Hair oiling – the ayurvedic secret to healthy hair growth and balance. Krya shares a testimonial and tells you how .

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Reading Time: 13 minutes

Sub: Miracle

Hello Preethi & team Krya,

I’m CM from Kerala. I hope you remember my earlier email to you on April 19th 2016. I had written that my hair was dry, frizzy, and was breaking very easily, especially when combing and washing the hair. I was facing a lot of hair loss and I also had severe itchiness on my scalp. I wanted to try your products and wanted to know if I should go for the anti dandruff treatment. Earlier I did a keratin treatment as per a hairstylist recommend to reduce breakage of hair, but it went a total disaster my hair become worse than before. I came to know about Krya a year after my Keratin treatment.))

Along with the product suggestions you asked to go through 2 links of the Krya blogs which explained how SLS and SLeS aggravated the hair and scalp and altered sebum production on hair causing dryness.  

This was a true eye opener for me and helped me find the root cause of my hair problems. On may 20, onwards my problems slowly started to reduce when I received Krya classic hair oil & Krya classic hair wash powder and I started to do  hot oil message once in a week with this .After that I went through a hair cut to remove my treated hair. I also started doing a hot oil massage in parlour with my classic hair oil of Krya just see the results, and I was thrilled with the results ( I’m like oh God my hair is back and I’m really feel grateful to use this product!)

And I know everyone believes in proof. So I’m attaching the pictures of my hair latest version after using Krya’s hair products. My hair has grown in the last few months, it is shiny, thick and healthy and my hair fall has greatly reduced. “CM, Thrissur, Kerala

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The myth of the shampoo: and no, it does not give you healthy hair

Unlike what synthetic shampoos tell you, using a shampoo and conditioner will not give you healthy or well nourished hair. The purpose of a hair wash product is to cleanse your hair of oil, dead cells and debris. This cleansing has to be done without altering the pH of the scalp and hair, without damaging the delicate cuticular structure of your hair, and without altering the working of your sebaceous glands.

However, time and again we have seen how this delicate balance of the hair and scalp is shattered repeatedly by the use of a synthetic shampoo. The primary surfactants in any synthetic shampoo (SLS and SLeS) are extremely harsh, synthetic degreasing agents developed for industrial cleaning.

1.SLS industrial degreaser

Here’s the crucial point here: even if you are buying a SLS free or sulphate free synthetic shampoo, you are still buying a shampoo whose primary ingredient is a commercial surfactant.

A commercial surfactant is designed to do one thing and one thing only – remove oil and remove dirt. By the nature of this format which is application plus immediately rinsing, it is untrue to expect any delivery of nutrition, health or well being.

2.shampoos - simple cleansers

 

Yet time and time again, all commercial shampoos tell you that you simply need to apply and rinse off for good hair health. In the short 5 – 10 minutes that you spend in the shower, with most of the shampoo’s composition being the synthetic surfactant, how are you supposed to satisfactorily give your hair this supposed health?

 

Yes, all of us buy into this shampoo hair health myth because of a single reason: silicones / artificial conditioning agents.

 

The irony is that silicones were first added to shampoos in order to smoothen out hair that was damaged by the harshness of shampoos. As shampoos started out being alkaline, they tampered with hair’s structure and caused damage in the cuticular structure leaving hair drier, frizzier and full of static. Silicones and other conditioning agents and pH adjusting agents were added to shampoo formulations to smoothen over these defects. Please note the use of the word “smoothen over” – the silicones do not heal or repair but simply added an artificial smooth layer over the damaged hair that mislead you into believing that your hair is actually healthy.

3. hogh hair gloss silicones

 

So when we begin washing and over washing our hair with a synthetic shampoo, our hair feels smooth and shiny because of the silicones in the shampoo. The hair also looks glossy for a while and we are fooled into believing that our hair is healthy and full of life.

Soon, the excessive oiliness on the scalp, the thinning of the hair, the fact that the hair breaks easily and the hairfall now make us understand that the smoothness and glossiness we were temporarily fooled by were just decoys – our hair is in real danger.

4. silicones hide teh truth

So if you are watching an advertisement that says that the latest shiny synthetic shampoo is fill of milk proteins, or essential oils, or natural extracts and is going to make your hair grow, switch off that television right away. You know better.

 

My hair stylist tells me not to use hair oil and go for a hair spa instead

Most consumers are aghast when we speak to them about the Krya hair oiling programme. We consider this an essential and indispensable step to hair health. As we have demonstrated in the paragraph above, a wash off product like a shampoo /hair wash cannot give you hair health simply by its transient nature. For long lasting hair and health benefits you need to use hair oil that is preferably left on for extended periods of time on your head.

 

Most of us have moved away from good hair oil. Oiled hair is no longer aesthetically appealing. Neither is long hair. We are also quite frankly addicted to the lure of hair shampooing because of the heavy scents, bubbles and the artificial silicones. And the temporary highs of frequent hair shampooing, and the look and feel of shampooed hair in the beginning leads us to believe that everything that was said about hair oiling is either over stated or a myth

5. the hair oiling horror story

This is further compounded by our time in beauty salons. Many of us have a fixed monthly routine where we spend time in a beauty salon. We learn to, over time, trust the recommendation of our favourite hair stylist, because we assume that they are much more experienced than us, and are, after all handling many any customers like ours – therefore we believe they have nothing but our hair’s health in mind when suggesting products for our head.

 

The simple fact of the matter is that most stylists have been trained by companies that manufacture hair products. Most of them have also experimented heavily with their hair as their profession demands it – most hair stylists learn on their hair and their colleagues’ hair first. This is true of hair colours, cuts, keratin treatments and hair spas. So as expected, their hair is usually in extremely bad shape.

 

The second fact is that employees of a salon are incentivised to promote products and services. Every month, the salon sets a target especially for high profit services like hair colouring, hair conditioning and hair smoothening treatments and hair spas. So a salon employee has a financial incentive to urge you to treat your hair to the latest hair spa or hair keratin treatment. And as they are trained by the company promoting these products and services, they are also under the assumption that these services are good for your hair, not damaging and that they will promote hair health.

6. hair advice

 

The multiple benefits of hair oiling – for hair growth and health

Ayurveda teaches us that hair oiling is an essential part of maintaining the body’s health and as a side benefit, ensuring the smooth health growth and care of health. Hair oiling in Ayurveda performs an extremely important function: to balance the pitta dosha generated by the workings of the brain and the eyes. As millions of neurons fire through our brain and we take in the sights of the world and process this information, pitta dosha helps us analyse this information and make intelligent sense of our day.

 

When pitta dosha aggravates in this area, it impairs the working of both the brain and eyes which are both made up of fatty tissue provided by kapha dosha. This is why Ayurveda advises that this heat generated, should constantly be kept in check to keep the body cool and ensure the doshas are always in a state of balance.

7. eyes seat of ushna

When heat goes out of balance in the hair, Ayurveda teaches us that there are a few definite consequences.

“Krodha shokha shrama kritah
Shariroh shama shiro gataha
Pittacha keshanu pachati balitha thena jayate” – Sushruta Samhita

Brief translation – “The pitta and ushna (internal heat) generated due to anger, grief and stress strike at the head (or hair root), resulting in premature greying of hair.”

 

This is why all Ayurvedic for premature greying have cooling herbs in them and are often made with either cow’s milk or goat’s milk which are considered cooling and tridoshic – an example of this kind of preparation is the Neelabhringadi tailam and also the Bhringamlakai tailam. Both are made with cow’s milk and/or goat’s milk.

The internal use of amla is also prescribed in premature greying as amla is a tridosha balancing herb.

9. amla

 

Several synthetic treatments that are now prescribed for the hair like keratin treatments and synthetic hair colour have a similar consequence – the chemicals used in the treatment increase ushna / heat in the body, so the hair suffers just like it would if pitta dosha is in excess.

 

Hair loses its natural pigmentation tending towards brown or red tones and then grey. Hair becomes rough, dry and brittle from the excessive heat, and hair starts to fall with poor regrowth as the doshas are out of balance.

 

When we reduce this ushna / heat generated in the head, we are not only able to balance the doshas, we are also able to effectively delay premature greying, control hair fall and hair breakage due to excessive heat and return the body to a state of health where hair begins to grow.

 

How does the Krya Classic hair system help you restore hair growth, reduce hair fall and delay premature greying

We started this post with a testimonial where we shared the magical transformation experienced by CM when she switched to the Krya Classic hair oil and hair ash. Are we selling magic here? Have we discovered a new Amazonian berry? The fountain of eternal youth?

NO!

We follow the basics as described by Ayurveda.

 

The head is prone to a quick increase in heat because of the activity of the brain and eyes. All of us are engaging our eyes and brains much more with the visual stimulation we subject ourselves to, use of smart phones, consumption of media, etc. Therefore it stands to reason that we are producing great deal of ushna / heat. This combined with the fact that we have all stopped oiling definitely means that this excess Ushna is going nowhere. It is sitting in our heads, unbalancing all our doshas and striking at our hair drying it with heat, turning its colour, making it dry and brittle and slowing down hair growth.

 

So the Krya Classic system, which we usually suggest for pitta related problems, is designed to remove this excess ushna.

 

The Krya Classic hair oil is a proprietary formulation that takes inspiration from the classic Bhringamlaki hair oil formulation in Ayurveda. Just like Bhringamlaki hair oil, the Krya Classic hair oil has been designed to reduce excess pitta and increase hair health, growth and strength. In this formulation, we use 9 classic hair rasayana herbs like Bhringaraj (which we harvest wild), Amla (organically cultivated), Moringa (organically cultivated), hibiscus (wild harvested), Curry Leaf (organically cultivated), Haritaki (wild harvested), Nutgrass (wild harvested).

The herbs used are known for their pitta reducing activity and promote deep rooted, strong hair growth. In addition, our consumers report that their hair feels much softer, healthier and smoother with regular use.

10.krya classic hair oil

 

Why is my regular non sticky hair oil not working? I am still seeing hairfall, hair greying and hair breakage!

We had recently written about an independent research conducted to test claims of popular hair oils in the market. A consumer panel had tested various brands of hair oils offered by reputed companies and had found that contrary to what they said in their advertising, most of these oils contained 60 – 92% by weight of simple Liquid Paraffin or Mineral Oil.

Mineral Oil is ubiquitous in cosmetic formulations of body oils, baby oils and hair oils in India. It is used extensively across moisturizers, sunscreens, lotions, body oils, baby oils and hair oils as it is colourless, has a thick consistency and is neutral in its colour and odour and is therefore able to easily take in a synthetic fragrance and colour and other additives.

A study published by the American Journal of Dermatology found that moisturizing creams containing mineral oil were tumorigenic when applied topically to UVB pre-treated high risk mice. These creams increased the rate at which tumours form.

Occupational exposure to mineral oils may occur among workers in automobile manufacturing, airplanes, steel products, screws, pipes and transformers, brass and aluminium production, engine repair, copper mining, and newspaper and commercial printing.

11. what your hair oil is hiding from you

 

The National Cancer Institute says that occupational exposure to untreated or lightly treated mineral oils is strongly associated with an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, particularly of the scrotum.

On scalp, mineral oil forms an occlusive barrier, and prevents the healthy interaction of the scalp with the environment. It also seals in dead cells, dirt and grime which could lead to blocked pores and toxin accumulation. Most importantly it does not penetrate the scalp or nourish it any manner.

