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Ayurvedic Dresses & Dress Materials


Kerala is much ahead in exploring the enormous hidden value of ayurveda for the benefit of mankind. Oral and other modes of treatments apart, a revolution is now set in motion in Kerala in the field of ayurvedic cloths. Though the know-how for the incorporation of ayurveda into the cloths was there in the thousands of years old Thaliyola (writing on palm leaf by pointed large metal pin), no one had ventured to exploit it. A recent exploration was prompted by lack of demand for handloom cloth items in the face of high-tech competition from mechanized and automated composite mills. The initiative was taken by the weaving families of Balaramapuram in Thiruvanthapuram district who have the tradition of more than 600 years in the field.

The order books of the weavers in Balaramapuram are now thick with orders from leading dress material and garment merchants in Europe. The European people are tired with various ailments in a faster scale than their growth scale and they were in search of a solution.

A new act banning the import and export of dress materials or dresses dyed in azo-dyes (the chemicals which are harmful to the skin) are already in place in Europe. The act was prompted by a study about the causes of the diseases that afflicted the European people in a large scale.

A family called Kuzhivila in Balaramapuram had explored and exploited the techniques of ayurveda dye many years ago. Incorporating the techniques they had woven cloths and supplied to the erstwhile Travancore royal family as a solution to the various ailments that afflicted the members of the royal family. The Kuzhiviala family’s present generation revived the ayurveda-dye technique now and given life to the hand loom industry that was dying in Kerala.

Last year Kuzhivila family alone manufactured and supplied cloths worth Rs 5 million to the Europan countries.

When the demand for ayurveda cloths surpassed high-mark level, about 600 weavers’ co-operative societies of Balaramapuram formed a nucleus Society in the name of Hand loom Weavers Development Society. Orders are now pouring to this society from scores of countries. From America alone Rs 10 million worth order is already in the kit. France, Spain and Japan are in queue for order placement.

The products are manufactured as per the directions of Ashtavaidyars, Aryvaidyars, Siddhvaidyars and Marma chikilsa vaidyars. The quality test is done at Government Ayurveda College at Thiruvananthapuram.

For colouring and fragrance to the products the raw materials used are herbs and plants. For yellow colour - turmeric, woody turmeric, kasthuri turmeric and many other varieties of turmeric are used. For red – manjadi is used. For green – kurunthoti is the raw material. For blue – neelayamiri and for black cuscus grass, promanagati, cardamom, cloves, nutmerg etc are the raw materials.

The technique employed for retaining the colour and fragrance too is ayurvedic. Preservatives for this are made from the roots of kathali plantain, gum of neem, chebula etc.

The studies in India and abroad have established that ayurveda dress is a proven remedy for allergy, skin diseases, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases.

The shortage of herbs and plants is becoming a hindrance to execute in time the bulk orders pouring in from abroad and India. The Society managers say they are ready to buy all the herbs and plants, used in their production, cultivated in every inch of Kerala land. Still their input requirement will lag behind. The Society has developed many gardens of herbs and plants on its own. All are in high ranges and are entrusted to the tribals for maintenance. No chemical fertilizer is used. Only bio-fertilizer is given to the plants in order to maintain the quality of inputs.

Recently a delegation of Japanese government evaluated the herbal gardens and the quality of ayurvedic cloths. The impressed Japanese government gave Rs 2 million to the Society for the development of herbal gardens.

Apart from dress materials, other types of ayurvedic cloths are also marketed in different brands. In a shirt there are minimum 30 medicines. Surprisingly, ayurvedic cloths are comparatively cheap.

There are specific dresses and cloths for specific diseases. For psoriasis and other skin diseases, the saris and dress materials are made mainly with turmeric and karinochi. For blood pressure, the dress material is made mainly of chebula and thulasi. For arthritis, the cloths are treated in agathi and manjishta. For asthma, the cloths are incorporated with the ingredients of avanakku, adalodakam and vallipala.

Ayurvedic bedsheets and mattresses are too manufactured and marketed.

In Thiruvanthapuram Government Ayurveda Hospital the Society has herbalised few rooms in which the cots are woven by herbally treated coir. The walls are concealed with herbally treated carpets while the blankets and mattresses are also herbalised. For arthritis treatment these rooms are very effective. There is great demand for these rooms in the hospital.

The main problem the French people confront is sleeplessness. They came to Balarampuram in search of a solution. They are now a satisfied lot with specially made dress material and specially made bed-spreads and mattresses. American people’s problem is obese, cancer and skin diseases. They too wanted a solution from Kerala and came to Balaramapuram. Dress materials with more than 200 varieties of herbs and plants are readying for them.

Now many eyes and ears from different parts of the world are tuned towards Kerala to have a lasting solution for their health problems through never failing ayurveda science.

The contact address of the Society is:

Ayur Vastra, Handloom Weavers Development Society, Thompodu, Balaramapuram, Thiruvananthapuram.

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