P. R. Waratenne, Mahendra Prasad and M. S. Meena
Beauty is a subject of Socio-medical importance. The cosmetics are the utility products used extensively throughout the world for maintaining and improving general appearance of face and other parts of the body. There are immense opportunities to use herbal ingredients in the cosmetics in accordance with the principles of Ayurvedic medicine. The aim of this study was to critically evaluate the herbs mentioned in Varnya Maha Kashaya for the maintenance of the complexion of skin. Ayurvedic texts, journals and other research articles were reviewed. The great text in Ayurveda, the Charaka Samhita , stated a group of ten medicinal plants known as Varnya Maha Kashaya that can be used to obtain glowing complexion. It includes Shveta Candana (Santalum album), Nagkeshara (Mesua ferra), Padmaka (Prunus cerasoides), Ushera (Vetiveria zizanioides), Madhuka (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia), Shariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Payasya (Ipomoea digitata), Sita (white variety of Cynodon dactylon) and Lata (green variety of Cynodon dactylon ). These herbs can be used individually or combine and also externally or internally. The pharmacological properties of these herbs indicate that apart from the complexion promotion action, they have various medicinal properties. The most of them are prescribed for skin diseases and scientifically proved that they have anti inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-ulcer, anti-tumour properties. Considering these facts it can be concluded that the use of Varnya Maha Kashaya is not only directed towards developing an attractive external appearance, but having various medicinal properties leads towards the achieving longevity with good health by maintaining skin complexion.
P.R. Waratenne has completed her MD (Ay) from Banaras Hindu University, India and is the Ph.D scholar in National Institute of Ayurveda, Rajasthan Ayurveda University, Jaipur and her research field is on Acne. She is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has published more than 15 papers in different journals and is an associate editor of Sri Lanka Journal of Indigenous Medicine.