Ayurveda Beauty Tips for All Skin Types

According to Ayurveda, the dosha Vata predominates in the fall and early winter. Vata also increases in people over the age of 50 and in those who are under a lot of stress. One of the results of an imbalance of Vata is that our skin can become dry, irritated and rough. One of the best tools for keeping a youthful complexion is to avoid excess Vata.

Here are some Ayurvedic tips that will not only help to slow down Vata accumulation in the body, but will also help nourish the body, supporting soft, radiant skin from the inside out.


  1. Hydrate

Drinking water (either plain or in the form of other fluids or foods) is essential to your health. Fluid losses occurs naturally due to skin evaporation, breathing, and normal elimination, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health. Your body is composed of about 60% water and depends on fluids for proper digestion, absorption, circulation, the transportation of nutrients and the regulation of body temperature.

During the cold months of the year, heating systems, especially forced air heat, cause additional loss of fluids. So putting attention on staying hydrated in the winter is as important as during the hot months of summer.

Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink plenty of plain water throughout the day: hot water is best for Vata and Kapha types, while room temperature is best for Pittas. Don’t drink iced beverages. Avoid carbonated beverages. Remember that caffeinated drinks are diuretic, ultimately reducing the amount of water in your system.

  1. Keep a Good Routine

Eat a light, cooked meal at night. When the body does not have to work hard at night digesting food, it can turn its attention to self-repair and rejuvenation. You’ll wake up feeling fresh and light and you will see an immediate difference in your skin, energy levels and general immunity.

Go to bed early. The evening Pitta time is meant for self-repair. By staying up past 10:00 p.m., your body misses out on the opportunity to recover from wear and tear of the day. Over time, this can take a real toll on your health. Going to bed late and getting up late does not make up for missing the critical 10:00 pm to 2:00 am window for sleeping. This kind of deep fatigue shows up immediately on your face.

  1. Eat Fresh, Nourishing Foods

Favor fresh cooked foods that can provide your body with the vitamins and minerals that you need to stay at your best. A variety of chemicals from plants (known as phytochemicals) can protect cells from harmful compounds in the environment. Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes, and lutein, found in kale, papaya and spinach are potent antioxidants, important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone

Green leafy vegetables, coconut, carrots and sweet juicy fruits provide an abundance of vitamins A, C, and E. and help to nourish the outer level of the skin. Research has shown that people who eat foods rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who don’t. Vitamin C fights free radicals, which damage cells and break down collagen, leading to fine lines

Phyto-estrogens are natural chemicals found in plant foods (phyto meaning plant). They have a similar structure to the female sex hormone estrogen and have been found to help keep our natural hormones in balance. There are different types, some are found in soya bean products, whereas others are found in the fiber of whole grains, fruit, vegetables and flax seeds. Include phyto-estrogen rich soya, whole grains, fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.

Avoid canned and processed foods and foods with preservatives. Some research suggests that a diet high in processed or refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats promotes skin aging.

Don’t be afraid of fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the types found in avocados, fish, nuts and seeds) provide essential fatty acids, which act as a natural moisturizer for your skin, keeping it supple. These fats also contain vitamin E, which can help protect against free radical damage.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential fatty acids, which mean they cannot be made in the body and must be obtained through the diet. Omega-3s can be found in oily fish and plant sources such as flaxseed oil, linseeds, walnut and rapeseed oil. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help skin, particularly inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Remember, many of the best foods for healthy skin also promote good health overall. Rather than focusing on specific foods for healthy skin, concentrate on a healthy diet in general. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Include nuts, seeds and beans in your favorite meals. Opt for whole-grain breads and pasta. Limit sweets. Strive for variety as you’re making healthy choices.

  1. Keep a Good Routine

Eat a light, cooked meal at night. When the body does not have to work hard at night digesting food, it can turn its attention to self-repair and rejuvenation. You’ll wake up feeling fresh and light and you will see an immediate difference in your skin, energy levels and general immunity.

