What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a form of traditional medicine that was first developed in India. The name, when translated from Sanskrit, means “science of life”. This practice is an important part of Hinduism, as one of their gods is dedicated to ayurvedic medicine – Dhanvantari. Although this practice originally formed in India, it is now being used by many around the world as a form of alternative healing and medicine.
The application of Ayurveda revolves around the five traditional elements – earth, water, fire, air, and ether, as well as the seven traditional elements of the human body: plasma, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, and reproductive tissue. If one can achieve balance in all of these elements then they have achieved a good level of well-being.
Treatments typically involve ritualistic hygiene, (which likely stems from the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism), oils, and traditional vegetable drugs. Patients are encouraged to bathe regularly (both regular baths as well as steam baths), and to keep areas such as the skin, eyes, and teeth cleansed regularly, while anointing of oil is sometimes also recommended. Oils such as sunflower oil and herbal drugs such as cinnamon are added to the patient’s diet, which help to get rid of contaminants within their immune and digestive systems.
Scientifically, there are some parts of Ayurveda that have yet to be rigorously tested – especially the elements that are mostly spiritual. However, studies have shown for many years that medical use of oils and herbal treatments are effective. Turmeric, curcumin, and sage have been tested extensively and are shown to be helpful for fighting disease, and are being used on new fronts such as Alzheimer’s treatment.
Even if one is not necessarily interested in the spiritual aspects of Ayurveda, the many health benefits make it a good alternative healing method for anyone – this perhaps explains why ayurvedic medicine is growing in popularity outside the boundaries of India, all across the globe.
Ayurveda, a traditional medicine from India, involves the use of many herbs during treatment. It is used as an additional treatment in western medicine, to supplement the healing effects of other treatment methods. In this theory, the body is split into seven main elements. Plasma, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, and reproductive tissue are the elements, and each of these is believed to be helped by certain herbs. There are many traditional herbs in the ayurvedic tradition, including bitter melon, holy basil, and neem. There are also traditional combinations of herbs, such as “digestive fire” and the “joint formula”. Due to the long history of ayurveda, as well as the many different areas of the world in which it is practiced, there are many variations on herb usage and herb combinations, so you may hear different names used depending on which region you are in.
Bitter melon is one of the common ayurveda herbs that helps the body process sugars, and helps people limit their desire of sugar. The herb grows mainly in Southeast Asia, China, and Africa. Although these herbs are used in cooking as well, they are commonly used for medicinal purposes. Due to its interactions with sugar in the body, it is believed by some that this herb can help control or prevent diabetes.
Holy basil is an ayurveda herb that is especially known for its benefits to the respiratory system. It is important to note that holy basil is a separate herb from basil, and therefore has separate effects. Holy basil is one of the herbs that have been mentioned many times in ancient ayurvedic texts. Like bitter melon, holy basil may also be helpful in treating or preventing diabetes. This herb also functions as a mild painkiller.
Neem is one of the ayurveda herbs that are primarily used for healing and disinfection. It is also believed to help reduce joint pain. Neem comes from a tree that grows in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Pakistan. It has been traditionally used to treat skin related diseases such as measles, smallpox, chicken pox, and other rashes. In addition to being an ayurvedic herb, it is also used in cooking in some traditional Hindu recipes.
In addition to single ayurveda herbs, there are also ayurveda herb combinations. One popular combination is “digestive fire”, which, as its name implies, is used to treat digestive problems. It is a combination of ginger, pipalli, and black pepper. Another combination is “joint formula”, with herbs such as turmeric and ginger that help reduce inflammation and reduce joint pain, as well as improving range of motion. The “immune force” formula, with Echinacea and turmeric, is believed to help boost your immune system and prevent future infections.
There are many different ayurveda herbs and herb combinations with many different benefits and purposes. When used in combination with other ayurvedic healing methods, as well as modern healing methods, one can get an overall healing that is far superior to what would have been obtained otherwise.
Ayurveda Healing Explained
The use of ayurveda healing goes back thousands of years and stems from ancient Hindu practices. It is divided among eight disciplines of treatment: internal medicine, surgery, diseases above the clavicle, pediatrics, psychiatry, toxicology, immunity, and progeny. Although some of these disciplines receive much more focus in western culture today than others, they are all used around the world. Treatment involves massages, herbs, steam boxes, and other alternative healing methods. Although certain aspects of ayurveda healing are debated among scientists, it is generally accepted that it functions well as a complementary treatment for diseases.
