The importance of Vashpaswedanam
In India, bathing is not just for physical cleansing. It is also a spiritual purification ritual. Bathing in the waters of River Ganges to cleanse ones soul is one of the most revered forms of ritualistic religious traditions practiced by Hindus. History tells us that queens and princesses of the ancient world bathed in milk and fresh herbs to enhance and preserve their beauty. Taking herbal baths for the benefit of the mind and body is still practiced today throughout the world. Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries in the Ayurvedic tradition. It is used as a treatment for physical conditions, mental relaxation and balancing doshas. A variety of dried and fresh herbs and flowers with important medicinal properties are used in these baths.
Skin acts as a doorway for the elimination of toxins, which is why it is referred to as the “third kidney” of the human body. Vashpaswedanam or Ayurvedic herbal steam baths have been used for centuries to clean the body of toxins by opening pores and unclogging strotas (the channels through which the biological intelligence flows). It is a soothing method to raise internal agni or warmth, sweat out impurities, clear sinuses and mucus congestion, helping kidneys and liver in detoxification of blood. This purification increases immunity and refreshes blood circulation. Steam baths have a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system, increasing blood circulation, but not blood pressure. These baths are known to relieve symptoms of respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies. They also help achieve weight loss.
Herbal baths can soothe irritated doshas and prevent diseases. Warm water acts as a sedative to the nervous system, and herbal active constituents in the baths penetrate the skin via opened pores, and balance brain activity, resulting in mental relaxation. These calming effects improve sleep, cure tension headaches and other stress-related diseases. Herbal baths can also help soothe arthritis and sore muscles and joints. They are capable of releasing excess uric acid from the body, benefiting people suffering from hyperuricemia (condition of high uric acid levels in the blood) or gouty arthritis. The dilation of the capillary vessels enables the bloodstream to carry great amounts of nutrients to the skin, enhancing the nutritive status of the skin. Medicinal properties of herbs and flowers improve skin complexion, cure acne, eczema and other skin conditions. Herbal baths are a gentle but effective way of treating your body, mind and even soul.