My Vedic Kitchen

Remedies for Your Skin

Winter and Your Skin

As the weather turns dry and cold in the winter, your skin can become dry and dull. Vata dosha is responsible for this. You can help keep your skin soft by rehydrating it from the inside and the outside, and by balancing Vata dosha. Later in the winter, because of accumulated heat in the body, you can experience skin eruptions. The strategy then is to balance both Vata dosha and Pitta dosha, which governs heat.

The cold of the winter freezes your pores, causing poor circulation in the skin. Your face and hands, which are exposed more to the conditions of the weather, are especially affected. Since the pores shrink, the skin is not able to absorb conventional petroleum-based products. As a result, moisture doesn't get to the deeper layers of the skin. Plus, chemical products can actually damage your skin, and your health. A warm massage (abhyanga) with herbalized ayurvedic oil, on the other hand, is an excellent method of re-hydrating the skin and improving circulation. Almond oil is a good choice, because it can go into the deeper layers of the skin and is suitable for all skin types.

Re-hydrate from Within

In addition to moisturizing your skin from the outside, it is just as important to hydrate it from the inside.

Let's start with your diet. Consider trying out a Vata-pacifying diet by favoring meals that are rich in heavier, warm and moist foods. These foods help counteract the drying effects of the winter season. Leafy green vegetables, squashes, sweet juicy fruits, and lots of water are your best dietary friends during the cold, dry winter months. Whenever possible, choose fresh organic foods free of GMO's, chemicals and pesticides. These powerful foods will help re-hydrate your skin. Add the ayurvedic spice mixture called Organic Vata Churna, sautéed in ghee (clarified butter), to your meals. For a balancing and nourishing snack, mix equal amounts of raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Soak a handful overnight and eat them the next day when you feel hungry between meals.

Keeping your routine regular will also help keep Vata in balance. Skipping or delaying meals can throw your digestion off balance. The body likes routine — this helps it hum! Getting enough rest is one of the true secrets of ayurveda — it both purifies and rejuvenates. Lots of repair and re-energizing can occur between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., which is why Vaidyas (ayurvedic experts) recommend this routine. Keeping your elimination as regular as possible is important. If that's an issue, try the classic ayurvedic herbal formula Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus). It's an age-old formulation that helps with the assimilation of all other herbals and foods, while supporting regular elimination. Yoga asanas (postures) are a great addition — and easy on your health routine. The Transcendental Meditation® technique, along with asanas, will profoundly relax the nervous system and pacify Vata. Yoga also enhances the detoxification process and opens the channels (subtle pathways) of the body, helping it clear itself of ama, or toxins.

A good way to nourish your body and your skin from the inside is to take Maharishi Amrit Kalash regularly. The Rejuvenation for Men or Rejuvenation for Ladies formulas also support and balance the entire system from the cells up. Premium Amla Berry, among other things, supports skin health and appearance.

How to Do an At-Home Ayurvedic Facial

  1. Cleanse face and neck with Youthful Skin Cleansing Gel to remove makeup and impurities.
  2. Apply several drops of Youthful Skin Oil on fingers and gently massage the face and neck. Repeat this three times.
  3. Make organic milk foam.

To make the milk foam, slowly bring organic milk to a boil, remove from heat, add a few drops of Organic Rose Water and then, using a batter whip or electric beater, whip the milk until a thick layer of foam appears.

  1. Massage this milk foam onto the face and neck. Repeat three times.
  2. Use a facial steamer for 5 minutes or until the skin perspires. Make a tent for yourself, using a towel or sheet.
  3. Apply a thin layer of bentonite clay to the face and neck. Leave on for 3-5 minutes or until the skin begins to feel tight.
  4. Remove clay with remaining organic milk and then rinse milk off with warm water. Use natural sponges for removal of clay.
  5. Apply a thin layer of Youthful Skin Oil to the face and neck. Dab off excess with a tissue.
  6. After one hour, apply a thin layer of Youthful Skin Cream to the face and neck.

Your skin will look and feel nourished with this age-old facial treatment.

An Amazing Cleanser You Can Make at Home: Especially Good for Vata Skin

To make this homemade herbal cleanser you need to purchase some organic rolled oats, the herb 'marshmallow root, ' some dried jasmine flowers and lavender flowers. You'll also need some Indian sarsaparilla and some dried orange peel, as well as a small quantity of organic cheesecloth. Most herb shops have these materials, or you can order them online.

  1. Mix a large quantity of 80 percent rolled oats, 10 percent marshmallow root, 5 percent jasmine flowers and 5 percent lavender flowers. For Pitta skin, mix a large quantity of 80 percent rolled oats, 5 percent rose buds, 5 percent lavender flowers, 5 percent Indian sarsaparilla and 5 percent dried orange peel.
  2. Place two tablespoons of the appropriate mixture in the middle of a small square of cheesecloth, gather up the ends of the cloth into a ball and tie with a string. Make enough balls for a month and store them in an airtight container.
  3. Every night dip one ball into a cup of warm organic milk (boil the milk first and let it cool to a comfortable temperature) and pat your face with the herb ball to cleanse and moisturize your skin. Rinse with warm water.

Lauki (Loki)

How to Prepare this Exotic Squash

This vegetable is excellent for balancing liver function for most people. It is often recommended by ayurvedic physicians when liver issues prevent it from efficiently processing food for maximum nutrition and assimilation.

How to Recognize Lauki:

Lauki is a squash, resembling yellow crook-neck squash in shape but a light green in color, sometimes much larger and thicker. It grows up to two feet long in some areas, and starts anywhere from ten inches in length. It has a smooth surface like eggplant, but not as shiny. The best quality is firm, light and even in color without many blemishes.

Where to Find Lauki:

Lauki is sold by many names, depending on who is selling it. Ask for Lauki, or Loki, in your local Indian or Asian food store. Ask for Kakunsa where Italian foods are sold. Ask for Fuzzy Squash in Canada. And you can special-order it in many U.S. food stores as White Pumpkin, Benares Pumpkin or Long White Gourd. These are the names for the sweet variety. Avoid the bitter variety, called Bitter Gourd. The scientific names are Lagenaria vulgaris or Cucurbita.

How to Prepare Lauki:

Wash and peel. Chop into small cubes, about ½". Steam until slightly soft, like yellow squash, usually about 15 minutes. Alternatively, place in frying pan or wok, with one teaspoon of ghee, and sauté on medium heat until slightly soft and moist. Melt one tablespoon of ghee in a large frying pan until it turns clear. Mix ½ teaspoon whole cumin and ½ teaspoon of turmeric into the ghee until the aromas are released. Add the steamed or cooked lauki and evenly coat it with the ghee-spice mixture. Serve immediately, not too hot.

Tip: Whole grains make a perfect complement. Basmati rice is good for those with liver issues.


Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.