When it comes to massages, there are several types that are used fairly often. Foot massages, in which a massage is given using the foot, are popular, as well as head massages, where the practitioner massages the back and top of the patient’s head. Ayurveda massages are popular today in many spas around the world, even ones that do not otherwise draw from the ayurveda tradition.
Facemasks and body masks are used in ayurvedic treatments as well. These serve to purify the skin and open up pores, sometimes drawing out impurities that have been causing illness. This will lead to smoother skin as well, which is why these treatments are also common in spas around the world.
Oils are used extensively in ayurveda healing. These oils, such as sunflower oil and sesame oil, have been scientifically proven to reduce risk of diseases including cancer. Herbs are used extensively as well, such as bitter melon, holy basil, neem, ginger, and black pepper. Whether used together or alone, these herbs have proven long term health effects and can reduce pain and improve overall well being.
Bathing and steam related treatments are common treatments in ayurveda healing. Steam baths, and steam boxes, are commonly used. These cures are believed to release toxins, as well as to open up channels between various parts of the body. Ayurvedic theory states that if these channels are blocked, effects such as paralysis and epilepsy can occur. Therefore, steam treatments that induce sweating are believed by some to help treat these occurrences.
Interestingly enough, Ayurveda healing was the first known form of healing to offer treatment for a cataract. This was done over 2500 years ago and was done using traditional methods of ayurveda, and it would be until many years later that modern medicine would find ways to treat and prevent cataracts.
Today, Ayurveda healing is most commonly used within India, and traditional healing methods such as these are even promoted by the country’s government. The country works to fight biopiracy of traditional healing methods, such as when people try to patent a healing method that was first developed in ayurveda tradition. Use of ayurveda is growing in western medicine as a complimentary treatment to go along with other modern medicinal treatments. Although some scientists at first questioned the true benefits of ayurveda, recent studies show that it does work, and it makes sense scientifically. Ayurveda healing is a great way to get natural healing for many different health problems.
Ayurvedic Soap – What Is The Purpose Behind This Special Breed of Soap ?
Before we can really discuss Ayurvedic soap, you need to have a little understanding of what Ayurveda, and Ayurvedic medicine are. These originate from a form of ancient Indian medicine. The Ayurvedic form of medicine has been practiced in India for centuries, growing, expanding, and finding new ways of healing.
The Ayurvedic Medicine includes forms of Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Toxicology, Eye Treatment, and specialties in Ear, Nose and Throat. What makes it different from Western medicine which also covers all of those areas? The emphasis is put upon the use of nature and natural substances. The practice is used to bring the natural energy and healing of a person back into alignment to aid in the treatment and healing. It can include Yoga, massage, and herbal treatments, along with many other practices.
Ayurvedic medicine puts a very large emphasis on using plants, and plant extracts instead of man made chemicals or animal byproducts. This is where we head into the area of Ayurvedic soap. An Ayurvedic soap will be made from all natural ingredients, staying away from the harsh chemicals, and animal byproducts which can be harmful to our skin. Instead of using all of these cheaper, but less effective ingredients, they are formulated using vegetable oils and extracts. Here are a few of the common oils and extracts used:
Coconut Oils are used to moisturize the skin and stimulate lightening of dark skin. Obviously not everyone wishes to lighten their skin, but the lightening effect is very mild and usually only noticeable on people with darker skin.
Ginger Extract is included to help relax and firm the skin. It can be effective in promoting healing and warding off infections, too.
Orange Oil is added to help reduce the occurrence of pimples and blackheads. It can be a very effective oil at improving skin quality, while reducing skin blemishes.
Sandalwood Oil is included in many Ayurvedic soaps due to the pleasant scent and skin relaxing qualities.
Lime Seed Oil adds a deep cleaning astringent affect to the soap to help avoid skin blemishes, and deep clean dirt out of the pores.
Hydnocarpus Oil helps to ward off rashes and skin irritations. It is very comforting and soothing to the skin.
When you combine these extracts together and make a mild soap it can be very refreshing, relaxing, and improve the health of your skin. Instead of stripping away the skins moisture and protection, it helps to cleanse, moisturize, and balance the skin. Man made chemicals can be very harsh on our skin and actually be the cause of rashes and skin blemishes. Ayurvedic soap is mild and helps to eliminate the symptoms, while effectively cleaning the skin.
Taking the lessons of Ayurvedic medicine and applying them to Ayurvedic soap gives your skin the glow, healthy feeling, and healthy look you really want. Instead of getting dried out skin, you have deeply nourished and moisturized skin just a nature intended it to look.