Ayurveda Q&A: 9 home remedies for vitiligo

Dr Gowthaman, Medical Director, Dr Gowthaman’s Ayurveda Panchakarma Center, Chennai, answers readers’ questions on Ayurveda. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Tuesday.


This week’s answers:

1. Hi, I am 36 years old. I had a premature greying since the age of 20. Offlate I have started facing excessive hair fall which I believe is due to the hair coloring I have been using for past many years.
Just read your article on ayurvedic ways to manage greying.
I understand for middle age it may not be reversible however if you can suggest some remedies to control further greying & falling of hair, would really be helpful.

Hi Kiran,
Ayurveda therapy and medicines can bring back the normalcy. Ayurveda advises personalized therapies called Nasya and Shiro Lepa. These two therapies are very effective for slowing down and reversing the premature graying problems. Ayurveda recommends specialized home remedies to prevent as well as manage the white hairs all over the body. According to Ayurveda physiology the digestive essence (Rasa element) is responsible for healthy hair both color and structure. Any pathology affecting this leads to white hair. Correction of the causes with Ayurveda therapies and medicines, bring back the normalcy. Ayurveda says that the white hair after the middle age that is 82 is not reversible.

Common home remedies for prevention of white hair

a. The most effective and well practiced home remedy is applying coconut oil processed with fresh curry leaves. This should be strictly applied on the scalp and hair for 90 days. Gentle massage with this mixture for 15-20 minutes helps in reducing the hair fall, dandruff and improves hair growth, hair thickness and improves the black hair growth. After application wash it with lukewarm water.
b. Amla powder is considered and used as one of the best hair rejuvenator across the world. Apply paste of fresh Amla powder mixed with curd and fresh lemon juice as pack. Leave it for 45 minutes and followed by warm water wash. This process is very effective to reduce hair fall and improve hair growth. This process is repeated every alternative day for 90 days for better results.
c. Amla soaked in water for overnight, and the water is a very good hair conditioner. After the regular hair wash, just rinse the hair with this water. One of the primary reasons for premature graying is using excessive conditioners and high chemical shampoo. Avoiding cause may help in bringing back the normalcy swiftly.
d. One of the effective remedy for colder seasons is application of Almond oil with Amla juice. Warm both taken in equal amounts and gentle massage on scalp for 15 minutes. It is one of the fastest ways to arrest the premature graying and improving the general hair health.
e. Many villages in Kerala follow a simple hair remedy. Everyone including men and women does it as cultural practice. Application of equal amounts of buttermilk and curry leaves juice equal amounts and boiled for 5 minutes in mild fire then applied in the scalp in lukewarm condition followed by warm water wash after 30 minutes. This is known preventive remedy for white hairs and hair fall.
f. Ayurveda recommends the following combination as the effective remedy for prevention and improving hair growth, reducing dandruff, for healthy hair. Equal amounts of Amla powder, Thriphala powder, Methi powder, Karisalai powder, Mehanthi Powder, Japa flower and leaves powder, Indian Asparagus powder mixed with fresh curd and fresh lemon juice. This mixture applied as a pack on the scalp followed by warm water wash
g. Simple home remedy to maintain health hair the following remedy is advised. Equal amounts of fresh Amla juice and lemon juice applied on the scalp and hair followed by warm water wash after 10 minutes. This should be done every day for healthy hair.
h. Traditional healers in South India recommend the following remedy for premature hair growth. Equal amounts of sesame oil and Carrot juice mixed with half the amount of Methi seed powder kept under sun for 21 days. Then this oil is applied on the scalp for hair, face for white hairs in mustache and beard areas and body for the white body hairs. Follow this for 90 days for complete color change.
i. Eclipta Alba is the other important herb used in Ayurveda for prevention and reversing the premature hair graying. Most of the Herbal hair oils contain the extract of this herb. Ayurveda recommend the application fresh leave juice or paste as a thick scalp pack followed by warm water wash.
j. Many Ayurveda experts recommend Black pepper ¼ parts mixed with 1 parts of fresh curd and 10 ml of fresh lemon juice as everyday application on scalp helps to improve the premature hair growth condition.

