The concept of beauty in Ayurvedic medicine is well documented. The knowledge of using herbal remedies, minerals and animal products are as old as the human existence.
In Ayurveda, cosmetic preparations are used for sensual enjoyment as well as for worship. Cosmetology is the study and application of beautification treatments. Gods and Goddesses have been known to use cosmetic procedures in the scriptures. Beautiful women are praised in ancient texts as a virtue.
Beauty consciousness is detailed in dincharya (daily routines) and ritucharya (seasonal routines). Ayurveda strives to rid the body of toxic buildup (ama) through shodhana (purification therapies). Diet is also used to improve and maintain the beauty of an individual. Panchakarma procedures such as garshana, abhyanga, svedana are implemented for beautification of the skin.
Ayurveda determines beauty by prakriti (body constitution), sara (structural predominance), sanhanan (compactness of body), twak (skin completion), praman (measurement) and dirghayu lakshyana (symptom of long life). 
The Ayurvedic cosmetics may group under 
Beauty gives pleasure to the senses and has been sought after by humans since the dawn of time and plays an important role in finding a mate for procreation. In Ayurveda there are medicinal treatments for acne, treatments for diseases and conditions of the skin, herbal preparations for a glowing complexion, toners, anti-aging treatments, burn treatments, eye treatments, and face oils.
A few Ayurvedic remedies for beautification: [2,3]
Moisturizer: Combine equal parts of rosewater and sesame oil in a spritz bottle. Shake it well before using and spritz your face. This is easy to keep in your purse so the face can be spritzed frequently.
Acne: Apply a paste of clove powder in honey over the affected area.
Skin care: The high content of beta-carotene, folic acid and iron help maintain the skin’s health protecting it from damage. Apply a mash of apricots to your skin and let it work for about 10 minutes. Rinse the paste with lukewarm water and enjoy the feel of soft, moist skin.
Face Mask: Mix triphala powder with honey and a splash of rosewater to create a paste. Apply to face.
Anti-wrinkle treatment: Combine rose petal powder with goat’s milk and apply as a facial mask, rinsing off after ten minutes. Alternatively, mix a jar of rose petal powder and powdered goats milk (e.g. Meyenberg brand) for a facial mask that is available whenever you need it.
For lustrous eyes or to remove dark circles: At bedtime, apply ghee over eyelids and under eyes.
1. Concept of Beauty and Ayurveda Medicine: Article in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research · July 2013
2. Alandi Herbology Manual by Alakananda Ma
3. Alandi Medicinal Foods Manual by Alakananda Ma
“There is a fountain inside of you. Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.” ~ Rumi
“The shlokas run like this: “After going to the urinal, one should collect one's midstream urine in a clean vessel. One should take 1 to 2 tola of urine on a fasting stomach for the duration of one mandal (circa 42 days). The regimen of pathya diet and healthy life style has to be followed”. 
Shivambu is the practice of using one’s own expelled urine for reapplication into or on the body. ‘Ambu’ means water, so ‘Shivambu” literally means “Water of Shiva” which refers to the auspiciousness of the practice. As for Amaroli, ‘Amara’ in Sanskrit means immortal. Its “method of drinking urine for rejuvenation” is outlined in the Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi, part of a 5000-year-old document called the Damar Tantra, linking this practice back to the Vedas, the sacred Hindu texts, and to the practice of Tantra.
Urine Therapy is found in the ancient writings of the Damar Tantra and contains detailed descriptions of the therapeutic utilization of Shivambu. There are 107 Shlokas or verses in the meter called “Anushtup Chhandas”. It is asserted in the Damar Tantra that all diseases can be cured by Shivambu (one’s own urine), and all mankind can retain health and strength through the regular use of Shivambu. 
However, Shivambu is first and foremost a spiritual practice. Ancient Tantrics used it to unleash the feminine Kundalini Shakti at the base of the spine through the Sushuma (the spinal column) to join her male principle Shiva at the top of the spine. When awakened, it liberates a lot of energy that leads to the expansion of consciousness and leads to Mukti, or liberation from the bondage of pain and suffering. 
“Child starts growing in the mother womb. The fetus of the unborn child of the pregnant women is surrounded by amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is essential for the growth of the baby which contains fetal urine. Amniotic fluid and fetal urine is continually being “inhaled” “exhaled”, by the baby. Unborn child floats, breaths, swallows amniotic fluid & fetal urine in the mother’s womb. Urine is completely harmless which protects and promotes muscular/skeletal development of the baby to grow in a normal manner and helps to give life to a child. Urine which protects the developing child to grow in the mother’s womb and give life to a child has natural powers to prevent, control and cure all diseases.” 
Many people have preconceived notions that urine is dirty, can carry diseases, or is even poisonous, because it is seen as a waste material by the body; but in reality, it is sterile and in fact, may even be cleaner than some water. Urine is a filtrate of one’s own blood.
Lord Shiva has himself narrated the “benefits of Urine Therapy” to mother Parvati which has been referred in the ancient book “Damar Tantra” in Vedas. In ancient books and Vedas, urine is referred as “Shivambu” (auto urine) meaning water of Shiva. 
The practice for healing, known as “Self-Urine Therapy” has been referred to in “Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi” which is part of a 5000 year old document called Damar Tantra linking this practice to the Vedas, the sacred Hindu texts. Reference of Urine Therapy is also found in almost all the volumes of Ayurveda and in one of the volumes Bhavprakasha urine is termed as “Vishaghna” killer of all poisons and “Rasayana” which can rejuvenate even old person and “Raktapamaharam” which purifies blood and cures all skin diseases.  In Tantrik yoga culture this practice is termed as “Amroli.” Amroli comes from the root word “Amar.” They termed “Shivambu” as holy liquid.
Shlokas 41 and 42 of “vyavahaarsutra” by the learned Jain Acharya Bhadrababu also mention that one must drink one’s own urine while taking vow or undertaking the regular performance of a religious ritual. 
The press report published on 24th October 1967 in the medical journals of San Fransisco (USA) that the normal human urine has been found to contain marvelous healing property to cure deadly disease such as cancer, tuberculosis, pulmonary and cardiac vascular diseases etc. Research physicians said at the scientific sessions of the American heart association that “an extract of human urine shows great promise for treatment of certain deadly diseases and the extract is called “Urokinase”.
