Ayurveda Q&A: Remedies for acne

Dr Gowthaman, Medical Director of rVita, answers readers’ questions on Ayurveda. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Tuesday.
This week’s answers:

1. I am male, 24, suffering from severe hair loss and indigestion problem from the past 10 -15 years. can u Please suggest any good solution to stop this hairfall and increase the density of my hair. Apart from hair loss and indigestion i am suffering from cracked feet and sinus problem. Presently my hair is very thin and hair density is very less. Thank you.
kencha santosh
Hair fall may occur due to too much exposure to dust, pollution, insomnia, depression, anxiety and poor diet and nutrition. Hair problems that are caused by nutritional deficiencies can be corrected by a proper diet. Principal nutrients that are involved include vitamin A, certain B vitamins, the vitamin biotin, vitamin C, copper, iron, zinc, protein, and water. Drink 2-3 liters of water in a day. Include curry leaves in your daily diet; red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables as well as some dark green leafy vegetables. The body gets vitamin A from animal sources in the form of retinol. Good animal sources include liver, fish, eggs, milk and other sources like soy and pulses.

Ayurvedic treatment considers hair as a by-product for bone formation. The tissues which are responsible for formation of bones are also responsible for your hair growth. Ayurvedic treatment is usually a combination of herbs, diet, meditation, yoga. In men, high concentration of dihydro testosterone (DHT) in hair follicles causes hair fall. Drink 1/3rd cup of aloe vera juice. Take 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel with a pinch of cumin thrice a day. Massage your hair with Vitamin E oil. This greatly prevents or slows down the hair loss. Vitamin E oil strengthens fragile hair and also helps to prevent the dry and flaky skin. Medicated oil with the herbs Bhringaraj (Ecli ptaAlba), amalaki (Embelica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Bibitaki (Terminalia bellerica) is a best remedy for hair fall.

Application of Maha Thiktakam gritam at bed time for the cracked foot and following the above diet and nutrition advice will help you overcome your indigestion.

2. I have I think a weird problem. for the past one year I have not been able to sleep properly. i have hard time both falling asleep and staying asleep. last December i met a doctor and during regular blodd test i was found to be anameic, vitiman D deficient. since then i have been taking iron supplements, multi-vitamin and vitamin-D supplements. for 3 months i got good sleep, but after that the problem continued. i am still taking the supplements. please help me.
Sridevi Desiraju
Ayurveda medicine breaks insomnia down into 3 main patterns and 2 minor patterns. The main patterns are:
1. Heart and liver blood deficiency characterized by insomnia manifesting as difficulty in sleeping. Other symptoms may include dizziness, vertigo, anxiety, pale complexion, brittle nails and hair, poor memory.
2. Heart and kidney deficiency characterized by insomnia manifesting as a difficult time staying asleep. Other symptoms may include night sweats, poor memory, palpitations, soreness of the low back, chronic dry throat, thirst, red cheeks
3. Heart and gallbladder deficiency characterized by insomnia manifesting as waking up in the early morning between the hours of 3-5 am. Other symptoms may include, timidity, difficulty making decisions, easily startled or frightened.
The minor patterns are: a) Liver and heart fire characterized by insomnia, usually stress-related. Other symptoms may include flushed face, stress, ulcers in the mouth or tongue, deep yellow urine, thirst, possible depression, irritability, irregular menstruation
b) Food stagnation characterized by insomnia due to eating late at night. c) Other symptoms may include distension and pain in the abdomen, foul breath, belching, constipation.

1. Chamomile tea, passion flower and lemon balm leaves steeped in hot water and strained are effective herbs that help you get over short term insomnia or occasional insomnia. Lavender oil and lemon balm oil rubbed on wrists or neck too help overcome insomnia.

2. Shirodhara, pada abhyangam, taking of lukewarm milk at bed time with 1 tsp of aswagandha churnam, yoga nidra all these can be employed.

Simple yoga exercise for insomnia with legs up the wall (or Viparita Karani) pose. Sit with your side next to the wall, knees bent; swing your torso around, raise your legs, and rest your feet on the wall and let your head and spine rest on the floor. Alternatively, you can rest your legs on a chair (shins parallel to the floor) or on cushions. Rest with arms out to the sides at a gentle angle to the body. Place a folded towel under the head or rolled towel under the neck if the chin is not parallel to the floor and to relieve any neck compression. If there is any strain in the back of the legs or back, bend the knees. You can hold this pose for 5 – 10 minutes (1 – 2 minutes for those new to the practice). To release the pose, bend your knees, roll to one side for a few moments and then rest in savasana, or corpse pose (lying on your back, arms out to the sides, palms facing up) before moving on. Take time to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of your practice. It’s part of the pose!

