If your skin is losing moisture and no creams and oils are helping bring it back, it is time to take recourse to ayurvedic remedies. Over time, our skin loses moisture, radiance, and firmness, which could be due to our lifestyle, poor nourishment, pollution, or simply not paying enough attention to our skin. While many chemical-based products claim to reinvent the skin overnight, we know it is not a permanent fix.
Black gram, or Urad dal, is one such Ayurveda-approved ingredient that can help deal with multiple skin-related troubles. With consistent usage, many ayurvedic ingredients are likely to offer visible and long-lasting results.
Ayurveda’s preferred lentil, black gram
Black gram or urad dal, or Vigna mungo, is a lentil used in many Asian households as a part of their regular meals. However, not many understand that it is much more than just a lentil that you simply eat to fill your stomach. Ayurvedic experts regard urad dal as a superfood and is revered for its properties.
According to Ayurvedic wisdom, black gram is known to possess properties that include Tarpana (ability to nourish), Balya (promotes physical strength), and much more. Ayurveda recommends using black gram for its potential to offer a wide range of benefits. These can range from physical strength, beautiful skin, and healthy digestion.
Black gram and the three doshas
Our body has all the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) but we tend to have a higher presence or dominance of one or two of the doshas. With age, changing climate & weather, and catering to different lifestyles, the proportion of dosha(s) keep fluctuating, leading to imbalances and thus health issues.
To improve our skin quality and health holistically, we must explore the ancient Ayurvedic remedies, including ingredients like black gram. However, before consuming black gram, it is essential to understand how it affects different doshas.
Vata: According to ayurvedic wisdom, Vata dosha is associated with space and air elements. For people experiencing Vata imbalance, black gram can act as a pacifying agent. Black gram has a heating nature known as Ushna, which makes it ideal for people who wish to balance Vata dosha. Ayurvedic experts recommend people with vitiated Vata consume warm and spicy dishes made with black gram.
Pitta: As per ayurvedic records, Pitta revolves around the elements of fire and water. Since black gram has hot potency (Ushna), it may not be suitable for people with aggravated Pitta to consume high amounts of black gram as it may aggravate it further. In case people with Pitta dosha wish to consume black gram, they must do so by using it in cold salads.
Kapha: Kapha is associated with water and earth elements. Since black gram can potentially increase Kapha and vitiate its balance, experts recommend people with Kapha dosha consuming it in small amounts. While preparing any meal with black gram, it is recommended to cook it using less oil and fats.
How can our skin benefit from black gram
Black gram is known for its energizing and digestive properties. However, Ayurvedic texts suggest that the lentil has much more to offer. According to Ayurvedic experts, black gram or urad dal can help deal with many skin and health concerns that many of us may not be aware of. Some popular ways in which black gram benefits our skin include:
Ability to deeply moisturize skin: Pollution, air conditioning, and lack of skin care can draw away the moisture from our skin. Therefore, it is important to moisturize it, to maintain its health and elasticity. Black gram features in many ayurvedic preparations that cater to offering skin benefits. Ayurvedic experts recommend applying a paste of soaked black gram mask with some honey to deeply nourish the skin and keep it moisturized for a longer period. Thus, its Snigdha (oily) nature and Tarpan (nourishing) qualities make it an excellent natural moisturizer.
Offer anti-aging benefits: Another quality that makes black gram a skin elixir is its potential to offer anti-aging benefits for someone struggling with the appearance of fine lines and loss of youthfulness in the skin.
Research suggests a rich percentage of tannins, lignin, and phenolic compounds (a source of antioxidants) in black gram can help protect the skin against free radicals and oxidation, and is one of the best ways to help regenerate new skin cells
1. The Snigdha (oily) nature can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and offer moisturization. Since dry skin is more prone to showing signs of aging, black gram can help put some breaks on it by keeping the skin moisturized and less prone to aging.
Acts as an excellent exfoliator: Exfoliation is vital to reduce any buildup that stops our skin from breathing. The pores on the skin often get clogged with dirt, pollutants, oil, sebum, and dead skin cells. As a result, clogged pores can cause irritation and other skin troubles.
Therefore, it is vital to exfoliate to ensure that the skin is unclogged and not covered in fine layers of dead skin and buildup. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend gently exfoliating the skin with a slightly coarse paste of black gram and milk, as it may help remove dirt and dead skin cells and make the skin soft and supple
2. You must keep it on for 30 minutes and then wash it with lukewarm water.
Acts as a natural bleaching agent: Bleaching the skin using chemical-based products can harm the skin. It can cause irritation, inflammation, and burns in extreme cases. So, if you are looking for a natural and less harsh bleaching agent, explore black gram. Black gram can work as a natural bleaching agent and help lighten the skin tone. Additionally, since black gram is loaded with other nutrients, regular application of black gram can make the skin look and feel soft and supple. An excellent way to use black gram is by mixing one tsp of soaked urad dal along with almond and grinding it into a paste. Applying the paste twice a week as a face pack can help brighten the skin**.**
Ability to promote skin lightening: If your skin looks dull and does not have the brightness you always wanted, you must add black gram to your skincare regime. Research suggests that black gram has the potential to reduce melanin production and promote skin health
3. This property of black gram can help get rid of marks, scars, and spots. Ayurvedic records and seasoned users recommend applying a paste made of Urad dal along with rose water and honey on the face, to help brighten the skin. Massaging the paste gently can help bring more oxygenated blood towards your skin making it look radiant and glowing.
Reduce acne marks: A major skin concern that troubles many people is acne and acne marks.
Black gram is known for its antibacterial properties, which can not only help in reducing acne but helps in the regeneration of the skin. Regular application of urad dal paste can help get rid of acne scars and keep the skin blemish-free.
Reduces sun damage and tan: Urad dal or black gram has another potential benefit that makes it a skin favorite. The lentil is believed to hold unique properties that can help reduce sun damage on the skin. Ayurvedic experts recommend applying a paste of urad dal along with fresh curd on the face or tanned areas, and rinsing it off with cool water after 30 minutes.
Black gram is a skin elixir that holds the potential to heal damaged skin and improve its quality, appearance, and overall health. The lentil is moisturizing, and its antibacterial properties make it an indispensable part of the Ayurveda-approved beauty routine. Regular application of urad dal can do wonders for our skin without exposing it to harsh chemicals.
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- Zia-Ul-Haq M, Ahmad S, Bukhari SA et al.Compositional studies and biological activities of some mash bean (Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper) cultivars commonly consumed in Pakistan.Biol Res.2014;47(23):1-14.