Pharmaceutical companies in Japan and China are extracting valuable substance called “Urokinase” out of human urine and are earning valuable foreign exchange by exporting to the other countries. The extract is useful for dissolving blood clots in heart and lung disease.
Reference of “Urokinase” is found on page 1354 in the big volume written by four learned American doctors. The name of the book is “Goodman & Gilman’s the pharmacological basis of therapeutics” which is published by Macmillan publishing co. New York. 
Ayurvedic medicine is known to prescribe small quantities of cow’s urine to gain some benefits. Cow’s urine is known as “sacred urine” but it is not advised to drink cow’s urine directly in the large quantities. However, people who accept and adopt “Urine Therapy” (drinking of their own body’s urine) may consume their own urine in large quantity and achieve maximum benefits. They have to observe that they pass and collect clear color-less urine which does not contain any smell and it tastes just like water.
Urine analysis and research shows that our own urine (auto urine) and cow’s urine contain similar valuable proteins: – Creatinine, urea-n (nitrogen), urea, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, ammonia-n, chloride, n/10 acid and other vitamins and hormones which are vital importance in the maintenance of body and health. 
107 verses by Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvathi
Auto-Urine Therapy (Shivambu Kalpa):
The Indian version as detailed in the DAMAR TANTRA.
O Parvati! I shall expound to you the recommended actions and rituals of Shivambu Kalpa that confers numerous benefits. Those well versed in the scriptures have carefully specified certain vessels for the purpose. (1)
Utensils made from the following materials are recommended: Gold, Silver, Copper, Bronze, Brass, Iron, Clay, Ivory, Glass, Wood from sacred trees, Bones, Leather and Leaves. (2, 3)
The Shivambu (one’s own urine) should be collected in a utensil made of any of these materials. Among them, clay utensils are better, copper are by far the best. (4)
The intending practitioner of the therapy should abjure salty or bitter foods, should not over-exert himself, should take a light meal in the evening, should sleep on the ground, and should control and master his senses. (5)
The sagacious practitioner should get up when three quarters of the night have elapsed, and should pass urine while facing the east. (6)
The wise one should leave out the first and the last portions of the urine, and collect only the middle portion. This is considered the best procedure. (7)
Just as there is poison in the mouth and the tail of the serpent, O Parvati, it is even so in the case of the flow of Shivambu. (8)
Shivambu (auto- urine) is heavenly nectar, which is capable of destroying senility and diseases. The practitioner of Yoga should take it before proceeding with his other rituals. (9)
After cleansing the mouth, and performing the other essential morning functions, one should drink one’s own clear urine, which is the annihilator of senility and diseases. (10)
One who drinks Shivambu for the duration of a month will be purified internally. Drinking it for two months stimulates and energizes the senses. (11)
Drinking it for three months destroys all diseases and frees one from all troubles. By drinking it for five months, one acquires divine vision and freedom from all diseases. (12)
Continuation of the practice for six months makes the practitioner highly intelligent and proficient in the scriptures, and if the duration is seven months, the practitioner acquires extraordinary strength. (13)
If the practice is continued for eight months, one acquires a permanent glow like that of gold, and if it is continued for nine months, one is freed from tuberculosis and leprosy. (14)
Ten months of this practice makes one a veritable treasury of luster. Eleven months of it would purify all the organs of the body. (15)
A man who has continued the practice for a year becomes the equal of the sun in radiance. He who has continued for two years conquers the element Earth. (16)
If the practice is continued for three years, one conquers the element of Water, and if it is continued for four years, the element Light is also conquered. (17)
He who continues the practice for five years conquers the element Air, and he who continues it for seven years conquers pride. (18)
Continuation of the practice for eight years enables one to conquer all the important elements of Nature, and continuation of it for nine years frees one from the cycle of birth and death. (19)
One who has continued the practice for ten years can fly through the air without effort. One who has continued it for eleven years is able to hear the voice of his sour (inner self). (20)
He who has continued the practice for twelve years will live so long as the moon and the stars last. He is not troubled by dangerous animals such as snakes, and no poisons can kill him. He cannot be consumed by fire, and can float on water just like wood. (21)
O Goddess! I shall tell you now about other variants of the therapy. Please listen attentively. He who takes powdered amrita (guduchi, Tinospora Condifolia) mixed with Auto-Urine habitually for six months, is freed from all disorders, and acquires happiness. (22, 23 cont.)
Powdered haritaki (harade, Terminalia Chebula) should be assiduously taken with Shivambu. This combination destroys senile degeneration and all diseases. If this practice is continued for a year, it makes one exceptionally strong. (…23, 24)
One masha (about one gramme) of sulpher be taken along with Shivambu every morning. He who continues the practice for three years will live as long as the moon and the stars last. His urine and feces will whiten gold. (25)
The powder of the Koshtha fruit should be mixed properly with Shivambu and taken in the prescribed manner. If this practice is continued for twelve years, one’s body will be free from the ravages of old age such as wrinkles on the skin, and whitening of the hair. One acquires the strength of a thousand elephants, and lives as long as the moon and the stars continue to exist. (26)
If powdered pepper and Triphala Choorna (mixed powder of Terminalia Belavica, Terminalia Chebul and Phylonthus Embica) mixed with Shivambu are taken regularly, one acquired a radiance like that of the gods. (27)
The essence (bhasma) of mica and sulpher should be taken with Shivambu along with a little water. This cures al disorders caused by malfunctioning of the digestive system and all disorders caused by the Vata humour. He who takes such a mixture regularly become strong, acquires a divine radiance, and can cheat time (escape the ravages of time). (28, 29)
He who takes Shivambu daily and excluded salty, sour and bitter food from his diet acquires divine accomplishments quickly. Freed from all ailments, and possessing a body comparable to that of Shiva Himself, he disports himself like the gods in the Universe for an eternity. (30).
Composition of Human Urine:
A general overview and a specified summary of a number of important substances usually found in urine follow below. The substances given in the specified summary have been researched, either in relation to urine therapy or in other contexts.
Inorganic substances in urine:
Hypotheses as to how and why urine therapy works 
1. Re-absorption and re-use of nutrients: Often most nutritive substances are obtained by body in sufficient quantities from food. By drinking or massaging the urine on skin, a number of vitamins, amino acids, salts, hormones, etc. readily available in urine are possibly re-absorbed and reused as nutrients. According to this theory, the application of urine therapy allows bile and other liver enzymes to be re-used instead of wasted.
