Herb Thursdays at Krya – the ayurvedic properties & benefits of Vacha (Acorus calamus / Vasambu)

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

One of our employees at Krya has a 3 year old daughter. One day when the child was playing outside her home, she wandered off from her street and got lost in the neighbourhood. It took the parents atleast 2 – 3 hours to find the child, and finally someone who knew and identified the child dropped her back home.

The experience severely frightened the child. Over the next two weeks she became very clingy and afraid, lost her appetite, and kept waking up at night telling her mother that she could see a ghost outside her window. The worried parents took her to the hospital and atleast 3 doctors. All of them examined the child and pronounced her fit as a fiddle. They asked the parents to tempt the child to eat by giving her favourite junk food and closed the case.

2 weeks later, my employee broke down at Krya and narrated the whole experience to us. By this time, the child had become weak and listless and stopped talking to anyone around her. She appeared semi conscious most of the time. And when food was kept around her or force fed, she would vomit it out. Her weight dropped from 16 Kg to 8 Kg in this 2 week period.

 

The effect of fear and mental stress in Children as per Ayurveda:

Fear and mental stress of children is something that Ayurveda is very detailed about and warns parents to guard against. Ayurveda is particularly cautious in protecting and caring for young children and infants (upto the age of seven). Every Acharya in their treatise warns parents to ensure that children are not exposed to strangers, scary toys, inclement and scary weather (howling wind, lightning and thunder storms), are not tossed up in the air or exposed to sudden movements.

1. fear in infants

Parents are also asked to take extreme care when exposing children to stories, books, plays or TV shows. Great care is also to be taken to ensure children are not taken around at night time, in very high buildings, in lonely roads, etc where they can be frightened.

2. exercise extreme caution

The emphasis on warmth and safety is so high that nursery design and window direction is a very detailed subject. In addition, children’s rooms are always mopped with special Rakshoghna herbs.

When children are exposed to sudden shocks, their normal excretory functions can suddenly stop leading to urine retention which can become painful. They can go into a state of listlessness or semi consciousness as we saw in our employee’s child, and refuse to eat food. The body tends to drop weight very quickly and become extremely weak as well.

 

Rakshoghna herbs in Ayurveda:

Rakhshas means demons. In naming certain herbs as Rakshoghna, we can see many layers in the meaning: to protect, to keep “Rakhsasa” or scary things away or drive fear away, and to also drive away invisible objects or microbes. Hence Rakshoghna herbs are used extensively by Ayurveda around children. These herbs are used to swab the floors or nurseries, wash children’s bed linen, and are strewn around in herb pouches so that their fragrance permeates the air.

3. Neem a rakshoghna herb

Vacha, which we are writing about today, in Krya’s Herb Thursday series is a famous Rakshoghna herb.

How Vacha helped the young child:

For our employee’s child, 2 – 3 applications of Vacha on her stomach, an amulet of Vacha on her wrist, and Vacha strewn around her pillow, got her smiling and accepting small amounts of food. This combined with special prayers in the nearby temple and mosque, with copious applications of warm sambrani incense around the home got her laughing and talking. A mere one week later, little S strolled in to office to meet me, back to her chipper and naughty self.

 

Vacha (Vasambu) with the Latin name Acorus calamus is one of the most important herbs we use at Krya. Vacha is a potent growth inhibitor of gram negative bacteria. It is an intestinal relaxant, is a hypotensive herb (relaxes blood pressure), is antispasmodic in action on seized muscles and organs. The origin of Vacha is attributed to Europe. However, it has been known since ancient times in India and has been referred to right from the time of Charaka and is mentioned in all the Nighantus (Ayurvedic herb encyclopaedias).

4. vacha

Vacha in Classical Ayurveda:

Classical texts describe Vacha as having “lekhaniya” (scraping action, therefore useful in bringing down excess fat), Sanjnasthapana (group of herbs that help restore consciousness), and Sheeta prashamana (group of herbs that give warmth to the body and relieve the sense of coldness).

 

Vacha has Panchana (digestion promoting and toxin expelling) action, promotes digestive strength, and is Medhya in its action (improves brain power), Vak prada (improves voice). It is also a Jantuhara (anti microbial) herb, is Shoolahara (relieves abdominal colic), and Adhamanahara (relieves bloating and gas in the abdomen) and is useful in psychological imbalances and disorders.

5. colic

Because Vacha has Katu (pungent) and tikta (bitter) rasa with Ushna veerya (hot action), it helps balance both Kapha and Vata dosha.

 

Common uses for Vacha:

Vacha is a famous anti microbial and insect repellent herb. One of the best uses for Vacha is to use it in grains to repel insects. It is also a very good herb to be used to repel crawling insects like cockroaches and mosquitoes and head lice.

6. vacha for lice

Because of its anti spasmodic property, colic relieving, warmth giving and gas reducing properties, Vacha is very useful in reliving griping pains and colic. It can also be used to relieve menstrual cramps. It should not be used when abdominal pain is due to diarrhoea as this is a Pitta condition for which Vacha which is high in heat is unsuitable.

 

Vacha is a very important part of the Medhya drugs prescribed in Ayurveda to be administered orally to infants. It is commonly given along with honey or breast milk along with other Medhya herbs like Swarna bhasma (gold bhasma), Brahmi, etc and is administered in small drops on the tongue of the baby from the 7th or 11th day of the baby’s birth. The texts say that children given this mixture of herbs have very high intelligence and intuitive and grasping capacity. The exact dosage is decided by the Vaidya after seeing the baby’s weight.

7. vacha for medhya

Vacha is also effectively used in Ayurvedic medicines to improve memory power, grasping power and in neuro-degenerative disorders. So it has application in epilepsy, autism, speech disorders and neuro degenerative disorders we see in geriatric conditions as well.

Vacha is also a very important herb to relieve fear and provide warmth to the body. It is therefore used as an amulet around an infant’s wrist so its fragrance can stimulate the brain growth and calm the infant. We have seen its effect in many cases of fear induced fever and chills. Vacha is able to quickly calm the brain, and relieve fear within minutes of external application, bringing balance.

 

 

Caution to be followed when using Vacha:

Vacha is a highly effective and potent herb, even when used externally. Before using it on children or yourself, kindly check with an experienced herbalist or a Vaidya for doses.

If you use too much Vacha it can severely increase warmth in the body and stimulate the intestinal system enough to give diarrhoea. Please use extremely carefully and after finding out the right dosage.

Vacha should not be used internally in certain conditions like pregnancy, high fever due to high pitta, etc.

 

Vacha at Krya:

At Krya, we use Vacha across most of our formulations. Our wash off products for the skin (like our face and body washes and our masks) are made from edible grains and lentils. Our biggest challenge is insect infestation because many of our skin care products are edible. So we use Vacha across the board for its insecticidal and anti microbial properties. (This is also why we insist that our products be stored in clean dry conditions and used quickly. Bugs love our goodies!)

8.vacha in krya skin care

Vacha is also used prominently in the Krya Anti lice range of products. Vacha goes into the Anti lice hairwash, Anti lice hair mask and the Anti lice hair oil. Consumers love how effective all these 3 products are, and the Krya Anti lice range is recommended across the board by parents who are looking for a safe, non-toxic , yet effective anti lice solution for their children.

 

Vacha also goes into the Krya ubtans for Men, Women , children, baby girls and baby boys. Warmth is required to balance the body post abhyanga, so Vacha is used in the Post oiling ubtans to help relieve the body of tiredness, balance all 3 doshas and retain warmth. The use of Vacha also relaxes the brain and calms it down leading to a feeling of balance and harmony.

9.vacha in ubtan

 

To sum up:

So there you have it: that’s a brief glimpse into the properties of Acorus calamus / Vacha which goes into Krya’s skin care and Anti Lice products. As we have said before, Ayurvedic herbs are potent and strong, and must always be tailor made using the right anupana to suit your constitution.

Do not attempt to self medicate. This is even more true of Vacha, so I repeat my warning once again: DO NOT SELF MEDICATE EITHER INTERNALLY OR EXTERNALLY WITH VACHA.

 

If you feel internal consumption of Vacha could help you or your child, please meet an Ayurvedic Vaidya who can diagnose your/ your child’s condition and prescribe Vacha in the right dose and right format for you.

 

We do herb related posts at Krya to give you a glimpse into just how potent, powerful and good for us the plants used in Ayurveda are. We hope you found this post inspiring and useful. Do leave your thoughts and comments on this post below. If you would like us to write about a specific herb next Thursday, do leave that in your comments as well.

 

 

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Revitalise & Heal chemically damaged hair with Ayurveda: the Krya Damage Repair Hair revitalising Hair Oil

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

Frequent chemical treatments tend to damage hair. Stylists and trichologists tell us that we can only cover up the damage, but cannot heal hair. But, when we understand the “hetu” or cause of damage, and treat it holistically, we can solve even the unsolvable. This post will examine how we can heal chemically damaged hair through the wisdom of Ayurveda.

Imbalances seen in Chemically damaged hair

Chemically treated hair usually exhibits a few characteristic imbalances. Pitta and vata dosha of the hair system is aggravated and imbalanced. This explains the use of adjectives like “fried”, “dry like straw”, “Rough and lifeless”, “texture like hay” to describe chemically damaged hair.

Chemially damaged hair has imbalanced vata and pitta dosha. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

Pitta imbalance in chemically damaged hair is caused by the use of high heat and heat aggravating chemicals. This dries out the hair strands and damages the sebum balance in the scalp. So hair thins faster, greys prematurely and the scalp is dry, itchy and irritable.

Vata imbalance is also high in chemically damaged hair . This due to the drying nature of heat and chemical treatment. This in turns slows down sebum production in the scalp and cuts off supply of nutrients to the hair follicle. This results in dry, parched scalp and coarse, rough, straw-like hair strands.

