My kids love travelling and learning about the island’s many ancient secrets, however seeing mum on her return trip with large slices of aloe Vera over her eyes, giving her a half reptilian look, made them burst into laughter saying mum is an alien. I explain it’s my 20 minutes daily MOT service to fix the dark shadows around the eyes from living on zero sleep, just one of many inspirations from the new Ayurveda Spa at the Jetwing Lagoon.
My eyes have been damaged by sun, air con and dried out by way too many hours on the computer and like so many people today, all work and no play is not good for your long term health. At Jetwing Lagoon they have decided to return to their rural roots from June with an Ayurveda centre of excellence, overseen by Doctor Dinesh Edirisige, as part of their already highly successful beauty indulgence Spa, which over looks Negombo’s biggest pool at 100 metres long. The Ayurveda doctor explains that health is increasingly a key issue and ones eyes are windows on the world and should be protected from the excesses of modern life. Like so many busy people I take my eyes and daily health in general for granted and think spas are only for people with lots of time on their hands, basically the idle rich. However, I now realise looking in the mirror, and my wrinkly face I like to refer to as laughter lines, that if you are idle and callous with your health, your quality of life as you go into middle age quickly collapses.
After all ones health is the most important asset one has and we all need six-monthly checks, like we do with servicing our cars. Talking to Doctor Dinesh I learn all about how asparagus is good for rehydrating your skin whether as a face mask or body wrap. I also learn how, if you eat the aloe Vera inside the plant not the green outside, you will feel the benefits to your stomach if you suffer from gastric after two weeks, as it is good for many things including bowel issues and is very good during pregnancy. So if you can grow aloe Vera then do so and try making slippery salads and even a soup, so you can consume some everyday, by leaving a piece in water over night and drinking it as your wake up and you will quickly see why it’s the elixir of life.
On the eyes aloe Vera rehydrates and gets rid of the dark black tired colour, puppy skin flaps and wrinkles in less than 2 weeks if used consistently and if you don’t, the plant cucumber also does the same thing to a lesser degree or use your old tea bags by putting them into the fridge and then lie down in the evening and use them to relax your eyes. For bruising use tamarind juice and apply in a circular position through hand massage to the skin. It is also good to use cardamom as it improves your interest in food as it makes you feel hungry.
In the paddy field people use the lunuvila and mix it with Kabala powder to put on as a facemask as it rehydrates the face and exercises the wrinkle muscles distressing the most important area of the body. Another natural way to rehydrate and cleanse the skin of bacteria is with papaya skin mixed with lime and put on the face as a cleanser for 10 minutes each day. Also a lifesaver is the young papaya leaves pounded into a bitter juice, which should be drunk early in the morning. The leaves, if drunk daily, will rebuild your immune system and take your platelets back to normal levels, something modern medicine cannot do when one is in the throws of dengue fever. For a really rehydrating treatment nothing beats asparagus. In fact combine that with eating the roots and fibrous stubs and you will notice as a woman the difference immediately as it produces progesterone that keeps women looking younger.
For those with a sweet tooth replace sugar by putting jaggery together with belimal tea, which is good for daily energy levels. The reason that jaggery made from the kitul palm leaf, is better, is due to it being a natural sugar as it is not refined, so is excellent for the body’s real energy levels. Green tea is very good as it stops fatty skin and ginger tea is used to stop you feeling sick at sea or during pregnancy. Spices have been used in cooking for thousands of years partly due to India’s Ayurveda influence originally and today they have been incorporated into Sri Lankan traditional medicine and cooking, which has a philosophy of making you well on the inside as well as the outside.