Health Benefits of Shikakai For Hair
Hair is the best part of anyone’s personality. That’s why people spend so much on hair treatment and transplantation because your hair defines you and makes you feel confident. But the obviously degrading condition of hair takes away that confidence too. When we see someone with thick shiny hair we always assume how they have such amazing hair? Yes, some things run genetically like texture, consistency, thin or thick hairs but the damage done to the hairs using chemicals can be reversed naturally with help of some amazing herbs like shikakai. So, this article is all about shikakai and how it helps in improving your hair health.
Shikakai is commonly known as hair fruit. In India the fruit is used in cleaning the hairs and also behaves as a tonic for thousands of years. Botanically Shikakai is known as Acacia concinna. The herb is kept under the category of climbing shrubs and is native to china, indonesia, bangladesh and tropical warm plains of central and South India. Woody climber or shrub is up to 5m tall with numerous spines. Leaves are bipinnate, flowers are cream to pale yellow coloured and budsarepurplsh red. Seeds pods are distinctive in that when they are fresh they are smooth, thick and fleshy, however, when dry, they become wrinkled, blackish and very hard. Parts of the plant like bark, leaves and pods are used for making powders and extracts. Commonly the shikakai is called soap pod and fruit for hair. The pod of this plant is mainly used as a hair tonic to control dandruff, promoting hair growth and strengthening hair roots.
Chemicals and Properties of Shikakai
- Their shikakai is full of vitamins and chemicals that help enhance the hair growth and also provides nourishment to hairs. The shikakai has saponin that works a lather when water is added to it.
- It also has vitamins that provide nourishment to the hairs and also promote hair health along with growth.
- The shikakai also has antioxidant properties and also helps in moisturising the hair split ends and protecting them from getting brittle as well. It helps in delaying greying of hairs.
- The micronutrients in this herb help in nourishing the scalp and keep hair dandruff free.
- The shikakai is a really good source of vitamin A, C, D, E and antioxidants.
- It is a source of natural sugars as well like glucose, rhamnose, and arabinose are also present in shikakai.
- Shikakai is a source of oxalic acid and citric acid as well. Along with these two it also has succinic acid.
- In ancient ayurvedic texts, shikakai is termed as anti-inflammatory, anti pruritic and helpful in skin disorders. It also works in maintaining blood sugar level.it is even mentioned that gargling with its decoction help in preventing tooth decay.
Ayurvedic Energetics of Shikakai
- Rasa (Taste): Tikta (bitter)
- Guna (Property): Laghu (Light)
- Veerya (Potency): Sheeta (Cold)
- Vipaka (Post digestion effect): katu (Pungent)
- Effect on tridosha: Kapha and pitta har
- Action: Hair tonic, blood purifier, antifungal, wound healer
Some Health Benefits of Shikakai
- Strengthens Hairs – It is known to soften and smoothen the hair naturally by oils and vitamins that are key to hair growth. The shikakai is rich in natural oils and vitamins that helps in nourishment of hairs. It helps in enhancing the volume of hairs and makes them soft plus shiny.
- Fights Dandruff – Shikakai is a herb that has antibacterial and antifungal properties. These properties help in getting rid of dandruff and other types of scalp related infections.
- Prevents Grey Hair – The hair which is prepared using shikakai, soap nuts and other ingredients can slow down and prevent the process of hair greying.
- Shikakai in buccal cavity conditions – The decoction of shikakai pods is used as an oral rinse to help cure dental caries, mouth ulcers, bad breath and bleeding gums. Now, so far we know everything about shikakai so moving further let’s discuss tricks to make shikakai shampoo, oils and some hair packs that can help you maintain your hair health.
Remedies for Hairs prepared with Shikakai
1. Shikakai Shampoo
It is prepared using following ingredients:
- Shikakai – 8 pods
- Reetha – 12 seeds
- Amla (Dry) – 1 cup
- Fenugreek seeds – 2 tbsp
- Water – 1 big bowl
- De-seed the reetha.
- Then soak all ingredients together in a big bowl for a night.
- The next morning, boil all the ingredients together along with water that they were soaked in.
- When the ingredients become soft then switch off the stove and keep it to cool down.
- After it cools down, strain the liquid and use it to wash hair.
- In case of hair which has been oiled, boil the ingredients until the liquid becomes very thick and turns dark brown. If it is just a regular hair wash without any oil in the hair, liquid consistency can be kept thin.
Note: Shikakai is a natural hair cleanser which cleans the hair without stripping away the natural oils from it.
2. Shikakai Oil
Ingredients for the preparation of oil are as following:
- Almond oil– 1 cup
- Coconut oil- 2 cups
- Shikakai powder– 2-3 tbsp
- One clean and dry glass bottle (To store the oil after beg prepared)
- All ingredients together in the glass bottle.
- Shake it many times.
- Now, let it sit down for 7- 10 days in a cool place.
How to use – The oil can be used as per requirement. However, use it 2-3 times a week for getting rid of hair woes.
3. Hair Packs
The hair packs are also essential for the flawless hairs. In this article further let’s discuss some hair packs that can help in making hair not only flawless but healthy as well.
4. Anti Dandruff Hair Pack
This shikakai hair mask has a lot of benefits. They help in nourishing and moisturising the hair. The mask contains curd; which is a rich source of good bacteria that help to prevent dandruff and problems of the scalp.
Preparation of mask
- To prepare this mask, take 1 tablespoon each of shikakai powder, amla powder, olive/coconut/almond oil and a cup of curd.
- Mix everything well and keep it for an hour or till it dries. Then wash it off.
- To get a good result, apply this mask once a week or once in 15 days. In the case of long hair, add more to each of the ingredients.
5. Pack for Dry Hair
- This remedial solution of shikakai for dry hair along with amla and fenugreek is an excellent Ayurvedic pack.
- The antioxidants of shikakai and amla help fight hair damage; fenugreek adds more nourishment to the hair and makes it more manageable.
- Make a paste of the ingredients and put together with a little lukewarm water.
- Keep it aside for some time and then apply on the hair. Once the pack dries up, wash the hair.
6. Anti Grey Hair Pack
- An excellent pack made of shikakai for grey hair blended with henna powder, amla powder, curry leaf powder and hibiscus flower works wonders for premature greying of hair.
- Henna is a natural colouring agent and does no harm to the hair follicles; on the other hand, shikakai and amla being rich in antibodies prevent hair damage and nourish it.
- Curry leaves and hibiscus both prevent the hair from greying before time.
- To make this paste, you need to take about ¼ cup of amla powder, ½ cup of henna powder, a paste of 5-6 fresh hibiscus flowers, and ¼ cup of fresh curry leaves.
- Mix all of this with a little black brewed tea.
7. Anti Hair Fall Pack
Mix 1 tbsp each of shikakai, amla, reetha powder, juice of 2-3 lemons and a little lukewarm water. Then apply it for an hour, once dry, wash it off.
Shikakai has been in use since hundreds of years of hair care. So if we wish for healthy, shiny and long hair, it is wise to use this incredible herb and get the best out of it. Likeshikakai there are other herbs in ayurveda that have great effect in making your hair better, skin lustrous and keeps your body systems in great condition. The Ayurveda has many hidden gems in it and all you need to do is search and find. Ayurveda is a boon for the society and it’s just the society who can increase the demand of herbal products and thus can get benefit by using them. In case of any query kindly visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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