2. Re-absorption of hormones: As stated above, many hormones end up in the urine. The basis for this hypothesis is that we can re-introduce these into the body by drinking or massaging with urine. Massaging with urine is therefore an important complementary component of urine therapy as urine is directly absorbed into the tissue. Enemas are also a good way to prevent destruction of certain hormones by gastric juices which, is why this method often helps to cure allergic disorders better. A hormone melatonin released from pineal gland is found in urine, which has a calming effect. The concentration of this hormone is found to be more in first sample of urine in early morning.
3. Re-absorption of enzymes: Urine contains many enzymes, which might explain why urine therapy is effective against arteriosclerosis, heart attack, hypertension, pulmonary embolism, etc. Based on research conducted on the enzyme Urokinase, positive results can be expected from the effects of enzymes in urine as a ‘total entity’. Urokinase found in human urine causes vasodilation and resembles nitroglycerine in its ability to strengthen the bloodstream from the coronary artery to the cardiac muscle.
4. Re-absorption of urea: Besides water, urea is the main component of urine, which is an end product of converted proteins. A person excretes approximately an average of 25 to 30 grams of urea per day. Urea has the capacity to moisten the skin and regulate its condition & texture, one of the reasons why it is processed in many skin creams. Some pharmaceutical companies use horse urine for the production of urea and they actually have lots of horses in their factory just for this purpose.
5. Immunological effect: A similar process takes place when a person is vaccinated against certain disease, in which case, a small amount of poisonous substances is injected into a healthy body. This stimulates the immune system to manufacture antibodies (and thus defend the body) and could be called a homeopathic or isopathic effect. The practice of drinking and massaging with urine allows the antibodies, greater access to the body, which stimulates the immune system. The presence of antigens and antibodies in urine strengthens the immune system when urine is re-introduced into the body.
6. Bactericidal and virucidal effect: Although it is not yet entirely clear why urine has a germicidal and antiseptic effect, it is known that urea plays an important role here. Ammonia and salt also have a similar purifying effect. Besides killing bacteria, urine also inhibits or destroys various viruses and fungi. Scientific research has demonstrated that both urea and ammonia have a powerful anti-viral effect. Applying urine to a fresh cut or scrape prevents infection and keeps files away (important in countries with a warm climate). Urine compresses from fresh or old urine help to combat infections and often cause them to disappear. Although urine does not entirely prevent the growth of bacteria in the urethra (infections often arise), it clearly has a powerful Antiseptic effect when externally applied.
7. Salt therapy: Salt solutions remove old mucous embedded in the mucous membranes. If one drinks a salt liquid, part of the salt goes into the body, where it dissolves the surplus of mucous in the lungs and in other organs. As a salt liquid, urine also has a laxative effect and is recommended to relieve constipation. As it moves through the intestinal canal, the salt detaches waste and draws water into the intestines, as a result of which bowel movement becomes easier. According to this theory, drinking urine is like drinking salt water, which accelerates metabolism. It removes a surplus of sugar from the blood and draws out toxic substances from cells. In this way, urine therapy is a good cleansing technique.
8. Diuretic effect: According to this theory, urine therapy ensures that the kidneys work more quickly and that the body is stimulated to produce more urine. Metabolic products composed of proteins such as urea, nitrogen and ammonia are excreted out of the body via the urine as soon as there is a surplus in the body. Drinking urine causes more of these substances to enter the body than normal. The body reacts to this by washing them away with water and other substances. By ingesting urine, one stimulates the body not only to excrete part of these metabolic products at an accelerated rate, but also to convert another part into useful substances.
9. Transmutation theory: The theory of transmutation implies that the body is capable, through energetic exchange within the body itself, to transmute certain substances or molecules into other ones. ‘Short circuiting‘ the system by ingesting one’s own secreted body fluids might stimulate the transmutational force within and challenge the body to transform unusable substances into usable ones without being constantly disturbed by new external input. This would specifically apply to fasting on urine.
10. Psychological effects.
Ways to use Urine for Shivambu [2,4]
How to Practice Shivambu
It is advisable to monitor and balance your pH, i.e. the acid/alkaline condition of your body, especially with intensive application of urine therapy & fasting. Your urine pH should ideally vary from approximately 5 (more acid) to 8 (more alkaline) during the course of a day. When there is a tendency to either over acidity (acidosis) or over alkalinity (alkalosis), your body is not functioning correctly. 
It is advisable to follow a vegetarian diet during intensive application of urine therapy. This means that it is best for you to refrain from eating all meat and dairy products, or at least reduce this to a minimum, especially if you practice the therapy for an extended period of time.
Everything you eat and drink has an effect on your body and consequently on your urine. The healthier your dietary habits are, the better your urine will taste. Urine therapy in itself does not perform miracles. Unless you provide your body with the essential nutrients, it will not possess the raw materials needed to maintain good health. If you eat healthily and consciously, your urine will contain many essential nutrients which can be reused. Even so, the body may have a deficiency of certain nutrients if they are not supplemented by a complete range of foods. In the long run, this may result in illnesses and ailments. The human body is not made to digest and absorb the many harmful additives to which we are nowadays exposed to. Chemical products and radiation added to food products have been proven to be harmful. The recommended range of foods consists of fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, seeds, nuts, bean, natural sweeteners such as honey, and a limited use of dairy products. 
How can you overcome feelings of aversion to drinking your own golden elixir? 
Actual fast: In this period, exclusively drink water and urine. It is best if you do not work during the fast. Although some exertion is possible, rest and relaxation are important in order for the purifying process to take place undisturbed.
In the beginning, stay with drinking the middle stream of the first morning urine flow.
Can a person drink their urine while on medications? 
The short answer is no because of the remote possibility of overdosing on any particular medication by recycling what is discharged in urine. Hormone, vitamin and mineral supplements, on the other hand, can be taken while drinking urine as long as the intake is frequently monitored and the amounts reduced accordingly as the imbalance improves. However, the long answer is that in some cases, according to the illness and the nature of the medications, urine can be taken in homeopathic doses for some time to kick-start the internal healing process whilst slowly increasing that amount and gradually reducing the medication dosage.
