What Is Ayurvedic Soap?

Basket of soaps with a brush and sponge
Ayurvedic soap has its roots in India. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

One of the world’s oldest medical systems, Ayurveda originated thousands of years ago in India. The Sanskrit term Ayurveda comes from the word “ayur,” meaning “life,” and “veda,” meaning “knowledge.” Over the centuries, Ayurveda became the science of life, providing a foundation for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes natural cures and treatments to restore a person's energy and promote healing. The same principles apply to Ayurvedic products such as Ayurvedic soap.

Identification

Various commercial manufacturers produce Ayurvedic soap under a wide range of brand names including Anjolie Ayurveda, Ayurveda Pura, Chandrika and Medimix. Though available in liquid form, most Ayurvedic soap comes in traditional bar shapes, with the soap’s exact ingredients determining its color, scent and texture.

Features

In accordance with the tenets of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic soap contains only natural ingredients, placing an emphasis on plant products and avoiding man-made ingredients or animal byproducts. One kind of Ayurvedic soap would feature a base of vegetable oils, glycerine and then an assortment of healing oils. The soap never uses harsh chemicals. Coconut oils, ginger extract, orange oil and sandalwood oil are a few of the more common ingredients found in Ayurvedic soap.

Function

Used in the same fashion as traditional soap, Ayurvedic soap cleans and refreshes the skin, with its specific ingredients determining its exact effects. According to Natural Therapy Web, an alternative healing community, Ayurvedic soap uses coconut oil to nourish the skin, ginger extract to relax and firm the skin, lime seed oil for deep cleaning, and orange oil to help reduce pimples, blackheads and other blemishes.

Benefits

Traditional soaps can often strip the natural oils that serve to moisturize and protect the skin, causing irritation. Because they don’t include harsh chemicals, Ayurvedic soaps are much gentler on the skin, helping prevent rashes and blemishes while still being strong enough to cleanse. Manufacturers may also tailor certain Ayurvedic soaps to possess anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties or to achieve specific sensations such as increased relaxation or improved circulation for a sense of warming.

Considerations

Because it only uses natural ingredients and avoids cheap chemicals, Ayurvedic soap may be more expensive than traditional soaps. Read the product label to ensure the soap follows the true spirit of Ayurveda and doesn’t include any synthetic ingredients or employ animal testing.

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