In Conversation With: Amaveda
We’ve all heard of the unbelievable natural resources the Amazonian jungle has to offer, and the incredible healing powers of Ayurveda. But has anyone ever thought to put them together?
Detox guru Emily Shaw has.
“I had all this amazing information about Ayurveda, and all these amazing ingredients from the Peruvian rainforest. So I put them together and created a mini detoxification program for my friends in Lima, and it just flew from there!” And so began the humble journey of Amaveda – the Amazonian Ayurvedic system of a cure through luxurious essential oils and treatments.
Born in London, raised in Toronto, and having lived in four continents around the world, there’s no doubt that Emily is a true globe-trotter with a deep desire to learn about different cultures. But despite her training as a restaurateur in her 20s and 30s in Canada, she found herself in Peru in 2006 with changing thoughts about food and her lifestyle.
“There was no organic, farm-to-table practices happening at this time, and Peru was the epicentre of natural food and medicine, sourced straight from the jungle. So I made an interesting shift in myself, moving away from food for its culinary values, for its artistic values, for gluttony and fun, to thinking and using food as a form of medicine.”
Claiming that Peru was home to 90% of the world’s microclimates, and having explored and learnt from the heart of the Amazon forest, Emily saw a profound transformation happening within herself, and knew she was in the right place to experiment with all the resources she found around her. But she needed structure.
“I needed a system – a protocol – to organise all these medicines and ingredients. And that’s where Ayurveda came in, to tie the whole process together.”
This ancient Indian medicine system has a detoxification methodology at its core, making treatment and prevention of ailments a central aspect of its philosophy. “What I realised is that Ayurveda is an incredibly intricate, but open system, and I was free to use all the ingredients I had learnt about in Peru to complement the detoxification process,” says Emily, recalling her journey through Kannur, in the Southern Indian state of Kerala, where she learnt and practiced Ayurveda and the art of Pancha Karma – the 21-28-day detoxification procedure.
This is when she started mixing and brewing powerful Amazonian concoctions, designed to work specifically in the Ayurvedic detoxification process. And once the connection was made, there was no looking back.
“When these two massive omniverses collided, the results were phenomenal. You could feel something shift in your body, and all of a sudden you sleep better, look better, feel better, have more energy, have a greater sex drive and you all-round feel more alive. And people notice that.”
When asked how Amaveda works specifically for sleep, she said: “it’s just like the chicken and the egg scenario! You need the sleep to detox, but you need to be detoxified to sleep. And detoxification is all about the downtime and getting the body to relax and back to repair mode. So once you come out the other side with a clean body, you’ll definitely notice an improvement in your sleep quality.”
Her products are designed in such a way that self-care and self-love are fundamental to taking the body back to homeostasis. The daily practice of self-massaging heavy oils into the body, or abhyanga in Sanskrit, plays a big role in the relaxation process, to bring about relief in the nervous system, in the digestive system, to balance the parasympathetic system and to allow the body to reset in general. “It’s way more powerful than people give it credit for,” claims Emily, “both physically and mentally.”
It is for this reason that her Facial Oil is sensational, which stars the delicate Buriti palm fruit which comes armed with an incredibly high concentration of vitamin A to battle fine lines and signs of aging. Combined with beautifully-fragranced ingredients like passion fruit, rose and turmeric, the oil also treats the skin to a luxurious, youthful golden glow.
It is, however, Amaveda’s Brahmi Kumari Hair Oil that is Emily’s absolute bestseller, known to significantly improve the quality of sleep. “Brahmi oil has a beautiful scent, and its medicinal properties really lower the brainwaves and encourage deep relaxation. But I started noticing that it was working wonders on my hair quality as well, so it was a double win,” she explains, insisting that a few drops on the crown before sleep will have you snoring away, only to wake up to luscious locks.
But when talking about the future of sleep and how our approach to it will change over the years, Emily is firm that it lies with the development of technology, and not in some miracle or magical ingredient.
“I think the study and understanding of electromagnetic fields will be the future of our sleeping habits, and especially how we can shield ourselves from them. There are very few places in this world where you can go to really escape all of this, but if you can get off the grid completely, wow does that really change the way you sleep.”
While she recommends plenty of essential oils (especially lavender and clary sage) beside the bed, some melatonin and liquorice tea to calm down the over-thinkers before bed, and to turn off all electronics to move along the sleeping process, Emily maintains that getting the best sleep is all about experimenting and to respond to your external surrounding organically and individually.
“There certainly is no miracle cure, but what we have here at Amaveda is a marriage between two ancient systems that complement each other, and that in itself was an experiment of its own. And we have so much more information than people did 5000 years ago, so it’s all about bringing in the new sciences, whilst at the same time honouring and respecting the old traditions,” she says.
And with her decadent oils and practices to bring about the sweetest of dreams, we have no doubt that Emily’s Amazonian/Ayurvedic concoctions will set us on the right path to some incredible slumber.