 

How are Krya’s hair and skin oils processed? And how are they different from mineral oil based products?
Krya follows several important Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Sahasrayogam, Saranghadhara Samhita and Bhaisajya Ratnavalli to understand what classical Ayurvedic medicine prescribes is the right way to manufacture Ayurvedic oils for skin and hair. We also take inspiration from the kind of herbs suggested by the texts to work with different skin and hair types. However, our formulations are unique and are not the classical formulations from the text. We have developed our formulations through extensive research and understanding of new age hair and skin problems like hair damage due to synthetic colour, etc.

The 2 most important differences between a genuine Ayurvedic oil like Krya’s and a standard synthetic hair or skin oil that uses Mineral oil is the process followed and the selection and quantity used of base oils and herbs.

 

Sneha kalpana / paka method followed at Krya:
Sneha kalpana is a prescribed pharmaceutical process followed in Indian traditional medicine to prepare medicated oils or ghees from kalka (herbal pastes), Kwathas (infusions), Kashayas (decoctions) and Swarasa ( self expressed fresh herb juice) taken in specific proportions and heated in a particular way along with a mixture of oils or ghee. This method has been outlined in order to extract the active principles of each herb in the medium in which it best expresses its active ingredients.

 

Sneha Kalpana is a unique extraction process followed in Ayurveda. Through this process, the formulator aims to transfer aqueous and lipid soluble active principles of all the herbs and other raw material used into the oil.

 

So a genuine Ayurvedic oil will always use 3 components to make a herb enriched oil –
• Water based herb extracts like kwathas (mild infusions), kashayas (steeped , boiled and reduced decoctions) and Swarasa (self expressed juices from fresh plant parts)
• Thick granular herbal pastes or kalpa that are cooked in oil to extract the oil loving active principles
• Base oils
12. hair oils

 

Difference between medicated Sneha kalpana oil and the pure base oil :
The process of Sneha Kalpana alters the very nature of the base oil. Gingelly oil is often used across Krya’s formulations because of its vata reducing nature and also because it does not aggravate kapha. Gingelly oil is considered very good base oil for most skin and hair conditions, so many traditional formulations use this oil.

This oil is usually considered extremely strong, heavy and sticky to use on skin, but when processed in the Sneha kalpana method, the oil becomes much lighter, less sticky and is able to easily penetrate skin and hair without leaving a lot of oil or residue behind.

This however in no way means that Ayurvedic oil is as light as a mineral oil based product – it is not. However, it is much much lighter and more penetrative compared to the base oils themselves.

13.sneha kalpana process

 

The 5000 year old Ayurvedic secret to healthy hair and health

We have a secret at Krya. And this is why our formulations work so well. And it isn’t because we have invented something that no one has seen before. OR because we chanced upon a secret stash of ancient Himalayan scrolls which gave us the recipe for eternal youth.

 

Our secret is that we follow the basics. As outlined by Ayurveda.

 

And this secret is simple: if we remove the conditions that cause dis-orders, the body should return to a state of health.

 

So if we take away your synthetic shampoo, and replace it with a gentle, non invasive hairwash made entirely from herbs, add a rigorous regime of hair oiling with the best and most rasayana hair oil, and gently remind you to follow a balanced diet and regimen, then we have taken away the reasons that your hair went out of control in the first place.

 

This means that your hair will regain its health. It will stop breaking. And it will grow. Just like it did for CM of Kerala.

It is not magic. And it doesn’t have to be. Life is already magical. We just need to remove the blocks.


 

Krya’s range of hair care products for different kinds of hair and challenges:

  1. Krya Classic Hair nourishing system – useful if you have straight – wavy hair, are seeing premature greying, have hair that is fluctuating in its oiliness, and hair tends to be dry or break due to excess ushna / heat production

16.classic system

  1. Krya Conditioning Hair system – useful if you have wavy to curly hair that is inherently dry, and are seeing manifold issues of dryness like dull un-glossy hair, hair that has split ends, lots of static when you comb hair, and are facing issues of aggravated vata dosha

15.conditioning system

  1. Krya Anti Dandruff hair system – useful if you have large flaky, itchy dandruff which is persistent and nearly chronic, which could sometimes be accompanied with a fungal infection of the scalp

14.anti dandruff

  1. Krya Damage repair Hair system – useful if you have hair that has been persistently chemically treated – coloured frequently and regularly, has been permed / straightened or exposed to treatments like the Brazilian, Keratin, etc. This kind of hair is described as straw-like – is extremely coarse, ragged, dull and frizzy. This is the kind of hair that requires heavy application of silicon based conditioners to get it into any kind of manageable shape (and this is this way because of chemical damage and not its inherent nature)

9. Krya damage repair hair system

  1. Krya Intense Hair system – useful if you have medication and illness based hairfall.

7. Krya intense hair system

 

And there’s a 6th component to this – balancing pitta is also about controlling the heat generated through the rest of the body. Read more about how the Abhyanga can help you in this here.

 

 

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Losing hair after your pregnancy? Worried? Your vata dosha could be imbalanced. Krya explains.

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Reading Time: 9 minutes

We spoke last week about a common hair fall issue that we are seeing increasingly at Krya – hair loss that is traced to the post delivery period in women, or post partum hair loss. We spoke yesterday about how modern methods of treating pregnancy and child birth are at odds with what Ayurveda. These differences can lead to the severe dosha imbalance we see today and the many distressing extreme problems of hairfall that come our way.

blog-post-1-post-partum-hair-fall

At Krya, it is a part of our mission to communicate just how advanced, well thought out and deeply rooted the science of Ayurveda is. Apart from what we post about, here is a gem I came across in my reading today.

 

Manasa Vikasam – Psychological development of the infant

An individual comprises of 24 tattvas (principles / realities) which comprise of the learnings their soul carries, their genetic makeup, their “aham” ego, their manas (mind), etc. The sum of these individual tattvas for each individual is called the “mahat”. As the Mahat begins to interact with environment, Ayurveda believes that psychic and psychological development begins. Unexplained talents and gifts that evolve in children are believed by Ayurveda to be gifts or talents developed in the previous cycle of birth.

The Ahamcara (loosely described as the I / Ego) is a set of unorganised drives, feeling and emotions which lies dormant within the Mahat. Depending upon the experiences that occur to the individual, both good and bad, the Ahamcara develops in later life, influenced by the positives and negatives surrounding the child.

Depending upon the experiences of the child, the Ahamcara may develop into a sattvic personality, a rajasic personality or a tamasic personality.

Herein lies the Ayurvedic genius of surrounding the foetus with good experiences and fulfilment at the antenatal stage. The pregnant woman is referred to in Ayurveda as the Dauhridini (the woman with 2 hearts). Her unexplained food preferences or wishes in the pregnancy are said to arise from the foetus who expresses his / her wishes through the mother. Ayurveda opines that as far as possible, the wishes of the Dauhridini should be fulfilled. Even in the case where her wishes are harmful to her and the foetus, she is to be treated in a loving manner and should be sweet talked or cajoled into accepting another similar fulfilment which does not harm her or the baby.

blog-post-2-dauhridini

Surrounding the foetus and her growing Ahamcara with positivity, love and fulfilment of her desires even at the foetal stage, helps develop her Ahamcara and mahat well and makes for better Manasa Vikasam in the later stage. Unfulfilled wishes of the foetus is said to lead to cognitive disorders in the pre birth stage or psychological disorders as the child grows to be an adult.

 

Increase in vata dosha post childbirth – leading cause of post partum hair fall

Our post yesterday discussed how Ayurveda views the process of childbirth and the after effects on vata dosha. We spoke about how Ayurveda traditional practices of internal oleation, controlling the diet of the pregnant women and the use of post natal abhyangas, tying of the stomach and inclusion of ghee (both as a diet supplement and in its medicated form) help control the excess vata post child birth.

blog-post-3-traditional-child-care

As the baby is born, there is a gap in the womb which vayu (air) attempts to occupy. If this space is not controlled and enough Sneha (fat) is not given internally to control the entry of vayu, the excess vata dosha can manifest as hair and skin disorders which can later lead to greater vata based disorders.

This then explains the common complaint of post partum hair fall. When excess vata is left unchecked and no measures of controlling vata are adopted, it dries up the body internally causing dry and brittle and weak hair, and aches and pains in the joints, a lack of enthusiasm and energy and an overall feeling of tiredness and exhaustion.

blog-post-4-vata-imbalance

We had mentioned how external oleation and hair oiling is a cornerstone in controlling this excess vata for post partum hair fall.

 

Excess vata – an urban malaise

Cities are considered high in vata dosha. By the nature of their design, the long distance commutes, high cell phone and device usage, and the nature of modern office jobs, all of us quickly accumulate excess vata dosha.

blog-post-5-city-vata

By our frequent commutes, plane travel, excessive use of mobile phones, late nights, eating out and varying timings of eating, the vata dosha tends to aggravate. This leads to urban malaise disorders like lower back, joint aches, neck and shoulder aches, an inability to fall asleep easily, and a feeling of tiredness and a need for stimulants like coffee and tea to get us through our days.

When this existing urban malaise is combined with a serious vata affecting condition like what is seen after pregnancy, we see the vata disorders magnified by a massive amount leading to sudden, excessive and seemingly uncontrollable hair fall.

 

Ayurvedic herbs to control excess vata

Sneha (fats) are the key to controlling vata. Fats are thick, oily, unctuous, and smooth and are the opposite of vata dosha which is rough, dry, coarse and brittle. Most Sneha or fats are also kapha promoting because of their thick and unctuous nature. So when Ayurvedic oil is made for the purpose of balancing excess vata dosha, it is important to use a judicious base of oils and carefully chosen Ayurvedic herbs to ensure other doshas are kept in check.

blog-post-6-ayurevdic-vata-control

The Ayurvedic texts mention a good selection of herbs to help control vata. The texts also advise using carminative, slightly pitta increasing spices to help control vata for an important reason. The warming action of these herbs helps control the cold nature of vata and also decreases the kapha building property of the Sneha. In the next section, we will see a sample of vata reducing herbs that are used in the Krya Abhyanga oil.

 

The Krya Abhyanga skin oil with Vacha and Ashwagandha

Bala (Sida cordifolia)

Ayurvedic texts classify the herb Bala as a group of 4 herbs – “balachatustaya”. Bala is considered “brmhaniya” – promotes healthy muscle growth, “balya” – tonic and “vata samsamana” – pacifies vata dosha.

Acharya Charaka mentions that Bala is a rasayana drug (rejuvenative) for muscle tissue and muscular system. The literal translation of the Sanskrit word “Bala” is “strength” –so all the 4 Bala herbs are a tonic for the body and a rejuvenative when used in vata disorders.

As Bala is sweet in its rasa, it also helps alleviate excess pitta. It is therefore also considered valuable blood purifier helpful in rakta pitta disorders.

blog-post-7-bala

Two Krya massage oils use Bala – the Krya traditional baby massage oil uses Bala to impart strength and aid healthy muscle development for babies. The Krya Abhyanga oil uses Bala to relieve excess vata, balance excess pitta and to bring relief in vata based complaints like post partum hair fall, joint aches, and other complaints associated with vata vitiation.

 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha is a famous Ayurvedic herb known for its rasayana and kapha and vata balancing properties. The term Ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words “ashwa” meaning horse and “gandha” meaning odour – Ashwagandha as the texts describe is the herb that smells like a horse.

