The ancient Indian medicine Ayurveda was born more than 5000 years ago in India. Its glory returned with full force in the recent years and it is strongly recommended by the health gurus as a lifestyle. But what is it actually?
Briefly about Ayurveda
The name of this holistic medicine is translated from Sanskrit as a science of life: Ayur (longevity, life) and veda (knowledge). It is a comprehensive medicine and it has eight branches that focus on the treatment of every part of the human body.
Ayurveda includes a variety of healing procedures and massages that are performed with natural herbal oils by qualified Ayurveda doctors. However, there are some Ayurvedic therapies that everyone can do at home without health risk. Ayurveda has countless benefits for the human health.
Ayurveda treatment is based entirely on natural methods and the advantage of this medicine is that it doesn’t hide any side unwanted effects. Unlike conventional medicine, Ayurveda focuses on the prevention of the disease, not just on the treatment. Ayurveda medicine doesn’t include any medications and it offers even therapies for treatment of children’s diseases. This may sound shocking now to the modern doctors, but in the past the Ayurvedic specialists have even performed eye surgeries and transplantations of organs.
The harmony and balance are basic concepts in Ayurveda. When the fine harmony in our organism is disturbed, this favors the occurrence of various diseases. So the role of Ayurveda is to restore this delicate balance and to recover the complete health of the organism.
According to Ayurveda the digestive fire "agni" plays an important role for the general health. Our digestion is a certain indicator of our health condition. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends the consumption of homemade foods that are easy to digest and that are rich in nutrients such as kitchari (Indian stew of lentils and basmati rice).
Ayurveda is not limited only to the definition of medicine. Ayurveda is a way of life and the skill to perform Ayurvedic therapies in the right way is defined as a gift in India. Ayurveda preaches the substitution of the harmful daily habits with new that are useful for the organism. This is, for example, replacing coffee with golden milk (dairy beverage with turmeric), brushing teeth with coconut oil instead of toothpaste, drinking hot water with lemon on an empty stomach in the morning, and not forgetting the super popular yoga for which some people claim to have changed their lives radically.
However, we don’t have to go to India in order to enjoy effective Ayurvedic procedures. There are some simple Ayurvedic procedures that everyone can do on his own in order to improve his health and to increse his tone and vital energy.
Here we will show you some Ayurvedic therapies that we can do easily at home alone
Dry brush massage
This type of massage improves the blood circulation and helps for the elimination of toxins, improves the condition of the epidermis, renews the cells, improves the function of internal organs, fights the cellulite accumulations. Moreover, it removes stretch marks and prevents water retention.
The massage is performed with light movements starting from the legs and finishing in the cardiac area, using a natural hair brush.
Brushing the tongue at dawn
For most of us, proper dental hygiene is limited to brushing the teeth and gums with a toothbrush and paste. But this way, we ignore a place in the mouth where a solid amount of bacteria accumulates – the tongue.
Due to the uneven surface of the tongue, microorganism easily enter between the papilla and start their development. Bacteria on the tongue can cause various health problems such as cavity and bad breath, glossitis, stomatitis. For tongue brushing we can use a toothbrush with a special tongue cover on one side, specialized spoon or a spatula for tongue cleaning.
The tongue brushing procedure at dawn effectively removes the accumulated bacteria on the tongue, and it doesn’t take more than a minute.
Massage of the scalp
This type of massage is very popular in India, as every family in almost every Indian house practices it. Children and parents make each other a scalp massage that has proven health benefits. This massage improve the quality of sleep, stimulates hair growth and makes the hair strong and shiny.
According to Ayurveda, in the area of the scalp are located the marma points (points where the vital energy is localized). Under the scalp are situated pituitary and pineal glands.
The scalp massage stimulates secretion of the serototnin and melatonin hormones, which has a soothing effect on the entire body and mind. Massage your scalp with a teaspoon of coconut oil (in summer) or a teaspoon of sesame oil (in winter) for about ten minutes before going to bed. Cover your head in a warm cloth and let it stay like this for 5 or 10 minutes.
If you have a Pitta constitution and your skin is sensitive, then this type of massage is recommended only once a week, and if you are of Vata constitution and your skin is dry and has dandruff, then the massage is recommended twice a week.
Natural Ayurveda therapy for beautiful hair
During the Vedic period, one of the seven main sages of India, Bharadvaja wrote in his book “Indian Beauty Secrets” that Indian women applied on their hair coconut oil with the scent of jasmine, rose and sandalwood. Cocnut oil is one excellent cosmetic product with many applications. It has hydrating and cooling effect, making it preferred during the summer.
Heat about 480 grams of coconut oil but be careful not to overdo it because it shouldn’t be steaming. Remove it from the fire and add a handful of dried hibiscus, basil and mangold leaves and a teaspoon of black tea leaves.
Leave the liquid to soak for a day and then strain it in a jar. Apply to the hair once a week by leaving the oil for at least 15 minutes before washing the hair with a selected shampoo.
This type of Ayurvedic massage, of course, has maximum effect when performed by a professional Ayurvedic doctor. But when we are not planning to visit Ayurveda clinic soon, we can make this procedure at home and benefit from it with regard to health. The daily self- massage is good for nourishment of the tissues and it also relaxes the mind.
The self-massage with herbal oil is a powerful tool for improvement of the blood circulation and cleansing the lymphatic system, and for toning of the body, skin condition improvement and it has soothing effect on the nervous system. When we perform this massage it is recommended to use entirely herbal oil.
We can use sesame or coconut oil. But most effective are the healing Indian herbal oils. It doesn’t matter whether we make the massage in the morning or at night before bedtime.
Ayurveda procedure for the eye contour area
Bharadvaja claims that in order to have strong and beautiful eyes we have to reduce the tension in the eyes, which causes conditions such as redness, swelling and fine wrinkles below the eyes.
Here are some eye therapies to perform at home:
- For the tension – Soak cotton discs in rose water and place them on your eyes for 10 minutes for cooling effect.
- For dark circles – Place an apple slice on each eyelid for 10 minutes. The apple contains digestible minerals such as potassium, Vitamin B, C and tannin, which eliminate the dark circles.
- For wrinkles – Before going to bed, place a thin layer of almond oil or olive oil in the area around the eyes and leave it for 20 minutes, in order the skin to become softer. Gently wipe with damp cotton.
Drinking hot watter in the morning
It is too much to call this habit a spa therapy, but according to Ayurveda, the cleansing of the organism should happen both externally and internally. Ayurveda believes that the hot water opens the channels in the organism, helping the movement of toxins and they release out of the body. This powerful detox method shouldn’t be underestimated.