Ayurveda has been a regular feature during the monsoons of Kerala. Scores of tourists and health watchers from all over the world throng the shores of Kerala to indulge in the natural goodness of the rejuvenating therapy of Ayurveda and experience health and vitality. Dating back to over 5000 years, Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world. One of the therapies that is closely linked to Ayurveda in Kerala is Ayurvastra, which involves the use of garments for health solutions. These eco friendly garments made from natural fibers and herbal dyes is easy on skin and is well suited for hot and humid climatic conditions.
Ayurvastra helps the human body to shed toxins and to improve metabolism. The cloth is woven with special herbs and is permeated with oils that can cure various ailments including diabetes, skin infections, psoriasis, arthritis, rheumatism, hypertension and asthma among others and are found to enhance the immune system of the body. For best results Ayurvastra is recommended while sleeping or meditating.
No chemicals are used in any stage in the production of the cloth, which is bleached with cow’s urine, which has high medicinal value. The fabric is dyed using herbal dyes sourced from around 40 to 60 medicinal herbs, depending on the ailment. For instance the herbs used in the dye for arthritis are curry leaves and apocynceae, while persons suffering from skin ailments should wear clothes dyed using turmeric, neem and sandalwood. Developed by Charaka’s Kudipraveshika Chikitsa, this ethnic system is developed by the ancestors of the Kuzhivila family in Kerala. Trendy outfits like skirts, shirts and pants made of ayurvastra has many takers. This wellness fabric also includes home linen, shawls and yoga mats. The best part is that the herbs are long lasting and will not run if the clothes are washed with mild soap or shampoo.
A clinical trial initiated by the Ministry of Health at the Government Ayurveda College in Thiruvananthapuram has proven that Ayurvastra is effective in managing certain diseases. There are retail outlets in many places including Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The products are also exported to the US, Italy, Germany, UK, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.