Just like the horse, the Ashwagandha herb imparts strength, speed and virility when used. Apart from these properties, it balances kapha and vata dosha, nourishes all dhatus (tissues) and has a rasayana effect on the entire body.

blog-post-8-ashwagandha

Apart from these properties, Ashwagandha has a marked anti-arthritic effect and is very useful in inflammatory conditions like gout. It is also a calming herb and helps relax frazzled nerves and is a very strong rejuvenative herb to all the muscle tissues.

We use Ashwagandha in all our skin oils for adults at Krya. It goes into the Krya Abhyanga skin oil for its vata and kapha alleviating properties and its strong action to relieve muscle pain and inflammatory conditions.

Ashwagandha also goes into the Krya Moisture plus skin oil for its excellent skin regenerative and rasayana properties. This oil is meant as a frequent pre-bath moisturising product that we recommend for extremely dry skin and for very cold climates. Ashwagandha is also used in small doses in the Krya Classic Skin oil which is designed for the moisturizing needs of normal – oily skin and is to be used pre-bath as well.

 

Maricha (Piper nigrum) / Pepper / Kali Mirch / Milagu

Maricha is the Sanskrit name for black pepper which is one of the names of the Sun, referring to the hot and potent properties of black pepper. The use of black pepper is well documented in Indian cuisine for its ushna (heat), kola – taste improving sensation, Teekshana – sharp and intense flavour, krimihara – destroys insects and worms, etc.

Maricha is a spice that is revered in Indian medicine and was held n high esteem by the Ayurvedic Acharyas. Acharya Charaka classifies Maricha as a dipaniya (appetiser), sulaghna (relieves colic) and krimighna (removes intestinal worms). It is also classified as a rasayana drug for the respiratory system. Maricha is one of the 3 herbs used in “Trikatu” – three pungent spices which are used in severe colds, respiratory illnesses, and in reducing kapha accumulation.

blog-post-9-maricha

As Maricha is hot and virya (strong) and carminative (wind expelling), we add it in small quantities as  kashayas to the Krya abhyanga skin oil and the Krya traditional baby massage oil. This helps increase the warmth of both oils improving their vata reducing properties, helps the penetration of the oil better and also prevents kapha related side effects like coughs and colds.

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These 3 herbs are a sample of the 16 dosha balancing, skin improving and health giving herbs and  the 3 cold pressed , organic base oils we use in the Krya Abhyanga oil. As mentioned before we use the Tila paka method while making all of Krya’s oils.

 

The Ayurvedic Tila paka method – a sophisticated ancient oil manufacturing technique

The Tila paka method is one of the sophisticated oil manufacturing methods used by Ayurveda to make herb infused oils. Another method of making Ayurvedic oils is the Aditya paka method, where herbs are left to infuse in oil that is placed in the Aditya (Sun). This method is less popular compared to the Tila paka method, as there is a greater limitation on the use of watery herbs compared to the Tila paka method.

The Tila paka method helps transfer the properties of several carefully chosen herbs into base oil or a combination of base oils. Depending upon the properties of each herbs and whether they express their actives best in an oil phase or water phase, the herbs are either extracted through water or added as a paste into oil.

Ayurveda uses a combination of methods even in water extraction depending upon the woodiness, aroma and delicacy of the herb. Flowers are usually extracted as cold infusions or lukewarm teas to protect their delicate flavenoids. Thick hard, woody herbs are extracted in water separately using strong kashayams. Soft leaves are extracted as milder boiled infusions called kwathas.

blog-post-10-flower-infusion

Oil based herbs and seeds are usually directly added to the oil to allow the oil based actives to percolate into the base oils. These form a part of the kalpa (herb pastes) that are added to Ayurvedic oils.

The result of this is a very deeply herb infused base oil which has used the correct medium to extract the actives from each set of herbs.

The Tila paka process is transformative in nature. The base oils we use like sesame oil, coconut oil, kokum butter etc completely transform in their stickiness, penetrative ability, colour and fragrance – the oil becomes something entirely new. The interesting change is also in how the base oils transform. Many of us may find sesame a thick, slightly difficult to use oil, for example. But we have seen time and gain, how the Tila paka process transforms the sesame oil to an oil that penetrates skin and hair very quickly, with a completely different fragrance from its original fragrance.

 

Krya products recommended to balance vata for women and men:

  1. Krya Women’s Abhyanga System (Krya Abhyanga Oil + Krya Women’s Ubtan with Lotus & Lodhra)

blog-post-12-womens-abhyanga-system

 

  1. Krya Men’s Abhyanga System (Krya Abhyanga Oil + Krya Men’s Ubtan with Vetiver & Van Tulasi)

Depending on your hair type, we will also in addition suggest the right Krya hair system for you – Classic, Conditioning, Anti Dandruff or Damage Repair.

 

To conclude:

We have been speaking about the transformative effects of simple practices mentioned in the Ayurvedic Dinacharya (daily regime) on our health. The disorders caused by dosha imbalances can seem awful and daunting, but often the answer to helping your body lies in seemingly simple, yet deep transformative daily changes.

Can we give you a guarantee that our hair oil alone can help your post partum hair loss? No, and no one should give you one. As we have explained, any external disorder that manifests is a sign of a deep internal lack of balance, and a programme designed to correct this internal imbalance through diet, regimen changes and external application has the greatest chance of succeeding.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post and also hope you were able to appreciate the difference in approach Krya followed when treating hair and skin problems. If you too are experiencing hair and skin disorders, and would like to consult us, do call us on 075500-89090 or write to us.

Remember, beauty is achieved only when health is achieved.

 

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Is post pregnancy hairfall giving you sleepless nights? Try Ayurveda instead. From Krya

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Reading Time: 9 minutes

We have been speaking on the Krya blog on the benefits of the Abhyanga. We recommend that everyone incorporates the Abhyanga into their weekly regimen to experience the dosha balancing benefits of the practice.

In our posts on Pitta dosha yesterday and the day before, we mentioned what a vital piece of the pitta balancing puzzle the Abhyanga is. When done regularly and with the right oils, the practice of Abhyanga helps trap excess heat throughout the body and in the eyes, and releases this heat through the sweda or the sweat along with the debris, dead cells and micro organisms that are also dislodged from the skin during the practice.

1-abhyanga

One of the most common reasons today for hair fall is the post partum loss of hair. Many of our consumers write to us in alarm having experienced a loss of volume of nearly 50% post pregnancy.

Western medical science tells us that a small amount of post partum hair loss is normal and inevitable. The rationale behind this is that oestrogen levels rise to extremely high levels during pregnancy. This drops to its normal level post partum – so the high oestrogen level contributes to thicker, fuller healthy hair growth during pregnancy. Post pregnancy as the oestrogen levels drop, there is supposed to be a temporary drop in hair growth which is supposed to adjust after a few months to the normal hair.

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You may use the pointed use of many “supposeds” in the paragraph above. This is because the reality is quite different.

A modern pregnancy and how it deviates from many of the principles proposed by Ayurveda

We will explore this subject over the course of more posts, but the modern pregnancy and the diet followed is very contrarian to the principles proposed by Ayurveda. Ayurveda treats pregnancy as a special condition, (not an illness) and proposes that the pregnancy woman be treated very differently from what is normally done as regards to the diet, herbs given, and lifestyle.

Every month as the foetus grows, Ayurveda adds herbs that are appropriate to that stage of growth.

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Here are some common contradictions in the Ayurvedic approach and a modern pregnancy. Once the pregnancy is established, Ayurveda‘s focus is on maintaining coolness and providing adequate amounts of nourishing, naturally sweet foods to sustain healthy growth. Therefore foods high in pitta like curd are considered strictly off limits. For the same reason, a pregnant woman is given copious amounts of tridoshic ghee and certain kinds of naturally cooling butters like navneetam to give the body a good amount of Sneha and maintain the right environment for the foetus to grow and thrive.

An increase in vata is not considered healthy in pregnant women. Also, as normal vata reducing measures like Abhyanga are contraindicated during pregnancy, aggravation of vata is controlled by strictly adhering to a simple, easy to digest diet and avoiding vata stimulating activities.

For example, Ayurveda would frown on air travel for pregnant women. It would consider this extremely vata stimulating. The main reason for taking this care is that normal vata reducing measures like Abhyanga, and in dire cases medicated procedures like vasti (medicated vata reducing enema) are not supposed to be done in Ayurveda.

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Vata is also carefully controlled to help the body prepare for the process of labour. For this reason, in Ayurveda, a pregnant woman is given carefully monitored medicated abhyangas towards the end of pregnancy in the 8th and 9th month. Medicated vastis (enemas) may also be added to clean out the body of any accumulated vata. We will see the reason for this emphasis on vata in the next section.

The effect of childbirth on vata dosha and Ayurvedic post partum care:

We have spoken at length about the differences between how Ayurveda treats the body and how Western science treats the body. This is evident even when we look at hair and skin disorders. As Ayurveda goes to the root cause of the disorder, it is able to be predictive and prescriptive and suggest holistic changes that tackle the problem much faster.

Nowhere is this more evident than how Ayurveda understands the action of vata dosha post child birth.

Soon after delivery, with the birth of the child and expulsion of placenta and other material in the womb, a large empty space forms in the womb. The nature of vata dosha which is made up of Vayu (wind) and Akash (space) is to rush in to fill this gap left behind by the newly born baby. This is why there is a strong Ayurvedic tradition of Sneha and Abhyanga for the post partum mother and child.

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Traditional childcare practices also follow this wisdom – the stomach of the mother is tied tightly using cloth and a trained nurse’s assistance is sought to give both the mother and the baby a daily Abhyanga and bath. Typically vata reducing herbs are used in the oil and the bath water. For the baby this helps remove the exhaustion of child birth. For the mother, this deters vata form increasing and also helps relieve her strain and tiredness post delivery.

Apart from physically reducing the space for vata dosha to rush in by tying the stomach and oleating the body, the new mother is also given plenty of ghee, and sweet, easy to digest foods like old rice, Mung dal and a careful selection of vegetables. Vata increasing vegetables and lentil preparations are avoided for some time. The emphasis is on giving galactologue foods and foods that enable the mother to recover her strength quickly without impacting dosha balance.

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The reality of modern post partum care

Conversation after conversation illustrates to us just how different the reality of having a baby in today’s world is. Most new mothers live in different cities from their parents and are usually working in high stress jobs almost right until their pregnancy. Maternity leave is usually around 3 months in many companies, after which these mothers rejoin work.

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Also, very few mothers are now having normal deliveries. A C section ensures that the much needed oleation and Abhyanga cannot be done until the stitches heal, costing the mother a lot of valuable progress in reducing vata dosha. Plus the absence of good Ayurvedic doctors or trained nurses who can help with traditional baby care in cities means that the Ayurvedic practices I have outlined remain unknown.

Of course, over and above this, modern doctors see ghee as an anathema. It is considered unhealthy and cholesterol inducing, so even regular people do not consume it. It is not seen as important for the post partum mom or the pregnant women, thus again depriving her of a valuable dosha balancing food.

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This means that when we at Krya get a call from moms who are losing hair at an alarming rate, we have already lost a valuable amount of time where we could have worked on the vata imbalance.

The connection between vata dosha imbalance and post partum hair fall:

We saw the shloka from the Charaka Samhita yesterday which talks about how aggravated pitta and vata dosha causes hairfall:

“  Tejoniladhau saha keshoboomim dagdhvashu kuryath khalitya narasya

Kinchitu dagdhva palithani kuryadhyareprabatham cha shiro roohanam”

“When high pitta combines with vata, it burns the hair from the roots very rapidly, causing baldness. If the pitta is not that high, it turns hair grey or fully white.”