Go to bed early. The evening Pitta time is meant for self-repair. By staying up past 10:00 p.m., your body misses out on the opportunity to recover from wear and tear of the day. Over time, this can take a real toll on your health. Going to bed late and getting up late does not make up for missing the critical 10:00 pm to 2:00 am window for sleeping. This kind of deep fatigue shows up immediately on your face.

  1. Take Steps to Avoid Stress

Stress is a major factor in the aging process. Daily meditation quiets the mind, releases stress and allows the body to produce anti-aging biochemicals. At The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa, we recommend the Transcendental Meditation program, which is the only meditation recommended by the American Heart Association, based on over 600 research studies that prove its effectiveness. Studies have shown that Transcendental Meditation helps alleviate stress, reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression and anger.

Ayurveda recommends that women minimize activity during their days of menstrual flow. If it is possible, take steps to adopt a slower pace to reduce stress and fatigue. This is a time of natural purification. If you are active during this time, the body is not able to effectively eliminate wastes and impurities. It can also cause imbalances in Vata.

6. Protect your Skin

You can help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in. An oil massage in the morning before your shower also helps in this way.

Sweet almond oil is a good moisturizer for almost everyone. Pat on after washing the face, then blot with a soft tissue. (Whenever using anything new on your face, try a small amount on the neck area first to check for sensitivity.)

For a gentle, natural cleanser you can make at home, grind masala dal (check out your local health food store of Indian grocery store) into a powder and soak in milk for 1/2 hour. Make a think mixture to wash with or make a thicker paste to use as a facial mask. Rinse off with water at the appropriate temperature for your skin type. Pitta types may want to use cooler water, for example. Never use extremely hot water on your face!

Nourish your skin with milk. Once a day dip a cotton ball into a small bowl of organic milk and wipe your face thoroughly with it to remove dirt from your pores. Because of its fats and lactic acid, milk has tremendous moisturizing, softening properties. Adding milk to your bath will also soothe and nourish your skin.

Enjoy daily oil massage Daily oil massage pacifies Vata, helps remove toxins from the skin and leaves a protective barrier on the skin against environmental toxins. The skin is the largest organ in the body and one of the body’s main means of detoxifying. Daily oil massage helps support the detoxification process and helps protect the skin. If you don’t have time for a massage before your morning bath, try a massage at night before a long tub soak. Those with more Pitta constitutions may prefer olive oil or coconut oil. For Vata and Kapha types, the heating and penetrating quality of sesame oil makes it the number one choice.

Protect your skin from the elements. Take a seasonal approach to skin care. Even if someone has a Vata constitution, they will have to balance Pitta during the heat of the summer” In the winter, all skin types need to take steps to avoid Vata aggravating weather. This means avoiding extreme cold and harsh winds.

An Ayurveda expert can give you more specific details on your specific body type and imbalances than may require more individualized recommendations. For information on consultations and/or Ayurveda skin and beauty treatments, contact The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:


Staying Healthy with Ayurveda Daily Routine



According to Ayurveda, following a proper daily routine is a prerequisite for health. Almost 90% of ill health in the United States is said to be preventable. In most cases, the imbalances at the basis of disease and disorders are created over time by simple mistakes in diet, exercise and behavior that disrupt our biological rhythms.

Our diet and daily routine of eating, sleeping, and exercising, determine whether we become stronger and healthier day by day or whether we create imbalances that continually grow toward disease. Without proper diet and routine of life the effectiveness of any treatment program we undertake will be greatly reduced because the true cause of the disorder will continue to exist. One of the goals of a successful Ayurveda program is to help structure day-to-day behavior so that it has a balancing and strengthening effect on health.

Ideal daily routine means a routine that is in accord with the laws of nature; a routine that keeps the mind/body system functioning efficiently with the least amount of wear and tear.

Here are a few examples of how ideal daily routine can promote health.

Ideal Times for Sleeping

There is a saying, “The day starts the night before”. Only by going to bed early can the next day’s activity be fully supported. By going to bed during Kapha time, (before 10:00 P.M. when the evening Pitta period begins), we take advantage of Nature’s natural cycle of healing and rejuvenation. The qualities of Kapha, (heaviness and dullness), allows us to get to sleep most quickly, and to have the deepest, least interrupted sleep.

