Ayurvedic Tips and Tricks By Chahna Tailor
Happy August! Since we are in the full swing of the summer season, let’s go through some Ayurvedic tips to brighten your skin, make your hair healthier, and keep you calm and relaxed through this fun time!
- Swedana, sweating, is great for opening up the pores and sweating out toxins. You can buy a facial steamer from Amazon, or boil some water in a pot, cover your head with a towel, and hang over the hot water (with the stove off!). The steam works just as well as a facial steamer!
- Brides (and grooms) can use sugar to exfoliate the face. Honey and lemon can be used to even out the skin tone and to fade acne scarring. The inside of tomatoes can be used for the same purpose.
- Mixing a pinch of turmeric with a scoop of besan (gram powder) and creating a paste with milk, cream, or water can help to clean and purify the skin.
- For those that suffer from redness, inflammation, and acne, applying aloe vera can be cooling and can help balance some of those pitta symptoms. It also helps to hydrate the skin and even out the skin tone. You can also make a paste of tulsi leaves for your face – it’s great for those with oily skin since it is great for skin disorders and for acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Drinking CCF (coriander, cumin, fennel) tea daily can help to clear toxins out of your digestive system, thus clearing your complexion. Refer back to my Preven-Tea-Tive article for an exact recipe of how to make it, plus some added benefits!
- A daily abhyanga would be amazing for your overall skin as well as your mind. An abhyanga is an oil massage. Depending on your type of skin and your dosha, you can use a specific oil, but refined sesame oil works for anyone! Before a shower (or, if you are prone to dry skin, use after your shower), massage oil into your skin and leave on for a minimum of 15 minutes so that it can be well absorbed. It’s great for your body and you will feel more relaxed through giving yourself a massage.
There are two things that are super important for hair and scalp health.
- The first thing for hair is to give yourself a daily head massage.
- The second is to put oil on your scalp and hair. The best way? Do them both at the same time! Amla oil is amazing for the scalp and hair. Amla oil and hair massages are known for strengthening the scalp and hair. Amla is also used for reducing graying of the hair. A hair massage stimulates the hair follicles, and just like amla oil, can help increase hair growth. If you have a dry scalp and suffer from dandruff, oiling the scalp helps to rejuvenate the skin. Amla oil can easily be found at your local desi store, Amazon, or I can send you a recipe on how to make it at home yourself!
- Tulsi leaves are usually something that every family has at home. Take a few of these leaves and boil them to make a tea or eat them as they are. Tulsi is known for being a relaxant. In Ayurveda, tulsi is used as a way to regulate hormones which can regulate your mood, and help awaken the neurotransmitters that work to make this happen.You can eat a few tulsi leaves to freshen your breath and to relax. Mint tea can also be taken as a way to relax your nerves.
- Some pranayama exercises can definitely help keep you balanced, such as anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing) and ujjayi pranayama (victorious breath). Anuloma viloma is practiced by using your right ring finger and thumb to block one nostril at a time. Start by blocking the right nostril and inhaling through the left, close the left nostril, open the right nostril and exhale through the right. Then, inhale through the right, close the right, open the left nostril, and exhale out the left. That is one cycle. Do this for 5-10 minutes and you will see a noticeable shift in your mood.
- Doing a few yoga poses can also relax you. It may not be conducive to do adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog) but just sitting in a meditative pose, vajrasana (thunderbolt/diamond pose), by kneeling and sitting on your heels can help bring peace.
- If none of these are feasible, sitting in a chair and even standing with your eyes closed for a few minutes can help to bring relaxation.
I hope these suggestions help you. Remember, these tips and tricks are great for any time of the year. Just keep calm and have fun through the rest of the summer! When in doubt, give yourself a massage!
A daily abhyanga
hair and scalp health
adho mukha svanasana