2. My son has got pale white spots on chest since past 4 months. Thinking it’s a Vitamin deficiency, our doctor adviced him some Vitamin tablets. We continued them for 2 months but the spot on the side neck has grown stronger. Since last month, it has rapidly develpned on eyelids also. Please let me know how can we get it cured.
Nilam Lapsiwala
Hi Nilam,
The symptoms suggestive of vitiligo, Vitamin D deficiency could be one of the primary causes.

Home remedies for vitiligo

1. Take 5 teaspoons of turmeric powder and mix in 250 ml of mustard oil and apply on the white patches of skin, twice a day, usually advised for a period of 12-15 months.

2. Application of Sweet Basil leaves extracts with lemon juice, advised for 5-6 months.

3. Most of the Indian traditional practitioners advise water kept in a copper vessel for overnight as diet

4. Eastern India where there is less sun this is widely advised, Tamarind seeds and Psorolia seeds (Bakuchi Seeds) soaked in rice wash water for 7 days. Then grinded into paste and applied on spots gives immediate results. I have a personal experience in this preparation. Very effective however for some people it resulted in burning sensation and boils.

5. Fresh ginger juice with Bakuchi powder mix – Obese persons and with spots on high muscular areas (Widely advised in India)

6. Application of radish (white) seeds with vinegar is widely practiced in Calcutta. 50 gms of seeds with 15 ml of vinegar

7. Many parts of Kerala advises bakuchi seed powder with coconut oil as external application

8. some specialised practitioners in Kerala advises the following as diet for 40 days with external applications – 600 gm raw cucumber and 3 betel leaves three times a day and food made from bitter gourd.

9. Ginger Juice with red Clay as external application in karnataka (some parts)

This condition requires immediate attention and proper medication and diet for at least 12 months. Please walk in to near by Ayurveda therapy center for a holistic plan combining the strength of Ayurveda, Yoga and Diet.

3. Hello, I am 27 and have been having grey hair since past couple of years. The increase in no. of grey hair is tremendous. I am pregnant and so, I am not sure, if any medication for premature graying is safe or not? Cannot you please suggest something?
Priti Jain
Hi Priti,
According to Ayurveda, Pregnancy can contribute to premature graying. Check your Vitamin D and Iron levels. Intake of folic acid and amino acid supplements could also help. External Scalp application of Karkunthal oil helps. Since you are pregnant take more leafy, green and fresh vegetables and adequate water intake can improve a lot.

After pregnancy, Ayurveda medicines, therapies can bring back the normalcy swiftly

4. i am 20 yrs old and i have almost 70 % grey hairs on my head,also due to use of colors my hairs became hard and rough,Is their any treatment to make my hair soft silky and black?
Anant Bajpai
Hi Anant Bajpai,
Ayurveda specialized treatment called ‘Thala Podichil’ is very effective for this condition. Ayurveda herbs like Amla, Eclipta alba, Hibiscus flowers and levaes, Mehanti, Triphala, Jala Pippali etc are freshly grounded and applied as a thick pack all over the scalp and then the scalp is covered with fresh lotus leaves or banana leaves. After 45 minutes the leaves are removed and herbal water wash followed by warm water wash. This treatment is repeated for 40 days for better results.

Ayurveda medicines like Narasimha Rasayanam 1 tablespoon twice daily 30 minutes before food followed by warm milk, Narasimham tablets 2 thrice daily after food and external application of Narasimham oil helps.

5. Hi, I m Snehal Dhakate.,My elder brother is suffereing from vitiligo and i think its a primary stage.He is having white patches on fingers and its growing day by day.The details of my brother is mentioned below:
Name: Vipin Dhakate
Age: 24 yrs
Could you please suggest some medicines or treatment to cure this disease.

