Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of health and longevity, teaches us that true beauty can be achieved when you undertake your daily health and hygiene routines with the knowledge that you are a unique manifestation of Life’s vital energy. In Kerala, a state in South west India, Ayurveda has been a way of life for almost 5000 years, and the legendary families of Ayurvedic physicians from this tropical paradise offer you a regimen designed especially to support the health of your feet, eyes, hair and face. In addition they also teach you simple ways by which you can ensure that you glow from head to toe.
Ayurveda for Your Feet and Eyes
The ancient Ayurvedic text, the Ashtanga Hridaya, identifies four major nerves in the feet that connect to the eyes. Therefore, a foot massage is an ideal way not only to relax but also to relieve eye strain. The first step is to fill a foot tub with cool water and mix in a tablespoon of honey and a handful each of dried lavender and fresh rose petals. This footbath is excellent to soothe the mind. Or you can fill a foot tub with lukewarm water and add 1 teaspoon of ginger powder. This will invigorate the body and increase circulation. For tired and swollen feet, fill a foot tub with very warm water and add 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt for 5 litres of water. Once you have decided on the foot bath that you need, submerge your feet, relax for 10 minutes, then remove your feet and pat them dry. Next, give yourself a foot massage, using sesame, olive, or coconut oil. Apply the oil generously throughout your massage. Finally, rinse your feet with warm water, dry thoroughly, and slip them into clean cotton socks, Well-massaged feet connect more completely with the earth when you stand or sit with your feet on the ground, giving your whole being a more stable and relaxed foundation- and well oiled feet are protected from cracking and peeling, thus reducing the chances for fungal and bacterial infections.
Bathing the eye makes your eyes sparkle and can also help rejuvenate tiny muscles that have been taxed by hours of computer use or driving. The Ayurvedic herbal powder, Triphala is excellent for bathing your eyes. It is made up of the amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitaki fruits and is a blood purifier as well as a whole-body rejuvenator. Triphala also has properties that support the ophthalmic nerves and eye muscles. Prepare the Triphala infusion by boiling 1 teaspoon of Triphala powder in 1 cup of water for about 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool completely, strain thoroughly, and using a cupped palm, bathe each open eye with cool Triphala water 3 times. Rinse the face with pure water, and pat dry. Next, close your eyes and cover them with rose petals, cucumber slices, or cilantro leaves. Place a cotton pad over each eye and tie a band of muslin cotton or a bandana around the eyes to create a loose blindfold. Finally after 10 minutes, remove the blindfold and apply a the dark eyeliner known as kajal that has been prepared according to Ayurvedic formulations. Kajal reduces glare in bright light, sharpens the vision, and encourages the growth and darkness of eyelashes
Ayurveda for your Hair and Face
For thousands of years, Indian women- especially those from Kerala, have kept their tresses lovely with sumptuous scalp oils made from coconuts, herbs, flowers, and spices You can use plain coconut or sesame oil that has been enriched with Ayurvedic botanicals like brahmi and bhringraj, You should massage the warm oil into your scalp, working downward and outward with your fingertips from the crown of your head. These herbal oils promote thick, lustrous, healthy hair and also ward off colds and flu. They relieve headaches, keep you cool in hot weather, and repair frayed nerves too. To finish, shampoo with a mild, cleanser, towel gently and then let your hair finish drying naturally.
For a glowing complexion, give yourself a wonderfully uncomplicated flaxseed facial. Grind flaxseeds in a coffee grinder, or buy a pre-ground meal. The concentrated essential fatty acids in flaxseed moisturize and protect the skin while the texture of the hulls stimulates circulation; cleans away dirt, sweat, and excess oils- and sloughs away dead skin cells. To increase the healing benefits complete your facial with a nourishing turmeric-yogurt mask made with 2 tablespoons plain yogurt mixed with 1/3 teaspoon honey and a pinch of turmeric powder. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with clean hands to seal in the good effects of your facial into your skin. So, be as healthy and beautiful as you were meant to be- Ayurveda can make it happen!