Ayurvedic Tips for Healthy Skin

Ayurvedic Tips for Healthy Skin

by Kottakkal Support March 22, 2024


The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and along with hair, nails, and sweat glands it forms the integumentary system. The integumentary system has many functions and most importantly protects our bodies from pathogens, such as bacteria and fungus, and sunlight.

  • Protection: skin and hair provide a protective barrier against harmful pathogens, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and temperature extremes.
  • Sensation: nerve endings in the skin detect touch, pressure, pain, heat, and cold.
  • Temperature: the skin sweats and widens blood vessels to regulate body temperature.
  • Waste elimination: the skin eliminates wastes via sweating.
  • Vitamin D: exposure to UV light from the sun helps produce Vitamin D which is key for strong immunity and overall health.

In 2016, the American Academy of Dermatology estimated 84.5 million Americans or one in four people were impacted by skin disorders. And every year skin disorders cost the US healthcare system $75 billion in medical visits and prescription products.

Ayurveda recognizes seven major and eleven minor types of skin disorders that fall under a category called Kustha. Kustha is a Sanskrit word that translates as disorders that alter the complexion of the body. Kshudra kushta refers to minor skin disorders which includes most of the common skin disorders. Each type is caused by different degrees of tri-doshic aggravation of the lymph, blood, and skin. Ayurveda explains some of the known reasons the doshas become aggravated and cause kushta.

Factors Causing Dosha Aggravation and Kushta

  • Eating foods that are incompatible with your dosha body type.    
  • Overeating, eating too late at night, eating improperly cooked foods.
  • Frequent snacking or eating before the last meal is digested.
  • Suppressing natural urges like sleep, hunger, sneezing, etc. 
  • Extreme temperature changes, hot weather to air conditioning, etc.

Ayurveda has a unique approach to managing skin disorders and the first step involves modifying the diet. Ayurvedic principals recognize that skin disorders stem from the aggravation of the first two layers of tissue, the rasa (lymph) and rakta (blood). As soon as food is digested, the rasa (lymph tissue) is first to receive nutrients and then the rakta (blood tissue) is second and then skin is directly nourished by blood. When a person regularly eats an unhealthy diet this is one of the main root causes for skin disorders.

When we regularly eat unhealthy foods, the nutrients are unable to properly nourish the skin tissue. It really is as simple as that. This is why a diet modification is the most important step towards healing kushta or skin disorders. Avoiding foods that aggravate your doshas as well as adding foods that bring the doshas back to a healthy state is truly the first step to healing most skin disorders. An Ayurvedic practitioner will recommend the correct foods for your specific imbalance and body type.

Foods That Aggravate the Doshas

  • Excess intake of pungent or spicy foods like radish, garlic and chili.
  • Excess intake of meat or fish from watery or marshy environments.
  • Excess intake of green leafy vegetables combined with milk or dairy.
  • Intake of honey or meat with hot spicy foods.
  • Intake of barley or millet with milk, curd, or buttermilk.
  • Consuming processed, packaged or old food.
  • Consuming honey or jaggery with fish or radishes.
  • Any food that is overly oily, sour, or salty.

The above factors can aggravate all three dosas, especially vata and kapha! The dosas become imbalanced during digestion. Then the lymphatic fluid, blood, and skin tissues become aggravated, which leads to skin disorders manifesting in various parts of the body.

Each person’s skin disorder will present in various ways depending on the amount of aggravated dosha. This causes the complexion to present in various ways, the color, texture, discharge, and tactile perception is individual to each person’s doshic influence. Kustha is mostly a tri-doshic condition and is considered difficult to manage. Ayurveda recognizes there are early symptoms that can indicate the rasa, rakta, and skin tissue becoming aggravated.

Early Symptoms of Kushta

  • Reduced sweating
  • Skin feels rougher or dryer than normal
  • Skin color changes to pink or red
  • Itching for no reason
  • Prickly sensation
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Horripilation

The best foods to help heal kushta are light easy to digest foods like kichari and mung dahl with added greens and vegetables. Preparing freshly cooked meals with ghee and tridoshic spices is cleansing and healing.

Healing Foods for Kushta

  • Kitchari, mung dahl, red lentils
  • Red rice, basmati rice
  • Bitter leafy greens and vegetables
  • Mild spices like coriander, cumin, fennel, parsley, cilantro, fresh ginger
  • Drinking boiled water or herbal tea after it cools
  • Foods that are sweet, astringent and bitter

Herbal products are another important step toward healing skin disorders. Kottakkal has effective oils and supplements that will help relieve many types of skin disorders. An Ayurvedic consultation will offer you the best diet and product recommendations for your specific skin disorder.

Herbal Oils for Supporting Kushta

  • Ayyappala Coconut Skin Oil balances both vata and pitta dosha, the main herbs are shweta kutaja which help support chronic skin disorders presenting with dry inflammation. External application for both body and scalp.
  • Durvadi Coconut Skin Oil balances both pitta and vata dosha, the main herb is durva, supports healthy skin, helps non-healing wounds, reduces dry, itchy and inflamed scalp.
  • Eladi Coconut Skin Oil and Eladi Sesame Skin Oil balances both vata and kapha dosha, the main herb ela (cardamom) supports chronic skin allergies, reduces itching, and improves complexion.
  • Eladi Cream balances vata and kapha dosha, the main herb ela (cardamom) supports chronic skin allergies, reduces itching, and improves complexion. Contains the same herbs as Eladi Oil.
  • Nalpamaradi Coconut Skin Oil balances both pitta and kapha dosha. The main herbs Nalapamra and fresh Turmeric juice support healthy skin by helping to reduce itching, swelling, inflammation, and discoloration. Coconut oil is cooling and especially useful for pitta and warm climates.

Herbal Supplements for Supporting Kushta

  • Eladi Churnam reduces excess pitta and kapha dosha, the main herb ela (cardamom) helps support healthy complexion, skin allergies, bug bites, calms itching, redness, and swelling.
  • Khadira Arishtam balances both pitta and kapha dosha, the main herb khadira helps support healthy blood and liver, skin inflammation, itching, and promotes healthy complexion. 
  • Nimbamrita Asavam balances both vata and pitta dosha, the main herbs are neem, guduchi, and patola which help lower inflammation and pain, and support healthy joints, skin, and blood.
  • Nimbaharidradi Churnam balances all three doshas, the main herbs neem and turmeric help support skin health, calms itching, inflammation, oozing, and healthy complexion.
  • Mahatiktaka Ghritam balances pitta dosha and is a combination of bitter herbs that helps remove ama and acid from the blood, liver, gut and skin, and supports healthy skin and complexion.
  • Mahatiktaka Lepam balances pitta dosha and is a combination of bitter herbs that helps remove ama and acid from the skin, supports healthy skin and complexion. This contains the same herbs as Mahatiktaka Ghritam.


Kottakkal is committed to offering the highest quality Ayurvedic Healthcare. We offer two ways to have an Ayurvedic consultation. 1. Free 15-minute Consultation with our Ayurvedic practitioner, Julie Wardwell, for when you need a product recommendation for a basic health problem. 2. In-depth Consultation with our Ayurvedic doctor, Vaidya Vishwanath Guddadar for when your condition is chronic with multiple symptoms.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and information are not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the advice of a trained Ayurvedic professional, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at We will provide you with information to consult with Ayurvedic professionals. Always check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.


Kottakkal Support
Kottakkal Support

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