Kama Ayurveda launched with a range of nine Ayurvedic treatments, developed in partnership with the 100-year-old Arya Vaidya Pharmacy in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. These potent remedies were developed to help treat existing skin and hair concerns and to prevent future concerns.
To complement these treatments, Kama Ayurveda developed ‘Les Jardins D’Inde’, a highly effective ayurveda-inspired range of products, suitable for different hair and skin types.
The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy and Kama Ayurveda work with local forest communities, and small-scale farmers and artisans to source the natural ingredients that lend their purity to Kama Ayurveda products.
CSP spoke to Rajashree of Kama Ayurveda on Ayurveda and Cosmetics.
Do you at Kama Ayurveda know if the number of people with skin, hair and other related issues has increased over the last few years? What do doctors say about it?
There has been a great increase in the number of people of all ages having thinning of hair and alopecia even in the 30-year-old men and women , and skin issues like psoriasis are on the rise. Doctors and specialist attribute it to the kind of a food we use ,the chemicals and pesticides that are already absorbed by the vegetables and fruits we eat, the amount of farm pesticides that the pulses and grains are subjected to when they are stored before they are packaged and also the quality of water, the pollution and so on.
How does Ayurveda help to deal with it?
The treatment in Ayurveda in its self is very local and is done by a trained physician who reads your physical condition and can assess your internal system and the problems associated at the present moment. This means that whatever the patient is going through at that particular moment is treated both with topical oil treatment using the pizhichil method and also by giving internal herbal medicines to treat the particular cause. Bhringadi oil is proved to be many times more efficacious than using minoxidil for hair loss. There is a study that has been conducted at one of the most prestigious medical institutions in America and you will be able to read the case study online.
There are many brands which have become popular worldwide for skincare. You also have a lot of foreign companies going organic. Is this a recent boom or was there always an industry that catered to those who were concerned about being the source of their products?
Over the last decade there have been several brands both Indian and global that have become popular for their organic skincare. The reason for this is that people have become more and more aware of the harmful effects of chemical usage on their skins and therefore looking for alternate solutions. However there are very few authentic Ayurvedic products that are in the market; the consumer should read the labels to know where it has been produced and what exactly are the ingredients and where they are sourced from when they purchase these products.
Are there modern interventions and additions to the Ayurvedic recipes? Is there a lab that does the research?
Today Ayurveda has become the subject of several medical studies many of which have been documented in medical institutions. AVP, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy who are the partners and collaborators with Kama Ayurveda have partnered with research institutions in South America, in Europe and also with labs in India. They also have their own clinical research in-house with a number of medical cases that they have been treating over several decades.
Are the herbs sourced in bulk or do you get them in batches. Are there Ayurvedic prescriptions for the same?
The herbs and medicinal plants are mostly seasonal and grow on the hillsides, and mostly harvested by the local tribal community who are well aware of their properties. The reason that Ayurvedic products cannot be mass produced like any FMCG product is due to this reason; that the cultivation of several of the vital plants is still wild and seasonal on a non commercial scale. However due to the demand and popularity of Ayurveda, some of the easily sourced herbs are now cultivated in farms on a commercial scale.
How does one maintain standards and quality when the scale of production and sales increase?
Most of the Ayurvedic producers manufacture in small batches, however now they are expanding their capacity keeping the intrinsic methods of distillation intact according to the original texts. Of course there are situations where companies are driven by commercial considerations and they are forced to compromise on the production. And therefore quality.
How are Ayurvedic products performing in the international stage? Is there a lot of demand?
Ayurvedic products are slowly getting into the mainstream markets in the West. In certain countries there are still entry barriers due to the regulatory issues where some of the ingredients or not yet recognised as being safe according to their authorities. Some of the countries like Germany Switzerland and other parts of Europe are a little more liberal in that they have studied Ayurveda more closely and for a longer period of time and allow products which are produced in certified laboratories or facilities. Some of them also are manufacturing some products themselves importing vital ingredients from India. Another reason some countries block Ayurveda from India is due to the need to protect their own indigenous systems of medicines Chinese medicine is very popular and very strong in the Southeast Asia also in Latin America they have their own systems of medicine using Amazonian medicinal plants. There is a fear that alternate medicine may make inroads into the general consumption of allopathic medicine, leading to negative propaganda.
Why are so many chemicals being used in cosmetics nowadays? How does Kama Ayurveda manage without using any of these?
The answer that comes first to my mind is that the chemicals are far cheaper than natural products and enables mass production for global marketing in the millions with a longer shelf life. Ayurveda is limited by its availability of raw material and lengthy manufacturing processes and also has a very short shelf life for most of its products.
We have remained authentic in all our processes , strictly following the philosophy of Ayurveda and its age old time tested production practises - partnering with the 100 reputed Ayurveda company, AVP Coimbatore, has enabled us to maintain the purity of our products.