Testimonial Interview Video  (conducted by Prema Shakti)
6. Interview with Pete Olschner conducted by Prema Shakti
Kutki | PICRORHIZA KURROA ROYALE EX BENTH.
Locality: It is found in the Himalayan region
from Kashmir to Sikkim at an elevation of 2700-4500m and in Nepal, found abundantly between 3500 and 4800m.
Characteristics: 5–15 cm long leaves, almost all at the base, often withered. Rhizomes of the plant are 15– 25 cm long and woody. Flowers are small, pale or purplish blue, borne in cylindric spikes, spikes borne on almost leafless erect stems. Fruits are 1.3 cm long.
Parts Used: Root and rhizome
Medicinal Uses: Loss of appetite, indigestion, hepatitis, fevers and cirrhosis.
Kudzu | PUERARIA MONTANA (LOUR.) MERR.
Locality: A native of Asia, kudzu was introduced into the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Kudzu grows well under a wide range of environmental conditions.
Characteristics: This aggressive vine can grow 60 feet per year forming a continuous blanket of foliage. This massive covering often chokes out competing native vegetation that provides food and habitat for native animals. Perennial vines reach 30 m (98 ft) in length. Kudzu roots typically reach a soil depth of 1-3 m (3-9 ft).
Parts Used: The leaves, vine tips, flowers, and roots are edible; the vines are not. The leaves can be used like spinach and eaten raw, chopped up and baked in quiches, cooked like collards, or deep fried.
Medicinal Uses: To treat alcoholism and to reduce symptoms of alcohol hangover, including headache, upset stomach, dizziness, and vomiting.
Valerian | VALERIANA OFFICINALIS L.
Locality: A perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia.
Characteristics: Valerian is a perennial plant with an extremely varied morphology. It comprises a sturdy rhizome with many secondary roots and short runners. In spring the plant develops a basal rosette with pinnate leaves.
Parts Used: The roots and rhizome
Medicinal Uses: Restlessness, sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions. Valerian root is often referred to as "nature's Valium." May also be helpful for menopause, premenstrual syndrome, painful menses, restless legs syndrome and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.
Dandelion | TARAXACUM OFFICINALE COMPLEX
Locality: Native to temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Native to Eurasia, introduced to North America, South America, India (where it hadn't reached naturally), Australia, New Zealand.
Characteristics: Leaves form a whorl about the base of the dandelion where it emerges from the ground, growing to lengths between 2 and 16 inches, with most no longer than 8 inches. These basal leaves are bright green and feature the irregular teeth all along their edges that give the weed its name.
Parts Used: Leaves, roots and flowers
Medicinal Uses: Dandelion root has long been used to treat stomach and liver conditions. Can be used for anorexia (which hurts the spleen). Herbalists today believe that it can aid in the treatment of many ailments, including acne, eczema, high cholesterol, heartburn, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, and even cancer.
Neem | AZADIRACHTA INDICA A. JUSS.
Locality: Native to the Indian subcontinent.
Characteristics: Neem is a fast-growing tree that can reach a height of 15–20 metres (49–66 ft), and rarely 35–40 metres (115–131 ft). The opposite, pinnate leaves are 20–40 centimetres (7.9–15.7 in) long, with 20 to 30 medium to dark green leaflets about 3–8 centimetres (1.2–3.1 in) long.
Parts Used: The bark, leaves, and seeds are used to make medicine. Less frequently, the root, flower, and fruit are also used.
Medicinal Uses: To improve liver function, detoxify the blood, and balance blood sugar levels. Neem leaves have also been used to treat skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, etc. Caution: In adults, short-term use of neem is safe, while long-term use may harm the kidneys or liver; in small children, neem oil is toxic and can lead to death. Neem twigs can also be used as a toothbrush.
Shilajit | ASPHALTUM BITU
Locality: Shilajit is formed and found primarily in Asia in the Himalayan ranges in India, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Tibet, and part of Central Asia and Scandinavia.
Characteristics: Shilajit, also called mineral pitch, is the result of a long process of breaking down plant matter and minerals. It is a sticky, black, tar-like substance that comes from rocks in high mountain ranges.
Parts Used: Purified Exudate.
Medicinal Uses: Found to reduce alcohol withdrawal anxiety in a dose-dependent manner. Also can be used for asthma and allergic conditions, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, joint disorders, antioxidant, anemia, asthma, cystitis, diabetes, dysuria, edema, epilepsy, gall stones, hemorrhoids, insanity, jaundice, kidney, obesity, sexual debility, skin diseases, menstrual disorders, and parasites.
Bacopa | BACOPA MONNIERI (L.) WETTST.
Locality: Native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.
Characteristics: The leaves of this plant are succulent, oblong, and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) thick. Leaves are oblanceolate and are arranged oppositely on the stem. The flowers are small, actinomorphic and white, with four to five petals.
Parts Used: Whole plant
Medicinal Uses: Loss of memory, anxiety neurosis, depression, ADHD, epilepsy, insomnia, May improve cognition.
Skullcap | SCUTELLARIA LATERIFLORA L.
Locality: Native to North America
Characteristics: It has an upright habit, growing 60 to 80 centimeters in maximum height. It is a wetland- loving species and grows near marshes, meadows, and other wet habitat. The blue flowers are just under a centimeter long. Most of the flowers do not appear at the top of the main stem, but are produced along the length of side branches that grow from the leaf axils.
Parts Used: Roots and leaves
Medicinal Uses: Used to treat trouble sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, stroke, and paralysis caused by stroke. It is also used for fever, high cholesterol, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), rabies, epilepsy, nervous tension, allergies, skin infections, inflammation, spasms. and kidney problems.
Ashwagandha | WITHANIA SOMNIFERA (L.) DUNAL
Locality: It is cultivated in many of the drier regions of India. It is also found in Nepal, China and Yemen. It prefers dry stony soil with sun to partial shade.
Characteristics: This species is a short, tender perennial shrub growing 35–75 cm (14–30 in) tall. Tomentose branches extend radially from a central stem. Leaves are dull green, elliptic, usually up to 10–12 cm (4 to 5 in) long. The flowers are small, green and bell-shaped. The ripe fruit is orange-red.
