One of Ayurveda’s fundamental concepts is that health and disease are holistic-that is, whatever happens in one part of the body happens to the whole body. There are no isolated health problems. Any physical or psychological symptom of imbalance indicates an imbalance in the body-mind unit. Keep this holistic picture in mind as you look over the common skin problems below.
Listed below are external remedies for the most common skin problems. (Several of them are the contribution of Dr. Kirit Pandya, one of India’s foremost Ayurvedic physicians specializing in skin disease.) But please be aware, even a topical ointment or detoxification treatment is only a temporary remedy. If you continue with unhealthy lifestyle choices, new toxins will soon appear.
Aggravated by: Sun.
• To bleach, rub on cottonseed oil or crushed pumpkin seed kernels + olive oil.
• Mix 1 tsp yogurt + 2-3 drops honey to make a natural bleach. Apply, leave on for 4 hours, then rinse.
W H I T E SPOTS AND LEUCODERMA
Imbalance: This condition is usually hereditary.
Aggravated by: Small white spots are caused by stress, excess salt. Leucoderma, or large white patches, is hereditary.
• Internal cleansing.
• Apply a few drops each neem & bakuchi herbal oils directly to spots to reduce external symptoms.
Imbalance: Vata or Pitta.
Aggravated by: Old age, cold weather.
• Do internal cleansing treatment at change of season.
• Massage with Vata-pacifying oils or Tej Saffron Oil.
Aggravated by: Excessive oil secretions.
• To loosen, add a pinch of Epsom salts to a cup water. Dip cotton ball in mixture and wash face.
• ‘Apply a mask of ground fresh parsley on oily area. Lie down for 10- 15 minutes, then cleanse, nourish, and moisturize as usual.
Desrription: Silvery flakes mostly on scalp but may appear on any part of body. Characterized by chronic and excessive dryness and irritation.
Imbalance: Vata 8c Pitta.
Aggravated by: Liver dysfunction, anxiety, stress, ungroundedness.
• Bathe with horsetail herbs wrapped in cheesecloth in your tub. After bath, apply neem oil + ghee or karanj oil twice a day.
• Do daily self-massage
• Do yoga or other non-aerobic exercise until you are sweating mildly (good for detoxification, stress reduction).
• Supplements: Take recommended daily dosage of primrose oil, cod liver oil, lecithin, vitamin E, and zinc.
Description: There are three types of eczema: Dry patches (dry eczema) or moist, burning, inflamed red patches (burning eczema) typically appear around the joints but may appear anywhere on the body. Pussy, oozing patches (wet eczema) or dry itchy patches typically appear around eyes, brows, nose, or scalp, but also may be anywhere on the body.
• Mix 10 drops sandalwood oil + 1 oz castor oil and apply to dry area.
Imbalance: Vata (dry). Pitta (moist, inflamed, red, burning). Kapha (pussy if moist, itchy if dry).
Aggravated by: Improper diet, blood toxicity, constipation, stress, undigested emotions, excessive sun, saltwater.
• Mix equal parts neem + brahmi + basil herbal oils (all available from Tej), and apply.
• Mix 1/2 tsp camphor + 2 tsp zinc oxide + 7-8 tsp corn or potato starch, and apply.
• Apply a light compress of rose petals + nettle + comfrey in water.
• Cut an aloe leaf and apply sap directly to skin.
• Add a few drops of chamomile, geranium, juniper, or lavender essential oil to coconut oil, and apply.
• Take baths with comfrey and nettle decoctions.
• Massage feet and scalp at night with brahmi oil.
• Supplements: Daily take 1-2 tsp cod liver oil or primrose oil, 800 units vitamin E, 30 mgs zinc, recommended daily dosage of vitamin B-complex and lecithin. Take 1/2 tsp triphala at bedtime as laxative. Avoid salt, sugar, fats, onions, garlic, radishes; eat carrots and musk melon.
According to a leading Ayurvedic practitioner, the type of toxic skin manifestations will depend upon each person’s constitution. In general, skin disorders fall into six categories:
Disorders of the sebaceous glands - which include seborrhea, which is a Vata or Pitta imbalance, and blackheads, whiteheads, cystic acne, sebaceous cysts and excessive oiliness, which are Kapha imbalances.
Disorders of the sweat glands include excessive sweat, prickly heat, and red rash, which are Pitta problems; lack of sweat, which is a Vata problem; and abnormal foul-smelling perspiration, which is an imbalance of all three doshas.
Pigmentation problems include blackish discolorations (Vata); brown or reddish discolorations (Pitta); and whitish pigmentation (Kapha).
Skin allergies include psoriasis (Vata), dermatitis (Pitta), and eczema (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha).