Hi Vipin,
Vitiligo is the specialty of Ayurveda. Ayurveda therapies and medicines with personalized diet can solve this problem. Bakuchi (Psorolia corolifolia) purified powder 3 gm mixed with warm milk thrice daily after food helps.

Ayurveda medicines like Ludem capsules and Psora capsules each 2 tablets thrice daily after food with warm milk helps. Bakuchi oil external application on the spots followed by warm water wash after 30-45 minutes helps in local healing.

Ayurveda Pancha Karma for Vitiligo

Ayurveda recommends its fivefold detoxification therapies for the complete cure for Vitiligo.

a. Therapeutic Vomiting: Vamana is a medicated emesis therapy which removes Kapha toxins collected in the body and the respiratory tract. This is given to people with high Kapha imbalance. Daily treatment involves loosening and mobilizing the toxins in an effort to finally eliminate them.
b. Therapeutic purgation: Virechana is medicated purgation therapy which removes Pitta toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gall bladder; it completely cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract. It is a safe procedure without side effects.
c. Therapeutic enema Therapy: Basti (Enema) is considered as the mother of all Panchakarma treatments since it cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, through the colon. Basti is also highly beneficial as a rejuvenating treatment. Medicated oil or ghee and an herbal decoction is given as enema to clean the colon and increase the muscle tone. This procedure is usually applied for 8 to 30 days, based on the medical condition of a person
d. Therapeutic Nasal Drops: Nasya involves administration of medicated oil through the nose to cleanse accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region. Based on the medical condition of a person, it can be given up to 30 days.
e. Therapeutic bloodletting therapy: Rakta mokshana is procedure to cleanse the blood and is advised only in very rare conditions. It is not advisable during general Panchakarma.

6. Sir, these medicines are sometimes not available in kottakal store – Abhya Arishtam, Dhanvantharam gutika, Keshmani oil and Keshmani shampoo. What can be the substitute?
Hi Aishwarya,
All these medicines are available online. please google. If not call rVita Ayurveda centers, www.rvita.com for help. rVita supplies these medicines by courier.

7. dear sir,i suffered from bell palsy and taken physiotherapy.but now my head start paining.(pain in head nerves.)there is also some problem in sleeping also.thanks,
Hi Ashwani, Ashtavargam Kashayam 15 ml + 45 ml of warm milk with Dhanvanthram (101) 5 drops helps to improve the nervous system and heals the pain. Saraswatha Arishtam + Aswagandha Arishtam – Each 10 ml with Manasamitram gutika 1 thrice daily after food helps. 2 gm of Kapikatchu choornam helps to improve the sleep.

External application of Himasagara Thailam helps to sooth the pain and improves the blood circulation.

8. Dear Dr Gowthaman, I,m a therapist in germany, trained in Bodywork, psychological work and Ayurveda Medizin in the first steps. I do have a client who is very stressed because of his job and that he takes all things seriously. He lost nearly 18 kg in 2 years but all the doctor examination has been without an answer and everything is tested with no result. I work with him with breathing exercise, speziell tibaten yoga which is easy to do, diet change and improving his digestion fire.I do not have the feeling of a very good result. So if you have any ideas who could help I would be very thankful. Kind regards and I,m looking forward to hear from you,

Elke Wenz–

Hi Elke,
Stress plays a vital role. Please advise him to take traditional Ayurveda therapy called Pizchil and Sirodhara for 14 days and followed by Ayurveda Navara Kizhi for 14 days and Ayurveda herbal enema for 7 days. These therapies reduce stress levels and weight and bring physical well being to a great extent.

For the time being, please give him the following home remedy – milk 100 ml + water 200 ml + fresh ginger paste 5 gm – boiled until the mixture becomes 100 ml. Filter this and administer this once a day in empty stomach for 40 days. This will improve the detoxification and metabolism helps in better assimilation of required nutrients and essential vitamins from food.

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