diet regularly
  • Drink warm water regularly
  • Have a light dinner, early
  • Exercise regularly to balance aggravated Kapha
  • Ensure you do a regular abhyanga to balance doshas better

 

To Sum up:

In this post, we have described how an authentic ayurvedic anti dandruff hair oil is crafted. We also discussed how Ayurveda suggests we tackle dandruff holistically, yet effectively.

As we have seen, when the right products are used along with the correct diet and holistic lifestyle, there is a more rapid control of the problem. If you or a loved one have been suffering from chronic dandruff and are seeking a safe and effective way of tackling this problem, do try out the Krya anti dandruff hair system.

If you have any questions on our products or how to use them, please call our friendly Customer Service team on (o)75500-89090 or write to us .

 

The Krya Anti Dandruff Range of Products:

 

 

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