Kerala is known for rejuvenation therapies. One of the therapies that was unknown outside Kerala involves the use of garments for health solutions.; Now, Ayurvastra. This involves the use of natural fibres and herbal dyes and this eco-friendliness has appealed to the people, especially foreigners.
Ayurvastra is based on the principle of touch. By coming in contact with the cloth, the body loses toxins and the metabolism is enhanced. The cloth that has been permeated with special herbs and oils is believed to help cure a wide range of ailments, including diabetes, skin infections, psoriasis, hypertension, asthma, arthritis and rheumatism. It would help restore the balance in the body and strengthen the immune system. The most effective time to wear Ayurvastra is while sleeping or meditating.
The cloth is bleached with cow’s urine, which has high medicinal value and the dyeing gum too is herbal and it does not pollute like synthetic dye. The yarn or fabric is dyed in a mixture of dyes, containing 40 to 60 medicinal herbs, depending on the ailment. The herbs used in the dye for arthritis are curry leaves and apocynceae, while it is turmeric, neem and sandalwood for skin diseases. These fabrics embrace the body with a soft and supple touch.
it is difficult to get a patent for the technology, as they use many medicines and methods, that has been developed from Charaka’s Kudipraveshika Chikitsa. This ethnic method has been developed by the ancestors of the Kuzhivila family in Kerala. With health concerns spreading, Ayurvastra is carving a niche in the world of textiles. For all its contemporary looks, tradition is moulded with modernity and a variety of material such as skirts, blouses, shirts, pants, socks, home-linen and yoga mats are available.
There are garments for healing and wellness. There is a great demand among foreigners for wellness fabric, which includes yoga mats, shawls and stoles, The herbs will not run even after the cloth is washed.
The society has outlets in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The society also exports products to the US, Italy, Germany, UK, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
A clinical trial initiated by the Ministry of Health at the Government Ayurveda College in Thiruvananthapuram underlines that Ayurvastra can be effective in curing certain diseases. People suffering from rheumatism, allergies, diabetes, psoriasis and other skin ailments were constantly exposed to herbs for six months through Ayurvastra clothing, bed linens, and mattresses in specially prepared rooms.
The response was good, with patients showing remarkable improvement and speedy recovery especially in cases of arthritis and skin ailments, says Dr Vishwanathan, the former dean of the Drug Research Department at Ayurveda College, who led the research in 2005-2006 after the Central government allocated Rs 1 crore for scientific evaluation.“We need to do more research to determine the effectiveness of Ayurvastra, which can do wonders if used along with medication,” he says.