Heat & chemical treatments imbalance sebum i hair making it dry, coarse and lifeless. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

Scalp damage and change in hair texture and growth patterns

Chemical damaged hair goes with a damaged and toxin filled scalp. The pitta and vata imbalance in the hair results in slower hair growth. The scalp is also unable to support the growth of long hair duet to a weak supply of nutrients. The new hair that grows is usually much thinner, weaker, much more liable to breaking and usually much shorter than the original length.

Chemically damaged hair looks much older and ages rapidly. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

The Krya Damage repair hair oil – an ayurvedic oil that heals chemically damaged hair

 

Krya Damage reapru hair system revitalizes and heals chemically damaged hair.

 

Ayurveda lists keshya (herbs meant for hair care) into 3 categories: Keshya “sanjana” (to help hair originate or form), Keshya “vardhana” (to promote hair length and growth), and Keshya ranjana (to restore natural hair colour, improve hair darkness and delay hair greying).  A lot of attention is paid in Ayurveda to reduce excess pitta from building up on the scalp. This is because as we have mentioned, the brain and the eyes are both originators of heat and this heat tends to accumulate on hair and scalp. When this excess pitta energy builds up in the hair, it accelerates hair greying.

In Chemically damaged hair, there is already a build up of excess Pitta energy: so the use of Keshya Ranjana herbs helps bring down this imbalanced Pitta dosha.

The result: hair thinning and premature greying is slowed down.

Krya uses ayurevdic herbs that balance aggravated pitta in chemically damaged hair. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

We use Keshya Vardhana herbs to reduce teh vata aggravation in the hair, and imporve hair length, hair thickness and improve hair’s texture.

The result: Hair is glossier, softer, smoother and is able to support growth of long hair

Krya’s damage repair hair oil,also uses scalp detoxifying and clarifying herbs . These herbs stimulate blood circulation, help remove toxins and revitalise the hair system.

Krya damage repair hair oil: ingredients

In the current formulation of the Krya Damage repair hair oil, we used 25 different forest collected and organic herbs, fruits, vegetables and cold pressed oils to help nourish, detoxify and heal chemically damaged hair. We have listed the properties of a few of these herbs below.

Beetroot : detoxifies scalp, stimulates hair growth in chemically damaged hair

The beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is a healing organic vegetable that goes into the Krya Damage repair hair oil. The roots and leaves of Beetroot have been used in traditional medicine across the world from ancient times to treat a variety of disease.

Krya uses organic beetroots to detoxify the scalp in chemically damaged hair. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

Beetroots are a very rich source of betains (the red and yellow pigment group) and carotenoids. This combination of coloured pigments has good anti inflammatory and detoxifying effects when consumed internally and also on topical application. Biotin supplements are now currently a range and are being prescribed for severe hair loss. Beetroot is a good source of bio available biotin and folate, and pantothenic acid (vitamin b5).

Beetroots , when added to the Krya Damage repair hair oil, help detoxify the scalp and stimulate high quality hair growth.

Krya tip: Please include organic beetroots atleast twice a week into your diet to help detoxify the system internally and improve bio-available biotin in your body.

Ashwagandha: promotes thicker and fuller hair growth in chemically damaged hair

Ashwagandha is the Ginseng of Indian medicine. It is a famous rejuvenative, growth promoting and aphrodisiac herb. The herb is prescribed to build general immunity, for its anti aging (rasayana) effects and to build strength and well being in the body.

Krya uses Ashwagandha to improve hair quality and growth in chemically damaged hair. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

 

In the Krya Damage repair hair oil, Ashwagandha is used to detoxify the scalp and promote healthy growth of hair. The use of Ashwagandha helps promote thicker, fuller and faster hair growth in chemically damaged hair.

Brahmi: improves hair texture of chemically damaged hair

We have written many times about the healing power of this tiny, power-packed amazing Ayurvedic herb. Brahmi is an important herb to nourish the brain and is used in Ayurveda to help children’s brains develop well and also in elderly people to support the nervous system and to retard diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Krya uses Brahmi to improve the strength, health and gloss of chemically damaged hair. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

Brahmi is a critical hair care herb which we use in oils like the Krya harmony hair oil and the Krya kids hair oil. In both these oils, we use a high proportion of Brahmi to reduce stress and to support the function of the young, growing brain.

Brahmi is very useful in the Krya Damage repair hair oil to reduce high Vata, and to improve hair texture and growth.

 

Besides these 3 herbs, the Krya Damage repair hair oil uses the following herbs, vegetables, fruits and cold pressed oils:

Krya uses 25 ayurevdic herbs, fruits, vegetables and organic oils to formulate teh Krya Damage repair hair oil. Find out how you can heal chemically damaged hair.

 

  1. Guduchi (forest collected)
  2. Khadira (forest collected)
  3. Liquorice (forest collected)
  4. Manjishta (forest collected)
  5. Nutgrass (forest collected)
  6. Rosemary (organically grown)
  7. Ram Tulsi (organically grown)
  8. Amla (organically grown)
  9. Bottle gourd (organically grown)
  10. Banana Stem (organically grown)
  11. Bhringaraj (organically grown)
  12. Moringa (organically grown)
  13. Almond (organically grown)
  14. Hibiscus flower (organically grown)
  15. Henna (organically grown)
  16. Curry Leaf (organically grown)
  17. Castor Oil (cold pressed and organic)
  18. Kokum Butter (cold pressed and organic)
  19. Coconut Oil (cold pressed and organic)
  20. Sesame Oil (cold pressed and organic)
  21. Tamanu Oil (cold pressed and organic)
  22. Apricot Oil (cold pressed and organic)
  23. (cold pressed and organic)

To sum up: Heal Chemical damage naturally

Over processed hair and chemically damaged hair is hard to care for. You are told that you cannot fix or treat this hair and asked to invest in more and more damaging chemical treatments to mask the way your hair grows. Instead, Ayurveda provides a true holistic ray of hope. We hope this post gave you a glimpse of how Krya thinks about, researches and formulates products for you. we also hope this post inspired you to seek out solutions to help holistically heal chemically damaged hair.

If you too have chemically damaged hair and would like to try out our natural solutions, please explore the links given below. In case you have any queries on the same, please write to us.

Krya’s products to heal chemically damaged hair:

Krya Damage Repair hair mask to heal and revitalise over processed, chemically damaged hair

Krya’s safe , all natural hair colours to help you STOP further damage:

Krya's all natural , healing hair colour that colours and nourishes hair and scalp.

 

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Herb Thursdays: the Ayurvedic benefits and properties of Durva (Cynodon dactylon)

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

In most parts of India, tomorrow we will be celebrating Vinayaka / Ganesh Chaturti where we revere and celebrate Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed remover of obstacles, who brings in good beginnings and prosperity. Apart from modaks of different kinds, Lord Ganesha is also worshipped with the Durva Grass. So today’s Herb Thursday will talk about this sacred herb and how we use it in Krya for our skin care oils.
1. divine durva

The legend behind the use of Durva for Lord Ganesha:

The word Durva can be broken into 2 parts – Duhu + avam and the words can be translated to mean “ that which brings that which is far away, closer”. The durva grass (arugampul) is probably familiar to those who worship Lord Ganesha. This sacred grass is used in the worship of many deities but is especially used when praying to Lord Ganesha.
Legend has it that the demon Analasura caused havoc in the 3 worlds and emitted fire from his eyes. The Gods prayed to Lord Ganesha and asked him to save them from Analasura. In the battlefield, Analasura attacked Lord Ganesha with fireballs. Lord Ganesha assumed his vishwaroopam and ate the demon in a single swallow.

 

Having eaten Analasura, Lord Ganesha’s body started to increase in heat and he became very uncomfortable. First the moon came to help Lord Ganesha and stood on his head. This was not enough to quench the heat emitted by Analasura. Then Lord Vishnu gave Lord Ganesha his sacred lotus to hold. Even this was not enough. Then Lord Shiva lent Lord Ganesha his snake and tied it around his belly to help release the excess heat. Even this did not help.

2.restless ganesha

 

Finally a few Maha Rishis came to Lord Ganesha’s rescue with 21 sets of durva Grass and placed it together on his head. The Durva Grass was able to do what the Moon, Vishnu’s sacred Lotus and Shiva’s sacred Cobra were not able to achieve together – it brought down the excess heat generated by the demon Analasura from Lord Ganesha’s body.

3.relaxed ganesha


The medicinal properties of Durva Grass:
Mythologically and in Ayurveda and Siddha lore, the Durva grass is revered for its spiritual and medicinal properties.

Charaka refers to Durva grass as one of the 10 great complexion promoters. Ayurvedic texts refer to Durva grass as “Sahasra virya” denoting its multi fold strengths and versatility in use. It is considered complexion enhancing, astringent, moisturizing, demulcent and cooling for the skin. Durva is also considered very good for the eyes and is therefore regarded as a good ophthalmic drug.

4.durva grass

 

The Ayurvedic texts recommend use of the durva in many skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema and even pitta induced skin conditions like prickly heat, etc as a direct paste for skin.

 

Because of this pitta reducing, wound healing and skin restoring property, Durva is the key ingredient in many classical Ayurvedic skin preparations like Durvadi Tailam which is used for external application in severe skin diseases and large wounds.

 

Durva at Krya:

We use Durva in our skin oils which are meant for dry, severely dry , and skin with disorders like eczema, psoriasis, etc.

For example, The Durva grass is a key herb in the Krya Moisture Plus skin Oil. As you are aware, we do not make post bath moisture products at Krya, as we follow the traditional medicine led philosophy of moisturizing the skin before a bath. This is because of 2 deep reasons: Traditional medicine generally considered that skin functions best when it is left to breathe without anything blocking the pores. So moisturisation is usually done as a pre-bath activity.

The moisturisation process is usually done with oil, again for a few reasons: oil has the texture that allows a variety of massage movements which in the process helps eliminate toxins and improves micro circulation. Also depending upon the oil, there is also the possibility of balancing the doshas which leads to better health.

