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Beautiful skin is an outward sign of health and vitality. From an Ayurvedic perspective, problems such as rashes, acne, hives, boils, psoriasis and eczema occur when too much heat accumulates in the body. Although the seasonal increase in temperature makes heat-related imbalances of the skin more prevalent in the summertime, they can happen at any time of the year. Fortunately, the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia offers some wonderful herbs that cool the system and help restore our natural state of balance. Following a daily herbal regimen, along with a few simple diet and lifestyle suggestions, is the Ayurvedic recipe for beautiful, healthy skin.
Excess heat is normally eliminated through the GI tract. However, when the system becomes overloaded with toxins, this heat becomes trapped and is absorbed into the blood. The body, naturally seeking to remove these toxins, resorts to using the skin as an organ of elimination. This will usually manifest as some type of skin inflammation or irritation.
Pitta dosha governs the digestion and transformation of ingested food into a usable, nourishing substance for the body. Following a proper diet and making appropriate food choices are one of the most important ways to pacify pitta dosha and prevent excess heat from accumulating in the body.
- Avoid hot spices, chili peppers, oily or fried foods, fermented foods and citrus fruits.
- Eliminate alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
- Favor intrinsically cooling foods like vegetable greens, basmati rice, sweet juicy fruits, coconut, cucumber and cilantro.
- Drink plenty of fresh water.
Although we naturally accumulate heat within the body during the summer season, it is important to minimize daily practices that aggravate pitta dosha. Some practices include working in a hot kitchen, being exposed to chemicals or fumes, and being in highly competitive, stressful or hostile environments. Try these helpful lifestyle tips:
- Cultivate peace, patience and tolerance.
- Massage pitta massage oil, coconut or sunflower oil on your body before you bathe.
- Exercise regularly. A cooling yoga practice or swimming is best.
- Try rose oil on your pulse points to soothe your senses.
- Instead of sunbathing, try bathing in the moonlight.
- Minimize anger, criticism and hate.
Ayurvedic herbs have been used effectively for generations to restore the normal elimination process while promoting healthy lustrous skin.
Amazing Herbal Skin Supplement is a powerful blend of five blood purifying herbs: manjista root, neem leaf, turmeric root Chirayta and Giloye root. This formula helps to:
- cleanse toxins from the blood, lymphatics, and liver
- remove excess heat from the body
- restore the skin’s natural beauty
A digestive aid for pitta, Gastro Powder is a formula that helps with digestive complaints such as hyperacidity and heartburn. It helps to maintain normal acid levels and promote healthy digestion.
Include Triphala to support elimination, detoxification, and tonification of the gastro-intestinal tract. When there is extra heat in the digestive tract, Amalaki can be taken in place of Triphala to help eliminate excess pitta and cleanse toxins from the GI tract.
Ayurvedic herbs may also be used externally to support the skin’s healing process. Neem is an extremely cooling herb that is naturally antibacterial and antifungal. It is available in the following forms. Choose the one which is suitable to treat your symptoms.
- Neem soap is great for cleaning and cooling irritated skin.
- Neem oil can be applied to dry inflamed skin.
- Neem powder can be applied as a paste to weepy, oily or oozy skin inflammations.
Amazing Herbal Acne Face Pack is an excellent topical formulation which is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. It is ideal for pimples, acne spots, red, irritated skin.
Practicing Moon Salutations can be the most beneficial exercise for pitta types. Not only does it help to keep channels of the body open to move toxins out, but it also imparts a sense of calm. Boat and Bow give a nice massage to the small intestine, an important seat of pitta dosha. Spinal twists give a gentle squeeze to the liver and spleen. Forward bends are cooling and help to relieve excess pitta in the body.
Meditating for a short time both morning and night reduces stress and gives the analytical pitta mind space to digest the experiences of the day.
Shitali Pranayama, the cooling breath, is excellent for eliminating heat from the body. The practice is as follows:
- Curl or roll the sides of your tongue inward into a tube or straw.
- Inhale slowly through the rolled tongue, and then close the mouth and exhale normally through the nose.
- If you are unable to roll your tongue, lightly clench your teeth together with the tongue pressed against the teeth at the front of the mouth. The air is then inhaled through the teeth and sides of the mouth.
- Notice the instantly cooler temperature of the inhalation as the air passes over the moist tongue.
- Practice for 15-20 rounds of breath.