So a post partum mom is already on a case of vata imbalance because of childbirth and the resultant gap in the womb. To this existing large vata imbalance, we can add an improper diet, lack of oleation, intake of food that is not conducive to her current state and we have the complete recipe for aggravated hairfall, hair thinning, premature greying and unhealthy hair.

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It is no wonder that all of our post partum Moms tell us that their entire body feels dry – their skin feels dry, rough and flaky. Their hair feels brittle, coarse and breaks easily when pulled or tugged or even when washed. They report seeing bunches of falling hair on their pillows when they wake up in the morning.

The 3 step Ayurvedic approach to post partum hair loss

We will spend a little more time tomorrow to elaborate further on this so you will have a handy reckoner of what to do to slow down your post partum hairfall. But here are the basic 3 Ayurvedic steps to establish your hair and health routine:

  1. Control the vata in your diet (and we have written several posts on the earlier)
    1. Reduce vata aggravating foods like bread, biscuits, ready to eat cereal, maida , fried food, aerated drinks
    2. Reduce vata aggravating vegetables in your diet – potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, peas
    3. 10-reduce-vata-vegetables
    4. Reduce vata aggravating lentils in your diet – channa, rajma, dried peas (anything that is hard, and takes a long time to cook)
    5. Reduce water depleting drinks like tea, coffee , cola and aerated drinks
    6. Add vata controlling , nourishing foods – ghee, old rice, split mung dal, native vegetables in season like squash, gourds, carrots, beets
  2. Change some parts of your lifestyle to bring down vata
    1. Eat on time every day
    2. Eat warm, freshly cooked food
    3. 11-warm-food
    4. Focus on your food and eat in silence (talking while eating aggravates vata)
    5. Add a regular (twice a week) Abhyanga (head and body) to your routine which is done within the first hour of sunrise with vata controlling oils
    6. Cut down excessive travel
    7. Cut down vata aggravating practices like excessive cell phone and electronic screen usage
    8. 12-devices
  3. Add the right products to your regimen (and we will give your some recommendations below)

 

Krya’s products that can help with post partum hair fall:

As the Abhyanga is the cornerstone to reducing vata which is essential to post partum hairfall, the Krya Abhyanga system can help you in balancing your doshas. The Krya Abhyanga system comprises of our Abhyanga skin oil and a specially formulated ubtan (we have different Ubtans for men and women). The Krya Abhyanga oil with Vacha and Ashwagandha has been specially formulated with Vata reducing herbs like Bala, Sunthi, Maricha, and Jeera to keep the body warm and trap excess vata.

You can explore these products here:

  1. Krya Abhyanga skin oil with Vacha and Ashwagandha (unisex)
  2. Krya women’s Ubtan with Lotus Leaf and Lodhra
  3. Krya Men’s Ubtan 

abhyanga-bath-essential

In addition to our Abhyanga products, we have 4 different hair systems depending on your hair type and hair issues.

  1. The Classic hair system helps pitta prone prakritis (straight or wavy hair that tends to get slightly oily – pitta dosha and therefore body heat is strong)
  2. The Conditioning hair system helps vata prone prakritis (wavy or curly hair that is typically quite dry, frizzy and experiences a lot of static – vata dosha therefore inherent dryness of skin and hair is strong)
  3. The Anti dandruff system helps if you have stubborn dandruff. We usually recommend treating the dandruff and then moving to a hair system that suits your prakriti
  4. The Damage repair hair system is if your hair has been severely chemically damaged
  5. The Intense Hair Oil along with other hair products we would suggest (if the hair fall is very strong due to other issues like severe medication, complicated pregnancy / delivery etc)

A holistic solution: the key to managing health

As we have been saying in the Krya blog, it is important to seek a holistic solution to your health. Skin and hair issues arise from a lack of balance in the body and are early warning signs. If we heed these early warning signs and take corrective action, we are able to prevent much bigger complications that could arise in the future.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post and also hope you were able to appreciate the difference in approach Krya follows when treating hair and skin problems. If you too are alarmed at your post partum hair fall and would like to consult us, do call us on 075500-89090 or write to us.

Remember, where there is health, there is beauty.

 

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Ayurvedic baby massage : benefits for baby’s health and skin

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

Are you worried about the carcinogens and suspicious synthetics in the baby care products you have been buying? Looking for a truly natural, genuine, safe Ayurvedic baby massage oil? Read on, for a short introduction to the benefits of an Ayurvedic baby massage routine .

Krya baby massage oils: recent feedback received

“Hello Team Krya,

I have been using this baby massage oil for my baby since she was 1 month old. This is really good. My baby is feels good and fresh after taking message with this oil.  This is 100% better than those synthetic and chemical baby massage oils”. – Amit

Krya traditional baby massage oil with Bala & AshwagandhaKrya traditional baby massage oil with Bala & Ashwagandha - excellent for an ayurvedic baby massage

It’s not mild, its carcinogenic : why chemical baby products are toxic and un-safe

A Missouri based jury passed a verdict last year asking Johnson & Johnson to pay damages of 72 million dollars to the family of Jacqueline Fox. The jury concluded that her death by ovarian cancer was linked to her daily use (of over 30 years) of Johnsons baby powder and Shower to shower talcum powder.

A study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics studied baby and children’s products for the presence of 2 chemicals – 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde. These 2 chemicals are probable human carcinogens formed as toxic by products when certain chemicals are present in a product. The research study showed that over 61% of the baby products surveyed contained these 2 chemicals in more than trace quantities.

1,4 dioxane is a by product formed when sulphates like SLeS (Sodium Laureth sulphate), polyethylene, polyethylene glycol , ceteareth, oleth, oxynol, -xynol, and PEG are present in products. A quick read of the back of label of many baby products would find many of these chemicals listed in your baby’s “gentle shampoo” or “mild bodywash”.

Therefore most chemical baby products are un-safe, toxic and dangerous to use on everyone, especially vulnerable babies.

Why is your baby’s skin so vulnerable to chemicals?

Human skin is the largest sense organ in our body. It is considered the seat of the Indriyas / sense organs and is literally the seat of sight, sense, touch, feeling and hearing. Skin is our first barrier layer and helps protect our internal organs from damage and bacteria. It is a marvel of bio engineering and hosts a massive colony of micro organisms . This colony helps ensure a constant pH of 5.5 on skin, with an acidic mantle that keeps harmful organisms away from us.

The skin and hair structure in children is one of the last major systems to be formed. The sweat glands which help regulate temperature, eliminate toxins from our body and help maintain the skin’s natural acid mantle takes upto 3 years to form. This means that babies stay sweet smelling longer, but this also means that their body does not have the mechanism to readily eliminate toxins like adults do.

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The harmful effects of SLS & SLeS - one of the many synthetics in baby care products

This means that they can handle far smaller toxic loads than adults . Therefore it is critical to choose a safer, more natural skin care solution for babies. Genuine, carefully manufactured ayurvedic baby skin care products should be your first option

Ayurvedic baby skin care: a 5000 year old science

Ayurveda is considered a divine science in India, handed down directly from the Gods to Man. Ayurveda has 8 branches of which “Kaumara bhrityam” or Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child care forms an important branch.

Sagar manthan: the Churning of the ocean from which Lord Dhanwantri rose and gave the world Ayurveda

Samudra Manthan (Churning of the Ocean) which gave Ayurveda to the world

 

While Kaumara bhrityam has been dealt with in portions of the Rig Veda and even Purana Granthas like the Garuda-Purana, Kumara-sambhava and even the Artha Shastra, the Ayurvedic text which has the most material devoted to Kaumarabhritya is the Kashyapa Samhita.

Ayurevdic baby massage is an integral part of baby skin care. Taila Abhyanga Snana (baby massage with oil followed by herbal bath) is advised to be done daily for a baby starting from the first week of birth.

Typically Ayurveda recommends that baby massage be done first with Bala Tailam. This helps the newborn get rid of the exhaustion after child birth. Medicated herbal water made with a decoction of herbs like Bilwa (Aegle marmalos), and other aromatic herbs (sarvagandha dravyas). Bilwa is a powerful and renowned herb used in religious practices in India.

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Bilwa leaf used to worship Lord Shiva

We can see from the above description, how detailed, through and holistic Ayurvedic baby skin care is.

The deep connection between the Skin and the body as per Ayurveda:

The skin (Tvacha) in Ayurveda is said to be made of 6 layers. These 6 layers form from the blood while undergoing metabolic activity – this formation is described similar to the layers of cream that form when milk is boiled.

Therefore, in disorders of the skin, herbs and regimens that treat the blood at an underlying level are advised. Similarly, Ayurveda recognises that what is applied at an external level on the skin also has the twin capacity of treating the blood underneath . So, many blood based disorders are treated through herbal lepa (pastes) applied on the skin. This way, the herbs reach the blood and also influence the lymph secretions and the “rasa dhatu”.

Once we understand this connection, we also understand how critical it is to choose what we apply on baby’s skin. Chemical products and carcinogenic ingredients are highly unsafe and can damage baby’s health. On the contrary, a regular baby massage with an ayurvedic baby oil is safe and nourishing for baby’s skin. This practice also helps increase baby’s immunity, prevent infections and aid healthy bone and joint development.

The 5 tenets of Ayurvedic baby skin care:

Ayurveda recommends 5 tenets to care for your baby.

  1. Taila Abhyanga – baby massage using the correct ayurvedic baby massage oil
  2. Herbal Snana – Cleansing of baby’s skin using the correct ayurevdic baby ubtan followed by a bath using warm water or warm medicated water
  3. Purification of the nursery and surroundings using prayer, meditation and chanting
  4. Washing the baby’s linen and clothing using a prescribed mixture of herbs
  5. Fumigation of the nursery and baby’s clothing and linen using a prescribed mixture of herbs.

Each of the above steps are not just to care for baby’s skin. They also help build immunity, improve disease resistance, protect baby’s skin, keep down mucous accumulation and care for baby’s health.

Taila Abhyanga – Ayurvedic baby massage:

The Ayurvedic baby massage routine restricts moisturisation to the pre bath taila abhyanga or oil massage. This is a very special feature of Ayurveda .

Ayurvedic baby massage - important tenet of ayurvedic baby care

Taila Abhyanga - essential Ayurvedic baby care practice

Skin needs to constantly interact with the environment and continuously facilitate toxin removal.  Srotas are thin, tube like structures in skin, through which toxins are removed. When we apply a moisturizing product after Snana, the Srotas can get clogged. If a petroleum based, synthetic moisturiser is used, the srotas are fully blocked. When srotas are blocked, the skin is unable to do heat exchange properly. This traps excess heat within the body. Skin is also unable to eliminate waste products properly. This is why Ayurveda insists on pre-bath moisturization with a herbal taila, and not post bath moisturization.

Herbs chosen for the ayurvedic baby massage

The herbs chosen for an infant’s Ayurvedic baby massage are carefully selected. Bala is a commonly used herb in Baby oils in Ayurveda. Bala is a famous Ayurvedic herb that aids regulation of vata dosha. It removes muscle fatigue and exhaustion. Bala helps growing infants develop a healthy muscle and bone structure.

