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May 25, 2008

Bathing with beans

Today I want to share with you one of the newest additions to my daily routine.

Ayurveda recommends bathing as the single most important aspect of the daily cleansing routine. Though I have to admit that with my cold blood, whilst living in Melbourne it is the first of my daily routines to go (maybe my English blood has something to do with it too!)

Whilst the bathing bits not new, what is new is the mung beans. I love mung beans and am constantly astounded by their many uses. Mix a little mung bean flour with water and use this paste instead of soap. It smells like freshly cut grass and doesn't dry out the skin like soap. It is tridoshic and especially good for sensitive skin and conditions such as athletes foot.

You can buy mung bean powder, or flour, from some Indian grocery stores. In India they mix a little turmeric with this paste and use it as a face wash, though I am a little wary of using turmeric on my skin for fear of looking jaundiced! If you want to try this be sure to wash it off quickly.

Pitta should take cool showers, Kapha and Vata warm. Very hot water will dry the skin, so Vata, Pitta and anyone with sensitive skin should have their water just warm enough to be comfortable, not scalding. Bathing should take place every day before eating or meditation.


notyet100 said...

hi julia,.we use gramflour mixed with curd too...backin india,.my grandmother used totell its good for skin,,moong dal seems something new..:-)

Anonymous said...

This my favorite way of taking shower. I never used soap when I was in India. After getting tired with so may brands of body wash, I am slowly switching to it. I think what my mom used to make is mix of chana dal(Besan), Moong dal and bit of rice and turmeric. In place moong dal flour, you can use chana dal flour too.

Julia said...

I've been wondering about that. Besan flour is much more easliy available here, so I might give that a go. I though the idea was a bit wierd at first, but now I'll never go back to soap either!

Anonymous said...

Woww..I love bathing with mung beans ground with turmeric and herbs.Just a whiff of it reminds me of the good old days.I dont particularly remember the herbs but I believe its basil which clears acne.
My grandma says turmeric is a natural hair-remover
removes facial hair and she insists that I use it everyday..

Sunshinemom said...

We do this too! Regular use helps getting rid of excess hair too! In North India people make a thickish paste with mustard oil (During the winters, as mustard oil is hot) and rub it vigorously rolling out the dirt in the body before bath - Its a great feeling! All your other posts were really informative. Could not leave a comment every where!

Madhuram said...

Back in India my grandmother used to prepare a mixture of mung beans, dried rose petals, tumeric and other ingredients. This really keeps the skin soft and also takes care of skin ailments like pimples, scars etc.

Even for washing hair she used to prepared shikakai powder. Nowadays I have switched to shampoo and I can see the effect on my hair. It's not good!

Julia said...

Madhuram that sounds divine! What a shame we don't have the time (or knowledge) to do these things anymore.

JD said...

My folks mix mung flour with camphor, shikakai and turmeric.

I have been living in the US for a while and been using all these store-bought facial scrubs, which were not helping my acne. So, when I recently visited India, I bought this mix back with me and I use it everyday now - no acne so far for 3 months. :)

And the best part is it is no environmentally safe. Just imagine all that chemical residue we leave from our soaps, shampoos, scubs etc.

Julia said...

I agree the chemicals must have a bid impact on the environment.

I have read in Ayurveda that we shouldn't put anything on our skin that we wouldn't eat. This works for our health and the health of the world.

The comments on this post have been so informative, thankyou!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how do you use the flour ? Do you just apply to your skin in form of paste or put some in the cloth and tie and make it look like a bag of flour?

Julia said...

I just make a paste with a little water, but experiment, I'd be interested to hear what you come up with.