The word Ayurveda translates to “the science of life” (Ayru – life and Veda – science). Ayurveda has brought true health and wellness to millions of individuals throughout the ages with simple changes in daily living practices. Incorporating just a few of these proven methods into your lifestyle can bring about radical changes in your life.
It is currently considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within the United States of America, but this ancient art of healing has been practiced continuously for over 5,000 years.
That said, there are some specific treatments that many recognize as effective treatments for skin conditions. For starters, regardless of the skin condition, Ayurvedic practitioners suggest staying hydrated. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that water helps to naturally stabilize dry or oily skin. Drinking enough water also helps prevent the loss of moisture through the skin, which helps to promote overall wellness.
Ayurveda also recommends adhering to a daily regimen for proper skin care, including the use of a natural soap and the use of natural skin moisturizers. This is true whether a person has naturally dry skin or suffers from a more serious condition such as psoriasis. The key is to make sure that the moisturizer is, in fact, natural, containing only substances such as aloe vera—a natural antibiotic that many believe is particularly helpful in the treatment of many skin conditions. Unfortunately, many commercially available moisturizers contain preservatives and other chemicals, and do not fully absorb into the skin, instead remaining on the surface and sometimes clogging pores as a result.
In addition to proper hydration and skin care, Ayurvedic medicine has identified three natural supplements that appear to help treat a wide range of skin conditions—neem, haemafine syrup and khadir. All three of these are widely prescribed to treat acne, psoriasis, and eczema, although many believe they can be used to treat any skin condition. The tree stem, root, and bark of neem, a large evergreen tree, have antibacterial properties. It is used in supplement form to treat skin conditions. In addition, many Ayurvedic soaps contain neem extract. Haemafine syrup is a natural solution made up of more than a dozen herbs. It is used as a remedy for all types of skin diseases through its natural blood purification properties. Khadir, also known as the acacia catechu herb, is another natural blood purifier used to treat skin conditions.
Besides supplements, some Ayurvedic sources also suggest that a person with a skin condition receive an abhyanga, a traditional Ayurvedic massage that uses herbalized oils to draw toxins out through the skin.
Is Ayurveda Safe?
Ayurvedic practitioners argue that their treatments have fewer side effects than prescription drugs and other traditional medical therapies, since Ayurveda is a completely natural approach. However, certain treatments, such as herbal supplements, should be taken with caution, since they can interact with other medications or even produce side effects such as rises in blood pressure. So as with any new medical treatment, consult your doctor prior to beginning any Ayurvedic therapies. This is especially true for people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, or for women who are pregnant.