Today I welcome Shilpa Gupte from Navi Mumbai on my blog as a guest blogger. I have been interacting with Shilpa online for a couple of years and had the pleasure of meeting her in person in 2018. She is as warm and gregarious as her writing on the blog, aptly called Metanoia.
Shilpa writes on mental health, women’s health, wellness, skin and hair care, nutrition, as well as art and books. Writing and blogging keep her creative juices flowing and art helps her deal with the eccentricities of life.
She has reviewed the book Glow by Vasudha Rai for us and I can already tell you that this is a gem of a book.
Author: Vasudha Rai
Vasudha Rai has worked as the beauty director for Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. She is a beauty columnist with The Hindu and writes beauty and health related articles for Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. She is also a certified Yoga Instructor and teaches at The Yoga Studio, at New Delhi.
Vasudha Rai blogs at vbeauty.co; do give her a visit. I am sure you will gain a lot from what she shares.
“When we eat indigenous grains, we are eating food that is meant for us according to our genetics and geographic location. When we eat locally, we eat in harmony with the land, the seasons and our own body types.”
“If there are any rules of beauty food, I would say it would be these three—eat local, eat seasonal and eat a wide variety of foods.” __Vasudha Rai.
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This book Glow is all about going back to our roots; the way of life of our grand moms, who knew the secrets of beauty and skincare way before branded beauty treatments became a norm.
Vasudha Rai shares with us information about 60 Indian ingredients and how to use them for health and beauty purpose through simple recipes. She encourages us to turn towards basics instead of focusing on trends that change with the season (beauty and diet fads that we borrow from the west); to go back to our traditions, include foods that are locally available and which suit our Indian sensibilities.
Glow has been divided in four parts: Vitality, Clarity, Radiance and Peace—the four pillars of beauty, according to the author.
Beauty, she says, is not just something ‘outward’. It’s what lies within. Beauty is what you eat, how you feel mentally and emotionally, and how strong and energetic you are physically.
To attain a beautiful, radiant skin, you need to pay attention to not just what you apply on your skin, but also what your diet consists of, how well you look after your physical fitness and how well you face life and deal with its myriad state of affairs.
To give you a peak into the ingredients she has written about, let me share just a few from every category.
Ghee – is an internal cleanser, boosts digestion and increases strength.
Rice–is comforting, nourishing and strengthening to the tissues.
Ashwagandha– helps reduce fatigue, boosts energy levels, and enhances memory.
Sattu – makes you robust because it is rich in proteins and iron.
Munakka – treats anemia and give the skin a healthy glow.
Manjishtha – is used to treat skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne
Triphala – helps you sleep well.
Aloe Vera – makes for a great vaginal wash.
Moong–helps improve the complexion by discouraging certain skin diseases.
Moringa– is a super food with every part of the tree helping us in some way or the other.
Rose – clarifies and brightens the skin
Marigold – is antimicrobial and antiseptic, helps heal wounds, and cools down the skin.
Saffron – brightens and tones the complexion
Tulsi – keeps you alert and relaxed at the same time.
Bhringraj – is the ultimate anti-ager and works on the skin, hair and internal tissues.
Camphor–is an antiseptic, antibacterial that is an effective cure for acne, fungal infections and dandruff.
She has shared the scientific names, nutrients and benefits of every ingredient. She has also shared how these ingredients have been used in our country since years together and how they can be used in our cooking as well as skin and hair care regimens today.
The recipes are easy to understand, with detailed information about the seasons when those ingredients are available in and if those particular ingredients are to be avoided by people of a particular dosha, or any health problems.
*A dosha is one of the three biological energies found in the human body and mind—vata, pitta and kapha–according to Ayurveda.
She has also shared detailed recipes for beauty and skin care using those ingredients. Reading those recipes will definitely make you aware about why it is important for us to give up the chemically laden cosmetics and skincare treatments and use these traditional skincare recipes that not only beautify us, outwardly, but also look after our health, from within.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THE BOOK:
The author has shared helpful and relevant information about each of the 60 ingredients, the names of which, I am sure, we have been hearing since childhood.
Using natural ingredients that can never go horribly wrong the way chemicals can is the best way to look after our health and beauty. It’s what I have come to believe ever since I changed my beauty and skincare regimen.
Making these changes is for the simple reason that the chemically laden products we use today could have effects that could manifest years from now and then it will be too late to rectify the problem.
She has also stressed on why we need to take care of our mental and our emotional health for the sake of our peace. Our state of mind is, apart from our diet, an important part of our overall wellness.
Learning to meditate, making fitness an important part of our everyday life and learning to deal with stress is what, she emphasizes, will ensure we stay beautiful and radiant all our life.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:
There are certain ingredients that we are quite unfamiliar with. Jatamansi for example, or Katuki, are herbs I haven’t known. I would have liked if the author had specified how and where we could procure these ingredients.
I did look up these and some more items on the net. Some were available at Amazon, for sure. But, it’s the quality and the authenticity of the ingredients that is paramount if we are to use them in our food preparations or beauty treatments.
Apart from this, there really wasn’t anything that “could have been better”! Glow is a comprehensive guide on traditional foods, recipes and skin and hair care treatment that we can refer to when we decide to change our lifestyle. It’s going to stay in my library for sure, because as the author says, “Traditional medicine has always known what modern science is proving today.”
I am sure it’s what we will realize only after we make the change from modern to traditional and reap the benefits.
I give Glow a 5 star rating, because it’s the kind of book that appeals to my sensibilities!
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