Bala is a rejuvenative and deeply nourishing skin herb : excellent for an ayurvedic baby massage

Bala (Sida cordifolia) - a powerful vata balancing and growth stimulating Ayurvedic herb

Manjishta is another common herb selected for an ayurvedic baby massage oil. Manjishta is an excellent herb that helps increase the microcirculation of the srotas in the skin, and improves the circulatory function. It is a good blood purifier and a famous “varnya” (complexion enhancing) herb.

Warming herbs like Tulsi often are used in preparations meant for infants. The Puranas compare Tulsi to “amrit” or the nectar that rose from the churning of the ocean and say just like amrit which gives ayu (long life), Tulsi is to be sought after and cherished.

Tulsi is a warming and kapha balancing herb - excellent for an ayurvedic baby massage

Tulsi - compared to "Amrit" in Indian tradition and revered for its ability to enhance physical endurance

Modern Science and research confirms what Ayurveda and long held Indian tradtion says about Tulsi: that it can cure both mental stress and enhance physical endurance.

In ayurvedic baby skin care preparations, Tulsi helps boost the overall immune system. It also adds warmth to the body, and is an anti bacterial and insect repellent. 

To recap:

Baby massage is a key part of the 5000 year old Ayurvedic baby skin care routine . When this is practiced, baby’s skin and health are both benefited. This is especially critical in the first year of baby’s life.

The texts speak about multiple benefits of the Ayurvedic baby massage routine with an Ayurvedic taila. At an immediate level, the ayurvedic baby massage relieves exhaustion, balances excess vata dosha, reduces high pitta dosha and improves the baby’s appetite, digestive power and allows for peaceful, undisturbed sleep. As a bonus, the taila abhyanga is an excellent skin aid – with this regular practice, the skin’s health and functioning is maintained, without sacrificing cleanliness or its receptivity to the environment.

The process of Ayurvedic baby massage is also extremely enjoyable to the baby. So it helps establish the vital connection and emotional bond between a Mother and the baby.

At a long term level, the Ayurvedic baby massage helps muscle development, correct minor growth deformities and aids proper growth and functioning of all large muscle groups and joints.

 

 

Krya’s products for an ayurvedic baby massage (Taila Abhyanga):

Krya has 3 products for Taila abhyanga for your baby:

  • Krya traditional baby oil with Bala & Ashwagandha
    • Made using a traditional, Ayurveda inspired formulation, Krya’s traditional baby massage oil uses time tested, powerful Ayurvedic herbs like Bala, Ashwagandha Vacha, Tulsi and Manjishta for your baby’s daily Taila Abhyanga. Regular use helps keep skin healthy and nourished and support’s baby’s growing immunity and health.

Krya traditional baby massage oil with Bala and Ashwagandha - excellent for an ayurvedic baby massage

  • Krya Nourishing baby massage oil with Palmarosa & Rose
    • Made using traditional skin nourishing and healing herbs like the sacred Durva grass, Moringa, Indian Liquorice and Lodhra, this oil is a rich, skin oil that is free from petroleum by products like Light Liquid Paraffin (White / Mineral oil), parabens, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, silicones, thickeners and colours. Infused with natural Organic Palmarosa and Organic Rose petals
  • Krya Nourishing baby massage oil with Lemongrass & Grapefruit
    • Made using traditional skin nourishing and healing herbs like the sacred Durva grass, Moringa, Indian Liquorice and Lodhra, this oil is a rich, skin oil that is free from petroleum by products like Light Liquid Paraffin (White / Mineral oil), parabens, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, silicones, thickeners and colours. Infused with natural Organic Lemongrass and Organic Grapefruit leaf

Krya’s toxin free home care products for baby:

Krya all natural classic soapberry detergent - free from LABSA, phosphates, bleaches, enzymes and fillers. Hypoallergenic and baby safe

  • Krya All natural Classic Soapberry detergent (can be used in a machine) – made fromm organic, forest collected whole soapberries. Completely toxin free, and hypoallergenic and safe on delicate skin. Free from LABSA, Enzymes, Phosphates, Fillers, Bleaches, Enzymes and other Chemicals. Completely Chemical free and made from whole plants.  Compostable & Biodegradable product .  Environmentally safe, Does not harm aquatic life . Grey water generated can be recycled in the garden. Recommended for baby’s nappies, diapers, clothing and linen

Krya All natural classic dishwash - free from LABSA, phosphates, enzymes, bleaches, fillers. recommended for baby's bottles, cutlery and dishes.

  • Krya All Natural Classic Dishwash Powder : made from whole organic and forest collected herbs. Completely toxin free, and hypoallergenic and safe on delicate skin. Free from LABSA, Enzymes, Phosphates, Bleaches, Colours, Fragrance & other Additives . Hypoallergenic, Toxin & Synthetic free, Made from Ayurvedic herbs . De-greases and cleans dishes thoroughly , yet Gentle and Safe on skin . Compostable & Biodegradable product .  Environmentally safe, Does not harm aquatic life . Grey water generated can be filtered to remove kitchen wastes & then recycled. Recommended for baby’s bottles and other dishes.
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Ayurvedic Tejas – Krya Abhyanga Series

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within” – Maya Angelou

As I was writing my to-do list for the day, I glanced at the bottom of the page to see the quote which I have put up here.

The inner light is referred to as “Tejas” in the Ayurvedic texts, and the English translations of this word are extremely inadequate. So when the Charaka Samhita refers to an abhyanga increasing the “Tejas” in the body due to nourishment of all dhatus, an English translation would read, “An abhyanga increases the lustre in the body / improve the complexion”.

However Tejas is much much more than the external appearance of skin. Tejas has to do with an inner light and a feeling of well being when all the 3 doshas are balanced, and when the dhatus are well nourished eternally by the copious application of oil regularly through the abhyanga.

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Different people report a different state of well being after an Abhyanga. People with a  predominantly vata based constitution report that their skin which is generally dry and itchy feels well moisturized, soft and nourished. Their joints feel supple and well oiled and they report feeling at peace, and able to bring in a strong amount of focus, and not as scattered as they usually would feel.

People with a predominantly pitta based constitution report feeling cooler as their eyes and skin release tremendous amounts of excess heat after an abhyanga. They feel less inclined to speak sharply or lose their temper and report feeling cool, calm and tranquil the whole day.

 

People with a predominantly kapha based constitution report feeling energetic and less sluggish and wide awake and focussed the whole day. They also report having a feeling of their internal blocks being cleared.

No matter what your dosha type is, what you will feel after a regular abhyanga is a feeling of well being. Your entre body feels light and strong – the texts describe this as the “vigour and energy of a lion in the forest”. Your skin flows with Tejas – one can only describe this as an inner light switched on in your body.

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The practice of an abhyanga followed by a Snana with herbs and grains is not supposed to be a once a year ritual. It is prescribed as a Dinacharya (daily ritual) that helps maintain good health. Even if it is not possible to follow an Abhyanga every single day, the texts prescribe 2 days every week to do an Abhyanga for Men and Women – these days are decided by their auspiciousness and the deities that govern these days. So Fridays, governed by Goddess Lakshmi are considered auspicious for an abhyanga and traditional Snana for Women. In addition Tuesdays are also considered auspicious for Women to take an Abhyanga and Snana.

Saturdays, the day governed by Lord Shani, is considered auspicious for Men to take an abhyanga and Snana. This is said to promote good health and longevity. In addition, Wednesdays are auspicious also for Men to do an abhyanga + Snana to promote the intellect.

In this way, the texts have ensured that we do an Abhyanga atleast twice a week to promote good health and well being.

If you have been looking at adopting good health giving routines , do start with the Abhyanga. Here are some Krya products / bath systems you could explore to make your Abhyanga special.

  1. Krya Abhyanga Oil with Vacha and Ashwagandha (for the bi-weekly abhyanga – dosha balancing, fatigue reducing oil)
  2. Krya Abhyanga Bath powders for Women & Men – classic, tradition-inspired Bath powder that is cleansing, toxin removing and refreshing on skin – perfect post Abhyanga
    1. Krya Abhyanga Bath powder for Women with Lotus Leaf & Lodhra
    2. Krya Abhyanga Bath powder for Men with Vetiver & Van Tulsi

 

 

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True Lice : Launching the new Krya Anti-Lice System

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

Raise your hand if you are a parent whose child has missed school due to an attack of head lice. I am typing this sentence with one hand, with the other hand raised up. Schools, especially the kindergarten variety, routinely conduct lice checks on their wards and send the kids with lice infections home to get immediate treatment.

Lice (singular: louse) cannot fly but they can crawl really fast. So the principal method by which they spread is close human contact, which is why the smaller kids in school who play together are infected easily by lice. Lice also cannot survive for more than a few hours away from the human scalp – so generally they do not spread fast through personal items like combs and towels.

Nevertheless, sharing combs & towels in a home under lice attack is not a good idea as parents and others in the home could get lice infection from the kids. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that every year 6 million to 12 million children in the age group 3 – 11 years in the U.S.A get an attack of head lice. (As an aside, it would great to have such meticulously collected statistics for India. Since it is not readily available we are using the U.S data to get a idea of the size of the global lice scourge) .

Head lice are wingless, blood-sucking parasitic insects that can only live on the human scalp. They lay their eggs on the human hair shaft, which hatch in about nine days. Lice can live for about a month and the female louse can lay about 10 eggs per day. So it is very easy for the lice infestation to spread really fast on a person’s scalp.

Lice are annoying. Really Really Annoying.

They spread fast and cause severe itching and irritation on the scalp. If left untreated for a long time, chronic lice infestations can cause Iron deficiency anemia due to the constant blood sucking.
Lice also cause secondary trouble by harboring several microbes that can cause other infections to the host human.

For example the typhus bacterium Rickettsia prowazekii can spread through the head louse to the hosts. Typhus , which spread through lice, was a global scourge even till the early part of the 20th Century. In 1812, Napoleon’s army of half a million men was reduced to a mere 35,000 men due to a Typhus outbreak. Typhus, courtesy of lice, killed millions of people in eastern Europe around the time of the first world war. Vladimir Lenin famously complained that “either socialism will defeat the louse or the louse will defeat socialism” .

Thankfully the Typhus epidemic has been nearly eradicated and is not a threat.

But the lice still remain with us. As they have, apparently since the dawn of time.

A wooden comb was discovered in an archaeological dig in Israel’s Negev desert, dating to ~ 100 B.C, covered with 10 head lice & 5 nits. In others finds in Egypt, lice nits were discovered on a mummy dating to 5000 B.C. interestingly the mummy was buried along with lice removing combs. So the preferred method for removing lice even 7000 years later remains the same.

What lice beneath: The problem with current lice treatments

The immediate treatment when you first discover the dreaded lice itch is to physically remove the lice with the eponymous comb. This provides temporary relief and does not carry the risk of spreading the contagion through the comb, since lice cannot survive a few hours away from the human scalp. But these little critters leave several tens of their nits (eggs) attached to the hair shaft, which hatch in the next days to continue the attack on the host’s head. Nits are very difficult to remove with the comb. This necessarily means that apart from the comb, a topical treatment like a lice-oil or shampoo is required to win the battle.

Malathion and Permethrin are two common chemical insecticides used in lice treatment products across the world.

Malathion is a very common organophosphate used as a pesticide in agriculture & in public health programs to kill mosquitoes. It is also now used commonly in head lice products where it works by killing lice and partially killing the nits ( eggs)

Malathion is bad news for human health and for the environment. While manufacturers of malathion claim that it is of low toxicity, it is also known that if malathion is absorbed into the human body, it easily metabolizes into Malaoxon which is 61 times more toxic than its parent compound.