After 10:00 Pitta begins to dominate. Pitta at this time of day should be involved in metabolic cleansing. The body needs to be inactive at this time so that it can focus its intelligence and energy on metabolic cleansing and rejuvenation. If we are up and active during this time, we may enjoy an effective spurt of energy but we cheat our bodies on much needed self-repair. Over time this can take a serious toll on our physical and mental health.

Going to bed on time allows us to easily rise at the proper time, before 6:00 A.M. The period before 6 AM is the time when all of Nature is waking up, and a time when Vata is enlivened in the environment. If we start our day in Vata time, our mind will experience more of the qualities of balance Vata throughout the day: increased energy, clarity, intelligence and alertness.

If we sleep past 6 AM, we sleep into the Kapha time of the day. When a person sleeps until 7:30 AM they have been lying dull and dormant of 1 and 1/2 hours in Kapha time and they wake imbibed with the qualities of excess Kapha: dullness, heaviness and lethargy.

Understanding and following the ideal times for eating and sleeping means harmonizing our behavior with the rhythms and cycles of the body and the cycles of nature. This is the key to living a health-promoting life. If we live a lifestyle that disrupts our natural biological rhythms, we are sabotaging our own health, breaking down the resistance of the body and contributing to the creation of disease.

Ideal Times for Eating


Digestion is not strong when we first awake, so breakfast should not be a heavy meal. Cooked apples and pears are a perfect way to begin the day. It is best to avoid cheeses, meats and other heavy, hard-to digest foods at breakfast.


In the middle of the day the heat element in nature is at its peak. This activates the heat element, Pitta, in our own bodies. Pitta is responsible for digestion and metabolism.

For this reason we should eat our largest meal at noon. The ideal time for lunch is between 12:30 and 1:00, as this is the period of highest Pitta and greatest digestive power. Lunch should be a warm, cooked meal, with all six tastes. Take at least 30 minutes, eat in a relaxed setting, and then sit comfortably for 10 to 15 minutes after you finish.


In the evening, digestion is less strong. In a few hours we should be sleeping, which further slows the digestive and metabolic processes. Therefore dinner should be a lighter meal. Heavy foods like cheese, ice cream and met are best avoided at this meal.

It is better to eat earlier in the evening that later. The later you eat, the less food you should consume and the lighter the food should be.

If we have been living a life that is out of tune with nature’s laws, it is never too late to make healthy changes. A consultation with an Ayurvedic expert can pinpoint imbalances that have built up in the physiology, and provide specific recommendations for restoring a healthy balance. The traditional purification and detoxification treatments of Ayurveda, known as Panchakarma treatments, can remove accumulated imbalances and blockages from deep within the tissues.

For more information on Ayurveda, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Center:


Hot Water: the Simplest Ayurveda Tip for Balancing Vata and Removing Ama

Ayurveda considers removing toxins and impurities from the body and preventing their build-up in the tissues to be of prime importance. Ayurveda refers to these impurities as “ama”. Ama is considered to be a contributing factor in many diseases because it disrupts the delicate biochemistry in the tissues and blocks the channels of circulation and communication. This process often starts with poor digestion, which creates the toxins, and poor elimination, which allows the toxins to be absorbed into the circulatory system and transported throughout the body.

Removing ama is the primary target of Panchakarma, the traditional Ayurveda purification and detoxification therapies. Many of the recommendations that you receive during an Ayurveda consultation are aimed at preventing the accumulation of ama and removing ama that has build up in the body. Of the recommendations that can be done at home, drinking hot water frequently during the day is a simple and effective “anti-ama” approach.


Hot water flowing through the digestive tract helps to dissolve impurities and cleanse the entire digestive and eliminative systems. The result is an improvement in digestion and assimilation of food, improved elimination, and prevention of the formation of ama.

