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GUT Health - The Ayurveda Way

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

From doshas to tongue scraping, find out how using Ayurveda for gut health can improve your skin and wellbeing

More than just a gut feeling, our microbiome influences nearly every aspect of our health and wellness – and that includes skin health. Perhaps surprisingly, our skin is an intrinsic part of our immune, endocrine and nervous systems. What’s more, countless studies have highlighted the adverse effects that poor gut health has on our skin. Here, the team at 360+ explains how using Ayurveda for gut health can improve our skin and wellbeing.

Understanding microbiomes

The human body has two major microbiomes: the gut and the skin. These represent both the internal and external microbial ecology. Together, they are responsible for maintaining homeostasis throughout the body.

In the gut, the combination of bacteria and microbes makes up the gut microbiome. This is known as ‘Agni’ in Ayurveda. Digestive health is seen as the bedrock of immunity, so this is considered core to Ayurvedic principles.

Skin health

Naturally, it can be hard to tell what’s going on inside the gut. However, your skin is a great early indicator of internal distress. If the inner microbiome veers away from homeostasis, your skin is often the first place it will be noticed. Has your skin become dry, dehydrated, congested, unusually red, irritable or sensitive? If so, this could be the first indication that the gut is not in balance.

Another window to the gut is the tongue. Ever noticed a thick, white film coating? Toxins build up on your tongue, especially overnight. Known as ‘ama’ in Ayurveda, these are one of our body’s ways of excreting toxins. Scraping your tongue in the morning can prevent ama from being ingested and reabsorbed back into the body. What’s more, copper is known for its antimicrobial properties. So, using a copper tongue scraper can help to remove toxins from the tongue to optimise gut and skin health. In addition, other benefits include heightened taste bud sensitivity and keeping bad breath at bay.

Discovering your dosha

While tongue scraping benefits everybody, Ayurveda teaches that what may be healthy for you is not always healthy for someone else. Ayurveda uses diagnostics to segment individuals into three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha describes a different constitution. These span physiological (i.e. physique, metabolism, skin type, even propensity to certain illnesses) and psychological traits (i.e. personality, circadian rhythm and stress). In order to maintain homeostasis, different diets and plant-based remedies are prescribed for each dosha.

You can quickly determine your dosha with the Tongue Test. Simply stand in front of a mirror, stick out your tongue and observe its appearance. If it has:

A slight quiver (involuntary movement) = You are Vata

Raised and inflamed red papules = You are Pitta

A large, thick tongue with heavy coating = You are Kapha

When it comes to using Ayurveda for gut health, you can also counteract the external effects of internal congestion. Neem is a hydration hero; as well as being moisturising, it’s also detoxifying. In fact, it’s known as ‘The Village Pharmacy’ in India.

Our team wishes you a great gut health!

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