Children who ingest malathion may experience headache, dizziness, fatigue , seizures, muscle weakness and even paralysis. Anti-lice products which contain malathion have to be applied & left on the scalp for several hours before wash off. This provides a route for malathion to easily enter the body especially when applied on small children. These products do not provide permanent relief from lice and have to be used repeatedly which aggravates the risk of absorption into the body.

Malathion is now being replaced by another chemical called permethrin in anti-lice products.

Permethrin is a broad spectrum insecticide and works by killing live lice. Common side effects of permethrin are itching, swelling and redness, stinging, numbness, tingling & skin rash. Permethrin can be absorbed through the skin and is very toxic if it accidentally comes in contact with the eyes. If permethrin is accidentally inhaled, it causes irritation in the nose and lungs, difficulty in breathing, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. After using a permethrin based product, we must remember to thoroughly wash our hands to prevent accidental ingestion with our food.

krya-anti-lice-system
On the krya blog, we have written on several occasions about the new global risk of “Super Bugs”. These super bugs are created when normal bugs develop resistance to chemicals used to kill them. Due to the indiscriminate wide-spread use of malathion & permethrin in lice products, US & Australia have now reported the emergence of “Super lice” and “ Super Nits” that can survive these chemicals. So now we have a dangerous situation where a permethrin based product is ineffective in controlling lice, causes severe side-effects and after prolonged use creates “Super lice”.

The phenomenon of Super bugs happens only with chemicals because they are inert and fixed in their pathways. However bugs like lice are alive, smart and are capable of mutating fast to evade the chemical pathways and emerge as new super bugs. This does not happen with plant based solutions as plants are intelligent, live beings capable of adapting to the bugs and helping humans fight them without any side-effects.

Now to put this in perspective , most lice products are used on small children, who are experiencing severe itching, irritation and pain due to the infestation. Why do companies formulate products with chemicals like Malathion & Permethrin which can cause irritation when used as advised and are very toxic if accidentally inhaled or ingested ?

On this note, there are several “natural” Anti-lice products which use plant based insecticides like the seeds of the Sitaphal ( Annona Squamosa / Custard Apple). Now this seed is a very effective anti-lice product and has no side-effects. However if it accidentally falls on to the eyes, it is very toxic and can even cause blindness. Due to this at Krya, we strongly advise against the use of Sitaphal seeds in Anti-lice products – the risk is just not worth it.

We have been receiving several Lice Oil requests for sometime now. We finally bit the bug (pun fully intended) last week and made our second batch of the Krya Anti Lice oil (our first test batch was met with a lot of success 2 years ago during our testing phase). For stubborn infestation cases, we’ve added an Anti Lice hair mask and made an anti Lice hairwash to go with this system.

The first people to test out the revised formulations were 2 Krya employees with slightly older school going kids with a severe lice infestation. These kids had been subjected to the usual round of anti lice brands available in the Pharmacy. They reported high eye irritation, feeling of heaviness and headaches with using their previous brands of highly toxic lice oil and shampoo. They were uncomfortable with the lingering smell of these products and also reported slight hairfall after using the commercial anti-lice shampoos. The parents were extremely concerned about the medium and long term safety of using such strong, poisonous substances in such close contact with their children.

After trying out the samples of the Krya anti lice oil, my employees were sent to work with a special request from the kids – to please buy much more of the product for any future Lice infestations!

The kids loved the fragrance of the oil, the way their scalp felt after massage, and most importantly they reported being able to easily comb out both nits and lice after oil application – the lice were not dead, but were incapacitated and were easy to comb out.

We will be talk much more about exactly how we formulate the Krya anti lice system in later posts, but for now, if you are looking for a really natural, non toxic, gentle solution to a lousy problem, explore here:

1. Krya Natural Anti Lice Hair Oil with Thyme & Tamanu –http://bit.ly/kryaantilicehairoil
2. Krya Natural Anti Lice Hair Mask with Sweetflag & Ram Tulasi –http://bit.ly/kryaantilicehairmask
3. Krya Natural Anti Lice Hairwash with Lemon Eucalyptus & Curry Leaf –http://bit.ly/kryaantilicehairwash
4. Krya Natural Anti Lice Hair System – comes with the Oil, Mask and Hairwash (especially recommended for chronic infestation ) –http://bit.ly/kryaantilicehairsystem

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The Search for Safety – or why chemicals dont grow on trees

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Prologue: With great power comes great responsibility

Formulating a consumer product for commercial use places a great moral responsibility on the person creating the product. On an average day, an adult using mobile, internet & TV can be exposed to more than 300 types of advertising messages. A neighborhood supermarket carries over 6000 products (in SKUs) on its shelves.

In the middle of this information overload, the consumer depends entirely on the brand’s key advertising message or the main declaration on the pack to make a decision. Nearly 100% of consumers make a purchase decision without complete awareness of every single ingredient or a complete understanding of the safety of each ingredient. This is why I stress upon the moral responsibility of the formulator or brand owner.

Let me illustrate this with the examples of three commonly used chemical preservatives and how the krya team manufactures genuinely natural products using Ayurvedic principles.

  1. “Green-Washing” the consumer with natural claims

Most commercial hair oil brands in India contain a very high proportion of liquid paraffin also known as mineral oil. Liquid paraffin is a petroleum derivative and is an inert substance that interferes with the normal functioning of human skin and scalp. Liquid paraffin has no place in a personal care product for humans, yet is it very widely used across the world. Even leading global brand baby product brands contain over 90% mineral oil in their hair oil & massage oil formulations.

mineral oil or coconut oil

Mineral oils can be tumorigenic and high levels of exposure to mineral oils can increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. 

In this scenario where there is a significant dialogue amongst consumers on moving away from mineral oils, a TV yoga guru, has launched a hair oil which claims to be a  pure natural oil free from harmful mineral oil. This is at best a partial truth and actually a bit mis-leading. While this “natural” hair oil does contain a number of  herbs like neem , amla , bhringraj and a base of til / coconut oil, it also contains “BHT”, which is mentioned prominently on the pack.

However nowhere is the full expansion or function of “BHT” explained on the pack. BHT is Butyl HydroxyToluene , a very common preservative used in food and cosmetics to prevent rancidity and prolong shelf life. However like other common classes of preservatives like parabens or bromates, there are a number of safety concerns over BHT. Europe, Japan , Canada , Australia have banned the use of BHT in food products. In cosmetics, BHT is a known skin toxicant and allergen 

  1. The Krya hair & skin oils: with zero chemicals and NO preservatives

 So given the norm of adding preservatives everywhere, is it even possible to manufacture personal care products without using synthetic preservatives? Here’s an example from Krya .

For our range of skin and haircare oils, we follow the classical Ayurvedic “Sneha Kalpana” protocol, in which we extract the herbs in water & oil and then finally simmer the herb extracts in the base oils for 6-8 hours to create the final product. The Ayurvedic protocol defines 6 different stages or “paka” of progress and gives us two diagnostic tests (wicking and fire-sparks) that demonstrate that all the water from the mixture has been evaporated and that the levels of anti-oxidants are adequate to give long shelf life.

By cooking our oils on slow heat over 8 hours, and following the protocol to determine that the moisture has been eliminated completely from our mixture, we can ensure that our oils are free from bacterial and fungal contamination. As the base oils are processed along with herbal decocotions, swarasas and herb pastes, their tendency to turn rancid is checked . The herbs we use themselves also have potent anti bacterial and anti fungal action. So the Sneha kalpana process, the time taken to make the oil, and the herbs used, together eliminate the need for a chemical preservative like BHT.

Sneha Kalpana Process resized

However the process we follow at Krya is a very labor, fuel and time intensive process – there are no shortcuts, which is why very few manufacturers use it.

The short-cut process is to blend a very small extract of herbs in a base mixure which is mostly Liquid paraffin to which a small amount of vegetable oil is added along with perfume, and then add a synthetic preservative like BHT. This also helps it cutting costs to ensure a lower priced product- but is it really Natural? Is it genuinely Ayurvedic in thought, spirit and action ?

The Sneha Kalpana process gives a hair oil with a shelf life of 9- 12 months. It does not produce a product with a shelf life of 3 – 5 years. So if you come across a product that claims to be “natural” and indicates a shelf life of 3 years, you should suspect the use of preservatives like BHT.

  1. Paraben-free , Sulphate-free ( But still contains bromates & benzoate)

As a result of a global consumer back-lash to chemical cosmetic products sold by the big brands, a number of new start-ups have emerged to provide “natural” and “organic” cosmetics to discerning consumers. A common way in which they distinguish themselves is by declaring proudly on the their packs that they are “Paraben-free” or “Sulphate-free” since there is a clear global consensus that parabens and sulphates like SLS are not fit for human use.

However if you carefully read the label of such “natural” products, you will find that they use sodium benzoate and potassium bromate as preservatives. Once again you must ask for yourself some simple questions – on which tree does sodium benzoate grow? Is potassium bromate found naturally on the hillsides of Himalayas? Then on what basis do the brands that use bromates & benzoates call themselves natural?
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Sodium benzoate is a very common food and cosmetic preservative. Ascorbic acid which is one form of Vitamin C is also commonly used in food and now even cosmetic products. These two chemicals can react to release benzene, which is a known carcinogen. Today with the current research, several brands which claim to be safe and parabens-free are using benzoates and bromates. However once enough research is conducted on the toxicity of such chemical preservatives , we will have to re-evaluate their use in everyday products.

Your suspicion should be further aroused when these so called “organic” and “natural” look and work similar to chemical shampoos & conditioners. A genuinely natural product like Krya which strictly follows the Ayurvedic wisdom maybe presented in formats that are at first a little inconvenient to use – for example the Krya hair-wash range is in the powder format – which is the prescribed format according to traditional medicinal systems which delivers the power of whole herbs to you. Interestingly this is also the most environmentally friendly format for hair-care unlike liquid shampoos & conditioners, which are environmental hazards apart from being a hazard to your hair.

So many of the Krya products will present a learning curve before they become a part of your life but the end results for you, your family and the planet will make it a wholesome win-win solution.In this blog post we are very happy to share the journey of how & why, Savitha from Chennai made the switch to Krya.


We are a Krya Family ! – written by Savitha Saranathan

I had been on a lookout of an organic hair care product for more than 3 years because I felt that the synthetic ones weren’t good for our environment (well I didn’t know that they caused so much harm to our system as well until I read about the posts on the ingredients from Krya).

I was looking to move all my water pipes to the ground and so I was clear that I could not use synthetic products. Traditional homemade shikakai powder wasn’t doing a good job of removing oil and rendered the hair rough. That’s when, more than 2 years ago I bought the first ever Krya hair wash powder. I didn’t really appreciate it at first, because I was finding it difficult to mix the right amount of water and it did leave some kind of fine powder on my hair. And did not go despite repeated washing.

But then once I started using it regularly, I started appreciating the fact that it did a far better job than the other synthetic products that I have used so far.

Things that changed significantly in my case are the hair growth speed, hair texture, and hair density. I used to have thick, black, straight hair until I was in school (because amma was absolutely against shampoo and I had to sneak in a small pack of heads and shoulders. I thought shampoos do a far better job than natural hairwash powders). Post college, there was a significant loss (read: more than 40%) in my hair density. That was my first sign to move out of synthetic products.

