While the disadvantages of cosmetics are well known to us, it is rarely possible to live without them. I mean, can you imagine having breakfast without brushing your teeth? Giving up soaps and shampoos because they have chemicals in them? Or going through your entire day without keeping your sweat odour in check?
These habits are not only routine now, but a healthy necessity. If you too are wondering how to cut down chemicals from your cosmetics, Ayurveda comes to your rescue! Made from natural components, most Ayurveda items can be made at home.
Eager to bring Ayurveda into your routine and wondering how you can do it? Here are six items you can make at home to replace chemicals in your hair, teeth and body.
Let’s start with the head. Shampoos and conditioners contain a lot of chemicals that can ruin the quality of your hair. From silky soft, your hair can turn into what my mum likes to call, ‘a rat’s tail’.
To make an Ayurvedic shampoo that will make your hair healthy, you will need- tender leaves of a hibiscus plant, tender vine and leaves of a pepper plant. Soak them overnight in water.
The next morning, before you go for a head bath, crush the leaves in the water and use the liquid as shampoo.
It may not form the foam that you’re used to, but the regular usage of this ‘shampoo’ is sure to give you a healthy mane!
2. Shikakai hair wash-
Continuous exposure to dust and pollution damages your hair and makes your scalp prone to dandruff. If you wish to tackle these issues with a single remedy, Shikakai is your best Ayurvedic option.
Here’s what you will need to make Shikakai hair wash powder at home-
· Shikakai- 500 gms
· Soap Nut- 100 gms
· Fenugreek seed (Methi)- 250 gms
· Holy Basil (Tulsi) leaves- 1 twig full
· Green gram (Moong bean)- 250 gms
· Fresh curry leaves- 1 bunch.
This shampoo is best made on a dry, sunny day. You need to clean all the ingredients underwater and put them out to dry. They might take up to two days to dry off completely. Then, grind them to a fine powder. This is basically your hair powder.
Each time you want to wash your hair with this, mix a small portion of this powder with water and soak for about two hours. Even soaking overnight will work. Apply it on your scalp, gently massaging it for about five minutes and wash it away, as you do with your regular shampoo.
3. Ayurvedic toothpaste-
Why go for chemical-infused toothpaste advertising natural ingredients when you can make a 100% natural toothpaste at home?
You will need a tablespoon of refined camphor, one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of alum, two tablespoons of sunflower oil and five drops of clove oil for this.
Camphor and alum will make your teeth strong and white, while clove oil will strengthen your gums. The sugar will add sweetness to the paste, so you don’t cringe while you brush.
Just mix these ingredients for the Ayurvedic toothpaste! That’s it!
Match this Ayurvedic toothpaste with a Neem twig toothbrush. Simply soak a twig in water for about 24 hours, so that it softens. Crush a tip to use it as bristles. Cut the part after use, and discard. Repeat the process the next day.
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4. Dental Powder-
If you wish to go the old-school way by using a powder instead of paste, collect the following ingredients- 100 gms charcoal from rice husk, pepper, two cloves, 2 cardamoms, sweet fennel, salt and refined camphor. Grind them together to make a fine powder.
Store it in an air-tight bottle or box. Each time you use the powder, make sure you massage thoroughly or leave the powder on your gums and teeth for about five minutes.
5. Bath powder-
This one is for those of us who sweat quite a bit. This Ayurvedic powder will not only refresh you early in the morning but will also battle your odour throughout the day.
Bring together 200 gms of wild turmeric, 200 gms vetiver, 200 gms sandalwood, 200 gms holy basil and 500 gms powder of the fruit of soap nut acacia tree. Grind them into a fine powder.
Store the powder in an air-tight container. When you use it, mix it with some water to make a paste and use it as you would use a body wash.
6. Ayurvedic soap-
Now, this is a long procedure and will take a longer time than the other cosmetics. Here are the ingredients:
· Powdered fruit of soap nut acacia tree- 200 gms
· Holy basil, Neem leaves and raw turmeric- 250 gms each
· Coconut oil- one kg
· Refined camphor- 15 gms, dissolved in 100 gms of coconut oil
· Glycerin- 100 ml
· Caustic potash- 250 gms
The first step is to crush the holy basil, neem leaves and raw turmeric in 1.5 litres of water, and sift the residue. Add to the mixture, the powdered acacia fruit and bring to boil. Once the mixture is boiled, close the vessel with a lid and keep it so for a day.
The next day, sift the mixture and bring to boil once again. While heating, keep adding little portions of caustic soda, making sure you stir it well. Once the mixture is homogenous, allow it to cool.
Add the coconut oil when the mixture comes down to room temperature, stirring thoroughly.
The mixture will start solidifying soon. This is when you add the glycerin and the refined camphor-coconut oil mixture. Keep stirring.
Take a flat vessel that is at least three inches tall and pour the mixture in a way that it stands two inches thick. Let it dry for about 2-3 days. Cut it into a shape and size you want. Your Ayurvedic soap is ready!
Bonus TBI tip- Heat ghee and let it cool in a glass container. This will work as a natural lip balm, but even better!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)