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Achieve Natural Beauty Through Ayurveda
By Dr Deepa Apté, The Healthy Living Centre

'Ayurveda' is the ancient medical science from India which covers all aspects of life including beauty.  In India, beauty is considered a blessing from God and it’s our duty to keep our bodies and mind healthy and beautiful.  Ayurveda believes that beauty is not just skin deep, but comes from within too.

To look and feel beautiful, you should follow all the 5 lines of treatment in Ayurveda which comprise of herbs and herbal remedies, food and diet, Ayurvedic massage and bodywork, yoga exercises and a daily lifestyle routine.  In one of the ancient Ayurvedic text books, Sushruta Samhita mentions a list of Ayurvedic herbs, procedures and recipes to keep you beautiful.

Being healthy, feeling and looking beautiful in Ayurveda, is based upon freeing your body from 'Ama' or toxins.  Getting rid of toxins means that your digestive fire (Agni) is strong.  A strong Agni helps to restore nutrition at a cellular level thereby aiding good health and natural beauty from within.  Following a Simple Detoxification at home will help to get rid of toxins. which generally includes:

  • Drinking plenty of warm water through out the day.

  • Start your day with a cup or mug of a ginger lemon tea. Ginger-lemon tea is very good at detoxifying and cleansing the body. But remember excess ginger can be to hot for the body and excess lemon can be too citric or acidic for the body.  But the right proportion of ginger and lemon can do wonders to the body.  It's best to take a ginger-lemon tea based on Ayurvedic principles.

  • 'Triphala' is a very good herbal combination to help strengthen the digestive fire and keep the digestive system strong and healthy.  It rejuvenates the membrane lining of the digestive tract and contributes to effective cleansing of the colon; a key condition in Ayurveda in maintaining optimum health and natural beauty.

  • Avoid heavy, cold food and take more of light, warm and nourishing food.  'Kitchari' (rice and mung beans cooked in little clarified butter (ghee) with various spices like turmeric, cumin seeds, coriander seeds etc) is the best food to take during a simple detoxification.

Herbal Remedies

  • To have beautiful skin and to maintain it, take one capsule of turmeric every day.  Ayurveda says that when a pregnant lady regularly takes turmeric during pregnancy, she will be blessed with a child with beautiful skin.

  • If you suffer from severe acne, 'Neem' is the answer.  Neem (Azadirachta indica) has traditionally been used in Ayurveda to purify the blood and support the immune system. It’s considered to be an excellent herb for maintaining glowing and beautiful skin, as well as supporting healthy blood glucose levels.

  • Neem soap for external use is beneficial for those suffering from various skin problems and also for those who want a beautiful glowing complexion.

Food and Diet

  • The first rule is to follow a diet to suit your Ayurveda body type (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).

  • Make it a habit to take 3 skinned almonds which have been soaked in water overnight.  Such almonds are full of 'Prana' and 'Sattwa'.  Peeling away the brown skin is essential. This is also one of the anti-ageing recipes mentioned in various Ayurvedic text books.

  • Fast at least once a week.  On such days, you can take water, fruit or vegetable juices. This helps to strengthen the digestive fire.

  • Maintain a regular routine for your food intake.

  • Eat raw fruit alone and never as a part of meal.

Ayurvedic Massage

  • Touch is very fundamental to life. Touch is as nourishing as food itself.

  • Self-massage when practised everyday can turn back years and make you look younger and more beautiful.

  • Use an Ayurvedic oil to suit your skin type (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). Alternatively, you can also use pure, cold pressed sesame oil for daily massage.

  • Spend at least 15 minutes to massage your whole body and face. Concentrate on various 'Marma' points or energy centres. This will help release blocked energy. Once energy starts flowing in an uninterrupted manner, not only will you feel fresh and rejuvenated, but you will also look young and radiant.

  • Taking a warm bath or shower after a massage is essential to wash off any toxins that may be drawn out to the skin surface.

  • Alternatively, you can steam your face and then apply an Ayurvedic face mask containing sandalwood and rose (both of which are skin rejuvenators).

Yoga and Breathing Exercises

  • Any exercise that stimulates blood circulation to the face and skin helps to bring fresh oxygenated blood to those parts.

  • Downward facing 'dog' pose helps to stretch the muscles of the whole body especially your back and legs. It also helps to improve blood circulation to the head and face region.

  • The 'lion' pose is the best exercise for the head, face and neck region. It improves blood circulation and strengthens the muscles of the face and neck.  Hence it's the best position to keep wrinkles away from the face.

  • Forward bends help to keep the digestive system strong and healthy. It also helps in moving and clearing waste within the colon.

  • Breathing exercises like the alternate nostril breathing, cleansing breath exercise and the 'bee' breath exercise are beneficial.

  • Although hard to believe, people who meditate regularly enjoy more beautiful younger looking skin than those who do not.  Ayurveda says that inner peace and happiness is a sure way to both inner and outer beauty.

Daily Lifestyle and Routine

  • Find out what your Dosha type is and follow a lifestyle routine to suit it.

  • Gargle your mouth with warm sesame oil (pure, cold pressed sesame oil) every morning. Keep the oil in your mouth for at least two minutes. This process of gargling helps to draw out all impurities from the digestive tract and helps to keep it strong. Gargling with sesame oil also helps to keep the gums and teeth strong as well as imparting a natural glow to your facial skin.

  • Try and maintain a regular routine of your daily activities.

Beauty Treatments in Ayurveda

  • In Ayurveda, various massages and bodywork therapies form a part of the beauty treatment. Traditionally, a bride-to-be receives various beauty treatments days before her wedding.

  • 'Abhyanga': this a classical whole body massage with Dosha oil. This helps to slow down the ageing process and hence plays an important part of the anti-ageing therapies.

  • 'Marma Abhyanga': This is a specialist massage whereby the 107 Marma points are massaged which help to release any blocked energy in the body.

  • 'Shirobhaynga': This is the traditional Ayurvedic head massage - various Marma points are stimulated in the head and neck region. This massage helps to calm and relax the mind, nourishes the scalp and strengthens the hair giving it a healthy lustre.

  • 'Shirodhara': This is forehead oil-flow treatment which helps to relax the mind and brain.

  • 'Udvartana': This is a very traditional Ayurvedic massage given to brides weeks before the wedding right up until the wedding day.  Finely ground Ayurvedic herbs and exotic sandalwood powder are mixed with precious Ayurvedic oils which are gently massaged into the skin. This results in the stimulation of the energy flow in the body, detoxification and nourishment of body tissues, activation of the skin’s natural metabolism and also an improvement in lymph flow. The Udvartana massage cleanses and refines the skin structure and gives the skin a soft, silky texture and a lustrous glow.

For a long time, Ayurvedic remedies have been used in India to brighten eyes, clear the skin and strengthen hair. Anti-ageing Ayurvedic treatments are very popular and are aimed at those wishing to look and feel younger and lead long and rejuvenated lives.



Dr Deepa Apté is a fully qualified Indian medical doctor, a qualified Yoga teacher and also Ayurvedic practitioner who lectures widely on Ayurveda and Yoga and regularly writes articles for the press.  Deepa runs her practice from The Healthy Living Centre in Islington, London where she offers Ayurvedic consultations, individual Yoga sessions and workshops on various topical issues.








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