The Krya Moisture plus skin oil has been formulated for vata prakriti skin. This skin tends to be generally normal to dry and can feel tight, dry and uncomfortable in cold and low humid weather. The oil uses a combination of rasayana, complexion enhancing and demulcent herbs. Durva and Dadima (the pomegranate fruit) are the lead ingredients in this oil and they are supported by other skin regenerative and repair herbs like Kushta, Ashwagandha and Brahmi.
5.moisture plus skin oil

The Krya Moisture plus oil is a very skin nourishing and moisturizing oil. Our consumers also use this oil as a night cream and a regenerative face serum before they go to sleep at night. Regular use enhances the complexion, makes the skin supple and soft and evens out skin tone.

 

Durva also goes into the Krya Sensitive skin Oil with Cardamom & Neem. This oil forms a part of the Krya Sensitive Skin range for adults and children separately, designed for skin that has a tendency to develop conditions like contact dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis. In this oil we use a mixture of skin healing, cell regenerative, pitta and kapha balancing herbs like Ashwagandha, Kushta, Lodhra, Yashtimadhu and Manjishta. The Lead ingredients of Durva grass, Neem and Cardamom support these skin healing and regenerative herbs by balancing excess Pitta, enhancing the complexion , reducing the growth of fungal and bacterial organisms and improving skin health.

To sum up:

So there you have it: So there you have it: that’s a brief glimpse into the properties of Cynodon dactylon /  Durva which goes into Krya’s skin care products. As we have said before, Ayurvedic herbs are potent and strong, and must always be tailor made using the right anupana to suit your constitution. Do not attempt to self medicate. If you feel internal consumption of Durva could help you, please meet an Ayurvedic Vaidya who can diagnose your condition and prescribe Durva in the right dose and right format for you.

 

We do herb related posts at Krya to give you a glimpse into just how potent, powerful and good for us the plants used in Ayurveda are. We hope you found this post inspiring and useful. Do leave your thoughts and comments on this post below. If you would like us to write about a specific herb next Thursday, do leave that in your comments as well.

 

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Herb Thursdays at Krya – the ayurvedic properties & benefits of Shikakai (Acacia concinna)

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Shikakai: a herb that we all love to hate. A herb that reminds both of having our hair washed by our mother and grandmother, and of eyes stinging during the process. But also paradoxically, we associate Shikakai not just with painful childhood memories, but also having the hair of our childhood: thick, long, dark, and strong. A time when it was impossible to manage our hair because it was so voluminous and so long!

1. vintage shikakai

Shikakai is referred to as “the hair fruit” in India, and the Shikakai pod has been used as a biological surfactant to cleanse hair and skin for thousands of years in India. The Shikakai pod along with the Reetha pericarp, (Soapberry fruit) have together been the only cleansers India used to clean the laundry, dishes and our hair.

Because of the relatively low level of surfactants in both these soapy herbs, the skin and hair is always protected from excessive stripping of natural oils, breakage of hair and destruction of the acid mantle. Both these herbs also have a naturally mildly acidic pH which again makes them both ideal cleansers to used on human skin and hair.

2. hair fruit

 

Shikakai in Ayurveda:

Ayurvedic texts like the Raj Nighantu classify Acacia concinna as laghu (light), tikta (bitter) and kasaya (astringent). It cures vitiated kapha and pitta dosha, which is why it works so well across Krya’s anti dandruff products like the Krya anti dandruff hair wash and the Krya Anti dandruff hair mask. It also cures leprosy and other skin diseases so it is classified as a “Kushta” herb and also heals oedema due to wounds which is why it is classified as a vrana-sopha herb.

In folk medicine, Shikakai’s analgesic, anti bacterial, insect repellent and wound healing properties are very effectively utilised. For non specific pain in the leg, hips and joints, Shikakai is sprinkled on the affected area after a hot castor oil massage and then wiped away, providing great relief to the aching area.

Shikakai is also very well employed in traditional medicine as an oral rinse to help cure halitosis, dental caries, mouth ulcers and gum bleeding. Its kasaya (astringent) properties helps reduce oral inflammations, stops excessive bleeding and also helps flush out oral pathogens.

Shikakai is also very well used to fight any manner of skin infection. The Shikakai is used as a tincture / infusion to bathe and frequently wash stubborn skin infections which accumulate pus and clear exudates like psoriasis, skin rashes etc. Here the herb’s cleansing and inflammation reducing properties are used.

Shikakai in Krya:

Krya uses Shikakai across our range of hair cleansing products to help effectively clean dirt and grease from hair without altering its structure and damaging it. In fact, the use of Shikakai in our hair cleanser formulations helps us delver hair cleansing that is both effective yet gentle on hair. The consistent use of this herb also helps improve hair volume and texture.
3.shikakai in krya

Shikakai is also a key ingredient in Krya’s anti dandruff hair wash and hair mask. Our Anti dandruff products are able to work on even very long term and chronic cases of dandruff within a short period of time and this is due to the powerful herbs we use like Shikakai. Shikakai is used by Krya in the anti dandruff range for its unique ability to cleanse without irritating the scalp – this is extremely important when dealing with chronic dandruff because we always see small lesions and wounds on the scalp which have formed due to the inherent itchiness because of this condition.

4.shikakai in krya dandruff range

 

Krya also has a range of “Sensitive” skin products. These products are recommended for chronic skin issues like contact dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema, and requests for these products are constantly on the rise. Many of these skin conditions do not have an exact causative factor in allopathy and are usually managed with the use of topical steroids (both ingested and applied locally). Stopping these products even for a day triggers the condition and it is extremely difficult to live with.

Switching from a synthetic soap (even those recommended for these skin conditions) and using one of the Krya sensitive skin products along with the oil recommended, usually gives people an almost immediate relief from these conditions.

Shikakai helps these conditions through the action we explained above: Its kashaya (astringent) nature shrinks the thickened growth and brings down inflammation. Because of its tikta (bitter) nature, it is ideally suited to tackle both vitiated pitta and vitiated kapha, so it stops the redness and itching associated with pitta and the skin thickening and expanding nature of kapha vitiated skin diseases.

To sum up:

So there you have it: So there you have it: that’s a brief glimpse into the properties of Acacia concinna /  Shikakai which goes into Krya’s hair care products and certain specialised skin care products. As we have said before, Ayurvedic herbs are potent and strong, and must always be tailor made using the right anupana to suit your constitution. Do not attempt to self medicate. If you feel internal consumption of Shikakai could help you, please meet an Ayurvedic Vaidya who can diagnose your condition and prescribe Shikakai in the right dose and right format for you.

 

We do herb related posts at Krya to give you a glimpse into just how potent, powerful and good for us the plants used in Ayurveda are. We hope you found this post inspiring and useful. Do leave your thoughts and comments on this post below. If you would like us to write about a specific herb next Thursday, do leave that in your comments as well.

 

 

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Herb Thursdays at Krya – the ayurvedic properties & benefits of Bael (Aegle marmelos)

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Today we are going to speak about a herb that is considered an auspicious herb and is used in the worship of Lord Shiva. We are of course talking about Vilwa or Bael, Aegle marmalos, also called the Golden Apple or Bengal Quince. Vilwa is a tree native to India, Nepal and Myanmar. It is also present via naturalisation in countries like Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

1. vilwa

 

Like the south Indian soapberry which is called Sapindus trifoliatus due to its tri fruit arrangement, the Vilwa has trifoliate leaf arrangement with each leaf having 3 distinct leaflets. The Vilwa is a true Indian native, tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and can grow in a wide range of soil pHs and in unusually cold or unusually warm climates.

2. trifoliate leaflet structure

 

Religious, spiritual and cultural significance of Vilwa:

The Vilwa’s trifoliate leaf arrangement is of great significance in Hinduism. On one level the 3 leaflets signify the trinity of Brahmi, Vishnu and Maheshwara. On another level, the trifoliate leaflets also signify the 3 eyes of Shiva and point to an unusually awakened and spiritually charged plant.

3. trimurtis

The Skanda Purana says that the Vilwa tree grew from the sweat of Goddess Parvati, so she is set to reside in her different avatars in various parts of the tree – for example, the branches of Vilwa are said to be Dakshayani, the Vilwa fruit is Goddess Katyayani and Goddess Gauri, its flowers.

Apart from literally embodying the Shaktis, the Vilwa tree is also supposed to be auspicious to Goddess Lakshmi. So culturally, it is considered good form to do a circumambulation of a Vilwa tree for good luck before starting any new venture – especially if the Vilwa tree is the Sthala Vriksha of a temple.

 

The leaves of Vilwa are considered unusually spiritually charged in Hinduism and is said to reverberate with sattvic energy. Many forms of Shiva which are worshipped for health and well being use Vilwa leaf in their spiritual practice.

 

For example: the temple of Lord Marundeeswarara in Chennai is said to be the place where Lord Shiva initiated Acharya Agastya into Siddha medicine. Here the Prasad of Lord Shiva, his sacred Ash (vibuthi) is given to devotees in Vilwa patra (Vilwa leaf) which has been sanctified by placing it on the Shiva linga in the temple. This Vilwa leaf is said to be miraculous in curing disease and promoting well being.

4. marundeeswarar temple

 

The Vilwa tree is so sacred that the Atharva Veda says that it is a great sin to burn and use Vilwa wood for fuel or cooking. Even today some of the Santhal sub tribes worship the Vilwa tree as a totemic deity.

 

Vilwa’s Ayurvedic properties:

Vilwa is an extremely important herb in Ayurveda. Acharya Charaka describes Vilwa as a Shothahara (anti inflammatory), Arshoghna (useful in treatment of haemorrhoids). Vilwa balances both excess Kapha and excess Vata, removes Ama or undigested waste in the body

Vilwa leaf is used in gastritis, lack of appetite and to cure colds and sinusitis.  The leaf is an excellent external poultice for the eyes (when cleaned well0. The leaf is also used internally to cure pitta based complaints like ulcer, hypertension, jaundice, headache and other pitta aggravations.

5.detox

Vilwa fruit is very commonly used in Ayurveda. The unripe fruit is intense, stimulates digestion and balances vata and kapha. It is used in acute diarrhoea and also helps in ulcerative colitis.

