‘Ayurvedic’ burqas a rage in Saudi Arabia

via http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2332113.cms published on November 9, 2008

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Age-old Hindu wisdom is now dressing up women in Islamic Saudi Arabia. Burqas made the Ayurvedic way are the latest export from Balaramapuram, a tiny village on the city outskirts made famous by its handloom weavers whose struggle for survival has led to rediscovery of the ancient art of weaving organic clothes.

“In Ayurveda, these fabrics are called Ayurvastra . Only natural cotton and colouring is used so that they are free of toxic irritants. These are also treated with medicinal herbs as prescribed by Ayurvedic texts to improve the healing value,” says Rajan, whose family has been in the trade for 600 years.

“In the past few months, we exported about 4,000 burqas to Saudi Arabia,” he says. “But the demand for Ayurvastra doesn’t stop there. Last year, our Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society exported clothes worth Rs 2 crore to the US, UK, France, Mexico, South Africa and Japan.”

Does Ayurvastra really heal? Clinical trials at the Government Ayurveda College Hospital here showed that the fabric was quite effective, especially in cases of skin ailments and arthritis. As part of the test, patients were constantly exposed to Ayurvedic herbs through Ayurvastra for 30 days.

Even the curtains in the room, linen and mattresses, says Rajan, were made as prescribed in the ancient Indian treatise, Charaka Samhita .

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