Let’s face it: we all love to have beautiful skin. Not only is healthy skin more attractive, but more importantly, it often reflects the body’s overall health (1). The largest organ of your body, skin deserves a great deal of attention and care. Thousands of topical products advertising skin care benefits surround us (2). However, have you ever considered that some of the most amazing products for the health of your skin may be the foods that you’re eating?
Nutrition and Skin Care Benefits
Hippocrates famously stated, ”Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Well, he must have known about Black Gram! While Black Gram (Vigna Mungo) has become well known for its many nutritional benefits at the dinner table, it has also been held in high regard for centuries as a top-rate skin treatment in its native land of India. Whether you’re looking for an exfoliant, tone-lightener, acne cleanser, or sunburn relief, Black Gram may just have the skin care benefits you need!
You’re probably wondering how a lowly bean can work such wonders; Black Gram contains many minerals to help the skin glow with softness and elasticity. Most legumes contain a significant percentage of tannins, lignin, and phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds are great sources of antioxidants, which protect your skin against free-radicals and oxidation (the same process that makes an apple core turn brown; yuck!) (3). Antioxidants are one of the best ways to help reverse sun-induced aging of the skin because they help the skin to heal and regenerate new youthful cells (4).
Antibacterial Properties of Black Gram
In an original research article posted by the IJPBA (International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives), M. R. Chikane, D. V. Parwate, and V. N. Ingle present the results of their study on the antibacterial activity of several leguminous seed coats, including the seed coats of Vigna Mungo (5). Samples were collected from Multai, India and underwent carefully controlled experimentation regarding their effects on a series of bacteria including E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumonia.
Extracts from uniradiated seed coats showed a high level of antibacterial activity during the research. The studies confirm the ancient Indian tradition of using Black Gram for medicinal use and facial cleansing. The antibacterial properties of black gram help alleviate acne and prevent further bacterial facial breakouts.
How To Use Black Gram for Your Skin
To create a homemade skin cream, many people grind the raw seeds and mix the flour with a few other simple ingredients create a paste (6). This skin cream can then be applied to the skin for 30 minutes at a time for the relief of sun damage, acne, dry skin, and inflammation. A slightly coarser flour can be used as an effective exfoliant to leave the skin soft and supple.
Why run to the industrialized synthetic skin care products when you can make your own personalized cream? Add raw honey for extra antibacterial strength, or lemon juice to enhance skin-lightening qualities! The most important thing is that you can feel good about your skin care because you are using the natural gifts of the earth!