Parts Used: Roots, leaves and fruit
Medicinal Uses: Boosts brain function, lowers blood sugar and cortisol levels, and helps fight symptoms of anxiety and depression. Can boost testosterone and increase fertility in men.
Shankapushpi | CONVOLVULUS PROSTRATUS CHOISY
Locality: Found in India and Burma.
Characteristics: The plant is about 2 to 3 inches in height. Its leaves are small in size and are about 0.5 to 1.5 inches in length. Its leaves are alternate, elliptical. Flowers are about white or red in color, they are round or bell shaped.
Parts Used: Whole plant, roots and seeds
Medicinal Uses: Traditionally as a brain tonic and is believed to help a wide range of issues. It is believed to have demonstrated potential for anxiolytic, relaxant, and anti-obsessive effects, as well as nootropic effects. Has been found to help significantly with memory retention.
Milk Thistle | SILYBUM MARIANUM (L.) GAERTN.
Locality: Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it is now found throughout the world.
Characteristics: Can grow to be 30 to 200 cm (12 to 79 in) tall, and have an overall conical shape. The stem is grooved and more or less cottony. The leaves are oblong to lanceolate. They are either lobate or pinnate, with spiny edges. They are hairless, shiny green, with milk-white veins. The flower heads are 4 to 12 cm long and wide, of red-purple color.
Parts Used: Whole herb, root, leaves, seeds and hull
Medicinal Uses: Treatment of liver disease, prevention and treatment of cancer, and supportive treatment of poisoning from death cap mushrooms.
Burdock Root | ARCTIUM LAPPA L.
Locality: Native to northern Asia and Europe, though it now grows in the United States, too.
Characteristics: Burdock is a tall, unmistakable plant. It flowers from July until frost, and reproduces by seed. The barbed flowers and seeds will attach to almost anything. Flower heads are purple, stalked, 1⁄2 - 1 inch thick, numerous, and occur at the ends of branches and axils of upper leaves. The deep roots of the burdock plant are very long and either brown or nearly black on the outside.
Parts Used: Roots, leaves and fruits
Medicinal Uses: For the liver and kidneys to flush them out. People take burdock to increase urine flow, kill germs, reduce fever, and “purify” their blood. It is also used to treat colds, cancer, anorexia nervosa, gastrointestinal (GI) complaints, joint pain (rheumatism), gout, bladder infections, complications of syphilis, and skin conditions including acne and psoriasis.
*This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult with an Ayurvedic Doctor before taking any herbal remedies.
The size and breadth of the prison population is substantial in the United States of America. Unfortunately, that is likely to continue for some time even with current political changes that may reduce some mass incarceration. As public policy continues to grapple with mental and physical health resources as well as rehabilitation programs, Ayurveda can provide a unique set of solutions to address those issues. This is based on the fundamentals and approach of Ayurveda which is grounded in self-reflection, tradition and diversity. While it does not conflict with science or modern medicine, it focuses on more cost effective and natural approaches which should enhance the ability of prisons to deal with improving the mental and physical health as well as rehabilitation of people whom are incarcerated.
Lets start by defining what Ayurveda is. Ayurveda is a comprehensive natural healing system that includes mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The term Ayurveda is made from two Sanskrit words, ‘ayur’ meaning life and longevity, and ‘veda’ meaning wisdom, science, and knowledge. Ayurveda translates to “the science of life” or the “knowledge of longevity”.
Ayurveda is an indigenous medicine rooting from India, with its origins stemming back over five thousand years. Often referred to as the “mother of all healing,” Ayurveda may be the oldest health care system in the world. It is not only a medical system, but also a framework for living a healthy life with a peaceful mind.
Ayurveda works wonders for both chronic and acute imbalances because it addresses the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms. Ayurveda also gives us guidance on how to live day-to-day, in sound health, with a focus on prevention. Since Ayurveda is based in nature, its treatment methods aim to restore balance naturally through:
Working with the principles of Ayurveda is fairly simple, once you understand the basics. One lovely aspect about Ayurveda is that with a little knowledge you can accomplish a lot. However, one difference between Ayurveda and other systems of medicine is that YOU have to take an active role in your health.
With this as an overview the following represents the modalities in which Ayurveda provides a means of achieving the goals of cost effective and health effective support for the incarcerated population.
Ayurveda uses a variety of tools that may be of value to an individual who is incarcerated. A few of these may include:
Dincharya is the ideal daily Ayurvedic routine and rituals. By creating a new life routine, we set new intentions for ourselves in order to create the life we want, not the life incarceration has created for us. Finding ways to incorporate Ayurvedic rituals into daily life in a realistic way is key to having continued success in mental and physical health.
"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world." ~ Buddha.
In sanskrit, prana translates as 'breath' or 'life force', and the term ayama means 'to restrain or control the prana, so pranayama refers to the practice of 'breath control'. Yogic Breathing techniques help us to develop an understanding or our diaphragmatic and thoracic breathing. The practice fills the lungs with fresh air, helps with temperature regulation, plays an important role in the absorption of oxygen and assists with the removal of toxins and impurities found within the blood stream and body.
A simple breathing technique that can be used to calm the nervous system is alternate nostril breathing. To practice this breath, create a peace symbol with your dominant hand, then lower the peace sign (index and middle finger) and raise the thumb, ring and pinky fingers. With your palm facing you, close off the right nostril with your thumb, exhaling through the left. Inhale through the left nostril, then close off the left nostril at the top of the breath with your ring finger, release your thumb from the right nostril to open for the exhale. Repeat back and forth, alternating nostrils. End the practice exhaling through the left nostril. This alternate nostril breathing balances both the right and left hemispheres of the brain and sends signals throughout the body to calm the nervous system.
Yoga is a sister science of Ayurveda and means "union". While controlling the breath is one step to maintaining control over one's being, yoga brings the breath, body and mind into alignment calming the nervous system in its entirety. It is a nonjudgmental practice that is done on a mat using principles that are carried off the mat into the rest of the world.
One very simple yoga posture that can be done in a prison cell is legs-up-the-wall. This is a helpful posture for back pain and elicits a relaxation response for the rest of the body.