My hair texture used to be straight and silky but post shampooing repeatedly for more than a decade, it became dry and wavy and broke frequently. And now, with my switch, my hair texture and density are back to where it used to be.

And this is not a post where actresses on TV with long shiny black thick hair (likely to be a wig) market a hair product. This is something that I have used for more than 2 years repeatedly and I have seen results.

My daughter who was 1 year old when I started using Krya, had sparse hair despite tonsuring more than two times. I was very clear that no synthetic products will be used on her. So, I used Krya (both hair oil and hair wash) and now, it has grown significantly more.

Seeing these results, the husband also has moved away from shampoo to Krya’s haircare products.  We are a proud Krya family! 🙂

Savitha pic Savitha works with a big data start up . She is a passionate advocate of living a life that is light on the planet. She is an enthusiastic gardener, home composter and monitors her home’s water footprint to ensure that she recycles as much of the water that she uses as possible. She lives in Chennai with her husband and two kids.


Krya would like to thank Savitha for several things – for her long term, sustained support of our work, for her environmental advocacy and walking the talk, and for this generous piece despite her busy schedule.

The search for safety can lead you down murky paths to many suspect products. At Krya, we are quite proud of our dark green credentials and the transparency and integrity we follow while designing and manufacturing our natural, good for your goodies.

Hair care is an especially murky path with most companies using toxic, health damaging, suspect carcinogenic ingredients in their formulations for temporary aesthetics.

Krya Hair Olympics challenge FB post Aug 1 2016If you are sick of the toxins and synthetics and are perpetually having a bad hair day, try the Krya switch this month. Throw away your toxin filled synthetic shampoo, conditioner and hair oil and try Krya’s goodness filled hair oils, hair masks and hair wash products instead. Your hair will thank you for this switch.

 

 

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 here.

 

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The science behind hair oiling – and why it is essential for hair and body health

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

“Jalasiktasya vardhante yathaa mole ankurastharoh

Thadha dhatu vivriddhirhi snehasiktasya jaayathe” – Sushruta Samhita

“Just like a plant sprouts new and tender leaves by the regular supply of water to its roots,

so also the tissues of the human body grow with a freshness and luxuriance by oil application on the skin and hair. “

I cannot stress enough on the importance of the Abyanga in maintaining good health as per traditional wisdom. An abhyanga is recommended atleast once a week to stimulate the cells, remove ama and toxins from the cells, improve micro circulation and restore overall balance to the body.

From a cosmetic point of view, a regular abhyangam (head and body) delays the onset of wrinkles, keeps the body firm and supple, helps stimulate the growth of hair and delays graying of hair.

“Srotovibandha Mokshaardham

Bala Pushtyardhamevacha”

The objective of the abhyangam is two fold: By the penetrative action of the oils on the skin, grime and dirt is removed from deep within the skin and the subtle passages or the srotas are cleaned. This helps the srotas do their work better and they are able to carry nutrition deep into the tissues, nourishing the whole body. Some oils also penetrate and nourish the skin and the tissues themselves supporting their function. Through the regular practice of oiling, the body is given strength, muscle development and firmness.

Please note: that certain special conditions like diabetes are treated differently in Ayurveda. The above description is for a normal individual who may require minor corrections and modifications in their diet and lifestyle.

Why is hair oiling so essential in Ayurveda:

The eyes are considered a seat of pitta (besides the liver which is also an important pitta point). By their activity and by the signals they send to the brain, the eyes and the brain generate heat or pitta in the body, which needs to be controlled so that they can function normally.

Traditional medicine therefore recommends regular oiling to cool the eyes and the brain (and therefore the rest of the body). As we have discussed before, when pitta is vitiated in the body, certain changes happen to the body.

Excess pitta leads to premature graying, weakens the digestive agni leading to frequent diarrhea or loose motion, and can cause diseases of pitta like jaundice, high fevers, inflamed skin, dermatitis with itchy skin, etc.

In order to bring down the pitta, regular oiling of the areas which generate pitta like the head are a must. Through frequent use of oil in this area, new hair growth is encouraged, the hair grows deep rooted, strong and firm, does not break easily and grows longer and more thicker and luxuriantly.

 What is in my non sticky hair oil / body massage oil and why isn’t my hair growing?

We had recently written about an independent research conducted to test claims of popular hair oils in the market. A consumer panel had tested various brands of hair oils offered by reputed companies and had found that contrary to what they said in their advertising, most of these oils contained 60 – 92% by weight of simple Liquid Paraffin or Mineral Oil.

batman and robin

Mineral Oil is ubiquitous in cosmetic formulations of body oils, baby oils and hair oils in India. It is used extensively across moisturizers, sunscreens, lotions, body oils, baby oils and hair oils as it is colourless, has a thick consistency and is neutral in its colour and odour and is therefore able to easily take in a synthetic fragrance and colour and other additives.

Any vegetable oil worth its salt is much more difficult to work with – depending on its seasonality and the way it is grown, its colour varies every time, it comes with its own standard odour and it does not work easily with added fragrances or colours – plus the additives in these products can independently react with vegetable oils altering colour. Obviously, being an agricultural crop, a vegetable oil cannot come in standardized prices and the prices will vary depending upon how the season has been. For all of these reasons, standard synthetic moisturizing products usually stay away from the use of vegetable oils and use them only in miniscule quantities.

Mineral oil – and concerns behind applying this on your skin and hair

A study published by the American Journal of Dermatology found that moisturizing creams containing mineral oil were tumorigenic when applied topically to UVB pretreated high risk mice. These creams increased the rate at which tumors form.

Occupational exposure to mineral oils may occur among workers in automobile manufacturing, airplanes, steel products, screws, pipes and transformers, brass and aluminium production, engine repair, copper mining, and newspaper and commercial printing.

The National Cancer Institute says that occupational exposure to untreated or lightly treated mineral oils is strongly associated with an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, particularly of the scrotum.

Mineral Oil – Forming an occlusive barrier on skin
Contrary to the claims of most mineral oil using hair oils and skin moisturizing products, mineral oil does NOT penetrate skin. Its molecular size is too big to slip into the skin’s pores. So what it does do is form a barrier layer on skin preventing transepidermal water loss through evaporation. While this may be useful in a few cases, for most of us, this means that the skin’s normal function is interrupted by this barrier layer. Plus , it does not work with the skin like vegetable oils do by penetrating it, cleansing it or nourishing it any manner.

How are Krya’s hair and skin oils processed? And how are they different from mineral oil based products?

Krya follows several important ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Sahasrayogam, Saranghadhara Samhita and Bhaisajya Ratnavalli to understand what classical Ayurvedic medicine prescribes is the right way to manufacture ayurvedic oils for skin and hair. We also take inspiration from the kind of herbs suggested by the texts to work with different skin and hair types. However, our formulations are unique and are not the classical formulations from the text. We have developed our formulations through extensive research and understanding of new age hair and skin problems like hair damage due to synthetic colour, etc.

the krya hair oil range

The 2 most important differences between a genuine Ayurvedic oil like Krya’s and a standard synthetic hair or skin oil that uses Mineral oil is the process followed and the selection and quantity used of base oils and herbs.

Sneha kalpana / paka method followed at Krya:

Sneha kalpana is a prescribed pharmaceutical process followed in Indian traditional medicine to prepare medicated oils or ghees from kalka (herbal pastes), Kwathas (infusions), Kashayas (deocotions) and Swarasa ( self expressed fresh herb juice) taken in specific proportions and heated in a particular way along with a mixture of oils or ghee. This method has been outlined in order to extract the active principles of each herb in the medium in which it best expresses its active ingredients.

Sneha Kalpana is a unique extraction process followed in Ayurveda. Through this process, the formulator aims to transfer aqueous and lipid soluble active principles of all the herbs and other raw material used into the oil.

So a genuine ayurvedic or a Siddha based oil will always use 3 components to make a herb enriched oil –

  • Water based herb extracts like kwathas (mild infusions), kashayas (steeped , boiled and reduced decocotions) and swarasas (self expressed juices from fresh plant parts)
  • Thick granular herbal pastes or kalpam that are cooked in oil to extract the oil loving active principles
  • Base oils

Specific instructions are given to prepare each kwatha, kashaya and swarasa, and this depends upon the freshness of the material used, and the plant part it comes from – in general soft plant parts use less water, are reduced much less and milder heat is applied. So flower kwathas, like hibiscus flower kwatha, for example, would steep the herb in hot water without any reduction for a specified amount of time to extract the active principles.

A bark or root based kashayam may use much more water and the decoction may be reduced to half or one fourth its original volume.

Depending upon the condition to be treated, different base oils are used in ayurvedic formulations. At Krya, we use a wide range of cold pressed, organically grown that have been manually pressed and extracted, thus retaining their potency and vigour. We use sesame oil , coconut oil, apricot oil, tamanu oil and kokum butter in our formulations.

As the Sneha or the oil cooks, Classical Ayurveda says that the oil processing follows 6 pakas or stages – at each stage the oil accumulates more and more fat soluble actives from the herbs in it. The oil is usually ready to be taken off the fire for further processing mid way through the “paka” (cooking) – if the oil is allowed to cross this stage and reach the final stage, the oil has a much reduced level of anti oxidants and other substances like tocopherols. This is crucial when making oils in our factory, as the paka stages come very rapidly, and it is important to keep a close watch on the oils to ensure there is no loss.

Difference between medicated Sneha kalapana oil and the pure base oil

The process of Sneha Kalapana alters the very nature of the base oil. Gingelly oil is often used across Krya’s formulations because of its vata reducing nature and also because it does not aggravate kapha. Gingelly oil is considered a very good base oil for most skin and hair conditions, so many traditional formulations use this oil.

This oil is usually considered extremely strong, heavy and sticky to use on skin, but when processed in the Sneha kalpana method, the oil becomes much more lighter, less sticky and is able to easily penetrate skin and hair without leaving a lot of oil or residue behind.

This however in no way means that an ayurvedic oil is as light as a mineral oil based product – it is not. However, it is much much lighter and more penetrative compared to the base oils themselves.

Krya’s Ayurveda inspired herb oils prepared using Sneha Kalpana method:

  1. Hair Oils
    1. Processed using traditional hair nourishing herbs like Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Bhringaraj *Eclipta alba), special native greens like Balloon vine, Dwarf Copperleaf, Brahmi, Guava Leaf and Lemon eucalyptus
    2. We also use special hair and scalp health enhancing herbs and flowers like Black cumin seed, Carrots, Bottle gourd, Chamomile, Rosemary, Thyme, Hibiscus flower, Neem leaf, Krishna Tulasi, Ram Tulasi , Vana Tulasi, Moringa and Curry Leaves
    3. All the herbs we use in our oils are either organically cultivated or wild harvested and are free from synthetics, pesticides and fertilizers.
    4. Our herbs are processed in our cold pressed, manually extracted, full of goodness base oils of coconut, sesame, apricot, tamanu and kokum butter
    5. The oil processing is done on gentle heat and takes upto 8 – 10 hours of gentle manual stirring per batch. The oils then steep for 7 more days in aromatic herbs before they are bottled and packed.