The ripe fruit is very heavy to digest and may disturb the doshas if taken without supervision.

 

Vilwa in Krya:

At Krya, we often use certain herbs across all our products for their high sattvic effect and general auspiciousness. For example, Amla is usually added to every single Krya product because of its rasayana nature and also because it is a highly spiritually charged fruit. Similarly Vilwa is another such herb.

6. vilwa at krya

Vilwa goes into Krya’s classic and Anti acne skin formulations for its anti inflammatory, dosha balancing and astringent and cooling effect on skin. The addition of this very valuable herb helps our Classic and Anti Acne range work on imbalanced pitta, cool and soothe the skin, help in toxin elimination in the skin and also help shrink size of the acne on skin.Besides its very obvious health benefits, Vilwa, we believe, helps charge our products with high spiritual energy.

7.krya classic with vilwa

So there you have it: that’s a brief glimpse into the properties of Aegle marmelos /  Vilwa / Bael which goes many of Krya’s skin care products meant for pitta prakriti skin. As we have said before, Ayurvedic herbs are potent and strong, and must always be tailor made using the right anupana to suit your constitution. Do not attempt to self medicate. If you feel Vilwa could help you, please meet an Ayurvedic Vaidya who can diagnose your condition and prescribe Vilwa in the right dose and right format for you.

We do herb related posts at Krya to give you a glimpse into just how potent, powerful and good for us the plants used in Ayurveda are. We hope you found this post inspiring and useful. Do leave your thoughts and comments on this post below. If you would like us to write about a specific herb next Thursday, do leave that in your comments as well.

 

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How to transition from a synthetic hair colour to the Krya Range of Natural Hair colours

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

Are you planning to transition from a synthetic hair colour / dye to purely natural hair colours? Worried about how to heal the hair damage caused by hair dyes? Wondering how easy / difficult the transition to  natural hair colours is going to be? This post is for you. Read on.

Repeated hair colouring with synthetic hair colours and dyes severely damages hair structure. Choose Krya's organic natural hair colours instead.

With periodic, long-term colouring , there is extensive scalp and hair damage . The nature of this damage also aggravates depending upon how much you deviated from your natural shade while colouring your hair with synthetics.

Cuticles + Sebum: Hair’s natural water repellant

Together, sebum and your hair’s cuticles create a strong, hair protecting , water repellent layer. This water repellent layer ensures that your hair does not absorb too much water and always bounces back to its original shape, just like your expensive woolen sweater.

Repetitive synthetic colouring damages sebum secretion and the cuticular structure:

We have discussed how extensively synthetic hair colours and salon treatments damage hair before.  The damage comes from how these products subvert the natural design rules of hair and aggressively damage its structure.

Synthetic hair colours strip hair of its natural sebum content. They also remove hair’s internal layer of fatty acids which are attached to the natural colour pigments in your hair.

Synthetic hair colours deposit colour aggressively, unnaturally and harshly on your hair. Choose Krya's organic natural hair colours instead.

Synthetic hair dyes also extensively damage the cuticles of your hair. They break off parts of the hair’s cuticle leaving gaps. In the other places, the cuticle is weakened. So hair is rough where the cuticle is missing. In places where cuticle is weak, hair is brittle and snaps easily.

Synthetic hair colours and dyes severely damage your hair's cuticular structure. Choose Krya's organic natural hair colours instead.

With the loss in sebum, natural fatty acids and damaged cuticle, hair absorbs water whenever wet, instead of repelling it. So every time you wash your hair, water seeps into hair, weakening it , expanding it internally and breaking it.

With change in pH, and loss in sebum and toxin coating, the scalp is no longer healthy. So hair growth slows down and new hair is weak and brittle.

What is the final result of repeated use of synthetic hair colours and dyes? Poor scalp health, poor hair growth, high hair breakage, hair dullness, brittleness, and high hair porosity.

The first step to transitioning to natural hair colours: repair existing damage

We recommend using the Krya damage repair hair system to heal hair that has been damaged with repeated synthetic hair colours and dyes. The Krya Hair Damage Repair System consists of Oil, a Hair Wash and a Hair Mask for chemically damaged hair.

The Krya Damage repair hair system heals, over processed, chemically coloured hair. Choose Krya's organic natural hair colours instead.

Krya Damage repair Hair Oil

Chemically damaged hair needs frequent doses of high quality nourishment to help detoxify the scalp, heal damaged hair and promote healthy hair growth.  We recommend frequent hair oiling (atleast 4 times a week) with Krya Damage Repair hair oil.

The Krya damage repair hair oil uses a synergistic combination of powerful Ayurvedic herbs.  Liquorice and Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) work on the cuticular structure and help nourish and naturally condition hair. Parsley, marigold and thyme contain anti oxidants that stimulate collagen production to promote the growth of stronger hair. Flaxseed’s fatty acids and anti oxidants remove dead cells and toxins from the scalp. Lemongrass balances sebum production ensuring the scalp produces the right amount of oil for the hair.

Krya Damage Repair hair oil is a nourishing and healing oil for colour damaged, over processed hair.Choose Krya's organic natural hair colours instead.

Krya Damage Repair hair mask

The Krya Damage Repair Hair mask is an Ayurvedic keshya lepa designed to be used atleast once a week for 20 – 30 minutes on damaged hair. Using this mask detoxifies the scalp and stimulates healthier and stronger, hair growth.

Krya Damage Repair hair mask to heal and revitalise over processed, chemically damaged hair. Choose Krya's organic natural hair colours instead.

This product is formulated using powerful hair growth stimulating herbs like Guava leaf, Chamomile, Brahmi and Moringa. These herbs dissolve the toxins in the scalp, restore the right pH, and provide the right grounds for healthy hair growth. We have seen excellent results in hair health when the Krya Damage repair hair mask is used atleast once a week along with a healthy diet and the other damage repair products.

Krya Damage Repair Hair wash

Lastly, the Krya Damage Repair hairwash is an essential part of your hair care kit for colour damaged hair.  Hair should be treated like fine wool or silk. Instead we constantly use toxic,  toxic and aggressive sulphate based shampoos to wash hair. Sulphates are strongly degreasing on even normal and healthy hair. Chemically damaged hair becomes even more dry and brittle when synthetic shampoos are used.

Krya's gentle, all-natural damage repair hair wash to gently wash chemically damaged and over processed hair. Choose Krya's organic natural hair colours instead.

The Krya damage repair hairwash is an extremely gentle ayurvedic powder shampoo. The herbs cleanse without stripping hair of excess sebum. The product is extremely gentle on damaged cuticles and does not damage them further not rip them or break them further. Using this product also restores the scalp back to its original pH, supporting the healthy microbiome of the scalp.

Using the complete Krya Damage repair hair system:

We recommend oiling your hair atleast 4 times a week with the Krya damage repair hair oil. We recommend night time oiling using a small quantity of oil to restore scalp health atleast twice a week. Night time oiling allows the oil to work on hair for a much longer time and also aids healthy sleep. We usually find that the oil is completely absorbed by the scalp and there is no need to wash the hair the next morning.

Colour damaged hair should be washed infrequently – not more than twice a week. Before washing the hair, oil the scalp and hair generously with the Krya Damage repair hair oil, and apply the Krya damage repair hair mask. Once the mask starts to dry, wash off with the Krya Damage Repair hair wash.

With the regular use of the Krya Damage repair hair system + the Krya Natural hair colours – you should notice the following differences in hair quality:

  1. More gloss and shine
  2. Less hair breakage when tugged, brushed or combed
  3. Smoother and silkier hair
  4. Hair growth improves
  5. Breakage and hair fall reduces

The second step to transitioning to natural hair colours: choose a natural hair colour (like Krya)

Once you have begun working on healing the damage caused by a synthetic hair colour, it is wise to shift to completely chemical free , natural hair colours. Be careful when choosing your natural hair colour. Many unscrupulous brands abound in the market which add PPD to boost hair darkening in a natural hair colour. Many brands of “black henna” or kali mehendi are contaminated this way.  So please ensure that the natural hair colour you are transitioning to is pure, made only from whole ayurevdic herbs and does not contain PPD or any synthetic colour boosters.

What are the benefits in Krya natural hair colour?

Apart from the other more obvious reasons to switch to Krya’s natural hair colours, there are some excellent hair care reasons to consider switching to a purely natural herbal colour like the Krya hair colour.

Natural hair colours like Krya use whole, organic hair nourishing herbs like Henna, Amla, Fenugreek, Manjishta and Khadira . These herbs not just colour the hair, but also deeply nourish it from within.

Khadira provides an excellent astringent and anti bacterial effect on the scalp. This bring the scalp’s pH to the right level reducing fungal and bacterial attack on the hair. Amla is a hair health restoring herb that promotes hair healing and regeneration. Brahmi is a wound healing and cell regenerative herb. It restores life and strength to damaged scalp and hair.

Krya's range of organic, natural hair colours contain rejuvenating and nourishing hair herbs that heal and infuse hair with health.

Henna and Indigo attach to specific dye receptor sites on the cuticle of the hair strengthening it and giving an additional layer of protection.

The entire range of natural hair colours of Krya reduce pitta in the scalp which aggravates with use of synthetic hair colour. So, our natural hair colours improve scalp health, cool the eyes and soothe the brain as well.

To Sum up: how to transition from a synthetic hair colour to the Krya range of natural hair colours

To sum up, if you have been colouring your hair frequently with synthetic hair colours, you can expect your hair to be damaged.  However, you can successfully help reverse this damage and strengthen your hair by switching to the Krya Damage repair hair system along with the Krya natural hair colour.

As we have seen in earlier posts, synthetic hair colours severely damage the health of the scalp, its ability to produce fresh healthy hair and the existing hair. So a good set of hair products are required to reverse the damage, heal and revitalise hair.

Natural hair colours are a good viable alternative to synthetic hair colours. Although the colour range is much smaller, you can colour your hair with complete peace of mind. As we have seen the herbs in the Krya natural hair colours also help deeply nourish and improve hair quality, which is a great bonus for damaged hair.

