Ayurveda may be a 5,000 year old science in the East, but it is only now starting to become mainstream in the United States. Born in India, the Holistic Healing Medicine System is a welcome respite for those looking to find solutions outside or in tandem with Western medicine. In turn, the rise of Ayurvedic offerings in the wellness market is exciting for those who subscribe to the guiding principles of the system. But how do you choose among the flood of offerings, from Ayurvedic skincare to herbal teas, separating the real from the gimmicky? For Divya Viswanathan and Amy Engel, the co-founders of the new Ayurvedic beauty brand Taza, the answer, as they embarked on the creation of their line, was simple: go straight to the source.

Before launching Taza Ayurveda, Viswanathan and Engel, who first met as students at Columbia Business School, each turned to Ayurveda when Western science failed to address their personal health issues and of well-being. For Viswanathan, it was a kind of homecoming: she grew up in India with Ayurveda her entire life, but had lost touch with her approach to medicine after living abroad for many years. When she started having episodes of insomnia and rashes in her 30s, she returned to Ayurveda and found that this was exactly what she needed to reset her body and mind. Moved by the impact of natural solutions and simple Ayurvedic rituals on her life, she introduced them to Engel, who suffered from chronic gastrointestinal illness IBS. Once Engel began to see the immediate benefits, she traveled to India where she received traditional Ayurvedic treatments and “came away convinced that Ayurveda should be shared with others,” she says.

When the couple decided to create Taza, they were committed to providing an authentic Ayurvedic experience, which for Viswanathan and Engel meant meeting the pioneering experts in the field. In an effort to protect the standards of formulations which have been used, tested and documented in Ayurvedic medical texts for thousands of years, they have collaborated with two leading Ayurvedic medical institutions which have been regulated by the Indian ministry of l ‘Ayurveda (AYUSH). As a result, Viswanathan explains, “You will see that all of our products are named after the classic Ayurvedic formula and are stamped with an official license number to certify authenticity. Another priority was to manufacture tridoshic products, that is to say complementary to the three doshas which constitute the human body in Ayurveda: vata (wind), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth). According to science, each individual is born with a predominant dosha due to their psychological and physiological characteristics. Once Ayurvedic practitioners identify your dominant dosha, they can prescribe a special diet, herbal treatments, and different self-care practices to help your balance depending on the season.

Viswanathan and Engel launched Taza with three products, focusing on the skin and gut as two crucial pathways to nourish and heal the body. “The skin is more than just a barrier, it is a gateway to the whole body,” explains Viswanathan. “Thousands of years before Western medicine, Ayurveda recognized that what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream and is transmitted throughout your body. Western skin care is now starting to focus on avoiding harsh chemicals on the skin, [but] Ayurveda goes further and aims to nourish the whole body through the skin. Taza’s premier duo of skin care offerings is the Nourish Kumkumadi Night Face Oil, which is infused with 19 rare ingredients, including anti-inflammatory Himalayan saffron and restorative manjistha, which work together to hydrate and heal skin, smooth texture, even skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines. The other is the Nourish Eladi Body Oil, which is a rich and multifunctional blend of exfoliating pearl powder, soothing Himalayan cedar, and healing Indian incense that can be smeared for the full body Ayurvedic ritual abhyanga, or self-massage. “This ritual helps reduce inflammation, promote lymphatic drainage and hydrate the skin,” says Engel. “Beyond that, the ritual will leave you feeling centered and grounded. The best five minutes of your day! “

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