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

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

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

Pitta dosha: qualities and life stage

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

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

Pitta aggravation can cause strong body odour

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

Pitta aggravating foods:

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

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

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

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

Basics of a Pitta balancing diet:

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

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

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

 

Using Opposing Tastes (Rasas) to balance Pitta:

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

 

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

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

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

Local gourds are naturally rich in Tikta rasa

 

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

Traditional cooking also has included many tikta rasa rich dishes seasonally

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

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

Some examples of Tikta Rasa dravyas:

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

Turmeric is rich in Tikta rasa and is highly nutritious

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

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

Meal plan suggestions:

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

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

Include seasonal local gourds into your cuisine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beets and naturally sweet vegetables are rich in Madhura rasa

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

Meal plan suggestions:

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

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

 

A2 Cows milk is nourishing and madhura in nature

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

Dried raisin is an excellent pitta balancing dry fruit

 

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

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

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

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

 

Some examples of Kashaya Rasa dravyas:

  • Vegetables
    • Broccoli
    • Lettuce
    • Fennel
    • Banana flower

Banana flower is naturally kashaya in nature

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

Pomegranate is a medicinal fruit which has strong Kashaya rasa

  • Sweeteners
    • Honey
    • Indian Date – Kharik

Indian date is Kashaya in nature

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

 

Meal plan suggestions:

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

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

Include Amla in your diet frequently

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

 

To sum up:

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

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

 

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The Nourishing shampoo oxymoron

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

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

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

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

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

Why is a nourishing shampoo an urban myth?


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

 

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

 A shampoo is for cars - not hair!

Human body: adapts to changes in weather and environment


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

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


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

 

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

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


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

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

Conditioners are synthetic and coat hair, to cover up damage

Constantly using a nourishing shampoo has terrible consequences for hair


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

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

A healthier, better alternative to a synthetic nourishing shampoo


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

1. Powder format

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

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

To sum up:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Synthetic hair colours look great only for a short time

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

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

Shortly after colouring and synthetic treatments, hair is now damaged

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

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

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

Why is chemically damaged & over processed hair so fragile?

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

 

Characteristics of Chemically damaged and over processed hair:

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

chemically damaged hair is fragile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Challenges when formulating a truly natural Damage Repair Shampoo :

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

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

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

The Krya Truly Natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder:

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

krya damage repair hair revitalising system

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing could be further from the truth!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Krya’s special cleansing base in all natural shampoo powders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

How to use the Krya Natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder :

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

Scalp oiling: 

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

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

 

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

Hair Washing : 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use the Damage Repair mask once a week : 

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

 

Apply the krya damage repair hair mask once a week

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

 

To Sum up:

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

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

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

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How to use Rasnadi Churnam – A Video Guide

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

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

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

What is Rasnadi Churnam ?

Rasnadi Churnam ( also spelled as Rasnadi Choornam / Rasnadi Churna) is a Ancient, Classical Ayurvedic formulation in the powder format that has many uses. As mentioned , Sinus patients can use it , especially after a hair wash.  It can also be effectively used to control Migraine attacks which are Pitta based.

For external application, Rasnadi Churnam is safe even to be used for small infants or newborn babies. For inhalation, we recommend that it be done only for 5 years and above. As a precautionary measure, pregnant women should NOT inhale Rasnadi Churnam – they can apply it on the scalp as demonstrated in the video.

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

How to use Rasnadi Churnam ?

Please watch this video.

We have created this video on the uses of Rasnadi Churnam to help those interested  in safe, Ayuvredic solutions. If you have  doubts on how to use this product or where to source it , please contact us with the form given below

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

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5 ways to balance aggravated Vata dosha to heal dry hair and skin

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

Do you have dry hair and dry skin? Are your bowel movements sluggish with a feeling of incompleteness? Do you have scanty periods? Is your hair generally rough and dry? You could be experienced dryness due to vata dosha aggravation. Read on for Ayurveda can help tackle both rough and dry hair and the underlying vata aggravation behind this.