If you too are fed up with synthetic hair colours and dyes and would like some help transitioning to our range of completely natural hair colours, please write to us.

Krya’s products to heal chemically damaged hair:

  • Krya Damage Repair hair wash – mild, gentle, does not irritate stressed out scalp, and helps detoxify the scalp
  • Krya Damage repair Hair Mask – nourishing and healing and helps nourish damaged hair and detoxifies the scalp. a must to heal chemically damaged hair.
  • Krya Damage repair Hair oil – our cornerstone damage repairing and hair re-vitalising ayurvedic oil. Packed with rich ayurvedic herbs and cold pressed organic oils, the oil restores gloss, shine and health to hair. It detoxifies the scalp and stimulates fresh, healthy, deep rooted new hair growth.
  • Krya Damage repair Hair revitalising system: All 3 of the above at a  special price

Krya Damage repair hair revitalising system: a set of hair products that restore health and vitality to over processed, chemically damaged hair

Krya’s safe , all natural hair colours to help you STOP further damage:

Krya All natural hair colour is made with nourishing ayurvedic herbs that colour hair safely and help strengthen and nourish it deeply.

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Culture, stories, spirituality & ayurveda: celebrating the Divine feminine this Chaitra Navratri with sacred flowers

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Reading Time: 11 minutes

Today marks the start of several auspicious periods according to the Hindu calendar. Today is the Amavasya, or the New Moon day, which is a good time to start new activities. Today is also the day Gudi Padwa and Ugadi are celebrated across different parts of India to herald the New Year.

And today is also the first day of the 9 day Chaitra Navratri, a celebration of the 9 aspects of the divine Feminine. Therefore we thought it would be appropriate to do a short post on some of the sacred flowers in Ayurveda and how they are used in the worship of the divine Feminine.

 

The opportunities that sacred festivals give us:

To us, immersing ourselves in divinity and worship shows us the path to treat ourselves with reverence. When we decide to wake up at a specific time, bathe well and cook in an atmosphere of love and reverence and offer this food as Prasad, we show ourselves higher standards of living. Eventually these rituals become part of our life as we treat our lives with care and reverence, mirroring how we worship our deities every day.

1. everyday reverence

Apart from daily worship, festival times also give us a rare spiritual opportunity. The ancient texts tell us that when we worship at a common time or during a collective festival, the power of collective worship gives us access to a great deal of positive, spiritual and divine energy.

 

Worshipping the divine Feminine in the week:

At Krya, we advise a Tuesday and Friday abhyanga routine for Women. Friday is considered the day the Divine Feminine Energy is strongest in the week. We worship her in different forms like Devi Lakshmi, Devi Saraswathi, Maa Durga, Devi Meenakshi, etc.

2. abhyanga

To receive the divine feminine energy and invite the Goddess into your home, a Friday abhyanga by women is considered extremely auspicious – the benefits of this Abhyanga are twofold.

 

At a physical level, this abhyanga helps cleanse your body extremely thoroughly and activates the major srotas / channels within the skin. This aids release of toxins, and calms down vitiated doshas. Internally it also helps the working of the bones and joints, settles the stomach and leaves your body in a state of tridoshic balance.

On a spiritual level, the Friday abhyanga is said to increase the Sattvic energy in your body. This helps you attract the divine Sattvic energy of the divine Feminine and helps its manifestation in your home, workplace and in every area of your life.

 

 

Navratri: 9 days of worshipping the divine feminine, 4 times every year

Navratri means “9 nights” and is a period during which the Divine Feminine is said to be readily accessible to this world and is willing to grace our home if we invite her. Traditionally, the Navratri period falls 4 times in the Hindu year. Each Navratri falls at the beginning of a specific season as per the Hindu calendar.

The most popular Navratri is Sharad Navratri which is held in the Sharad / autumn season falling in September / October ,post monsoon season. This 9 day festival ends in Vijayadasami or Dusshera.

3.sharad navratri

 

The second Navratri celebrated in India is Chaitra Navratri which begins today. This 9 day worshipping of the divine Feminine ends in Rama Navami, which celebrates the birth of Lord Rama.

4.chaitra navami

 

The third Navratri period is Magh Navratri which is celebrated in winter in January – February. The fifth day of this Navratri festival is celebrated as Vasant Panchami where Goddess Saraswati is revered through music, poetry, different forms of art, and also kite flying.

5. basant panchami

 

The fourth Navratri period is Ashadh Navratri which marks the beginning of Monsoons in India in June – July.

 

Sacred Flowers to worship the Divine Feminine and their properties according to Ayurveda:

The Divine Feminine is revered in religions across the world. She is seen as the source of creativity, and in Hindu philosophy, metaphysical reality is considered a manifestation of the divine Feminine. Creation is considered the divine play of the Goddess and she is considered the fount of beauty, compassion, self realisation, love and protection.

6.divine feminine

We have written before about how Ayurveda and the use of herbs have deep cultural and religious symbolism. The worship of Gods and Goddesses, for example, involves the use of specific herbs that suit the divine energies attributed to these Gods and Goddesses.

Today, at the start of this 9 day Divine Feminine period, we will look at 3 sacred flowers that are used to worship the Divine Goddess and their medicinal properties

 

Sacred flowers in India and their Ayurvedic properties:

Japa (Hibiscus rosa sinensis) for Goddess Parvati:

The Tripurasundari ashtakam is a beautiful 8 stanza shloka to the Goddess Tripura Sundari and was composed by Acharya Adi Sankaracharya. The entire shloka is dedicated to Goddess Tripurasundari, the beauty of the 3 worlds and the consort of the Three Eyed One (Lord Shiva). One of the stanzas says this:

“Vidambhitha japa ruchim vikhacha chandra choodamanim,
Trilochana kudumbhineem tripurasundarim asraye “
In the paragraph above, Adi Sankara mentions that the Goddess likes the fully bloomed Japa flower. The Japa flower finds atleast 2 more mentions in this Shloka, which is of deep significance to students of Ayurveda.

7.japa

In Hindu religion, the Mother Goddess is considered the fount of expressive energy, the womb of the entire world and the Supreme One which gives form to thought. This creative force is represented as a rush of heat and energy which manifests in everything we see around us.

It is therefore no wonder that the divine heat of the Goddess is adorned with the cool red Japa flower, or the Hibiscus flower. The Japa flower is used to reduce and balance the Pitta energy of the Goddess.
8.japa for kalima
Many Mother Goddesses are worshipped with the Japa flower, especially the forms which are considered high in creative energy and the energy of destruction. For example, Goddess Kali in Kalighat Temple of Calcutta (one of the primary shaktipeeths in India) is also adorned with red Japa flower. Similarly, Goddess Tripura Sundari in Tripura, the playful Goddess of creation is also adorned with Japa flower.

Japa in Ayurveda:

Ayurveda considers Japa as a pre-eminent hair herb, and this is because of its pitta balancing property. Just like it is used to cool and balance the Mother Goddesses’ fiery creative energy, it is used in Ayurveda to soothe and cool the head and the scalp which are heated by the workings of the eyes and the brain.

Japa is used extensively in hair formulations as the head is considered one of the seats of Pitta.

In order for optimal working of the brain and the eyes, Ayurveda says that this region has to be kept cool (so you literally and figuratively maintain a cool head). Therefore oils meant for the head are always prepared with cooling and pitta balancing herbs like Japa, Bhringa, Mandukaparni, etc.

Japa in Krya

Japa goes into many of Krya’s Hair Oils, hair washes and hair masks, especially the products meant for pitta type hair. The Krya Classic hair range extensively uses Japa flower. Japa while cooling, is not suitable for use in body wash and oil formulations as it can trigger vata dosha.

9.japa in krya

 

Kamala (The Lotus) – Nelumbo nucifera for Goddess Mahalakshmi:

The lotus is associated with purity and beauty in Hinduism, Buddhism and in Ancient Egypt as well. Egyptian scholars associated the Lotus flower with re-birth as they observed that the flower closed at Night and re-opened its petals with the arrival of the sun.

10.kamala

 

In Hinduism, the Lotus is associated Goddess Lakshmi and her divine consort Maha Vishnu.

Acharya Adi Sankaracharya has composed a beautiful stotra called the Kanakadhara Stotram in praise of Mahalakshmi. Legend has it that Adi Sankaracharya was begging one day for alms. A poor woman who wanted to offer the young sanyasi some food, could find nothing in her home except an amla fruit. In her generosity, she gave this amla fruit to Adi Sankaracharya. Moved by her compassion, Adi Sankaracharya composed the Kanakadhara Stotram requesting Goddess Mahalakshmi to shower wealth on the generous woman.

Legend says that the single amla given generously away to this boy was converted by the Goddess Mahalakshmi into a shower of amlas made of pure gold that rained from the roof of the poor woman’s home.

11.kanakadhara stotra

Such is the generosity and compassion of Goddess Mahalakshmi who is moved when she sees similar qualities of generosity, compassion and sharing of wealth and food. It is said that rather than mantras and rituals, Goddess Mahalakshmi graces a home which is filled with a charitable attitude, soft speech and generous hearts.

Just like a lotus rises from the mud, Goddess Mahalakshmi is said to have risen from the Ocean of Nectar when it was churned by the auras and divas.  She is depicted sitting on a fully blossomed Lotus (Kamala), showering wealth, riches and prosperity with grace and compassion on all her devotees.

12. goddess lakshmi

 

Incidentally, the Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) is the favourite tree of Goddess Mahalakshmi, as is evident even in the Kanakadhara Stotram where she blesses her devotee with golden amlas.

 

Kamala in Ayurveda

Kamala is a revered flower in Ayurveda and is extensively used in pitta and rakta pitta disorders. It is considered nourishing and comforting to the dhatus and is said to relieve illusions, hallucinations, and physical and mental agony brought on by jwara (fevers).

Kamala is indicated in Ayurveda in thirst, burning sensation of the body, certain cardiac ailments, vomiting and unconsciousness. Flowers of the Kamala are considered diuretic, astringent and a cardio tonic.