3. Dear doctor, any ayurvedic remedies to treat IBS. My mother is suffering from IBS for last 10yrs.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a “syndrome,” meaning a group of symptoms. In Ayurveda it can be placed parellal to grahani. The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort often reported as cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation. IBS affects the colon, or large bowel, which is the part of the digestive tract that stores stool. IBS is not an ailment. It’s a functional disorder, meaning that the bowels don’t work or function correctly
Treatment: For complete eradication of IBS we should take these steps: diet changes, medicine, stress relief
Some foods and drinks make IBS worse. Foods and drinks that may cause or worsen symptoms include: fatty foods, spicy foods like french fries,samosa, puri, kachori, milk products like cheese or ice cream, chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, like coffee and some sodas
Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea in people with IBS. If this happens to you, try
eating four or five small meals a day instead of less-frequent big meals.
Stress doesn’t cause IBS, but it can worsen your symptoms.
IBS can be easily over come by adding enough curry leaves and fresh ginger in the diet. The other most important diet is butter milk. In South India, buttermilk processed with curry leaves and fresh ginger is advised as a diet and remedy for IBS. The root of Cybrus protundus is another herb widely recommended in traditional systems of medicine across India. Mix 2 gm of the root powder of the herb with warm water and drink it two times a day to reduce the symptoms in no time.

4. Hi, I am staying in pondy. Very hot and sweating now. Getting patches on my neck. I used to get eczema 4 yrs before. Any herbal medicine pl
Ayurveda recommends elimination diet (no wheat, dairy, corn, soy, nuts, refined sugars, food coloring or dyes) may control the patches within days. I think it is worth looking into. There are alternatives to wheat like rice and quinoa. Application of Thiktakam gritam all over the body followed by warm water bath after 45 minutes improves the condition in no time.

5. Dear sir. I have dry skin but suddenly, this summer, my face is oily and getting acne. I am 23 yrs old. Please help.
Watch and study your diet – a happy stomach can lead to less toxins coming through the skin. It could be beneficial to try a cleansing procedure of some kind if you haven’t tried one, and see if it makes any difference.
Regular washing of face with warm water mixed with rose water helps. Regular application of a paste of milk and multani mitti will also help you.

Home remedies for acne
(i) Applying Syzgium cumini seeds rubbed with water on the pimples will reduce the growth of the pimples.
(ii) Application of papaya paste followed by warm water wash after 15 minutes and application of coconut oil after 45 minutes will help a lot in removing the pimples and their residual marks from the face. Apart from that, the face will look moister and get a youthful sheen.
(iii) Rubbing the face with the peel of an orange also shows good results.
(iv) One more method of combating pimples is to wash the face with buttermilk at least twice a day.
(v) Make a paste of 10 grams of flour of chickpea and 10 grams of turmeric in curds. Apply this paste on the face using massaging techniques. This method provides relief within seven days of continuous application.
(vi) A paste of Symplocos racemosa, coriander and Acorus calamus also promises results within seven days. This is one of the best acne treatments.
(vii) Extract the milk of the sharp thorns of the cotton tree, Bombax malabarica. Apply this milk on the pimples directly and wash after it has dried. Continue this process for three days to get results.
(viii) Take powders of roasted mustard seeds, orange peels and Buchanania latifolia in equal proportions. Grind them into a very fine constitution. This mixture is applied to the face.
(ix) Make a paste of nutmeg and red sandalwood. Apply this on the face to reduce pimples.
(x) Prepare a mixture of lemon, coffee pods or java beans and extract of the Indian basil and dry it in the sun. It will become more viscous when it is dried. Apply it on the face in this concentrated form. This is a sure method of reducing pimples. T
(xi) A very simple remedy is to put the roots of the Azadirachtha indica in water and apply this concoction on the pimples. This method also gives fast relief from pimples.
(xii) Make a paste of red lentils with milk, camphor and ghee. Apply this mixture on the face. This will not only reduce the pimples, but also take care of the marks that can remain when the pimples are gone.
(xiii) Make a paste of lemon juice, milk and seeds of fennel flower in very fine powder form. Apply this paste on the face at night when retiring to bed. In the morning, wash the face with lukewarm water. This method is a quick way to eradicate pimples and can be used if you have to go to a party or a function.
(xiv) Apply a paste of fine powder of dried orange peel in rose water. This will not only remove the pimples quickly but also improve the texture of the skin in no time.
(xv) Mix a cup of milk with a cup of lemon juice. This acne remedy is helpful in acne cure.
(xvi) Add a spoonful of salt in a bowl of hot water. Apply this with a rough towel on the face like sponging the face. This is a mildly painful process as the salt will create a tingling sensation with the open areas of the pimples. However, you will obtain sure results in ten days.
(xvii) The above techniques can be done at home itself. But if some of these methods do not bring the required results, or if there are unexpected results, then medical attention is required. Unexpected results will mean the problem is not simple acne, but some other more serious underlying problem.

Send in your questions on Ayurveda to bawarchieditor@sify.com now! And don’t forget to include `Ayurveda FAQ` in the subject line.