Have you heard about Traditional Indian Medicine? The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda (also known as Ayurvedic medicine) goes beyond medicine and is a way of life that anyone can adopt. Here’s everything you need to know about its principles and how it can benefit your mental and physical well-being.

What is the concept of Ayurveda?

Let’s begin by talking about what Ayurveda means. “Ayur” stands for life, and “Veda” means knowledge or science. When put together, the term literally translates to “the knowledge of life.” It originates from India and was believed to have been passed down from the divine over 3000 years ago. It is said that the Gods passed on the wisdom to the sages, who then passed it down to their students. From then, it has been passed down orally for thousands of years. Today, Ayurveda is a major part of Indian culture and plays a guiding role in many aspects of life, including beauty, food, and wellness.

To better understand the concept of Ayurveda, here’s a glimpse of its notable philosophies:

  • The human body is a microcosm of the universe.
  • Beauty starts from within. True beauty is composed of a healthy body, a balanced mind, and a tranquil spirit.
  • The mind and body are connected. One’s mind has the power to heal and transform one’s entire being.

I find that this quote describes the essence of Ayurveda: 

“No poison can kill a positive thinker, and no medicine can save a negative thinker.” – Unknown

In other words, our outer beauty is a reflection of the world within ourselves, our stress levels, emotional well-being, and thoughts.

So what’s the purpose of Ayurveda?

I grew up in India and was surrounded by Ayurvedic practices since it was so embedded in the culture. Even though I’m living in New York now and most people around me aren’t as aware of Ayurveda, I continue to appreciate how holistic its approach is in nourishing and rejuvenating my body.

Since Ayurveda believes that everything is connected, its ethos is that regaining balance between mind, body, and spirit will holistically improve your health.

That means incorporating food-grade ingredients for skincare, eating a healthy diet, listening to my body’s needs, and taking part in self-care activities that can improve my physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I find that all of these aspects can make a major difference in cultivating healthy skin and life. 

What are the basic principles of Ayurveda?

To take things deeper, I’ll briefly cover how Ayurveda views the relationship between humans, the universe, and the spirit. It is believed that the universe is made up of five elements – water, air, earth, fire, and space – which make up organic and inorganic materials in the universe, including our human bodies.

The five elements are then grouped into three doshas, each encompassing two elements, which help further guide the human body towards a balanced physical and mental well-being. You may be categorized as one primary Dosha or a combination of all three depending on your personality trait, appearance, and skin type.

Let’s find out which Dosha characterizes you and what you can do to bring your body more in balance.


Elements: Space and air

Energy: Force of mobility and quickness

Personality: Lively and active

Physical Traits: Thin, light, or flexible

Dominating Qualities: Creative and restless

Skin Type: Dry, thin, rough, or aging-prone skin

Signs of Skin Imbalance: Premature aging, dehydration, fine lines, and wrinkles

Tips to balance your skin:


Elements: Fire and water

Energy: Force of transformation

Personality: Determined

Physical Traits: Muscular

Dominating Qualities: Sociable, good leadership qualities, and mentally sharp

Skin Type: Oily and sensitive skin

Signs of Skin Imbalance: Inflammation, redness, acne, eczema, and psoriasis 

Tips to balance your skin:

  • Use cooling and soothing products
  • Limit sun exposure, make sure you wear sunscreen
  • Eat foods that are cooling in nature
  • Limit intake of alcohol, coffee, spicy, oily, and fried foods


Elements: Water and earth

Energy: Well-grounded and structured

Personality: Stable and calm

Physical Traits: Muscular

Dominating Qualities: Enduring, solid, slow, cold, and soft

Skin Type: Oily, thick and cool skin

Signs of Skin Imbalance: Acne, clogged pores, excessive oil, and blackheads

Tips to balance your skin:

  • Gently exfoliate skin 1-2 times per week
  • Use skincare products that are light and stimulating
  • Do facial massages with warm oils to drain the lymphatic system
  • Cook with warming spices such as ginger, cayenne, and black pepper
  • Eat vegetables and fruits to cleanse the body from inside.

Still not sure about which dosha(s) characterize you? Try out this Dosha quiz!

We’re curious to know your results! Share with us by commenting below. 🙂

Product Recommendations

Many brands are now developing cosmetics that align with Ayurvedic principles so that more people can experience the benefits of Ayurveda in nourishing our mind and body. Here are some of my favorite products below!

Sanskrit Saponins from NIOD is also formulated based on Ayurveda: https://bwth.in/snskrtsaponins

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