Dry Skin Treatment in Ayurvedic Medicine

Published: 27th September 2006
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Ayurvedic medicine is the traditional medicine of India. Treatment consists largely of herbs, fruits and spices, but much of it also revolves around self-care - living a lifestyle designed to prevent illness. Although India is quickly changing, daily life in India does not revolve around chemicals as does much of the West. They are therefore not as susceptible to dry skin caused by contact with harmful chemicals. In the Western world, thousands of doctors are now recommending a shielding lotion as dry skin treatment, but Ayurvedic medicine also offers some good advice.

In Ayurveda, defined as "the science of life," health is defined as an active state of wellness. In other words, you are not merely disease free, you are able to live life to the fullest. Ayurveda approaches wellness by adjustments in diet, daily routine and environment as required for your age, stress level, and lifestyle.

Basic to Ayurveda is the theory of the Five Elements – spirit, air, earth, wind and fire. It is believed that everything in the material universe is a combination of these elements. The ratios differ in each of us, and determine our spiritual, mental and physical constitution. Skin that is dry and tight is 'air predominant', and dry skin treatment consist of diet, skin protection, and a lifestyle appropriate to an 'air' skin type.

Here are a few key things that would be recommended:

 Cook with clarified butter or olive oil.
 The most beneficial foods are rice, oatmeal and buckwheat, mung dai lentils, asparagus and zucchini, stewed apples and pears (for breakfast), seasonal fresh fruits, soaked walnuts, and soaked and blanched almonds.
 The recommended spices for dry skin treatment are turmeric, cumin, coriander and fennel in a ratio of 2/3/6/6. This spice mixture is sautéed in clarified butter and added to food after or during cooking.

The lifestyle suggested includes going to bed early, walking for 20 minutes in the morning, taking regular short breaks while working, and deep breathing.

Protecting the skin from harsh chemicals and retaining moisture are the two most prevalent recommendations for air predominant skin. Drinking lots of spring water with a pH balance of 7.5 to stay hydrated and staying away from chemical-laden skin care products are at the top of the list. Ayurvedic healing also recommends wearing a protective coating such as a moisturizer on your face and hands, and lip balm to protect your lips.

While moisturizers do coat the skin, they are not an effective dry skin treatment because they usually contain drying chemicals and greasy substances that prevent the skin from breathing. A good shielding lotion is the best alternative. It bonds with the outer layer of the skin to form a protective barrier that allows the skin to breath, protects it from harsh weather and environmental chemicals, and locks in the skin's natural moisture. It is the best dry skin treatment available, and fits very nicely into the treatment recommended by Ayurvedic healers.


Author, Gloria MacTaggart, is a freelance writer who contributes articles on skin care for 21st Century Formulations. For more information, visit www.SkinMDNatural.com.

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