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Concept of Beauty and Ayurveda Medicine

Concept of Beauty and Ayurveda Medicine

Jayram Hazra – Director, Dept of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & FW, Central Council for Research in Ayurveda Science, National Research Institute of Ayurvedic Drug Development, India
Ashok Kumar Panda – Research Officer (S2), Central Council for Research in Ayurveda Science, National Research Institute of Ayurvedic Drug Development, India

natural beauty tips, Ayurveda


Beauty is the desire of every individual to give pleasure to the sense. Beauty is not always related to women rather men are more beauty consciousness as the evolution shows male animals are more beautiful. Some are beauty by birth and some are want to become beautiful [1]. The concept of using herbs for beautification is well defined in Ayurveda. The cosmetic preparations are used for worship and for sensual enjoyment in India since vedic period. The external application of kajala, tilaka, aguru, chandana, haridra etc to God and Goddess are seen in many rituals of India [2]. Cosmetology is the science of alternation of appearance and modification of beauty. Any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of human body (epidermis, hair, nails, lips, and external genitals) or with the teeth and mucous membrane of oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odors and /or protecting them or keeping them in good conditions [3].

According to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act (India) 1940 cosmetics may be defined as, any substance intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or otherwise applied to human being for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness. According to Ayurveda happiness, gloom, sadness and relaxation are the aspects that are reflected by the face and by the body and can’t be disguised with cosmetics. In other words, Ayurveda emphasizes on external and internal beauty. It is believed in Ayurveda that one can enhance internal beauty by understanding and following the basic principle of Ayurveda. There’s a secret beauty or the third level of beauty in Ayurveda and is also known as the state of ‘self-realization’. It is said that a self realized person is eternally beautiful and does not need to use any external cosmetics or designer clothes. However, in Ayurveda the therapies, treatment and tips are concern with physical beauty which is considered to be the path to secret of beauty. Health promotion, beauty management and healing in Ayurveda rely on freeing the body of ama (toxins), restoring cellular nutrition, facilitating complete elimination and re-establishing the balance of the doshas. Diet and lifestyle are two things that help achieve good health and beauty. As Ayurveda relates to every aspect of the mind, body and the soul, it considers beauty as an intimate part of the human personality. To serve the purpose of fast natural beauty a faster and deeper cleansing and re-balancing is accomplished by using Ayurveda’s traditional rejuvenation therapy.

The rejuvenation therapy in Ayurveda teaches ways to become naturally beautiful, which is not just limited to the physical body but extends to subtle qualities and vitality of a person. Hence, rejuvenation therapy is regarded as an integral part of ongoing self-care that helps beauty be with you throughout life and a fresh start in the process of making health-supporting lifestyle changes.

Consumer trends suggest a gradual shift from chemical-based products to ayurvedic beauty products. Growing concern over side effects of chemical-based products is the main reason behind this trend. The Ayurvedic natural cosmetics business of India is growing at the rate of 15-20% per year- much higher than India’s overall
cosmetics business that has a growth rate of 7-8% [4].

Concept of Beauty in Ayurveda

Ayurveda determined beauty by prakriti (Body constitution), sara (structural predominance), sanhanan (compactness of body), twak (skin completion), Praman (Measurement) and dirghayu lakshyana ( symptom of long life). Beauty is not only a source of jay but gives confidence and proud in some extent. Ayurveda cosmetology started from mother wombs, dinacharya, ratricharya, ritu charya with the practice of medicinal herbs and minerals. Charaka narrated that beauty of female is enhanced by finding a suitable man, similarly a man can enhanced his appearance by getting with similar mind, psyche and liking with excellent quality partner. Beautiful woman is always praised in our ancient text as virtue, wealth; affluence and creation depend on women. There was a provision for appointing a beautiful woman (kalinee) in the Rasasala (pharmacy) for rasabandha and the characteristic of Kalinee is well described in Rasaratna samuchachaya and Anandakanda. If the kalinee is not available then the specific way to convert ordinary woman to kalinee is also possible by the administration of one karsa (3 gm) of purified sulphur along with ghee for twenty one days [5].

