Skin and hair: Care and cure in Ayurveda

Beauty expert, Shahnaz Husain tells us how Ayurveda can help enhance the beauty of skin and hair along with treating beauty-related ailments.

Healing with the help of natural products was known and practised centuries ago, and through Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of herbal healing continues to flourish. After centuries of practising this ancient art, it has been understood that herbal ingredients have many beneficial properties that can actually help to enhance the beauty of the skin and hair. However, the most important aspect of Ayurveda is that it has no harmful side-effects. These benefits have thus established Ayurveda all over the world as a successful and time-tested herbal beauty care system.

Today, Ayurveda has been accepted as a possible and beneficial system in the natural care and cure arena. Ayurvedic texts are known to contain details of the medicinal properties of thousands of plant products, minerals and other natural substances. It also tell us about the specific combination of herbs that can give good results. Also, the various methods of collection, extraction and processing of different herbs are also detailed in these ancient texts. In fact, these texts also contain prescriptions for various ailments, including those for skin and hair.

Plant-based products and natural substances have properties that can actually benefit the skin and hair. Some have antiseptic and germicidal effects, while others have anti-inflammatory and soothing actions. Some are powerful cleansers, while others moisturise the skin. Some improve blood circulation, while others promote hair growth. Ingredients in Ayurvedic products contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other valuable elements, which restore and maintain the health of skin and hair.

Ayurveda, the oldest and most developed system of herbal healing in the world, makes use of plant ingredients and other natural substances. The ingredients that help in enhancing beauty have specific curative properties. They also offer an element of safety, as they have shown a lack of harmful after-effects. Hundreds of plant extracts and oils are used in Ayurvedic beauty care.

For example, Neem (margosa), is one of the most versatile plant products used in beauty formulations. The infusions of this leaf have been used to cure skin diseases and are still used to relieve itching, soothe rashes and clear inflammatory conditions. Neem contains organic sulphur compounds, which have a powerful healing action.

Sandalwood is perhaps one of the most common ancient ingredients that have been used in skin care, because of its versatility. It has powerful germicidal and antiseptic properties, soothing and beautifying the skin, while its exotic aroma has a relaxing effect on the nerves.

Rose is one of the most common cosmetic ingredients in beauty care products. Its oil also has soothing effect and is known to have originated in India.

The West has also woken up to the fact that the modern world needs a holistic system like Ayurveda. In fact, it can be most relevant to modern lifestyles, in terms of counteracting environmental pollution, toxic build up and mental stress. Ayurveda also has such a long history of safe human usage. This factor can never be ignored. Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being adapted to Ayurveda to determine the customised treatment for individual constitutions. In fact, we can conclude that Ayurveda is the healing system of the future. It is India’s gift to the world.

Shahnaz Husain

www.shahnaz.in

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