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2.7 Herbal textile technology
inspired by Ayurvastra
     Ayurvastra is a branch of ancient Indian
herbal medicinal repository, Ayurveda, the ancient Vedic health care system
predating more than 5500 years, prescribes the use of Ayurvastra cloth to
cure a number of diseases like diabetes, skin infections, psoriasis, eczema,
hyper tension, asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, rheumatism, arthritis
and cardiac problems. It is an ancient technique prevalent before textile
industrialization to dye cloth with herbal dyes, which then acts as a barrier
to the attack of various microorganisms. (Minocheherhomji & soanki, 2015)
    Jain (2010) states that such a fabric is
free from all synthetic toxic chemical substances, and is also fully
eco-friendly and biodegradable. The colors used are obtained from medicinal
plants only leaving no scope for the incorporation of synthetic dyes.
Ayurvastra helps the skin which being the outer covering of the body in its
function to prevent the entry of all foreign toxic substances, which are
lethal to the human body. The herbs incorporated in the fabric release their
medicinal properties onto and into the body thus providing medicinal immunity
against different harmful toxins.
    Ayurvastra clothing is made from organic
cellulosic fabric that has been previously treated with Ayurvedic oils and
herbs, which accelerate health and cure various diseases depending on the
blended oils and herbs. These fabrics also have anti-inflammatory properties and
These benefits of Ayurvastra clothing have been due to it helping the human
body in maintaining the balance between various bodily processes.
   The minute particles of active chemicals
like fragrances, skin care products, and medicinal items that are embedded in
the capsules are released on the account of body heat when the cloth comes
into the contact of the body. The skin leading to quick beneficial effects

Absorbs these products, as the
toxins in the body are either removed or neutralized. All the ingredients of
Ayurvastra are devoid of any synthetic toxic chemicals and are biodegradable. Hence,
it protects environment from pollution and damage.

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     The dyeing procedure attempts
to keep medicinal properties intact in the textiles. Dye fixation is
accomplished using natural and harmless products having good medicinal
properties. The process is done in systematic steps to standardize the quality
and quantity of colors, thus achieving better consistency in longer running
output from one end to the other. Innovations in the process has made it
possible to dye all natural fibers such as cotton, jute, linen and silk in both
woven and knitted fabrics. There are two processes for making herbal textile. One
is, the yarn is treated before weaving, or another is, the fabric is dyed after
weaving. Herbal dyes are also directly applied onto textile fibers before
weaving and the time duration of the manufacture of herbal textile may be from
three to seven days depending upon the applications, which the textile is
expected to use.


2.8 Conventional manufacturing process of
herbal textile (Woven fabric)

According to Banupriya & Maheshwari
(2014) the conventional herbal textile manufacturing process is as follows.

incorporating a mixture of natural bleaching agents and dipped in Ayurvedic
concoctions using dung of animals like camel, buffalo, cow, sheep lasting four
hours to several days under controlled temperatures for efficient scouring
& bleaching the gray cloth. The hand loomed cloth is also washed using
natural mineral-rich water and sea salts to remove the sizing materials, gums
and oils that were added to facilitate spinning process

second processing step is mordanting to enhance the tinctorial value of
the dyes that are later applied on to the fabric. The preferred natural
mordants are the barks of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Kenduka
(Diospyrose ebenum), fruit extracts of Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). Alum
clays and iron clays are also used as mordant. But mordants like copper,
chromium, zinc, tin are strictly avoided as they are creating
environmental problems.

 The organic cotton yarn or fabric is then
immersed in a carefully controlled mixture of herbal preparations called, ”Kashayas?
depending upon the disease or ailment that is to be taken care of. Here it is referred
by the word, ”medication? instead of dyeing because here the products used
serve the major function of medicines, at the same time also imparts color to
the fabrics. The temperature of the Kashayas, their time duration and number of
the medicinal soaks, including the blend of herbs and the equipment are
carefully used in a controlled manner. The medicated cloth is later allowed to
cool and is repeatedly washed to remove the unfixed dye/medicinal ingredients,
followed by strictly drying in shade. Kachuka Aata or Guar gum and TKP are used
as a medium in printing the fabric. Ayurvastra clothes can be produced in all
kinds of hues of red, yellow, green, blue, orange, brown, ivory and black


2.9 Sedative herbs


1.     Valerian
and Hops  

A number of studies have
considered a combination of valerian and hops (Humulus lupulus) as a
management strategy for addressing insomnia. (Wheately, 2005). Taibi et al.
(2004) state that a recent clinical trial has studied the efficacy of a
valerian–hops combination over a period of 4 weeks, compared to “valerian only”
and a placebo in a clinical population of 30 participants diagnosed with
nonorganic insomnia. The results suggested that the valerian–hops combination
was significantly superior for reducing sleep latency and extending slow-wave
sleep duration in patients with primary insomnia, whereas valerian alone did
not improve sleep latency relative to placebo. This finding concurs with another
study in which 30 participants who had insomnia were given a combination of
valerian and hops for 2 weeks. The results indicated an improvement in sleep

2.     Chamomile


Chamomile in the form of an
aqueous extract has been frequently used as a mild sedative to calm nerves and
reduce anxiety, to treat hysteria, nightmares, insomnia and other sleep
problems. (Forster,Niklas & Lutz, 1980). Avallone et al. (1996) state that Chamomile
is widely regarded as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer. Also Shinomaya
et. Al (2005) suggest that sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid,
apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. Chamomile
extracts exhibit benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity.


In another study, inhalation of
the vapor of chamomile oil reduced a stress-induced increase in plasma
adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels. (Paladini, Marder,Viola, Wolfman, Wasowski and
Medina, 1999). Compounds, other than
apigenin, present in extracts of chamomile can also bind BDZ and GABA receptors
in the brain and might be responsible for some sedative effect.


3.     Passionflower

incarnata, commonly known as passionflower is a climbing vine with
white purple-tinged flowers (Cronin, 2003). It is a folk anxiolytic and
sedative used for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia symptoms and has a
history of use as a sedative in Brazil, Iraq, Turkey and North America (Dhawan
et al., 2001 a, 2004).


exerts its calming effect by increasing the release of a particular
neurotransmitter in the brain. Basically, some of the active phytochemicals in
passionflower promote the release of GABA. GABA or gamma amino butyric acid is the major
inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

This neurotransmitter lowers
neuronal activity in certain brain cells. This action has a quieting effect in
the central nervous system and it reduces anxiety and relieves insomniaOutside
the central nervous system, GABA is also responsible for regulating muscle
tone. Therefore, increased secretion of GABA can also help relax the muscles.
This calming effect on the muscles is the reason why passionflower is used in
the treatment of seizures and epilepsy.

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