In India, the science of life propagates that nature knows best. Hence, the way we interact with nature, ingredient consciousness, is a natural phenomenon that has risen from our practices of utilizing what is grown on the land. For a holistic approach to wellbeing, the emphasis is on the right food for the mind, body and soul, leading to Aayush and Arogyam. And with the rich biodiversity, the Ayurveda comprises of 30000 plants put to use for their medicinal, aesthetic and healing properties, while the contemporary beauty science uses just 30 plants for the constituents.
This all-encompassing science defines beauty as roopam (appearance), gunam (inner beauty) and vayastyag (lasting beauty) to be adapted for mindful and collective wellbeing. Additionally, most of the products that qualify as enhance of the body and skin are part of the Indian cuisine as well. A walk through the Indian history and the contemporary lifestyle of the metropolitan expresses that the country has its own magic for the world to behold. Some of the essential natural remedies the grandmothers have sworn by, stood the tests of time and encapsulate the generosity and grace of Mother Earth.
Ginger: The Chest of Medicine
It enjoys the trusted 4000 years legacy and stature as a healing plant because of the 40 anti-oxidants that provide relief to both the body and skin. The kind of herb that keeps giving, it prevents free radical damage to the skin and delays ageing. Skin tone and elasticity is also improved due to its properties of reducing the cellulite. Due to its pungent, spicy and strong aromatic qualities, it is a staple in Indian households as an element against stomach-ache and nausea. The active ingredients also help boost the metabolism.
Cinnamon: The Flavourful Spice
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of cinnamon help in the treatment of acne and age-related macular degeneration. It also has skin lightening properties that prevent blemishes and reduce scars. It is a source of calcium, fiber, manganese and the bark has essential oils. It also promotes hair growth and can be directly chewed as a mouth freshener for a lingering and sweet aftertaste.
Neem: The Evergreen – “Miracle Herb”
With as many as 130 bioactive compounds, it is an instant remedy to calm skin and exfoliation to let the skin breathe. It also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and hence, deters chickenpox and vitamin E helps heal the skin. The cool, dry and non-comedogenic, besides having a high content of fatty acids and glycerides that help treat eczema and preventing treatment of excess pitta.
Turmeric: The Universal Healer
Regardless of the ailments that may arise in our bodies or on the skin, turmeric has been used extensively in the Indian and Chinese cultures. With soothing, detoxifying and exfoliating elements, it helps the skin in numerous ways and helps in accelerates its healing. As a rich source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, magnesium and Vitamin C, it penetrates the skin and improves the functions of the skin membrane and revitalizes it. Crowned as the most beneficial ingredient, it has been used in recipes to reap the multitude of benefits it offers.
Coconut Oil: Liquid Elixir
This is heralded as the beauty cure-all. With antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties it is rich in fatty acids and lauric acids. It is a non-fragrant plant oil, that is a hydrating moisturizer and a deep cleanser. It helps to strengthen the skin barriers and contains antioxidants, the topical application of which protects the skin. It can be consumed as an alternative to vegetable oil for its unique flavour and encourages fat loss, improving heart health and boosting brain functions.
Kesar: The Fragrant Spice
Saffron is a time-honored ingredient, Kesar is the most expensive spice in the world. As a skin lightening and whitening ingredient, it helps in cleansing the skin with its antifungal properties and improvement of the texture of the skin. The antioxidants help to tone the skin and works as an antisolar agent by absorbing the harmful ultraviolet rays. It is also used to prepare royal cuisine. From decreasing levels of cholesterol to improving brain functions in Alzheimer’s, this wonder herb has multiple positive effects on health and well-being
Rose Water: Perfume of Liberation
Created by distilling rose petals in warm water, the fragrant and natural perfume has been used since the Medieval Ages for beauty and potential health benefits. The magic potion is an inexpensive alternative to luminescence of every Indian bride and a meticulous part of the wedding rituals. The humble leaves offer a rich source of aesthetic and aromatic indulgence, and the powerful antioxidants maintain the firmness of the skin and prevent ageing. With hydration, revitalization and moisturizing properties, it can be used as a daily supplement. It is gentle in nature and acts as a deep-cleanser, alongside maintaining the ph balance of the skin. Face-mists are also produced using the same for easy absorption. It is also used to prepare puddings, salads and cocktails, infusing the luxuriant aroma that captivates the olfactory senses.
Besides, the aesthetics of the body, Rose is also known to balance “Sadhak Pitta”, an element of neuroprotective properties, which governs sentiments and the heart and thoughts.
Thus, the naturalness of everything depends on the noble mind and is an extension of the old-age adage to nourish the relation between us and the planet. Let us step towards a more sustainable and balanced regime of the ancient wisdom as the contemporary wealth that revitalizes the sense and is aimed at manifestation of surrender to nature.