A different form of yoga, called Laughter Yoga is another simple practice that anyone can participate in. Laughter truly is the best medicine! Laughter Yoga is a simple yet profound way to promote mental and physical health. This practice involves prolonged voluntary laughter, in which it is thought to derive the same physiological and psychological health benefits than that of spontaneous laughter.
Diet is addressed in Ayurveda according to the season and individual bodily makeup. If you are feeling anxious, eating warm root vegetables will assist in grounding the energy. Oppositely, if you are feeling lethargy, eating pungent and light foods will assist systems of the body in movement. In Ayurveda it is always best to eat fresh foods that have the least amount of processing. The most important action one can take towards their food is blessing it with gratitude, no matter what the ingredients might be. If food choices are limited, you always have control of the intention you give your meal. Eat slowly, sitting down and chew food thoroughly and with mindfulness.
Meditation involves the gradual shutting down of all the body’s sensory channels, to learn to sit with oneself in stillness. It is meant as a means to turn inward and connect to a unified source, to find a way to bring a quiet moment of peace whenever it is needed.
A simple sitting meditation called “so-hum” can teach an individual to bring their attention back to their breath, over and over again. Repeating in the mind “so” on the inhale, and “hum” on the exhale. “So-hum” in English translates to “I am”. Whenever there is conflict, return to the breath, and the mantra “so-hum”.
Ayurveda helps individuals to accept life as it is, and to flow with the rhythms of nature rather than reject or fight against them. Once acceptance has been achieved, moving through the nuances of daily life is less of a struggle. Mindful decisions can be made to persuade the energies around us, and to bring joy and positivity into the forefront of our daily activities. In Ayurveda we discuss the philosophy of karma, meaning action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Developing good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while developing bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.
While being incarcerated is obviously extremely limiting in numerous ways, Ayurveda can assist individuals with tools to help them regain control of their body, mind and spirit.
Photo Credit: Robert Sturman
Highly cherished in ancient Ayurvedic texts, Guduchi is referred to in Sanskrit as ‘Amrita’, meaning "immortality”. ‘Amrita’ is considered one of several synonyms for ‘soma’, the drink of the devas (deities). This ‘Divine Nectar’ is a favorite among worshippers of higher knowledge and spiritual attainment.
In Hindi, Guduchi is known as ‘Giloy’. The plant boasts heart shaped leaves that mimic its affinity to working with the divine feminine. Guduchi is one of the best herbs in Ayurveda to pacify the Pitta dosha. Pitta (a combination of the fire and water elements) plays a huge role in the monthly menses cycle.
You may be feeling wiped out during your moon cycle, but Guduchi wants to help. Like Ashwagandha, Guduchi is an adaptogen which allows it to assist in reducing stress levels and fatigue. Also, as a direct acting antiviral and immunomodulator, Guduchi will bolster your immunity when you are feeling run down. If you are feeling anxious, Guduchi supports the proper function of the nervous system while promoting vitality. If you are experiencing pain during menstruation, Guduchi has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can work more effectively than aspirin. Guduchi pacifies the aggravation brought on by Pitta (the fire element) working to calm and alleviate acute inflammation.
Additionally, as well as relieving some of the inner ailments that our moon cycle may bring on, Guduchi also has anti-aging properties to keep skin blemishes, wrinkles and fine lines at bay; allowing your natural glow to shine through. Guduchi will help to keep you looking and feeling young by promoting longevity. For premature aging take ½ tsp of Guduchi with 1 cup of hot milk to slow down the biological clock. If you are craving sweets when aunt flow is visiting, make sure to take Guduchi for its ability to lower blood sugar levels. Guduchi has positive overall effects on both metabolism and digestion.
How Guduchi Can Help:
Guduchi works as an antioxidant to push waste materials out from the body, known in Ayurveda as ‘ama’, which is another reason it is a wonderful addition to a moon cycle self-care routine. Not only does it flush toxins out of the body, but it also acts as an overall rejuvenative, known in Ayurveda as ‘rasayana’. Combine Guduchi with Shatavari and Ashwagandha for the best results!
But Guduchi in not just for all of the Goddesses out there. Specifically, for men, Guduchi can boost sexual health and functioning, including sexual health problems like impotence or excessive, involuntary ejaculation. Taken regularly, Guduchi boosts blood circulation, while purifying and detoxing the system.
Moon Cycle Self-Care Rituals:
Note: Guduchi is a plant in the same family as the plant from which latex comes from — please be mindful of taking Guduchi if you have a latex allergy.
Scientific Name: Handroanthus impetiginosus (Mart. ex DC.) Mattos; Bigoneacea
Family: Bignoniaceae (1)
Genus: Tabebuia (1)
Synonyms: Tabebuia avellanedae, T. ipe, T. nicaraguensis, T. schunkeuigoi, T. serratifolia, T. altissima, T. palmeri, Gelseminum avellanedae, Handroanthus avellanedae, H. impetiginosus, Tecoma adenophylla, Tecoma avellanedae, Tecoma eximia, Tecoma impetiginosa, Tecoma integra, Tecoma ipe (1)
Common Names: Pau d'arco, ipê, ipê roxo, lapacho, tahuari, taheebo, pink trumpet tree, ipê-contra-sarna, tabebuia ipê, tajy, purple or red tabebuia (1)
Part Used: Bark, wood (1)
Main Preparation Method: tincture or decoction (1)
Botanical name (synonym): Tabebuia impetiginosa (1)
Tabebuia impetiginosa is a towering deciduous tree native to tropical regions of the Americas. Pau d’arco is used for its inner bark, referred to as “taheebo” or “lapacho”. This tree bark has been employed for thousands of years in the traditional healing practices of native tribes throughout these regions, including the Incas who also made bows out of the tree. (2)
Pau D’arco is made from the inner bark of several species
of Tabebuia trees that grow in Central and South America. (3)
Ascorbic acid, chromium, iodine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, silicon, zinc, napthaquinones, flavonoids, carnosol, lapachenole, indoles, alkaloids, coenzyme Q10, steroidal saponins. (4)
Several compounds called naphthoquinones — mainly lapachol and beta-lapachone — have been isolated from this inner bark and are thought responsible for its purported benefits.