We recently received a consultation request from a 36 year old lady, who was experiencing very high hair fall and hair dryness. From our investigation, we found 3 signs of high vata aggravation:

  • She found it difficult to fall asleep despite being very tired. In her email she said: “I toss and turn at night for nearly an hour before I fall asleep”.
  • She described her bowel movements as being sluggish and incomplete. The bowel movements felt hard , compacted and were difficult to pass out
  • She described her periods as being scanty and variable in their nature – so menstruation cycles varied from 29 days to 36 days every month

Nature of vata dosha and its role in the body

Vata is the most powerful dosha in our body – it governs the action of the other 2 doshas in our body as neither have mobility without vata. The 3 doshas in our body are made up of the pancha bhootas or the 5 basic elements – and vata is made up of air (vayu) + space(akash). This gives Vata dosha the quality of movement, lightness, swiftness and speed.

5 ways to control aggravated vata dosha: Vata dosha is powerful and a mobile dosha

All of are made up of a mixture of the 3 doshas. Naturally, for each of us, one or two doshas show pre-dominance making up our general character and determining our attitudes, behavior in situations and the kind of illnesses we are prone to, etc.

Apart from our basic dosha nature, the doshas in our body can increase or decrease depending upon what we eat, how we behave and how the environment around us changes.

Why does Vata dosha get aggravated easily in city people?

Acharya Charaka says that 50% of diseases occur due to aggravation of vata dosha. Vata aggravation is extremely high in cities. By their very nature and by the nature of our demanding jobs, there is a natural increase in vata in urban dwellers.

 5 ways to control aggravated vata dosha: CITY LIVING AGGRAVATES VATA

This is because we tend to travel long distances so we expose ourselves to high mobility and wind (both of which are components of vata), work late (again a characteristic of vata dosha), eat food which is high in vata (potatoes, bread and other baked goods, urad, cauliflower, cabbage, fried food), drink stimulating drinks like tea and coffee (which remove moisture and therefore increase vata).

Where does Vata aggravation show up in our body?

Vata governs all mobility and downward movements in the body. So if your back feels stiff, your knees crack or pop, or if your wrists tingle or hurt from excessively using your smartphone, then Vata has been over used and is hence aggravated.

Vata governs all downward movement. So for correct and regular bowel movement where the stools are not excessively dry or hard, and where the bowels are completely emptied in ONE shot, Vata needs to be at the optimal level.

So, if you have dry stools, a feeling of incomplete bowel movements, and the system does not do “its job” correctly, on time every day without external stimulants like coffee, then Vata is aggravated.

Similarly if you have scanty periods where timing is uncertain and there is a lot of variability in the cycle, your body is aggravated with too much Vata dosha.

Vata aggravation also shows up in the state of our hair, nails, skin and feet. Excessively cracked heels which do not respond to any form of moisturisation can be attributed to aggravated Vata dosha. Similarly chronically dry skin and hair can also be a result of vata aggravation. People who lose weight very quickly or find it very difficult to gain weight may also be naturally high in vata dosha.

 5 ways to control aggravated vata dosha: severely cracked heels is a sign of aggravated vata

Vata aggravated people find it difficult to get high quality , restful sleep. They either find it difficult to fall asleep, or do not stay in deep sleep for long – so they wake up feeling fatigued, run down and low on energy. This makes them choose stimulants like tea and coffee which are again high in Vata dosha, starting a vicious cycle.

What can aggravate Vata even if our prakriti is not high in Vata dosha?

Not everyone’s constitution is basically high in Vata dosha. Yet, we CONSTANTLY see symptoms of aggravated Vata at Krya. This is because all of us are doing certain things which are calculated to drive up Vata dosha in our bodies. What are these?

 5 ways to control aggravated vata dosha: excessive media usage aggravates vata

  • Chaotic days without a proper , regulated schedule of eating or sleeping – Vata thrives in chaotic environments. The more chaos you subject yourself to , the more Vata dosha is increased
  • Late nights with high media activity – Vata dosha aggravates during night time. So if you habitually work late or stay up late, you will be over using vata dosha
  • Eating foods which are high in Vata dosha: Ready to eat Noodles, Instant foods, Breads, breakfast cereal and vegetables like potatoes and cauliflower whichconsume a lot of oil, are deep fried and which are hard and crisp are high in Vata dosha. In times of stress, people tend to consume these foods preferentially over others. This in turn severely aggravates Vata dosha.

