Purification of the skin is a pleasurable and straightforward procedure. The skin is always in contact with the environment and is associated with vatta dosha, sexuality, connection, and it is the ” larger lung” of the body.

Ayurveda uses dry powders to massage the body, fortify the skin and purify excess fat tissues in the body. That type of massage is called Udvartana. At home, you can prepare a combination of herbs, grains and spices to clean your skin. Let’s see here the principles of Udvartana and how you can prepare home a powder soap to purify your skin.

Udvartana massage.

The main benefit of Udvartana is to remove toxins through the skin. However, ayurvedic doctors mainly recommend it for reducing excess cellulite and fat accumulated under the skin. It also tones the skin and provides strength to the body. Other benefits include improvement in skin complexion, skin exfoliation, stress relief and relaxation.

According to the action of the powder massage, it is mainly two types:

  1. SNIGADH or SNEHA (Unctuous or Oily)
  2. RUKSHA (Dry)

Snigadh Udvartana

Snigadh Udvartana is a powder massage done with an herbal paste prepared to mix herbs’ powder with medicated oils. This herbal paste is rubbed over the skin. This type of Udvartana helps improving skin texture, complexion, glow and tone. The primary purpose of Snigadh Udvartana is to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin and to prevent skin diseases.

According to Charaka Samhita, Snigadh Udvartana is useful in weak people. It also includes people with sensitive skin who cannot tolerate the rubbing of the dry herbal powders.

Ruksha Udvartana

In Ruksha Udvartana, dry powders of herbs are used for rubbing. Herbal ingredients are rough and dry in nature and used to reduce excess KAPHA. Ruksha Udvartana is beneficial for reducing excess cellulite and fat under the skin. It is also helpful for diabetic people with insulin resistance. According to Charaka Samhita, Ruksha Udvartana is helpful in obese people.

Herbs to use to purify your skin

Each ayurvedic dr. and the practitioner uses herbs in their environment to make oils, remedies, decoctions and healing powders. Feel free to experiment with the combination of herbs as well as mixing oils, yogurt or water. I love the combination of Triphala, pea flour with yogurt. Of course, the sky is the limit. Don’t get discouraged with the Indian names. You can replace them and use similar local herbs. I just want to keep Ayurveda formulas integral.

Here a guideline you can use for each dosha and construct your home soap.

Ayurvedic Herbs Selection: Herbs selection should be according to the body type of a person. Here are some herbs, which are used in Ayurvedic powder massage or Udvartana.

Herbs for Weight Loss

(Also for People with KAPHA Body Type)

Triphala powder

Triphala has the property to reduce body weight. However, it is used internally or orally to lose weight but is also beneficial for reducing cellulite if used externally on the body in herbal powder massage. Ingredients of Triphala are:

  1. Emblica Officinalis – Amalaki (Amla or Indian Gooseberry)
  2. Terminalia Bellirica – Bibhitaki
  3. Terminalia Chebula – Haritaki

You should take all these three ingredients in equal quantity by weight.

A Special Formula for KAPHA Type People

Ingredients Proportion

Emblica officinalis – Amalaki (Amla or Indian Gooseberry) 20%

Terminalia Bellirica – Bibhitaki 20%

Terminalia Chebula – Haritaki 20%

Sapindus Mukorossi – Soap Nut – Reetha 10%

Inula Racemosa – Pushkarmool 5% (Elicampane)

Zingiber officinale – Dried Ginger – South 5%

Acorus Calamus – Vacha 5% also called sweet flag or calamus

Piper Nigrum – Black Pepper 5%

Piper Longum – Long pepper 5%

Barley – Yava churna 5%

Mix all ingredients in powdered form and use this powder in Udvartana massage. It helps to shed cellulite and reduces weight.

For Weight Loss – PITTA Type People

If your body is PITTA type, you should use the following massage powder. All ingredients should be used in fine powdered form.

Ingredients Proportion

Cyperus Rotundus – Nutgrass – Nagarmotha 50%

Barley – Yava churna 20%

Emblica Officinalis – Amalaki (Amla or Indian Gooseberry) 15%

Valeriana wallichii – Indian Valerian – Tagara 5%

Terminalia Chebula – Haritaki 5%

Centella Asiatica – Gotu Kola – Mandukaparni 5%

Mix all ingredients in provided ratio. You can use this powder on PITTA-type body for maximizing weight loss benefits.

Classical Formulations for Weight Loss

  1. Kolakulathadi Choornam
  2. Kottamchukkadi Choornam

Herbal Formula for Glow Skin

Ingredients Proportion

Emblica officinalis – Amalaki (Amla or Indian Gooseberry) 15%

Licorice or Yashtimadhu 15%

Rose petals 15%

Neem 10%

Sariva 10% Hemidesmus indicus ( sarsaparilla)

White Sandalwood 10%- You can replace sandalwood with rose petals or omit.