Infections (fungal, bacterial, or viral) are due to low immunity (depleted ojas) and occur in all skin types.
Changes in tissue growth, which include dandruff (Vata or Pitta); moles, acne rosacea, and birthmarks (all Pitta imbalances); and cysts and tumors, which are Kapha imbalances.
As you can see, there are numerous explanations for unhealthy skin but the main causes tend to be an unhealthy diet, an ineffectual cleansing routine, and poor lifestyle choices.
Your skin is a living, breathing organ of the body and it needs proper nourishment and hydration to look and feel its best. When your skin is deprived of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it needs it is unable to functional at optimal levels and the structure slowly begins to break down. This breakdown results in dry skin, blemishes, discoloration, wrinkles, and premature aging.
In order to avoid this breakdown you need to feed your skin a varied mix of important nutrients each day. Ingesting sufficient amounts of vitamin A, a nutrient that can be found in citrus fruits and orange vegetables, can help you avoid dry skin and blemishes. Eating foods rich in the vitamin B group like brewer’s yeast or breads, or taking a vitamin B group supplement, can help you ward of skin discoloration, dry skin, dermatitis, shallow skin, and premature aging.
To help discourage wrinkles, pale skin, sun damage, blemishes, and other unhealthy skin symptoms, nutrients like calcium, protein, iodine, niacin, folic acid, iron, and copper are very important to a healthy diet. Get these effective skin helpers by enjoying foods like mild, eggs, cheese, chicken, fish, leafy vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Skin is the armor of the body. It is the outside waterproofing, element-fighting surface that protects our internal organs and skeletal structure from the harsh outside elements. Yet skin, overall is ignored most of the time. Healthy skin is important for a glowing completion of course, but if your body is unhealthy – your skin will be also.
The toxic world of industrialization has finally caught up with us. Producing toxic waste disasters, disease and tons of garbage buried so deep it can never breakdown. All these “modern advancements” have left our food supply as little more than a chemical compound in itself. If you can do ONE thing to give your skin and your body a fighting chance, you would be wise to choose as organic a diet as possible. To maintain a healthy skin, organically grown food is must.
In light of recent organic trends in our food, organic skin care products are also gaining popularity. For healthy lifestyle and healthy skin, limiting the amount of toxins and chemicals you put in your body is a must. If the environment or living “green” is important to you, you should also be aware of companies that produce the products you buy and their manufacturing practices.
Organic Skin Care is the most rapidly developing field in the beauty industry. Now what does Organic mean? Organic refers to anything grown or raised naturally. But more specifically, it means plants are grown on certified natural land without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetic modification or irradiation. In many cases, these organic farms are highly regulated by the Federal Food Safety Commission. Organic skin care means protecting your skin from harmful chemicals and using organic products whenever possible.
There are many organic products available on the market today. Most can be found at a local organic specialty stores, food suppliers or a national health food chain like Whole Foods. As organic products become more and more popular, many standard food stores, Like Safeway or Albertsons’ are also providing these products on their shelves. There are also plenty of websites offering organic skin or beauty care products online.
An organic product is preferable for natural skin care balance as it will generally contain far fewer chemical properties then it’s drugstore counterparts and thus have less possibility to cause inflammation or irritation. Of course, even an herbal product can have side effects as they are “chemicals” in their own right, so always be aware of the list if ingredients in the products you buy and the reactions your skin personally has to allergens.
A weekly facial mask is a great way to boost your skins radiance and normalize oily or dry conditions. No matter what your skin type, there is a facial mask suited for you. Facial masks, when used once a week or twice a month for sensitive skin, can deep clean your face, tighten your pores, or brighten and exfoliate. Exercise caution though when shopping for a mask. Not every facial mask will suit your particular skin type. Several varieties are clay masks, moisturizing masks, fruit extract masks, yogurt masks, and gel masks, just to name a few. Before you buy a facial mask, you must recognize your skin type and buy accordingly. Read more
Gather the following ingredients:
Juniper berries (Juniperus communus)
Used for: Detoxifying.
Chamomile Flowers (Matricaria recutita)
Used for: Soothing and calming.
Calendula Flowers (Calendula officinalis)
Used for: Softening the skin.
Lavender Flowers (Lavendula angustifolium) and Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Read more
A facial mask is a creamy mask applied to clean or smooth the face. It often contains minerals, vitamins and/or fruit extracts, such as pumpkin or cucumber. There are different kinds of masks for different purposes; some are deep cleansing for cleaning the pores. The perceived effect of a facial mask treatment can be revitalizing, rejuvenating or refreshing. Facial masks are most commonly used by women but are also increasingly used by men. Read more