Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion School
The quality of the skin is closely related to the quality of the blood. Poetically in Ayurveda, the skin is considered to be the cream of the blood that rises to the surface. The foundation of good skin, therefore, is balanced blood chemistry.
But what affects the quality of the blood? All of your organs and tissues affect blood chemistry. Therefore, the skin is truly connected to the health of the blood, all the organs, and the whole body.
Since skin is so important in assessing health, Ayurveda practitioners study the skin carefully, and can identify which organ may be causing your complexion catastrophes. By learning to recognize and decipher an imbalance of the skin, you will be able to understand and rectify its root cause, too.
The skin is a sensory organ that enables you to experience your surroundings through touch. Highly enervated, it allows you to experience pressure, pain, hot, and cold.
The skin keeps essential fluids within the body, assists in the removal of waste products through sweat, and also regulates the production of and stores vitamin D in the fat tissue.
Western science categorizes the skin into three main layers: the epidermis (the outermost layer that provides tone to the skin and acts as a barrier), the dermis (thick layer of tough connective tissue, sweat glands and hair follicles) and the subcutaneous layer (fatty layer that helps regulate body temperature). Ayurveda breaks the skin down into seven layers. Sushruta, the ancient Ayurvedic physician, outlines these layers in his seminal text, Sushruta Samhita. Each layer has its own role and, when out of balance, leads to certain disorders.
Topical treatments may be used thereafter, but only as additional support. Topical treatments often reduce the symptoms of a skin condition initially and can be quite effective. But unless the cause is removed, the disorder is likely to return at one point or another.
The skin is a sensitive organ and Ayurveda treats the skin gently. Ayurveda suggests care regarding which substances touch the skin because the skin can absorb environmental and chemical toxins that come into contact with it. A popular saying in Ayurveda is, "Don't put it on your skin if you wouldn't eat it."
Soap is harsh. Most practitioners advise strategic use of soap in private areas only. Otherwise, rinsing the skin is sufficient for cleanliness, and helps maintain a healthy skin biome. Practitioners may also cleanse the skin by massaging oil into the skin and then, if desired, rubbing with a sea salt scrub to exfoliate and cleanse. Oils like coconut oil have antimicrobial properties, feeding the good bacteria and eliminating the bad.
Ayurveda also has a science of skin pastes (Ubtans) for cleansing the skin and improving skin health topically. An ubtan may be made from ground oatmeal, ground almond flour or chickpea flour, depending on the amount of moisturization, oils, and astringency desired in the formula. Herbs may be added to the ubtan for enhanced effect.
Lifestyle is another main factor in skin disorders. For example, your length and quality of sleep greatly affects the skin. Similarly, an irregular routine aggravates the liver, one of the organs that frequently contributes to skin problems. Many people notice their skin condition worsens when under stress, as stress affects the liver. When the liver is under stress, the skin is more likely to become imbalanced as the blood may not be filtered adequately. Using blood cleansing herbal formulas like Liver & Lymph Cleanse Tea can help clear the blood of impurities, giving your skin a healthy glow.
Toxins (ama) are one of the most common causes of disorders of the skin. Inflamed skin, puffy skin, acne and a gray, lifeless appearance all indicate there is a buildup of of toxins circulating through the blood.
Poor digestion, since it creates ama and poor nutrition, is frequently a root cause of skin disorders. The quality of the blood is a direct result of the strength of digestion. The stronger the digestive system, the cleaner the blood will be and in turn, the healthier the skin. The weaker the digestive system, the more toxins will be present in the blood and the more likely you are to get a skin condition. This is why, when looking to improve the skin, Ayurveda frequently looks to the digestive system first.
Finally, the skin can also be easily damaged from overexposure to the sun, fungal or bacterial infection, or physical trauma like an open wound.
Massage your body with half and half mixture of Sesame oil and Vata Oil for especially supple skin. Oil hydrates and softens a brittle thin skin. For dry skin on the scalp, perform a head massage with bhringaraj oil.
Find Ayurvedic health tips In these main areas:Skin Color