Red Sandalwood 10%

Ushira 10% Vetiveria zizanioides

Turmeric (Haldi) 5%

Mix all ingredients in the given ratio and do massage with this herbal powder. It is also the best remedy for glowing skin. This mixture should be used to mix with Chandanadi oil. 

Prepare your purifying soap and put it in a sealed container. Keep it in the bathroom and add the yogurt, oil or just water at the moment of use. Use daily. You can also allow the paste to stay in your skin for a longer time. 

Self-Massage Technique

(How to Do Powder Massage at Home)

However, the maximum benefits can be achieved when an ayurvedic massage therapist does Udvartana. Here is a self-massage technique:

  1. Do full body massage with warm sesame oil or olive oil.
  2. Rub herbal powder with maximum tolerable pressure and movements. If your skin is sensitive, you can mix the oil with warm sesame oil or olive oil for making its paste. Then rub this paste on the skin with cellulite underneath.
  3. It would help if you moved your hands from the feet to thigh, hands to shoulders.
  4. Do this massage on fatty areas of the body by rubbing powder thoroughly.
  5. The movements of your hands should be opposite direction as compared to regular oil massage.
  6. For the abdomen, it should be pubis bone to the chest. For hips, movements should be from thigh to lower back.

A steam bath after this massage is always needed. If you cannot go for a steam bath, you can take a warm water bath after this massage or use hot pads over the fatty areas.

  1. Obesity – highly beneficial for fat reduction
  2. Abdominal Obesity
  3. Overweight
  4. Cellulite breakdown
  5. Preventing loosening of skin underweight loss program
  6. After childbirth, if you get some extra weight
  7. Muscular weakness
  8. Diabetic neuropathy
  9. Decrease mobility to joints due to excess KAPHA, AMA or rheumatoid arthritis.
  10. Removing dead cells from the skin and increasing the glow of the skin
  11. Paralysis
  12. Sclerosis of blood vessels
  13. Sciatica of KAPHA origin

Udwarthanam tones and exfoliate the skin reduces fat tissue and weight, makes skin radiant and glowing, improves skin complexion, removes bad body odour, removes toxins, and cleanses the skin.

Cellulite Reduction & obesity

Udvarthanam (Udvartana) is very effective in reducing cellulite and fat accumulation. Overweight people can also get benefits from this technique to control their body weight. Rubbing herbal powder helps to break down the cellulite and increases the burning accumulated fat.

Abdominal Fat Accumulation

You have loose skin on your arms, thighs or buttocks, or if you are suffering from abdominal fat accumulation, then Ayurvedic powder massage is very efficacious in this situation. It helps to reduce subcutaneous fatty tissue and cellulite. It reduces body weight and assists other weight loss therapies.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Udvartana (powder massage) reduces KAPHA and AMA. In rheumatoid arthritis, AMA is the main factor, so it is beneficial for reducing the joints’ symptoms and inflammation. In some cases, rubbing the herbal powder with pressure can increase pain, so rubbing should be gentle and perform under an ayurvedic physician’s supervision. Ruksha Udvartana is more beneficial when stiffness with heaviness is the main symptom compared to joint tenderness. If joint tenderness with redness is the main symptom, then Snigadh Udvartana is more beneficial.

Body Stiffness

It removes body stiffness and helps to open blocked pores of skins. It facilitates the absorption of beneficial oils in the skin.

Increases Skin Glow

If you are a woman suffering from some nutritional problems and their effects appear on your skin or have lost skin glow, then ayurvedic powder massage will improve skin glow and complexion.

Opposite direction stokes performed in Udvarthanam help to soften and exfoliate the skin and remove the dead cells from the skin, giving you a beautiful and lustrous glow on the skin. 

Removes Toxins

It is one of the detoxification ayurvedic therapies, which cleanses the body and removes bad body odour.

Udvarthanam removes AMA or toxins from the body. It helps to prevent various diseases, which are caused by an accumulation of toxins.

Exfoliates the skin

Ayurvedic Powder Massage tones and exfoliates the skin removes the toxins, and prevents skin diseases.

Improves Blood Circulation

Ayurvedic powder massage improves peripheral blood circulation.

Revitalizes the Touch Sense

Herbal Powder Massage o Udvartana revitalizes the touch sense.

Stress Reduction & Rejuvenation

It can be used for stress reduction and rejuvenation.


Ayurvedic powder massage is contraindicated in the following conditions:

  1. Dry skin 
  2. Wounds, cuts and burns
  3. Eczema
  4. Psoriasis
  5. Pregnancy
  6. Children under age 10
  7. After panchakarma detoxification

Contact our ayurvedic team for assessments, treatments and purchases of medicines.https://www.berdhanya.com/ayurveda-and-wellness-ottawa-canada/