Also, the hot water is absorbed into the circulatory system and travels throughout the body. The extra warmth and fluid aids in opening circulation, dissolving accumulated impurities and washing them out of the body.

Many people report that after just a few weeks of this program, digestion and elimination improve and they feel lighter and fresher.

The Vata season (the cold, windy days of fall and early winter) is a perfect time to start a regime of sipping hot water throughout the day. The extra warmth and fluid will help counter the cold, drying effects of Vata.


The usual recommendation is to sip hot water frequently throughout the day — up to every half hour if possible. Water should be boiled first and then cooled just to the temperature where it can be sipped comfortably. Even taking a few small sips fulfills the recommendation.

Water Type

It is recommended that you use some kind of purified water for your daily hot water intake. Filtered tap water is best, followed by bottled spring water. Distilled water is not recommended. If you use a powerful reverse osmosis filter, it is recommended that you occasionally use water from another source so that you continue to get some of the natural mineral content of the water.


Ideally water should be boiled for about 10 minutes. Boiling the water allows excessive mineral deposits and impurities to precipitate out, and decreases the Kapha influence of the water: increasing the water’s lightness and cleansing influences.

Boiling water each morning and placing it in a thermos is an effective, timesaving approach.

Herbal Additions

A few slices of ginger root, a pinch of turmeric or a few fennel seeds may be added to the boiling water if desired. These herbs can increase the cleansing influence of the water. Lemon may also be added it if is not upsetting to the stomach.




Ayurveda Approach to Diabetes: Supporting Your Natural Healing Ability

herbs.jpgThe Raj program for diabetes draws on the world’s oldest and most complete system of medicine, Ayurveda. Through its unique assessment of causal imbalances at the basis of the condition, this program provides a comprehensive, natural approach to restoring health and wholeness.

Gaining true relief from diabetes usually requires a multi-factor, natural approach because there are many different imbalances that can contribute to the condition.

The accumulation of toxins in the eyes, nerves, cardiovascular system, feet, and other tissues can cause many of the most debilitating effects of diabetes. Ayurvedic theory also describes how mistakes of a high carbohydrate diet are more likely to create diabetes when nervous system imbalance and stress also become a factor in the individual. According to Ayurveda, mental stress and strong emotional disturbance when added to a system overloaded with a carbohydrate heavy diet, often pushes the physiology into the diabetic condition. Disruption of biological rhythms interferes with the body’s metabolic processes and can inhibit proper carbohydrate metabolism. Lack of proper exercise and poor circulation can worsen many diabetic symptoms.

Because so many imbalances can play a role in the condition, the Ayurvedic assessment of balance and imbalance does not look at gross physical abnormality and does not try to match drugs to a symptom. People can have the same disorder for different reasons. For example, ten people could walk into a doctor’s office with a headache and have it for ten different reasons. Likewise, not everyone has diabetes for the same reasons.

Ayurvedic diagnosis determines the imbalance in the divisions of the body’s inner intelligence. These underlying imbalances are the rood causes of a condition and must be removed if real healing is to occur. By determining the causal imbalances at the basis of a disorder, Ayurvedic assessment helps address the fundamental source of ill health in the individual.

Root Causes of Diabetes

The following are the general types of imbalances at the course of most chronic conditions, including diabetes:

Toxins accumulating in tissues and blocking circulation

Poor nutrition

Poor digestion

Accumulation of physical and mental stress

Lowering of natural resistance and immunity

Disruption of natural biological rhythms

Ayurveda Approach to Diabetes

Panchakarma/Detoxification Treatments

The goal of the Ayurveda approach is to enliven the body’s natural healing and self-repair ability with the ultimate goal of creating the highest state of health and well-being.

Many symptoms of diabetes start when the condition creates toxins that accumulate in tissues and disrupt the delicate biochemistry there. Toxin buildup can also obstruct the channels of circulation and elimination to affected areas. This blockage prevents proper nutrition from reaching the tissues and blocks the processes that cleanse them of impurities.

