Ayurveda has always been entrenched in our culture and History dating back as far as 600 BC. The popularity of our herbs, spices and fabric was carried far and wide. Many Indian tribes have continued useing these ancient herbs to cure them of various maladies either by ingesting it or applying it. However, with time, there has been a shift to more market ready ingredients and products, for eg. Reetha (Indian Soapnut) was widely used by the local communities as their preferred shampoo which was not just organic but also less polluting and free only to be overtaken by ₹1 plastic sachets. History has a way of repeating itself and we are returning to the old ways because of it’s natural and eco-friendly ways as well as income and employment generating potential for rural India.
For those who want to read more on Ayurveda.
For those interested in reading about medical herbs and their use by local tribal communities.
Madhya Pradesh has been blessed with a bouquet of herbs. To ensure village empowerment, to provide structure for medicinal plants, processing and value addition, to provide quality raw material of medicinal and aromatic plants, and to impart technical and economical impetus, M.P.State Mandi Board along with M.P. State Minor Forest Produce Federation financed a project in the year 2002-2003 under which Minor Forest Produce Processing and Research Centre (MFP-PARC) has taken shape at Barkheda Pathani, Bhopal and it is through their Sanjeevani centers that we procure our herbs.
The benefits of turmeric, sandalwood , rose and neem to the skin are immense but so are herbs such as aswgandha, Jatamansi, Gokru, Nirgundi, Tulsi, Kaunch beej etc are lesser known herbs.
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Some of the herbs used and their benefits to the skin are listen below.
1. Aswagandha – (Withania somnifer)stimulates DHEA, which is a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen and stimulates the production of natural skin oils. It also promotes the production of vital compounds and proteins for healthy skin such as hyaluronan for skin hydration, elastin to keep the skin supple and collagen for skin strength.
Used in shampoos, Ashwagandha is believed to help improve scalp circulation and strengthen the hair, as well as help get rid of dandruff. It also appears to stimulate production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the colour of your hair. So, it may actually reverse greying of hair. And if that wasn’t enough, it also helps deal with hair loss.
2. Shakpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) Shankhpushpi enhances the beauty and nourishes the layers of the skin and Improves complexion. It promotes younger skin by protecting the skin against UV Rays. Extract from the root is also used to treat Leucoderma.
3. Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) Giloy plant contains anti-aging properties that help reduce dark spots, pimples, fine lines and wrinkles. It gives you that flawless, glowing skin you’ve always wanted.
4. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) Brahmi oil is great for treating a dry scalp and preventing hair fall. The antioxidant components not only help in rejuvenating your scalp but also promote regeneration of healthy hair. These antioxidants also help in removing all the toxins from the body and enhance your skin complexion by stimulating cell regeneration. Brahmi is good for treating hair problems like dandruff, itchiness and formation of split ends.
5. Mulethi (Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) – Emollient characteristics of the liquorice root moisturize and softens the skin. Combined with the anti-inflammatory properties, it can help combat a number of skin ailments such as skin rashes and pigmentation.
Mulethi powder plays a crucial role in promoting hair growth. It effectively increases blood circulation in the scalp and hair follicles, which in turn enriches the roots by bringing in more nutrients through the blood supply and help new hair growth. It is Mulethi helps in preventing premature greying, sudden hair fall and different types of scalp infections.
6. Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) It has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which help in treating inflammation and skin infection. A range of skin diseases can be treated using nirgundi. Vitiligo, leuchoderma and leprosy are treated using this plant and its products.
7. Bhringraj (Eclipta prostrate) – bhringaraj has been used for treating skin diseases as well. Bhringaraj fights the fungi which causes skin infections. Topical application of paste of bhringaraj leaves on the skin helps in dealing with skin infections. Eczema and skin boils can also be treated with the help of bhringaraj. Applied to the skin, it soothes sensitive and irritated skin. It also has anti-aging and restorative properties ideal for fighting against skin aging.
8. Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) benefits the skin by preventing blackheads, acne and relieves skin infections, to name a few. Rich in vitamin K and antioxidants, tulsi benefits hair by stimulating blood circulation and promoting hair growth amongst others. Packed with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and phytonutrients.
9.Amla (Indian Gooseberry) (Phyllanthus emblica) is said to be one of the berries that contain the highest amount of antioxidants.
Antioxidants can repair your damaged hair cells and can protect your existing hair cells from further damages. Taking care of hair cells is important because from growing hair to graying hair, everything depends upon how your hair cells function. Hence it is important to keep your hair cells healthy and protected.
10. Reetha(Soapnut) (Sapindus mukorossi) is known to contain antioxidant enzymes. And for catalyzing the effect of the blessing antioxidant enzymes on hair, iron plays an important role.
11.) Shikakai (Acacia concinna) Shikakai is the perfect element in the trio which helps your hair in absorbing the goodness of amla and reetha. It stop split ends, moisturizes your scalp and gives you that silky feel.
12) Vijaysar has various antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It removes toxins from the blood and hence helps to manage skin diseases. It is also extremely useful in managing inflammatory conditions like eczema, skin eruptions, boils, psoriasis, and scabies. The leaf juice or bark powder when used as a face pack also helps to prevent the various signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and actively increases the glow and bestows a rejuvenated look.
13) Gokhru –( Tribulus terrestri) – is a herb that has anti acne and anti aging elements. Gokhru has many healing properties such as
IV. Skin inflammations.
V. Skin eruption.
14) Kaunch beej (Mucuna pruriens) powder helps in quick healing of wound, decreases swelling and brings back the normal texture of the skin. The powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial traits of Kaunch Beej make it a potential therapy in healing wounds. The phytoconstituents present in the herb assist in contraction and closure of wounds and cuts and facilitate the formation of collagen and new skin cells. Moreover, it checks the risks of infection.
and many more.