Come to think of Mud, an imagery of impurity and dirt is inevitably provoked. However, it is this element of Earth that has long played a pivotal role in Indian culture, well-being and beauty rituals.
In rural parts of India, houses have traditionally been built with mud for insulation in the winters and cooling in the summers. Furthermore, the Vedas describe the full body application of Mud as a key treatment for health conditions like headaches, fevers, burns and wounds.
Ayurveda also speaks of a mud bath which involves application of mud to the entire body. This ancient practice, is known to boost the blood’s circulation, as well as energize and nourish the skin’s tissues. Indian women, renowned for their golden sheened skin and long, shiny tresses, have for long applied clay – obtained from mud, to cleanse the hair as well as the skin.
Mud procured at three to four feet depth from the surface of the earth in specific areas, which is then sieved, dried and powdered, contains rich vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients. When applied to the skin, this is easily absorbed by deep tissue layers and simultaneously draws out toxins, impurities and excess heat from within, to exfoliate and nourish the skin, while leaving the body cool.
Skin care in summer and specifically in the monsoon season, is incomplete without the Multani Mitti or Fuller’s Earth mud pack. In fact, even the Taj Mahal could attest to this! Over the years, the detrimental effects of environmental pollution, dust and quite simply – ageing has tarnished the white marble of the Mughal era beauty. To preserve the world’s most iconic monument then, the Indian home remedy of a Multani Mitti pack has been put to use!
This mud treatment, when applied to the skin, absorbs dust, dirt and oil from the surface and is enriched with magnesium chloride, which allows vitamin C and D – antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals, to express themselves in the skin. It therefore works to remove unwanted skin tan, prevent acne, clear blemishes and rid the skin of any irritation experienced in the summer.