 

 

Kamala in Krya

When available, Kamala goes into our specialised pitta formulations like the Krya Sensitive skin bodywash. This bodywash powder is used for skin conditions like acute dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis where there is severe itching and inflammation. Both these are indicative of pitta imbalance, so Kamala flower is used in this formulation.

 

Amla in Ayurveda and Krya:

Though not a flower, we have already mentioned how the Amla is associated with both Mahalakshmi and Mahavishnu. The Amla is a revered herb in Ayurveda and is used to balance all 3 doshas.

In Krya, Amla is used across our entire range of our skin and hair care formulations for its pitta pacifying, and rasayana (rejuvenative) and healing properties.

13.amla in krya

 

Palash (Butea monosperma )– for Goddess Saraswati:

Goddess Saraswati is the third facet of the divine Feminine in Hinduism. She is revered as the patron Goddess of learning, knowledge, music and the arts. Goddess Saraswati is known by many powerful synonyms in ancient Hindu Literature.

14.goddess saraswati

She is called “Brahmani” – the goddess with the power of Brahma, i.e. to create. She is also referred to as “Brahmi” which is the Goddess of all sciences. So a company like Krya owes its lineage to Goddess Saraswati. She is referred to as “Bharadi” which is the Goddess of History.

She is also referred to as both “Vani” and “Vachi” – the goddess who is the patron of both music and melodious speech or “vak”. Just like Goddess Mahalakshmi who believes in the flow of wealth through generosity and compassion, Goddess Saraswati indicates to us that true music and art flow from the sweetness of our daily speech.

15.music

 

Goddess Saraswati is also Varneshwari – the goddess of akshara or letters and Kavijihvagravasini – the Goddess who dwells in the tongue of poets.

The mount of Goddess Saraswati is the white Hamsa or the swan. In Hindu mythology, the Hamsa is said to be the bird when offered a mixture of milk and water is able to separate the milk from the mixture and drink it alone. Therefore, with the Hamsa as her vahana, the Goddess Saraswati symbolises the ability to discriminate and choose wisely.

16.hamsa

 

Palash flowers in Ayurveda and popular culture:

Just under a month ago India celebrated Holi. Today, Holi is a festival replete with commercial advertising and synthetic, toxic colours.

17.synthetic holi

 

Traditionally, Holi was an important cultural festival to mark the onset of spring. One of the meanings behind Holi was that the ritual symbolically depicted the dance and playfulness between Krishna and his Gopis.

18.radha holi

In Ayurveda, Holi was a festival that came just before the onset of summer. Summer is usually characterised by pitta based disorders like measles, chickenpox, etc. The traditional Holi gulal therefore used water based extracts of Palash, and other flowers which were designed to cool down excess pitta and keep skin infections at bay.

 

Palash is an important sacred flower in India. It is a favourite of Goddess Saraswati. It is commercially important because of its hardy wood and the resin exuded by the tree called Gum Kino. The flower itself is extremely pitta pacifying and helps prevent and cure pitta based eruptions like measles, prickly heat, chickenpox etc. It is soothing and healing on skin.

19.palash

 

Palash in Krya:

Happily, Krya will be shortly receiving its first shipment of wild harvested, pesticide free Palash flowers, just in time for our scorching summer season.

We plan to use Palash in our Classic and Anti Acne skin care formulations and also sparingly in our Moisture Plus and Sensitive skin formulations. Palash will also go into our hair colour range to see how it works in our reddish – brown series of natural hair colour.

20.coming soon to krya

 

The Sacred in the Everyday:

We hope this post gave you an appreciation of a few of the sacred flowers in Indian and Ayurvedic tradition and how these flowers are used to celebrate and worship different aspects of the Divine Feminine.

We have always seen the Krya Blog as a celebration of Ayurveda, Indian medicinal tradition and a place to discuss how we can safely and effectively care for ourselves and our families without resorting to the use of harmful and polluting synthetics.

Sacred festivals and spiritually charged times like Navratri always help us to re-focus our energies at Krya. we find that these times give us a new appreciation of what we are doing, help us appreciate the wonderful herbs, grains, lentils and flowers that we use even more, seek more divine energy as we make our products and help us re-affirm our commitment to what we are doing.

Often we are bogged down by the demands of our daily life and do not put proper care, attention and reverence into how we care for ourselves. We are tempted to skip our yoga practice, or postpone our abhyanga as we are late for work. Or we decide to open a packet of processed ready to eat noodles and eat this for dinner instead of lovingly cooking a meal for ourselves with real ingredients.

It is our hope that as you read this post, you are inspired to take the long-cut for yourself – and you develop a fresh appreciation for the Dinacharya that you need to do for yourself. Because when we worship the sacred and immerse ourselves into the divine, we carry a small part of that Divinity into us and everything we do.

A happy Chaitra Navratri to you from us at Krya.

 

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Hair care herbs around the world

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

My hair epiphany happened when I was 28. I was in a lab, with my friend who specialized in natural herbs and their application in skin and hair care products. We were discussing hair damage, and she made a remark that startled me.

“Preethi, almost every single woman I know has damaged hair”, she said. I hotly disagreed, and ran my hand through my hair to disprove her.

Yes, I coloured my hair, I added, but I spent top dollar to buy the best products money could buy. I was careful to choose ammonia free colours. I used the best shampoo, conditioner, and serum I could buy. I had even added a post wash spray on serum for care and gloss. Hell, I actually spent a significant proportion of my salary buying high quality haircare products – surely my hair wasn’t damaged?

“So give me a strand of your hair”, she said, “and let’s look at it under the microscope”.

And I did.

My hair was appalling.

The cuticular scales were missing and damaged. I could see gaping portions of the hair shaft visible under the 200X pitiless magnification of the sophisticated microscope in my friend’s lab. She pointed out places where atleast 6 layers of my cuticle were missing.

And she exhaustively listed every single treatment I was doing to my hair which was damaging it – shampooing with an SLS / SLeS based shampoo, blow drying it with my fancy hair styler, colouring it every other month in different colours, perming it (once), straightening it (twice), and washing it almost every single day to keep it bouncy and ungreasy.

“You do know that your hair isn’t supposed to be washed so often, or feel so greasy, right?”, she casually added. “Your hair is supposed to be healthy and look good, without using so many synthetic products”.

We believe all kinds of things about hair – but if there’s one thing we should believe in, it is this. Like my friend said to me 9 years ago, your hair is supposed to look good. It is designed to look awesome. And its awesomeness is not just aesthetic, it is also functional. The same stuff that keeps it glossy and shiny, also keeps it strong, whole and protects it from damage.

Unfortunately, almost every single synthetic product we put on our hair to wash, condition, straighten, colour or perm it damages it. Pretty badly.

Yet human hair, like the human body, is resilient. It is capable of healing itself and repairing damage, if the damaging conditions are removed.

I am the very first user of all of the products we make at Krya. In the 8 years that have passed since I peered into a microscope to study my hair, convention dictates that my hair should have gotten more fragile, more damaged, and less healthy.

On the contrary, as I transitioned to better food (read mostly organic, whole grain, and plant based), cut the stress (somewhat – I do run a business!), got more air and light in (and stopped working in an air conditioned environment), my hair damage started to reverse. Somewhere along this way, I threw away all the synthetic products I used and started to use only 2 products – a Krya all natural, toxin free shampoo with frequent oiling using a Krya all natural, herb filled oil.

My hair is growing more, breaks less, is less greasy (so I do not have to wash as frequently) and my scalp is flaking less.

Most hair that is damaged due to lifestyle reasons can be coaxed back into good health. And we are going to be spending a lot of August, telling you just how, on the Krya blog. We are also going to be running some fun contests and giveaways on the Krya facebook page, so do join us there as well.

And to inspire your transition to natural haircare and to re-discover just how good your hair can look / be, we have a very special deal on all of Krya’s haircare products with upto 20% off on all our haircare goodies!

When we write / speak about natural haircare, we often draw a strange blank. We are met with a sense of panic when we recommend you throw away your synthetic shampoo / conditioner and You ask us this: “Just how do I then care for my hair? Am I supposed to just look unfashionable without my serum?”

Hair and herb history – or how people looked good without the SLS

A recent paper I read that studied the plants used in traditional haircare  by Bhil tribals in 3 taluks (Vijaynagar, Khedbrahma and Bhiloda of Aravalli ranges ) in Sabarkantha district in Gujarat . They treat hair ailments with plant remedies based on their inherited knowledge handed down from their local vaidyas in the tribe. Nearly 25 plants were listed in the research conducted among tribals from 3 taluks in a single district in India.

The traditional Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Sarangadhara Samhita and Bhaisajya Ratnavalli are full of formulae, herbs and preparations both internal and external to cleanse hair, treat scalp infections, promote hair growth, and even colour and condition it. Siddha texts including the more recent “Anubhava Murai vaidyam” by Raja Serfoji includes a similar compendium of hair care herbs.

A reading of Nicholas Culpepper’s seminal work published in the 17th century contains a rich account of herbal and pharmacological knowledge. Culpepper spent most of his life in the outdoors, cataloguing the medicinal herbs found in the English countryside, and was one of the most well known astrological botanists of his day. His approach to herbal medicine have had a far reaching impact on how modern medicine is practices today. For example, he prescribed the medical use of foxglove, a precursor to digitalis , used to treat heart conditions.

These materia medica list thousands of local and indigenous herbs that can be used to safely care for hair. Apart from these formal systems of learning, ethnographic studies or oral traditions in tribal communities also records the rich and varied use of herbs to treat ailments and to enhance beauty.

Today we have presented just 5 of these many thousand herbs used for healthy haircare.

  1. Mushta / Nagarmotha /Indian Nutgrass / Cyperus rotundus

Mushta is discussed elaborately by Acharya Sushruta, acharya Vagbhatta and Acharya Charaka.  Acharya Charaka describes this plant to cool pitta and treat pitta related conditions like diarrhea and skin infections. Acharya Vagbhatta described Mushta as a febrifuge that cools down pitta induced fevers.