BeFunky Collage

2. Skin Oils

  • Processed using traditional, skin health enhancing and regenerative herbs like Ashwagandha (Winter cherry), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Moringa, Liquorice, etc
  • As per the Ayurvedic tradition, all of Krya’s skin oils are processed with warming herbs like cumin, ajwain and dried ginger to ensure the body’s kapha and mucous level does not increase with the oil application. This is especially important when making skin oils for babies, as babies are generally high in kapha dosha, so the oil should not further vitiate this kapha.
  • All the herbs we use in our oils are either organically cultivated or wild harvested and are free from synthetics, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Our herbs are processed in our cold pressed, manually extracted, full of goodness base oils of coconut, sesame, apricot, tamanu and kokum butter
  • The oil processing is done on gentle heat and takes upto 8 – 10 hours of gentle manual stirring per batch. The oils then steep for 7 more days in aromatic herbs before they are bottled and packed.

If you haven’t begun this wonderful traditional, health giving practice as yet, do make a start today with one of Krya’s authentic, nourishing skin and hair oils.


 

 

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It’s the humidity – surviving your modern sauna-like Indian city

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

A recent break spent in Kolkata had me appreciating better ,the effect of high humidity on skin.  The most important function of the skin is maintaining a barrier against the entry of water into our body and protecting it from invasive foreign, microorganisms. If this barrier is severely damaged (third degree burns for example), we could die due to dehydration as the barrier will be unable to protect the body from severe water loss (and this is important as over 90% of our body contains biological liquid which needs to be kept inside the body).

Only if this barrier layer is kept intact, we can soak in water without damaging our internal organs or getting flooded by invasive, harmful microorganisms. The outermost layer of skin, the Stratum corneum has evolved only to maintain this requirement of maintaining a barrier layer.

The barrier function of the stratum corneum is achieved by 2 types of cellular structure: the intercellular lipid bilayer structure (which is a glue like layer between cells comprising of lipids, fats and fatty acids) and the corneocytes. The corneocytes and the intracellular lipd bilayer together form a brick and mortar structure which prevents the entry of water into the body and protects the biological water in the body from leaving it.

Krya blog post Aug 19th 2016 - pic 1

In order to do its barrier function well, the Stratum corneum needs to be in a plasticized state (much like soft chapatti dough), so it needs to hold water within it. This is accomplished by small cells which behave like little water balloons, holding water inside them. These small cells are called natural moisturizing factors . These natural moisturizing factors are found within each corneocyte – and depending upon the number of these small water balloons present per cell, your skin could have a hydration level between 10% – 30% .

The effect of using synthetic surfactants like SLS and other sulphates on your skin:

Dry skin and serious chronic conditions like Dermatits can arise by the constant use of synthetic detergent like substances on your skin and scalp like SLS and SLeS. This can also arise due to high exposure to the sun and UV irradiation of the skin, extremely low humidity and the use of alcohol based substances like deodorants or hand sanitizers on skin.

When your skin is exposed to high degree of sun, frequent use of harsh synthetic cleansers or alcohol based sanitisers, the water content in your skin can reduce to 1/3rd of its normal moisture level, from 30% to 10%!

effects of soaps on skin filtered

Specifically, anionic surfactants like SLS, SLeS, ALS (Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate) increase transepidermal water loss, irritate and cause skin inflammation and break its normal barrier function.

Combating high humidity:

Cities which are located near the equator and in coastal areas are among the most humid in the world and most of these cities are found in South & South east asia. So cities like Kolkatta, Chennai, Cochin, Trivadrum, and Vizag,  share this warm, sauna like weather with cities like Singapore, Djakarta, and Kuala Lumpur.

It's the humidity - FB pic Krya aug 19 update

The good thing about living in a city with high humidity that this natural abundance of moisture in the air, is great for skin and hair. In normal conditions, this would mean that wrinkles develop much slower, skin is plumper and looks younger longer, and its barrier function is generally much more intact, than say living in a drier city.

 

But the bad part of living in high humid conditions, is that the sauna like weather, high amount of sweat and discomfort, causes us to opt for stronger and harsher cleansers to give our skin and hair that feeling of cleanliness. Because of this excessive sweating, we also want to wash our skin and hair much more (using terribly bad for you synthetic cleansers). This high humidity, along with high levels of smog and urban pollution create a dirt and grime magnet on skin and hair sparking off conditions like acne, and fungal dandruff.

Over time this works against your skin and hair, and you will find your skin and hair becoming more and more patchy with inconsistent moisture and sebum levels, frizzy and drier hair and dull and lifeless looking skin and hair.

fb post aug 17th 2016 shampoo meme 4

Clean, fresh skin and hair that is healthy – even in humid weather

So if you have been feeling like you have been living in a sauna lately, and are concerned about the effects of chemical cleansers on skin and hair, may I suggest the very awesome range of skin and hair care products from Krya instead?

Our products are made from organic and forest collected herbs, lentils and grains, are inspired by the principles of traditional medicine, and work with and not against your skin and hair structure.

Here are some Krya alternatives you can use for utterly humid weather:

  • Krya Women’s Abhyanga Bath powder with Lotus Leaf & Lodhra – One of our extremely popular products and has been used extensively and loved by consumers across humid cities. It helps remove accumulated grime, oil and sweat from skin and is formulated using a mixture of bitter, aromatic and astringent herbs and cleansing grains like Himalayan turmeric, Black horsegram, Himalayan navrangi beans, Nut grass, Lotus Leaf, Rose petals & Bhringaraj. It leaves skin feeling fragrant, fresh, well nourished and with its sebum levels and barrier function intact.
  • Krya After Sun Bodywash with Ashwagandha & Arjuna uses our patented mixture of lentils that are steeped in 2 medicated herb decoctions before being processed. To this we add several Skin repair and healing herbs like Ashwagandha and Arjuna which are very helpful in treating specific skin issues that arise from excessive sun exposure like spotting, blemishes, skin irritation and inflammation. We also add pitta reducing herbs and bitters that draw out heat, cool down skin and assist it in achieving its natural state of balance.
  • Krya Men’s Abhyanga bath powder with Vettiver & Van Tulasi – designed to through cleanse men’s skin which is naturally higher in sebum secretion and is slightly thicker and accumulates grime faster. The formulation contains naturally cooling herbs like Indian sarsaparilla and Vetiver that refresh skin, astringent & citrusy herbs like lemon, and amla to condition skin and leave its pH intact, and cleansers like barley, nutgrass and zedoary that are deodorizing , refreshing and deep cleansing – Skin feels clean, smooth and smells great without any synthetics.

A happy Friday to you  and a Humidity High Five from the Krya team (and from one of India’s top 10 humid cities, Chennai!)

The Krya August Hair Olympics Challenge

Humid hair also deserves better! To inspire a change to toxin-free natural products 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 here.

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Missing an Olympic medal by a hair’s breadth

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At the Olympic level, winning a medal, especially the gold, boils down to having “the edge”. In the dark ages, the edge came from something as basic as  possessing a pair of professional running shoes with spikes –  Milkha Singh and legions of Asian & African athletes  trained barefoot and barely managed to get a pair of spikes in time for major events like the Olympics. For most part of the 20th century the edge merely came from being born in countries with great infrastructure and possessing trained coaches – who created the edge through better training techniques, nutrition and recovery.

At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the Australian swim team shaved off every bit of hair on their bodies just before the races – this turned out to be a smooth move as they completely swept all the medals at those championships. Since then all competitive swimmers shave their bodies and also heads just before the race event. So now this trick is no longer giving the edge, but just represents the bare minimum to be taken seriously at the top level.

But in the 21st century, the playing field is remarkably level, in terms of access to good infrastructure and coaches – so the quest to find the edge is getting tougher and tougher. And athletes and their coaches are getting more creative. At Rio this year, Michael Phelps and the other swimmers were seen with purple/reddish circles on their backs – the result of an ancient Chinese cupping technique to increase blood circulation in certain areas during recovery– this is the extent to which the search for the edge has reached.

What about the basics?

The top sprinters who compete in the explosive short distance events like 100M, 200M and the 400M pay attention to a number of small details to increase their chances of success. Aerodynamics is a critical success factor. For example the current state of the art is to wear form –fitting trunks that ensure the least drag during the race – even as recently as the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Carl Lewis was wearing regular running shorts that flapped a bit. Did it slow him down by a hundredth of a second?

Another detail in the sprinters preparation is wearing their hair really really short, army style. This is a uniform choice among the male sprinters but a number of the top women sprinters choose to have very long hair and still win the medals. Some of the Jamaican women sprinters are so ridiculously talented that the length of their hair is a superfluous detail. And sadly for some others, their extraordinary level of doping is an overriding factor.

1984: A Hair story

At the 1984 LA Olympics, a 20 year old PT Usha was a strong medal hope for India in the 400M hurdles event. She had gained prior experience at this elite level at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was the top Asian sprinter in her class and in the heats she had even defeated Judi Brown, who was the favorite to win the event.

And yet, sadly for her & all Indians, in the finals she lost out on the bronze medal by 1/100 of a second. To this date this remains the closest that India has come to winning a medal in the track events.

Did PT Usha miss out on very basic detail of appropriate hair style ? Look at the pictures below from that race at LA in 1984.
Krya blog post aug 13th 2016 consolidated picNow with wisdom of hindsight and the anguish of a true fan, I have to ask this, why did    P.T Usha have to run with a full head of hair? Did it not occur to her that carrying some 50 – 100 gm of extra weight over a 400M distance could be significant for her medal chances? In the final analysis, she lost the bronze medal by 1/100 of a second. We still haven’t produced a track athlete of her caliber, male or female, who can get on to the medal podium at the Olympics.

The Olympics at a cross-roads

Olympics before the 1988 Ben Johnson scandal was an innocent time, when the entire focus was on form and preparation of the athletes and the eager anticipation of the new techniques that might emerge at the events, like Dick Fosbury’s breath taking new “flop” .

However since Ben Johnson and then Kristin Otto, a whole avalanche of doping scandals both at the Olympics and outside, has covered the sports in doubt and despair. Even the truest fans are left in serious doubt about the sanctity of the medal winning efforts given the all round, rampant doping convictions. So it is a great relief for the fans when true blue heroes like Michael Phelps come out of retirement and set the games on fire and hopefully Usain Bolt can help us finish the events on a legitimate sporting high.

The ” scandal” in the consumer products industry

At Krya , a lot of the work that we do now is a direct reaction to the malaise in the consumer products industry which bears much similarity to the doping scandals in the sports world. All manner of chemical -laden products are suddenly making tall claims to being “safe” and “natural” by the addition of miniscule amounts of herb extracts.

Worse still, the advertising around these products has gone from taking creative leaps to out right false claims by exploiting loop holes in regulations. A significant portion of the marketing work at Krya is educating consumers on making better and safer choices.

The Krya August Hair Olympics Challenge

The effects of synthetic products on human health, the environment, and our water continues to boggle the mind and brings a state of near panic among companies like ours. Many of the chronic skin and hair conditions we see at Krya, for example, can be directly attributed to the irritating and harmful effects of the synthetic products we use everyday on ourselves and on our families.

However, what gives us hope is this. We have seen remarkable transformative results when the toxins in the form of synthetic products are removed, the diet is cleaned up and health giving natural products are used instead on the body.

This experience inspired the many Krya hair and skin formulations that you see today, because we wanted to give many more people the same transformative benefits we had experienced for ourselves.

To inspire more and more people to make the switch, we are celebrating this August as the Krya Hair Olympics Month.

Do you want stronger, healthier better hair? Throw away your toxin filled synthetic shampoo, conditioner and hair oil and try Krya’s goodness filled haircare products instead. Your hair will thank you for this switch.

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 here.

 

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