“We often skip the unglamorous bits for the Instagrammable ones,” writes beauty guru Vasudha Rai in the introduction to her book Glow: Indian Foods, Recipes and Rituals for Beauty, Inside and Outside. The book talks about how effective are natural ingredients in attaining holistic beauty inside out.
So when I got out of college and joined Just Herbs, out of the many tasks listed out for me one was reading this very book, Glow. To put it very honestly, I was not very excited at the idea of it initially because I never paid attention to what I ate. I was happy with whatever was “tasty” (come on, don’t judge me, you’ve all been through this phase where health is not your first priority. With all that’s happening around, eating three times a day gets difficult sometimes, leave aside eating healthy!)…
But as my time with Just Herbs passed, I slowly began taking an interest in Ayurveda, in how my mind and body react to different seasons and situations. And yes, I did read Glow and might I add, i enjoyed it too!
Of the numerous ingredients listed in Glow, many might appear very common such as ghee, coconut, mustard oil, sandalwood and neem, but that’s exactly the point Vasudha Rai is trying to put across. The secret to beautiful skin is actually simple. After being detected with grade IV endometriosis, Rai started trying and testing every ingredient that showed promise. So most of the ingredients listed in the book are advocated because they have helped her in one way or the other.
So here I am, writing out five reasons why you should read it too! Trust me, you won’t regret it. Rather, you can thank me later for this.
1. Simple, yet Effective.
Glow is written in a very simple language that can be understood by anyone. Even a novice like me developed an interest in the amazing food that our tradition holds. Minus any jargon or technical terms, the reading experience was smooth with hundred percent comprehensibility.
2. Four Tenets of Beauty
Glow is divided into four parts that Vasudha Rai considers are the primary pillars of beauty – vitality, clarity, radiance and peace. Rai describes the four tenets of beauty in the introduction and then she goes on to categorize and explain the foods that would help attain those tenets.
3. Go Back To Your Roots
Instead of following diet fads and food trends, with Glow, she encourages trusting the traditions with their ancient, time-tested wisdom, not only for outward beauty but also for inner health and well being.
4. A Rundown On Important Ingredients
From the basic everyday ingredients to the exotic, barely-heard ones, Glow is a rundown on the many ingredients and herbs that this land of Ayurveda holds.
Right from Ghee to Giloi and Coconut to Katuki, the book manages to cover it all.
5. Tried and Tested by Experts
Rai doesn’t just touch and mention the ingredients on the surface in Glow, but explains their science, tradition and application. She had a five-member expert panel that she consulted while researching for Glow that helped her back her claims. Along with that she had a few contributors who helped her with her research work, including Dr. Neena Chopra, founding member of Just Herbs.
Here’s an excerpt of my favourite ingredient, the Holy Basil (Tulsi), from the book. Read on!
“ These days we live a sedentary lifestyle, with poor diets and increased mental pressures, because of which we have metabolic stress. This makes us prone to several chronic lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, etc. Tulsi reduces blood glucose, balances the lipid profile, prevents weight gain and protects organs such as our liver, kidneys and pancreas. It also works as an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent, thereby boosting the body’s natural immunity. For these reasons tulsi is not just an option but also an absolute essential to fight the effects of pollution that comes from air, food, water, cosmetics and even internal stress.”
Also, I did not know that Tulsi leaves are not supposed to be chewed. The book says owing to the high mercury content in the leaves, the tooth enamel could be damaged, if chewed regularly. To put it in Rai’s words from Glow, “You can swallow the leaf or drink the tea but not chew the leaves on a regular basis.”
With Glow, Vasudha Rai is on her quest to vanish the “last minute” approach to beauty. With an overall holistic approach, she goes on to establish the beauty in a new light.
You’ve got to read it to really appreciate it.