 

In Cambodia, Mushta is known as a diuretic herb. Traditional Chinese medicine describes Mushta as being effective against liver disease (interestingly the liver is considered the seat of Pitta in Ayurveda). In srilanka, Mushta decoction is taken internally to reduce fevers, diarrhea and stomach complaints.

mushta - krya aug 4 blog 4

As Mushta brings down pitta and has a woody fragrance, it was often used as a decoction or a paste to cleanse hair. It was also added to hair oils to delay graying and keep hair soft, well conditioned and healthy.

Mushta can be found in many of Krya’s skin and haircare products including the Krya Classic Hair Oil, the Krya Classic Hairwash, the Krya Abhyanga bath powder for women, the Krya After Sun Bodywash, The Krya Body wash for Men, etc.

  1. Nimba / Neem / Azadirachta indica

In vedic literature, Neem is mentioned several times. Acharya Charaka classified Nimba as a Kandughna (anti pruritic) drug. Acharya Charaka used the flowers of Nimba in Nasya treatment and indicated that it is to be used extrenaly in skin diseases.

Acharya Vagbhatta described the seed oil of Nimba as being very effective in the treatment of grey hair and hair fall.

Neem leaf , neem seed oil and neeem flowers are traditionally used in hair and skin care. Neem helps bring down scalp itching, scalp dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. It is a very effective anti bacterial cleanser and deodorizes scalp and skin with regular use.

nimba - krya aug 4 blog 3

The crushed seeds and leaves are applied over hair as insecticide to kill lice. The infusion of fresh leaves is applied on the head to cure dandruff. The mixture of seed and exuded sap from trees growing near water, is massaged on the scalp for promoting hair growth.

Nimba can be found in Krya’s anti dandruff system, the Krya Kids ubtan, and the Krya Anti acne face wash.

  1. Amalaki / Phyllanthus embellica / Indian gooseberry

The Indian gooseberry is renowned in Ayurveda and Siddha and is called the “Dhatri” or the Nurse. It is one of the few herbs that contain all 6 tastes, and is therefore considered a perfect food. It is not a surprise, therefore to see such frequent mentions of this fruit in Vedic literature and in Ayurveda.

The Texts classify Amlaka as a Chavanaprasha and Rasayana (rejuvenative, life expectancy enhancing, youth promoting) herb. It has extremely strong anti microbial activity, hypoglycaemic activity, hypolipidimic activity and anti emetic activity.

amla - krya aug 4 blog 4

It is a strong, health giving and hair nourishing herb which promotes hair growth, retards graying, removes excess pitta and conditions hair. It is also an extremely rich source of Vitamin c which stimulates healthy hair and skin growth even in the boiled / dry form (a unique fruit as generally Vitamin C is water soluble and disappears on boiling).

Amlaki is found across all Krya hair formulations including the Krya Classic hair system, the Krya extra conditioning hair system, the Krya damage repair hair system and the Krya anti dandruff hair system.

  1. Saw Palmetto / Serenoa repens (Peruvian ginseng) /

Saw Palmetto is a palm like plant with berries that grows in the south eastern united states. The berries were a staple food for Native Americans. The active ingredients in Saw palmetto include fatty acids, plant sterols and flavonoids. Saw palmetto is prescribed in Europe for Benign prostrate hyperplasia (a non cancerous enlargement of the prostrate gland). The berries are also expectorant, a mild sedative and help expel mucous. The herb is also used to treat urinary disorders.

saw palmetto - krya aug 4 blog 2

Historically, saw palmetto was used to stop hair loss and trigger healthy hair growth. Research suggests that saw palmetto inhibits DHT (dihydotestosterone), an enzyme that is associated with male pattern baldness.

  1. Soapwort (a cousin of the Indian soapberry ) / Saponaria officinalis

Soapwort comes from a family of nearly 30 species of saponin containing plants found in Europe, parts of Asia and Western Siberia. Soapwort leaves and roots can be used as a gentle cleanser for hair and skin. Historical anecdotes indicate it was used to clean the Shroud of Turin.

soapwort - krya aug 4 blog 1

It has also been used historically, much like its Indian cousin, the Soapberry to clean delicate fabric like wool and garments with lace.

So there you have it – we read about 5 herbs that have been used historically around the world to cleanse and care for hair.


 

As we are fond of saying, the chemical consumer product industry is about 150 years old. But human beings have been washing, bathing and keeping themselves clean for millennia. And we did pretty well (apart from that brief blip during the Black plague in medieval Europe). The most brilliant thing about the human body is its ability to heal itself, if the conditions that cause it harm are removed. Similarly, hair that is damaged due to lifestyle reasons can be coaxed back into good health.

To inspire this change and to give your hair a much better shot at real health, we are celebrating the Krya Hair Olympics Challenge this August.

Looking for thicker, healthier, stronger hair this August?

Throw away your synthetic hair care products and replace them with Krya’s nourishing hair care products instead.

Every Krya hair care product for adults carries a special discount only in August 2016

  • 10% off if you buy a single piece of any Krya hair care product for adults
  • 20% off if you buy 2 or more pieces of any Krya hair care product for adults or a Krya hair care system for adults

Explore Krya’s huge range of good-for-you hair care products at special prices all of August here.

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Krya Herb Wednesday – the luscious liquorice

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

“Help! I have been having a chronic cough for sometime now. Does anyone have any suggestions on this”, posted my friend S in a group I am a part of, where we discuss the healing and restorative properties of herbs and how we can use herbs for health.

“S, try adhimadhuram (Indian liquorice) as a kashayam (decoction)”, I had posted, and had given her a recipe to make a decoction using Indian Liquorice, dried ginger, pepper and fennel to pacify vata , reduce and bring out excess kapha in the form of mucous and improve the healing in her body. And behold, in a short 3 days, my friend S’s stubborn cough reduced, and she was able to sleep without pain as her body no longer strained to throw out excess mucous.

Properties of Indian Liquorice / Yashtimadhu

Yashti madhu,Mulethi, adhi madhuram – all the names of the Indian liquorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra attest to its sweet, kapha increasing property. This herb brings down excess vata and pitta and is extremely useful because of its properties as a rasyana, demulcent, sedative and laxative herb. Despite its kapha increasing properties, the Indian Liquorice is renowned in its use as an expectorant and is used to control stubborn coughs and colds, soothe a sore throat and improve the symptoms of laryngitis.

Yashtimadhu

Yashtimadhu / Indian Liquorice / Glycyrrhiza glabra

This explains the presence of Yashtimadhu in herbal cough syrups and throat lozenges. It is also used extensively in certain kinds of herbal syrups for its sweet taste to mask the more unpleasant drugs.

Yashtimadhu also has a very studied protective and detoxifying effect on the liver. It protects the cell membranes of the liver and reduces inflammation in the liver cells ,thus greatly helping in hepatitis.

On skin, Yashtimadhu reduces inflammation, and symptoms of itching and skin irritation in conditions like atopic dermatitis.

 

Yashtimadhu / Indian Liquorice in Traditional medicine systems across the world

Yashtimadhu has been studied and prescribed for thousands of years in traditional medicinal systems.  The Charaka samhita refers to it as varnya (herb that makes the complexion more radiant), Kandughna (herb that relieves itching sensation).

Acharya Sushruta mentions it as a principal drug. Charaka Samhta and Sushruta Samhita both refer to Yashtimadhu as a rasayana / rejuvenative herb. Acharya Vagbhatta has prescribed this herb in the treatment of both ulcers and jaundice.

Acharya Vagbhatta’s use of liquorice in curing ulcers was endorsed in clinical trials conducted in 1946 (Revers) and 1967 (Takagi & Ishii).

The code of Hammurabi records the use of Liquorice in 2100 BC. The Assyrian herbal system mentions its use in 2000 BC. Hippocrates also mentioned its use in the treatment of ulcers and thirst quenching in 400 BC.

In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) , Liquorice was prescribed for its rejuvenating properties. It was also prescribed to bring down fevers, aches, chronic coughs and quench thirst.

Unani medicine describes three varieties of Yashtimadhu – the Egyptian variety called Misariya, the Arabic variety and the Turkish variety.

 

Principal constituents of Indian liquorice

One of the principal components of Yashtimadhu is Glycyrrhizin which gives Liquorice its sweet taste. This compound is not present in the aerial parts of the plant, which is why companies like Krya use the root of Indian liquorice. Glycyrrhizin is 50 times sweeter than cane sugar and is sweetness can be identified even in a dilution of 1:20,000 parts.

Yashtimadhu also contains a natural steroid like compound which is similar to estriol. It is this compound which, when applied externally gives instant relief to skin inflammation and dermatitis like conditions.

 

Why we use Yashtimadhu in Krya’s formulations

Yashtimadhu finds its way into several Krya skin and hair care products.

We use it in our hair oils to help repair damaged hair, provide a natural conditioning effect on hair and to stimulate healthy hair growth. We also use it in our conditioning hair wash and upcoming conditioning hair mask to help align the hair cuticles and make hair naturally soft and tangle free with the use of synthetic silicones.

Krya Products with yashtimadhu

Krya formulations that use Yashtimadhu

Yashtimadhu also goes into our skin formulations for dry skin for its skin soothing, anti-itch, healing and demulcent effect. So we use it in its churana form in our Moisture plus face wash and Moisture plus body wash. It also forms an important part of our new Bodywash for Sensitive skin meant for skin that is extremely dry and is prone to skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

 

The  Krya bodywash and ubtan challenge this month:

We’ve spoken earlier about the difference between a Krya bath and a synthetic soap bath. A synthetic soap uses a superficial cleansing method and a lot of artificial fragrance that lull you into feeling that you are much more cleaner than you actually are. A soap dissolves oil present on the skin. Its lyophilic end surrounds the oil molecule and moves it away from skin as you pour water on it. This is an excellent property if you are cleaning an inanimate object like your car, but not if you are cleaning living tissue like your skin.  If you use a soap on your skin, it will dissolve the sebum layer which is required to keep your skin moisturized and keep your barrier layer strong.

