Back when I was a kid, my mum would perform a typically Indian Ayurvedic ritual – oil up my hair, secure it in a plait and send me off to school.
The smell of the oil rendered me absolutely mortified, as it would repel my lucky school mates who didn’t have to follow their heritage’s traditions. However, I had little choice in the matter and had to learn to live with it.
Fast forward 20 years, and well, in spite of the hideous embarassment, I have to thank Mumma bear. My strands remain voluminously luscious and show no sign of thinning out – which means I escaped the dreaded family curse of being bald by 25.
Using oil for hair is now finally socially acceptable too, which means kids today won’t necessarily suffer the same fate I did.
Ayurvedic treatments are all the rage right now, and rightly so. Thousand year-old recipes passed down from generation to generation combat every issue from beauty to diet.
Here are a few of my favorites:
TO WHITEN TEETH
Coconut oil swilling
This is where you take a tablespoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil, plonk it in your mouth and leave it there for 20 minutes, swilling gently (though not as vigorously as you would mouthwash). It takes time to work up to the 20 minutes, so start small and increase by five minutes each time.
I find it best to do this while watching TV or browsing the net, so 20 minutes flies by! Remember not to swallow.
Melrose do a great tasting organic coconut oil, which makes it easier to stomach.
Not very well known outside the Indian circle, turmeric toothpaste is incredible at removing stains and for general oral health.
If you’re used to the usual minty commercial toothpastes however, you may find the taste of it unappealing. I say, give it a go, hang in there and see the results!
Check out the original turmeric toothpaste, Vicco Turmeric.
Now this is a trade secret among Indians – these Ayurvedic digestive pellets have not yet hit the commercial market. The great thing about Hawaban Harde is it’s completely natural so you can ditch your usual chemical-laden digestive meds.
Don’t be put off the appearance of the small, dark pellets. The sour taste is also an acquired one, so either gulp four pieces down with water or tough it out by chewing them.
I actually have grown to love the flavour, so much so that I eat a few for fun each day. Pick some up here.
Lassi for life!
An Ayurvedic godsend, Lassi spews a bevy of health benefits such as reducing bloating / digestive issues and contains only two ingredients – sugar and yoghurt – making it the easiest recipe for even the culinary – challenged.
Just add as little (or as much) sugar as you want, half a tub of yoghurt, blend for 2 minutes and presto!
For more Lassi recipe variations, check out Buzzfeed here.
Coconut oil ingestion
Coconut oil again? Yes, but this time you can swallow it!
Ingesting coconut oil helps ease the digestive system and minimises bloating, metabolising into the liver and converting to energy to accelerate the metabolism. As someone who is naturally thin but always suffered from bloating (making me look bigger than I am!) this discovery has been nothing short of a miracle.
I personally find it difficult to swallow, so I take them in tablet form – Bioglan do a great range.
Fasting one day each week
This ancient Ayurvedic practice is best done on a day when you know you’ll be mostly home and not out and about expending energy and therefore needing to eat to sustain yourself.
It’s particularly effective to fast one day after overeating. Why?
It allows you to detox by consuming nothing but green tea all day, causing the stomach to shrink back to its normal size and giving your system a chance to get rid of the excess food consumed the night before.
My favorite herbal tea is Tulsi tea by Organic India – get it here.
Let’s Get Started!
I follow every single one of these tips every single day and to be honest, I don’t think I’d be in the shape I’m in or feel as good from the inside if I weren’t so stringent about it.
Of course, you can pick and choose what you like from the list, according to your needs.
So, what are you waiting for? Get cracking on your Ayurvedic journey and let me know how you go!