The most powerful treatments for removing toxins and opening circulation are the traditional Ayurveda purification and detoxification treatments, called Panchakarma. This daily treatment program of massage, heat treatments and eliminative therapies is the cornerstone of The Raj program for diabetes.

Panchakarma treatments address the problem of toxin accumulation through systematically loosening the impurities from where they have become embedded in tissues and helping to liquefy the impurities for easy absorption into circulation and eventual elimination. The treatments also soften and open the channels of circulation and elimination so that proper nourishment can reach the tissues and so that impurities can be more easily eliminated from them.


After an individual assessment, an Ayurveda expert will provide you with detailed understanding of foods to favor and avoid. Foods to avoid are hard to digest, clogging to the physiology and aggravating to the divisions of biological intelligence (doshas) that are already in a state of imbalance. Foods to favor are easy to digest, nourishing, cleanse the physiology, strengthen digestion, and balance your body’s inner intelligence. One of the great strengths of the Ayurveda dietary approach is that it contains knowledge of how to have a light, easy-to-digest diet that is still both satisfying and nourishing.

Ayurvedic Herbs

Herbs are considered to be nutritional supplements in Ayurveda. Their purpose is to restore balance to the specific divisions of biological intelligence whose malfunction is causing your condition.

Traditional Ayurvedic theory says that herbs are most effective after a person completes an internal cleansing program. The main focus of you’re an in-residence treatment program at The Raj are the cleansing and rejuvenation treatments that you receive daily. Once the program is finished, you can start on your recommended regime of herbs.

Creating Strong Digestion

As important specific food we eat is our ability to properly digest food. Incompletely digested foods create toxins and impurities that are eventually absorbed, travel throughout the physiology, localize in tissues and disrupt their functioning. This process plays a major role in a wide variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes.

The Ayurvedic approach to strengthening digestion includes

Proper use of spices and cooking oils

Herbal preparations for improving digestion

Understanding the differences in diet for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Digestion-enhancing foods, to favor

Digestion-depressing foods to avoid

Proper food combining to avoid indigestion (like not combining milk with salty or sour tastes)

Balancing Nervous System Activity

The nervous system controls most bodily functions and almost every chronic condition is affected in some way when the nervous system activity becomes imbalanced. According to Ayurveda, the physiological principle at the basis of nervous system stability and activation is called Vata. Because nervous system imbalance contributes to diabetes, from the Ayurvedic perspective Vata imbalance is an underlying cause of the condition and needs to be reversed.

There are a wide variety of time-tested Ayurvedic recommendations to help balance Vata and remove the symptoms caused by its aggravation. These include specific diets, herbs, cleansing programs, the Transcendental Meditation technique, and Yoga.

Stress Management

Excessive mental, emotional and physical stress can worsen the symptoms of many chronic disorders, including diabetes. This is due to hormonal changes and other biochemical responses to stress that can create imbalance in the nervous system and depress the healing ability of the body.

Enhancing the body’s ability to recover from stress in an integral part of returning to a life of health and well-being. The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa offers instruction in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique. TM has a wealth of scientific research verifying its effect on reducing many the mental and stress factors associated with diabetes. It is the only mediation technique that is recommended by the American Heart Association. Research shows that TM practice creates virtually the opposite physiological response that stress does and helps the body recover more quickly from stressful stimulus.

Lifestyle and Daily Routine

One of the most important factors for maintaining healthy functioning is to have a lifestyle that does not disturb natural bodily rhythms. When we eat, sleep and exercise in constantly fluctuating patters, the body loses its natural balancing cycles and cannot cleanse or heal itself as effectively. Therefore regularity in our daily routine can be extremely effective in reducing physiological imbalance at the basis of diabetes.

Strengthening the Body’s Natural Healing Mechanisms

Ultimately any treatment approach must depend on the body’s natural healing ability for a real cure of the condition. The diabetes approach at The Raj is not to attack the disorder with something from the outside like drugs or surgery, but to attempt to enliven the innate healing and self-repair response of the body.

For more information on programs targeting diabetes, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website”