Pau D’arco is native to South and Central America (specifically Brazil). It is not native to North America but grows in the warm parts of the country. Pau D’arco is derived from the inner bark of several species of Tabebuia trees. (5)
The tree grows up to 125 feet high, has purple, pink, and yellow flowers, and pod-like fruits. The best quality Pau D'Arco is said to come from Argentina. The most potent part is the inner bark, which must be aged after harvesting to maximize its effectiveness. (5)
AYURVEDIC HERBAL ENERGETICS
Dosha effect: PK- V+ (6)
Rasa: tikta, kashaya, katu
Gunas: laghu, ruksha, sara
DHATUS AND SROTAS
Rasavahasrotas, raktavahasrotas, pranavahasrotas, purishavahasrotas
KARMAS OF PAU D’ARCO
Alterative, antipyretic, antibiotic (6)
Pau D'Arco has been used by South and Central American indigenous peoples to treat skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections, and cancer.
It was a primary medicine used by the Inca's and their descendants, the Callaway tribe. The name "Pau d' Arco" is Portuguese for "bow tree", an appropriate name after its use by the people of Brazil in make hunting bows.
In 1960, the use of Pau D'Arco was taken up in the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre and used in the treatment of cancer patients. Today, the herb is sold in herb stores and regular pharmacies throughout Brazil. (1)
Enhances immune system function. Pau D’arco bark can be tinctured, incorporated into topical skin care regimes, or decocted as Pau D’arco tea.
Anti-tumor: inhibits the growth of tumors
Anti-cancer: inhibits the growth of cancer cells
Anti-coagulant: thins blood
Anti-viral: destroys and inhibits the spread of viruses.
Anti-bacterial: destroys and inhibits the growth of bacteria
Anti-fungal: destroys and inhibits the growth of fungus
Alterative: increase health and vitality by gradually restoring alignment to functions of the body.
Antibiotic: destroys and inhibits the growth of micro-organisms Anti-depressive: elevates mood
Antipsoratic: prevents and counters psoriasis
Astringent: tones and tightens the connective tissue of the skin Anti-diabetic: creates insulin to balance glucose levels Anti-parasitic: kills parasites
Analgesic: relieves pain
Digestive: aids in digestion
Diuretic: increases the production and secretion of urine Depurative: purifying and detoxifying, especially the blood Hypotensive: Lowers blood pressure
Laxative: loosen stools and increase bowel movements
Pau d'Arco boosts immune system response and function.
Used for infections, especially for candida and other yeast infections.
Urinary tract infections
Bacteria infections, such as brucellosis
Viral infections including influenza
Beneficial for dysentery, fevers, malaria, and ulcers.
Used for slowing and inhibiting the growth of cancer and tumors, especially leukemia.
Aids in the prevention and treatment of Liver disease, Hodgkin's disease, osteomyelitis, Parkinson's disease.
Used in the treatment of fungal infections, including: thrush, athlete's foot, nail fungus, ringworm.
Used in the treatment against chronic diseases, including: Diabetes, lupus, HIV, ulcers, herpes, hepatitis.
Allergies, recommended to combine Pau D'Arco with burdock to cleanse the blood during an allergic reaction or sudden skin flare up.
Sexually transmitted infections Allergies
Used in pain relief for Arthritis and chemotherapy
Stimulates blood circulation Purifies the blood
Increases red blood cell count
Used in the treatment of colitis, gastritis, and stomach ulcers. Treats enlarged prostate.
Urinary tract infections
Gastrointestinal problems of all kinds
Parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis Stomach ulcers
Asthma Bronchitis Cough
Used in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including: HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis.
Has the ability to remove heavy metals from the body.
Aids well in the detoxification process carried out by the liver and lymphatic organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder Osteoarthritis, cause by the wear and tear on joints
Heals skin wounds and protects against infection. eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections.
Assists in external skin ailments such as warts, boils, ringworm, impetigo, cold sores, athlete's foot, and staph infections.
Effective in treating dermatitis and psoriasis when taken internally and topically.
Apply topically for the healing of sores, lesions, diaper rash, bruises.
May have abortifacient properties, and cause toxicity to the reproductive organs in high doses.
Research on Pau D'arco's naphthoquinones constituents suggest that this herb may be contraindicated when using anticoagulants. Do not use Pau D'arco while taking anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs, blood thinning drugs, such as Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix), and Aspirin. Taking Pau D'arco with these may increase the risk of bleeding.
Consult a physician before using during pregnancy, because the herb may have abortifacient properties, it is likely unsafe to use internally when pregnant. But may be well tolerated when used topically for skin conditions in small doses. Pau D'arco should NOT be given to infants or children.
May slow blood clotting and could increase the chance of bleeding during or after surgery. Stop using at least two weeks before scheduled surgery.
Taking Pau D’Arco along with medications that slow blood clotting could increase the chances of bruising or bleeding.
Large amounts of lapachol (greater than 1.5g per day) may be toxic. side effects may include anemia, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. If these symptoms occur, discontinue or lower dose. High doses can cause uncontrolled bleeding and vomiting.
1. https://www.rain-tree.com/paudarco.htm 2. https://mountainroseherbs.com/pau-darco
3. Lapachol and lapachone analogs: a journey of two decades of patent research (1997-2016) <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28586252/>
4. North American Nighantu Manual by Nicole Herbert with Alakananda Ma
6. Lad., V. and Frawley., D., 2001. The Yoga Of Herbs. Lanham: Lotus Press, p.210
There are so many options of sweeteners on the market today but none as pure and good for the planet as local organic honey. Honey contains Vitamins C, B3, B5, as well as folate, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and selenium. This is impressive compared to what else is offered on the shelves. Bees even have their own digestive enzymes that they transfer into the honey they make, bringing extra goodness to your gut!
Honey is not only delicious; it also provides longer lasting energy than sugar because it is lower in fructose and other trace minerals which gives off less of a blood spike than sugar does to the body. This means that it has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners.
Honey is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory… I think you get the picture! Some people believe that by ingesting honey with pollen it could also help with pollen allergies. Studies are inconclusive on that front, but I can see the correlation and it doesn’t hurt to try!
The bottom line: There are many reasons to choose different types of sweeteners for different reasons, but to me honey is usually the clear winner.