According to Ayurveda Human body functions through various channel systems called “Srotamsi”, containing both microscopic and macroscopic structures such as the respiratory system, lymphatic/ circulatory system, reproductive system and nervous systems, among others. These channels function as innumerable psycho-biological processes such as enzyme production, neuro-transmitter secretion, hormonal intelligence, respiratory capacity and digestive assimilation/elimination, immune power etc and responsible for wellness and beauty. These act rhythmically and in concert with one another to perform complex decision-making regarding the supply of nutrients, filtration of toxins, excretion of wastes and much more. If these waste materials are insufficiently metabolized, toxins or incompletely processed foods and experiences can become deposited in weak areas of the body. If unaddressed, these can become a disease. Weak zones occur in the body due genetic factors or more commonly, lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy food choices, stress or environmental influences. These toxins or unprocessed metabolic deposits can cloud the normal psycho-biological cellular intelligence and loss body lustre and beauty. Panchakarma therapy is both preventative for healthy people to maintain and improve excellent cellular function, and curative for those experiencing disease. The Ama (toxic materials inside our body) make a person ugly and disease and Sodhana/panchakarma (Purification) is the best therapeutic intervention to eliminate body toxins. It is a highly complex and sophisticated science of purification of the body/mind.

Water is a major component for keeping skin in good condition. Water originates in the deeper epidermal layers and moves upward to hydrate cells in the stratum corneum in the skin, eventually being lost to evaporation. Snehana and Swedana bring moisture to our skin. It gives our skin greater elasticity and rejuvenates skin tissues. As cells in our face make their way to the surface over their lifecycle, they die and become saturated with keratin, or skin debris. Keratin is important because it protects your skin from the elements but the shedding of that outer layer can unclog pores. Snehana and Swedan are believed to be inhibit trans-epidermal water loss, restoring the lipid barrier and restore the amino-lipid of the skin. Ayurveda always advocated vegetarian diet in appropriate quantity and advice for plenty of water intakes for restore the beauty and youthfulness.

Ayurveda medicine as Cosmetics

Charak samhita classified cosmetics drugs as Varnya, Kustagna, Kandugna, bayasthapak, udardaprasamana, etc. Many alepam (poultice) Pradeha, upnaha anjana oil are described in Susruta Samhita and astanga hrudaya in the context of twak roga. The very common medicine are- Kungkumadi lepam, Dasnga lepam,Chandanadi lepam, Dasana samskar churna , Kukummadi taila, Nilibringaraj taila, Himasagar taila, etc are very well established medicine in Ayurveda. Sesame Oil is used as a base in many oil in Ayurveda. It contains Lignan compounds called Sesamin and Sesamolin, which are biologically active. These compounds enhance oxidative

stability of the oil. They have potential to be used as anti oxidant compounds as well as having a moisturising effect. Buttermilk and goat’s milk powders traditionally used in Indian face mask preparations have soothing and emollient properties. They also contain vitamin A, B6, B12 and E. They would make beneficial alternatives to chemical bases and emollients. Shikakai is a traditional herb used in hair shampoos. The material is extracted from the Shikakai pods and Shikakai nuts of the Acacia Concinna shrub.The pods are rich in Saponins and make a mild detergenent, which has a neutral pH. Aritha powder, extracted from Soapnuts (Sapindus Pericarp) also contains Saponins, which acts as a foaming agent. It was used as soap in Ayurvedic tradition. The oils also maintain integrity of cosmetic products and could be used as a base instead of petroleum and plastic derivatives. There are significant evidences already generated for Ayurveda skin care in vitiligo, psoriasis, eczema and acne vulgaris [6].

The Ayurvedic cosmetics may group under [6,7]
1. Cosmetics for enhancing the appearance of facial skin
2. Cosmetics for hair growth and care
3. Cosmetics for skin care, especially in teenager (acne, pimples and sustaining)
4. Shampoos, soaps, powders and perfumery, etc.
5. Miscellaneous products

Discussion and Conclusion

The market for ayurvedic beauty products is growing fast. Many companies have entered the segment with branded products in categories such as skin care, hair care, soaps and essential oils. Concern about harmful chemicals in beauty products has increased consumer interest in natural cosmetics. More and more products now include herbal and botanical ingredients. The botanical actives market in Europe and North America is worth US$ 840 million. Consumption for these products is growing at 8% [8]. Today, India is captivating the mainstream cosmetics industry in a big way. It starts from highend brands creating makeup shades based on the country’s bright colors to skin- and hair-care lines capitalizing on Ayurveda, an ancient medicinal system using herbs and other natural ingredients [8].
Indian herbs and Ayurveda products are being sourced and tested for use in the cosmetics industry and practiced beauty parlours [9]. However, there is a long way to go before herbs can make it as ingredients in viable botanical products. These herbs are currently used in their crude form, either dried into powders or pulverised with pestle and mortar. The end product contains a large amount of inactive unnecessary compounds [10]. The products are often biologically ineffective because there aren’t enough active components in the formulae. The concentration and action of bioactive compounds extracted from herbs have to be increased [11,12]. These formulae have to be tested in scientific trials with an evidence based approach. India could emerge as a major contributor to the global cosmetic industry. This is one of the strengths of India with its Ayurvedic tradition.

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