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Ayurvastra: The cloth that heals

Thumbod a tiny village lying just outside the state capital of Trivandrum and otherwise is like any other Kerala village with swaying palms and lush green vegetation has shown the world the door to a more natural lifestyle. Ayurvastra the name given to a whole new concept of natural clothing has the fabric yarns infused with plant extracts and herbs. Developed under the aegis of The Handloom Weavers Development Society a nonprofit organization, Ayurvastra claims to rid people of many diseases by regular use of these clothes.
Ayurvastra goes through a dyeing process that is 100 % natural and free of any toxicity of chemical dyes. The process is in tune with the age old Ayurvedic principles.
The process is something like this. The raw yarn is first thoroughly cleaned. Then the raw yarn is coated with a natural gum. After coating the yarn is immersed in the medicinal dyes. The medicinal dyes are prepared using pomegranate, turmeric and indigo, among a host of other herbs.
The claims of the manufacturers were corroborated by clinical trials undertaken by the health ministry. According to these trials conducted at the Trivandrum’s Government Ayurveda College, the fabrics indeed worked. Patients with problems of eczema, psoriasis, allergies rheumatism were given bedding, rugs and towels made from Ayurvastra. They used these items for a month and there was a marked improvement in their health. Along with the clothing ceilings, walls, floors were lined with Ayurveda coir mats. All these showed positive results in the health of the diseased.
According to the manufacturers of Ayurvastra, for maximum benefits these clothing should be ideally wore during sleeping or meditating in a sense when the body is at rest.
As this is the time when the body heals itself naturally.
Not only people with skin disorders, stressed out executives or workers in the IT sector are also benefiting with the clothing infused with traditional Indian medicines. Along with the more traditional Kurtas, Tunics and Saris to cater to the youth Jeans are also dyed using natural colours.
The success of the Ayurvastra means not only the incomparable health benefits along with that it also offers the traditional weavers a good source of sustenance. These clothing also offers a good opportunity to catch the western markets where Ayurveda is a fad among health conscious people.
Updated on November 2009.