Does Ayurveda help control hair loss?

Is Ayurveda for hair loss effective? Having a bad hair day once in a while is acceptable and we can be at peace with it as long as there is enough hair in the equation. Hair loss is of common occurrence in human beings. And present day stress and pollution can make it worse.

The ancient Indian system of healthcare, Ayurveda, could be the answer to control hair fall and ensure healthy and lustrous hair. Ayurveda is an Indian traditional holistic system of medicine. It works on the principle that energetic forces, termed Tridoshas, influence the constitution and wellbeing of human beings. Tridoshas include —

  • Vata dosha: It is the combination of air and ether, and it governs the principle of movement, that is, it is the force regulating circulation, respiration, elimination, and nerve impulses.
  • Pitta dosha: It is the combination of fire and water, regulating metabolism in the body.
  • Kapha dosha: It is the combination of water and earth, and has a protective function, such as cerebrospinal fluid protecting the brain and spinal cord of an individual.

According to Ayurveda, hair fall is the problem of Pitta dosha wherein excess of pitta is produced in the body. The cause of hair fall is attributed to many reasons including —

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Stress, anxiety, sleeplessness
  • Disorders and diseases such as typhoid, diabetes, viral infections, fungal infections, etc.
  • Dandruff
  • Clogging of pores on the scalp because of excess sebum production
  • Heredity

Ayurvedic control of hair fall consists of judicious use of drugs (complex mixtures based mostly on plant products), diets, and certain practices.

The first thing your Ayurvedic doctor will do is locate the root cause in your diet and lifestyle that is causing the Pitta dosha. Maybe you are eating too much of oily and spicy food. Or maybe smoking is causing your hair fall. Or is it too much sugar in your diet? Your next step would be to give up or at least cut down on the trigger.

Ayurvedic diet consists of natural foods for nutrition and nourishment and also as a remedy for certain hair conditions. For example,

  • Vitamins B complex and C, zinc and sulphur, make your hair strong so you don’t lose hair easily. All these nutrients are available in sprouts, buttermilk and milk, nuts, soybean and whole grains.
  • Fresh juice of lettuce, carrot, and spinach aid in hair growth.
  • Foods rich in fibre, such as fruits and green leafy vegetables, prevent hair fall.
  • Magnesium and calcium control hair fall. You can easily get them from white sesame seeds.Have a spoonful of sesame seeds each morning, and see the difference.
  • Yoghurt is a good conditioner that helps prevent hair fall. Consume it every day and apply it as a pack once a week for lustrous hair.

If your bowel movements are not regular, your doctor may prescribe Triphala churna as laxative. Take 1 tsp of the powder with warm water at bedtime.

Hair massage with brahmi oil, amla oil, coconut oil, or arnica oil helps prevent hair loss. Ayruvedic massage oils usually are a mixture of one or more of these oils plus certain herb extracts. Your Ayurveda doctor will be the right person to suggest a suitable Ayurvedic oil depending on the cause of your hair fall.

Certain herbs are used in Ayurveda to arrest hair fall and help regrowth of hair. These include —

  • Bhringaraj: It is a herb well known for promoting hair growth, controlling hair fall, and arresting premature graying of hair. A recent study from Gujarat, India, suggested that a formulation called Trichup herbal hair powder (THHP) containing a mixture of herbs such as brahmi, bhringaraj, Indian gooseberry (amla), aloe vera, neem, jaatamansi, henna, and other herbs, helps to treat dandruff, split ends and hair fall.
  • Teak wood extract: Seeds of teak wood have been acclaimed as hair tonic since ages. And now a study, published in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research, found that teak wood seed extract actually promoted hair growth and it is better than Minoxydil, which is an FDA approved treatment for alopecia. 
  • Jatamansi: The rhizomes and roots of Jatamansi or spikenard are used as anti-stress agents in traditional Indian medicine and marketed in India as an anticonvulsant Ayurvedic drug, Ayush. Researchers from Chennai found that this drug, especially the rhizome of the herb, promoted hair growth. Given the Ayurveda concept that stress is one of the factors responsible for hair fall, it is very likely that Jatamansi could help deal with hair fall.

There are of course many other Ayurvedic formulations for hair fall which your doctor may recommend.

Another treatment which is effective for hair fall is the Panchakarma treatment — Shirodhara. Panchakarma is a series of five therapies that help remove deep-rooted stress and toxins from the body while balancing the doshas. Shirodhara is a method of relieving stress that involves pouring warm, medicated oil on the forehead of the person for 25 minutes at a stretch. Along with overcoming stress related conditions such as insomnia, asthma and other conditions, the treatment strengthens and nourishes hair and scalp, and thus prevents hair fall.

Ayurvedic treatment for hair fall will not be complete without the yogasanas and pranayama. Yoga poses that stimulate blood flow to the head are usually recommended for hair fall problems. Sarvangasana is one such yoga pose. In conclusion, it can be said that Ayurveda can help control hair fall as it targets the root cause of the problem.

 Photo source: Getty images

 

Reference:

Solanki, B., Verma, S., Gurav, N., Patel, M. and Patel, P. (2013). Method development for Lawsone estimation in Trichup herbal hair powder by high-performance thin layer chromatography. Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, [online] 4(3), p.160. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2231-4040.116780 [Accessed 22 Sep. 2014].

Jaybhaye, D., Varma, S., Gagne, N., bonde, V., Gite, A. and Bhosle, D. (2010). Effect of Tectona grandis Linn. seeds on hair growth activity of albino mice. International Journal of Ayurveda Research, [online] 1(4), p.211. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0974-7788.76783 [Accessed 20 Sep. 2014].

Gottumukkala, V., Annamalai, T. and Mukhopadhyay, T. (2011). Phytochemical investigation and hair growth studies on the rhizomes of Nardostachys jatamansi DC. Pharmacognosy Magazine, [online] 7(26), p.146. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0973-1296.80674 [Accessed 22 Sep. 2014].

Keralaayurvedichealthcare.com, (2014). Ayurveda Treatments Kerala Panchakarma center Thirumala, Trivandrum, Kerala. [online] Available at: http://www.keralaayurvedichealthcare.com/ayurveda/ayurveda_treatment_india.htm [Accessed 22 Sep. 2014].

3 Views    
Facebook Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google Pinterest

Related Articles

Refer your 10 female friends! Earn Instant 500