Achieve Natural Beauty Through
By Dr Deepa Apté, The Healthy Living Centre
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
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
Drinking plenty of warm water through out
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
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
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
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
Eat raw fruit alone and never as a part of
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
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
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
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
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
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
Beauty Treatments in
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
'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.