Ask the Expert:
End-of-Summer Hair Care
By Vaidya Manohar
Health starts from within. Balanced nutrition, digestion, assimilation of nutrients and elimination of wastes are all very important to overall heath and healthy hair. Herbal Di-Gest, Liver Balance and Organic Digest Tone help support not only your diet, but assimilation and elimination as well. Include lots of green leafy vegetables and sweet juicy fruits in your diet.
- Remember, herbal supplements are not replacements for high quality, pure organic foods. Diet and digestion are two of the foundations of Maharishi Ayurveda. Dairy products such as organic milk and fresh cheeses like panir, or the delicious yogurt-based drink called lassi are also very beneficial. Fresh coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts are also considered excellent "hair food." You can add grated coconut and almonds and pumpkin seeds to your lightly-cooked vegetables. Whole grains and leafy greens like kale, chard, collard, mustard, greens and arugula also offer excellent support for your hair.
- Avoid or cut down on cold, frozen foods or leftovers, refined, processed and canned foods. These foods lack prana, or life force, or in Ayurvedic terms, intelligence. Ayurveda considers foods with artificial preservatives and chemical additives stripped of their inherent "nutrients" and therefore not helpful in supplying nutrition to your body and mind. Ice-cold beverages also hamper the process of digestion and the assimilation of nutrients.
- Spices are very important to promotion of digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and ultimately support for your hair. Recommended spices include: curry leaves (Murraya koenjajaji), cilantro, parsley, cumin, turmeric, black pepper. MAPI's spice mixtures - churnas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) - are an easy way to add these spices to your diet. Include these spices with foods you cook. These delicious flavorful foods are beneficial to hair and one of the secrets of Ayurveda.
- Multitasking is a primary reason for stress. A competitive environment can also be very stressful. Exposure to stress is seriously harmful to health and has a direct effect on the quality of your hair according to Ayurveda, including hair loss and the color of your hair. Learning the Transcendental Meditation® technique can not only build natural resistance to stress, but reverse the damage caused by stress. The practice of yoga asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing technique), also offer great support against stress. In addition, plan and manage your time and tasks to minimize stress and create ease.
- Use the power of routine. The ayurvedic routine is an influential tool in itself - and allows you to harness the power of daily cycles of Nature. Wake up before 6 AM, eat your main meal at midday, go to bed before 10 PM - all are very important points for balancing the three fundamental mind-body principles of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
- Play! Regular recreation prevents stress. The underlying ayurvedic principle is another great secret of this ancient health science: we metabolize our experiences. So experiences are "metabolized, " or digested by the body and mind. In this sense "play" is food as well. Exploring and enjoying the beauty of nature, for example, helps restore balance to your mind. Listening to soothing, calming, music can be therapeutic and stress-reducing.
Sleep is one of the pillars of life according to Ayurveda. It is a critically important period of rejuvenation and repair for...