The Krya herb based bodywashes and ubtans on the other hand are much more subtle in their action – they combine exfoliant, temperature altering, scrubbing, micro polishing and surfactant benefits all into one. This is in direct contrast to a synthetic soap .

The Krya bodywash / ubtan works by actually opening up and removing mala (toxins) from the minutest of pores in your skin. The grains and lentils and herbs in it are mildly acidic. They work by a process of adsorption and by forming a homogenous mixture with the excess oil, dead cells and dirt on your skin. The grains and lentils also contain small amounts of oil and other nutrients which coat your skin as you rub the mixture.

Because the herb mixture we use in our bodywashes and ubtans is mildly acidic and aromatic on its own and contains properties that keep down the growth of invasive fungi and bacteria, your skin is left intact after washing. As your skin’s acid mantle is left intact and its pH level is not altered, your skin is able to defend better against invasive micro organisms.

Specifically, due to the addition of powerful skin repairing and complexion enhancing herbs like Yashtimadhu, having a “Krya bath” with one of our bodywashes / ubtan leaves you feeling and looking and smelling much better.

The Krya “real” bath challenge:

Krya real bath challenge

To inspire more and more people to try out the uniquely refreshing and very zen like bath you could have with a Krya bodywash or an Ubtan, we have a special promotion going on this July. Our herb and goodness filled body cleaning products are available at a discount of upto 20% for the first time EVER.

Do explore what you can get here.

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Herb Magic at Krya – The Indian Nutgrass

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

We are often asked about the nutrient value of the many herbs we put into our formulations. Our formulations are quite complex, sometimes using upto 35 different ingredients in a particular formulation and these combinations of specific herbs have been worked on , drawing from the wealth of ethnobotanical knowledge we have access to and what traditional medicine says about each individual herb.

The Krya herb Wednesday series on the Krya blog was born to revitalize our collective interest around herbs and give us a chance to talk about and hopefully demonstrate how diverse, long reaching and powerful herbs are in their action.

All of us were in production today to get trained on the Krya Kids Ubtan , its benefits, what goes into the product and what are the special challenges in making the product.

Krya kids ubtan compressed for blog 2

While discussing the benefits of having a bath in one of our ubtans vs a regular soap, PS , brought up an interesting observation. Compared to having a bath with a synthetic soap, she felt that our ubtan gave longer lasting deodorizing action, and she remained sweet smelling and fresh much longer despite working in high heat and humidity.

Nutgrass : the ayurvedic deodorizer

Nutgrass also called Nagarmotha or Mustha / Mustaka in Sanskrit and Cyperus rotundus in Latin, is a gorgeous underground tuber that is used in Ayurveda and Siddha for various ailments. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with a nut, and is a starchy underground tuber that has been eaten by many ancient civilizations. Cyperus rotundus is native to Africa, Southern & Central Europe and Southern Asia.

Cyperus rotundus has been used across time by different systems of medicine. Ancient dental records in central Sudan dating back to 6700 BCE suggest that the low frequency of dental caries in that population may be attributed to their consumption of this tuber. Ancient Greek physicians like Pliny the elder used it both as a medicine and as a perfume. Traditional Chinese medicine mentions this as a “qi regulating” herb.

Nutgrass - herb magic

 

Nutgrass in Ancient Ayurveda:

Musta has been celebrated in ancient ayurveda as a herb that can be used to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Acharya Vagbhatta has called it the herb that can be used to cure any type of “jwara” or fever. It is also considered a “dipaniya” (appetizer), pacaniya (digestive) and sangrahi (anti diarrheal herb).

Acharya Charaka categorises Mustha as a trishna nigrahaniya (thirst reliever), kandughna (fever reducer). Importantly, Mushta is a “amapacaka” , a remover of ama / toxins.

Properties of Nutgrass:

Ayurveda considers Mushta to be astringent with a cold potency – so it allievates kapha and pitta , but in excess can aggravate vata. It is laghu (light) and ruksha (dry).

As the roots are fragrant and astringent and has several important medicinal properties, it is used both internally and externally. Its pharmacological properties include anti inflammatory action, anti pyretic and analgesic action.

Internally, Mushta is used in a wide range of diseases. It is an excellent herb to treat digestive disorders as it stimulates a poor appetite, improves digestion ad cleans out ama from the system. It is also a very effective vermicide, so it is often used to treat worms, and dental diarrhea in children. As it alleviates kapha, it is useful to treat asthma and chronic cough.  It is also used along with Shatavari to treat menstrual disorders and in urinary infections.

Externally, Mustha reduces foul body odour due to excessive sweating, brings down pitta based skin conditions like itching, heat boils, etc, and is extremely helpful in skin diseases like scabies, eczema, etc. The essential oil when applied in the eyes reduces pain, redness and ocular discharge.

Ayurvedic deep cleansing: how an ubtan works to clean skin

The Ayurvedic texts list out the large and small orifices in the body in great detail and also enumerate the mala (impurities) that accumulate as a part of normal wear and tear from the dhatus in these orifices. Moisture of the tongue, eyes, mouth, excretions of the eyes, ears tongue, teeth, axilla, genitals, pimples, greasiness of facial skin, sweda (sweat) , sebum secretions of kesha (hair) are all mala from the dhatus (tissues). If this mala is not removed periodically, especially in seasons where the mala can increase, the body loses its health and appearance of well being.

It is only by thorough cleaning these minute pores , and removing debris and dead cells that could clog these channels, can the body be thoroughly clean.

The difference between a soap’s action and an ubtan’s action:

Synthetic products have a strong artificial fragrance that lull you into feeling that you are much more cleaner than you actually are. A soap dissolves oil present on the skin. Its lyophilic end surrounds the oil molecule and moves it away from skin as you pour water on it. This is an excellent property if you are cleaning an inanimate object like your car, but not if you are cleaning living tissue like your skin.  If you use a soap on your skin, it will dissolve the sebum layer which is required to keep your skin moisturized and keep your barrier layer strong. This cleansing method is also quite superficial. A soap works on the outer layer of skin and dissolve oil and remove surface level sweat and dirt using a typical detergent action. But the sweat that emanates from the body in a few hours time continues to smell stale and unclean.

Kryawomensubtancompressedforblog

 

A herb based bodywash powder / ubtan on the other hand is much more subtle in its action – it combines exfoliant, temperature altering, scrubbing, micro polishing and surfactant benefits all into one. This is in direct contrast to a synthetic soap – the herb based bodywash / ubtan works by actually opening up and removing mala from the minutest of pores in your skin – so the instant difference after a bath is a feeling of lightness and refreshment. If you smell yourself a few hours later, your skin will not stink, even if you have been sweating profusely.

The grains and lentils and herbs in it are mildly acidic. They work by a process of adsorption and by forming a homogenous mixture with the excess oil, dead cells and dirt on your skin. The grains and lentils also contain small amounts of oil and other nutrients which coat your skin as you rub the mixture.

Because the herb mixture is mildly acidic, aromatic on its own and contains properties that keep down the growth of invasive fungi and bacteria, your skin is left intact after washing. As your skin’s acid mantle is left intact and its pH level is not altered, your skin is able to defend better against invasive micro organisms.

A herb bodywash is so much better than a soap in any season. In winter, it will prevent the dry, itchy, tight feeling a soap will give you after a bath. It will help conserve sebum and moisture which will be in short supply in the cold. In summer, a herb bodywash will give you an extremely clean and fresh feeling.

Specifically due to the addition of natural deodorizers like Nutgrass and Cassia auriculata, a herb bodywash like ours will remove sweat and odour much more efficiently and you will not feel as malodorous / sweaty as you would after using a soap .

So there you have it: that’s a brief glimpse into the properties of Cyperus rotundus, the Indian Nutgrass.  The Indian Nutgrass is just one of the many hundreds of whole herbs we use to make our nutrient dense skin, hair and home care goodies.  Our whole herb goodies are completely plant based, use whole herbs that are carefully processed and use absolutely NO synthetics in their making – the result are toxin free, kind on the planet, vegan and cruelty free skin , hair and home care solutions that actually work.

A happy Friday and a fantastic weekend ahead to you from all of us at Team Krya.

Krya’s authentic herb and grain based body cleansers:

Here is a list of all our grain and herb based cleansers. If you haven’t tried one before, do try one today to see what really clean and fresh skin feels and smells like:

  1. Ubtans (traditional cleansers especially designed to be used after abhyanga (oil massage) – to remove excess oil. Can also be used without an abhyanga for those who like ayurvedic ingredients and fragrances. Very cleansing and refreshing on skin while being gentle)
    1. Ubtan for Women with Himalayan turmeric & Gotu Kola
    2. Ubtan for Men with Lodhra & Indian Sarsaparilla – (can also be used by women- formulated skin that is heat sensitive and prone to prickly heat, rashes, etc) 
    3. Ubtan for Kids with Cassia Flower & Sweet flag 
    4. Ubtan for Baby Girls (below 1) with Rose & Wild Tulsi
    5. Ubtan for Baby Boys (below 1) with Chamomile & Neem
  2. Bodywashes (herb and grain based cleansers that can be used everyday instead of a synthetic soap or bodywash. Use non-traditional, exotic herbs like Palmarosa, Chamomile, so they smell different from our ubtans. Very refreshing, cleansing, gentle on skin. )
    1. Bodywash Classic with Lemongrass & Vetiver for normal to oily skin
    2. Bodywash Moisture Plus with Palmarosa & Indian Liquorice for normal – dry skin
    3. Zingy Bodywash for Men with Lemon Eucalyptus & Green Tea (can also be used by women) – formulated for skin that is heat sensitive and prone to prickly heat, rashes, etc
    4. Soothing Bodywash powder for toddlers 
    5. Soothing bodywash powder for toddlers with Sensitive skin – with Rosemary & White eclipta – (
    6. Gentle Bodywash powder for Baby (below 1 year) with Chamomile & Purple Rice

 

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