Natural Herbs for Hair Growth in Ayurveda
In this shloka actions and therapeutic uses of Amalaki are explained.
Amalaki is astringent, pungent, bitter, sour, sweet, cold and carminative in nature. It pacifies vata, pitta and kapha dosha, aphrodisiac, febrifuge and tonic.
(Reference: Dhanvantari nighantu- shloka no. 212 and 213)
In Ayurveda, this condition correlated to “khalitya”. It is a tridoshaja vyadhi which is caused due to the vitiation of Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha along with rakta dosha. The main cause of this condition is the bhrajaka pitta (a type of pitta dosha) which is present in the skin. Roma Kupa (opening of hair follicles) gets vitiated and this vitiated pitta enters in the skin with the help of vitiated Vata dosha due to which hair started falling. There is blockage in the channels due to vitiated Kapha and vata dosha that stops the production of new hair.
Hair grows everywhere on the human’s skin except on the palms and soles. But many hairs are so fine that they are invisible. Hair is composed of protein which is called keratin, produced in the hair follicles. When there is a production of new hair cells, then follicles push out the old cells and rejuvenate the new ones.
The hairs are the string of dead keratin cells. Each follicle has its own life cycle which depends upon the age, disease and several other factors.
Types of Hair Loss
1. Involutional Alopecia
This condition occurs naturally in which the hair becomes gradually thin with the age. Most of these hair follicles go into the resting phase and the remaining hairs become few and short.
2. Alopecia Areata
It often starts suddenly which causes patchy hair loss in young adults and children and may result in complete baldness.
3. Androgenic Alopecia
This is a genetic condition that affects both men and women. Male with this condition called as male pattern baldness and is characterized by receding hairline and disappearance of hairs from the crown and on the frontal part of the scalp. Women who are suffering from this condition called female pattern baldness and it is characterized by general thinning of the hairs over the entire scalp.
4. Alopecia Universalis
This condition causes the body hairs to fall out that includes the eyelashes, eyebrows, etc.
5. Scarring Alopecias
It results in the permanent loss of hairs. This is caused due to some inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, cellulitis, lichen planus, etc. There is an inability of the hair to regenerate. Hot combs and woven the hair too tightly may result in hair loss.
What are the Causes of Hair loss?
Here are several factors that can influence this problem:
• Hormonal Imbalance: Abnormal levels of androgens (these are called as male hormones but both men and women’s bodies produce androgens)
• Stress, Anxiety, Childbirth, and Illness: They can cause temporary hair loss. It is also caused by a fungal infection.
• Drugs: It includes chemotherapeutic drugs that are used in cancer treatment drugs that control blood pressure and birth control pills they can cause hair loss.
• Diet: Low protein diet or calorie-restricted diet can cause temporary hair loss.
What are the Symptoms of Hair Loss?
Symptoms of hair loss may vary in men, women, and children. People of any age may notice this problem by hair collecting in the hairbrush.
Common Symptoms Related to this Condition are
1. In men, there is a problem of thinning of hairs on the scalp
2. A receding hairline
3. A horseshoe-shaped pattern that exposes the crown area.
4. In women, there is thinning of hairs which are especially at the crown of the head.
5. Hair loss condition in young children and adults include:
6. Sudden loss of hair patches
7. Complete loss of hair on the body
8. Incomplete hair loss on the eyebrows or scalp
9. Patches of the broken hairs
10. Shedding of hairs in excess but it is not completely related to baldness. It is due to the overuse of drugs and various chronic illnesses such as anemia, weight loss, stress, etc.
Herbs used in Ayurveda for Hair Loss
Manjistha is the most effective and valuable herb used in Ayurveda. In ancient times this herb was used to color the clothes because of its artificial coloring agent. As per the Ayurveda system of medicine, Acharya Charak has categorized it as javarahara (reduce fever), varnya (improves the skin complexion), and vishghana (anti-toxic). Acharya Sushruta has mentioned it as the pita samshana (that pacifies the pitta dosha in the body).
Chirata is best known for its blood purification property which is quite effective to resolve the hair and skin-related disorders. Being an antiparasitic it expels out the helminths and other parasites from the body such as tapeworms, roundworms, flukes, etc. This provides relief in symptoms of worm infestation such as anemia, diarrhea, lungs, and liver-related disorders, etc. This herb maintains the proper functioning of the digestive system and provides relief in disorders such as gastritis, indigestion, abdominal bloating and flatulence, heartburn, etc.
According to Ayurveda, amla pacifies the tridoshas ie., vata, pitta and kapha. being sour it pacifies the vitiated Vata dosha and due to its cold potency, it pacifies the vitiated Pitta Dosha. The vitiated Kapha dosha gets pacified due to its astringent and dry nature. It is also beneficial in hair related disorders such as baldness. This herb acts as a body tonic that maintains the vision, skin complexion and strength of the body.
With the growing age the brain starts degenerating and for this Brahmi is the best brain tonic. The active compounds present in it work wonderfully on the brain and it promotes the regeneration of brain cells. Being an antioxidant it protects the body from the damage caused by free radicals and boosts up the immune system of the body. Its oil and paste, when applied on the body, maintains the skin complexion and heals the non-healing wounds in a shorter period of time. This herb has the cool potency hence it is very beneficial for the skin.
Ashwagandha is considered as the nerve tonic that provides strength to the nervous system. This herb is also useful to manage sleep disorders such as insomnia which is the main cause of hair loss. Anti-inflammatory properties present in it helps to provide relief in pain as well as swelling. It also improves thyroid health and can manage hyperthyroid and hypothyroid related complications.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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