Scientific Name: Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. moscheutos
Common Names: hibiscus, ambary plant, burao, rosa sinensis, red sorrel, karkadi, kenaf, African mallow, Indian sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, Jamaica tea flower, roselle, Sudanese tea, red tea (1)
Sanskrit Name: Japā (2)
Family: Malvaceae (1)
Higher Classification: Hibisceae
The tart taste of hibiscus is due to is content of 15 to 30% plant acids, including citric, malic, and tartaric acids. The wine-red color of the tea is the to anthocyans, including delphinidins and cyanidins. In tea, the herb yields mucilage and pectins. (3)
Hibiscus sabdariffa is a member of the mallow family (Malvaceae) and is native to parts of North Africa and Southeast Asia.
The flower, fresh, dried, cut, and powdered. (2)
The calyx (the structure around the petals) are the primary plant part used, specifically in teas for lowering blood pressure and for its cooling effect.
AYURVEDIC HERBAL ENERGETICS
Dosha effect: PK- V0 (+ in excess)
Rasa: madhura (sweet) and kashayam (astringent) (2)
Virya: shita (2)
Vipaka: madhura (sweet) (2)
Gunas: sattvic, light, dry
Hibiscus flowers taste madhura (sweet) and kashayam (astringent). (2)
They are cold in terms of potency and can reduce aggravated Pitta and balance Kapha. ... Ayurveda refers to this condition as Raktapradar.
DHATU AND SROTAS
Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Majja, Shukra/Artava (3)
Circulatory, artavavahasrotas, majjavahasrotas (3)
KARMAS OF HIBISCUS
Rakta Shodhan (alterative), hemostatic, shitala (refrigerant), emmenagogue, demulcent, shulagna (antispasmodic), diuretic (4)
Cystitis, fever, inflammatory skin disorders, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, cough, fever, venereal diseases, circulatory disorders, constipation, hair loss, infections, heart burn, toxins in blood (4)
Hibiscus is a member of the Malvaceae family, or the mallow family of flowering plants. There are more than 200 species, all of which are known for their colorful, showy blooms. There are many folk remedies attributed to hibiscus flowers, including help with stomach or digestive problems, and to help soothe the nerves. Recently it has been added to many ready-made teas due to its high levels of anti-oxidants. The Journal of Human Hypertension published an article that showed that drinking hibiscus tea can reduce the blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. (5)
Severe chills, high Vata. Pregnancy. May be a contraceptive. (4)
Pregnancy was terminated in 92% of the animals and peripheral level of progesterone declined when benzene extract of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers was provided orally at 1 gm/kg/d from day 5-8 of gestation (6)
In a randomized clinical trial with 100 patients with mild hypertension and diabetes, drinking an infusion of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) three times daily for four weeks was shown to significantly decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (6)
In a randomized trial, patients with metabolic syndrome treated with a Hibiscus sabdariffa extract powder had significantly reduced glucose and total cholesterol levels, increased HDL-c levels, and an improved TAG/HDL-c ratio (t-test p<0.05). A triglyceride-lowering effect was also observed. (6)
A one-year ethnobotanical study conducted by interviewing 48 people from Tamilnadu, India on their knowledge and uses of medicinal plants reported of the 139-plant species identified, Hibiscus rosa sinensis was ranked eighth in use value. (6)
African folk medicine uses hibiscus as a diuretic, to relieve pressure in the gallbladder, and to relax the uterus. The mucilage in the herb make it a mild laxative, but they are also helpful when the herb is used as a wash to treat weeping eczema. Regular consumption of hibiscus teas often lowers blood pressure, typically 8 to 12 mm/Hg. Hibiscus is also the source of the hydroxycitric acid (HCA, or hydroxycut) used in many diet formulas. This compound has been long used to fight obesity. Scientific studies with lab animals find that it stops the conversion of carbs in food to body fat. It fights appetite and encourages weight loss not by increasing energy expenditure but by encouraging the "wasting" of carbohydrates. HCA does not enhance weight loss during low-carb or Atkins-style diets, but it does help weight loss when used with a program of general calorie restriction reducing consumption of carbs, protein, and fats equally. Hibiscus powder will have more of a laxative effect than other forms of the herb. It delivers more HCA. It is also more likely to help lower LDL cholesterol, although definitive research of the use of this herb for controlling high cholesterol has not been completed. Hibiscus is Good for Controlling Pitta Diseases. (3)
1. Cms.herbalgram.org. 2020. American Botanical Council: Herb Med Pro. [online] Available at: <http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbmedpro/index.html#param.wapp?sw_page=@@subcategory%3FherbID%3D272> [Accessed 3 June 2020].
2. Lad., V. and Frawley., D., 2001. The Yoga Of Herbs. Lanham: Lotus Press, p.124, 204.
3. O’Dunn, D., 2011. Florida Academy of Ayurveda, Herb Manual, Page 73
4. Alandi Ashram Herb Spreadsheet
5. Cms.herbalgram.org. 2020. American Botanical Council: Herb Med Pro. [online] Available at: <http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbmedpro/index.html#param.wapp?sw_page=@@subcategory%3FherbID%3D272> [Accessed 3 June 2020].
6. Cross J. MEDLINE, PubMed, PubMed Central, and the NLM. Editors' Bulletin. 2006;2(1):1-5. doi:10.1080/17521740701702115
1. Ayurvedic Facials: My new favorite is combining hibiscus powder with rosewater to create a paste for my face! Or try 1/2 tsp turmeric mixed with 1 oz heavy cream. Refrigerate leftovers.
2. Tea ceremony: Turn on calming music (Karunesh is nice), brew up your favorite cup and find a cozy seat. I like chamomile, lavender and jasmine.
3. Yoga Nidra: So many yoga studios are offering free online courses. Take advantage! Check some Yoga Nidra out here: https://www.yoganidranetwork.org/downloads
4. Go Barefoot: Take off your shoes and Put your feet in the dirt. Soak in those sun rays and let nature flood your spirit. Nature has not been cancelled.
5. Burn Sage/Incense/Aromatherapy: My favorite scents are nag champa, ylang ylang and lemongrass.
6. Read a Book: For fun! I get really caught up in professional or educational literature. Switch it up and read for pleasure!
7. Hobbies: Playing music, pickling vegetables, writing poetry, vision boarding, exploring new podcasts... get creative!
And if you find yourself needing extra connection, or help reaching your wellness goals, reach out to prema.shakti@hibisKISSayurveda.com. We are in this together!