 5 ways to control aggravated vata dosha: Junk food aggravates vata

How to tackle aggravated vata dosha : Tackling dry skin & hair at the root cause

Vata is “rooksha” (dry), “laghu” (light) and “Sheetya” (cold) , “vishada” (non slimy), “khara”(coarse) and “Daruna” (instable).

Therefore, it is NO WONDER, that when Vata is aggravated, the very same symptoms are manifested at the level of the skin and the hair. So to permanently reverse this condition of dryness, we have to BRING DOWN Vata dosha from its current abnormally high level in the body. How do we do that?

5 point program to bring down aggravated Vata dosha and improve dry skin and hair:

  • FIRST, apply oil all over the body, especially in the primary vata seats (ears, abdomen, wrists, knees, joints, etc). This oil should be vata pacifying and should be applied WARM to counter the cold nature of Vata dosha. Oil Abhyanga traps scattered vata dosha and forces it back to its original place. For very high Vata, Abhyanga can be done DAILY. Else, twice or thrice a week. More abhyanga instructions can be found here.

 5 ways to control aggravated vata dosha: abhyanga controls aggravated vata dosha

  • Apply oil FREQUENTLY and REGULARLY on dry skin & hair. For chronically dry skin, we suggest twice a day application of Krya Moisture Plus skin oil. For hair, we have many options like Krya conditioning hair oil, Krya harmony hair oil, etc. Oil application has to be FREQUENT and REGULAR. This helps trap scattered vata dosha, nourish scalp and skin deeply and help proper, re-generative and correct skin and hair growth.

 5 ways to control aggravated vata dosha: Apply oil regularly and frequently

  • REGULATE your exposure to cold and dry winds carefully. Strong wind, cold air, long distance travel and office air conditioning all aggravate Vata . To control this impact, plus your ears and cover the head while travelling. Keep your body warm in cold temperatures by wearing layers of clothing and additional garments like a shawl for warmth. Layering of clothing is an extremely practical and effective way of controlling vata .

 

  • CUT DOWN on your use of electronic media especially post 6 pm. We have seen earlier posts on how use of smartphones and electronic media interferes with sleep patterns and excites Vata. So when vata dosha is aggravated, use of devices that stimulate it should be controlled.

 

  • MONITOR your diet – In times of stress, all of us gravitate towards vata aggravating food (pizzas, burgers, fries, cola, caffeine, etc). The more such foods are consumed, the more they throw our doshas out of balance and the more dry our hair and skin get. Read here for more insights on choosing the correct food for you.

To sum up:

All skin and hair issues are indicative of a deeper underlying imbalance. Ayurveda, therefore, treats at the root cause level. So even dry skin and dry hair are analyzed for what they truly represent: aggravated or imbalanced vata.

Skin and hair systems are not just important for aesthetic reasons. They are our early warning systems through which our body communicates with us and lets us know of underlying problems.

Chronically dry skin and hair point to deeply aggravated vata . Vata dosha is a critical dosha in our prakriti which governs many important functions. As it is the only dosha capable of movement, it also does the job of transporting the other 2 doshas where they are supposed to be. So when Vata is aggravated the functions of the other 2 doshas are also impaired.

City living easily and quickly aggravates Vata dosha. This post explored different aspects of how we can bring aggravated Vata dosha back to balance in easy, do-able ways.

If you have any questions on aggravated vata , or would like our advice , please write to us.

Krya products suggested to bring aggravated Vata dosha under control:

  • Krya Abhyanga Skin Oil : A traditionally formulated ayurvedic abhyanga oil designed to balance all 3 doshas. Can be used everyday.

  • Krya Women’s Ubtan and Men’s Ubtan : to completely cleanse skin and remove excess oil after an Abhyanga without drying, dehydrating or damaging Srotas of the Skin
  • Krya Moisture Plus Skin system (consists of Krya Moisture Plus skin Oil, Moisture plus face mask and Moisture plus Face wash) to help chronically dry skin

 

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