Tackling dandruff with Ayurveda

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Dandruff is a condition that is very commonly discussed amongst all age groups today. A recent survey found that working women and men in the 20-40 age group spend as much as 50-100 US $ a month to tackle this condition.

Dandruff is a skin disorder that affects the scalp. It is characterized by an itchy scalp with the falling of dry white flakes. It is clinically termed as Seborrheic dermatitis, where the sebaceous glands are affected and leads to excessive itching with a large amount of scales. It is one of the primary causes for hair fall and early baldness or patchy baldness.

Common causes

a. Hygiene
b. Stress and depression
c. Water and hard shampoo
d. Cold condition and very hot conditions
e. Excessive intake of salty, spicy, sour, non vegetarian foods and drinks

Home remedies for hairfall

Understanding dandruff

1. Understand the allergies. In most cases, allergic foods lead to dandruff. Reduce intake of milk, curd, butter, cheese, salted, spicy foods and drinks to prevent it
2. Diabetes is usually related to dandruff and an itchy scalp. Check for diabetes or maintain your blood sugar levels
3. Most Indians are unaware of food allergies. Many surveys show that people who are allergic to yeast, bread or baked foods, cheese, vinegar and alcoholic beverages are prone to dandruff. Avoiding such foods treats them physiologically
4. Check the water and shampoo used. Most of the times, these two create a false dandruff
5. Alcohol can cause dandruff
6. Reduced blood circulation can lead to sluggishness which in turn leads to dandruff. Gentle oil massages can help resolve this issue.
7. Stress and depression are directly connected to itching which in turn leads to excessive scale formation
8. Consult a physician to diagnose whether it is just dandruff or psoriasis as most of the times both are misunderstood

Ayurveda remedies for dandruff

Ayurveda texts recommend a mixture of sandalwood oil with fresh lemon juice as scalp massage followed by warm water wash. This helps to improve blood circulation and dead skin.

Ayurveda recommends a special therapy for dandruff – “Shirolepa” which means head pack. Simple head pack with fresh amla paste is very effective to reduce and prevent dandruff. This also helps improving hair growth.

Application of water in which fenugreek seeds have been soaked overnight helps reduce dandruff.

One of the most effective and highly practised home remedies is application of fresh Aloe Vera gel.

Many Chinese tribal practitioners recommend olive oil processed with fresh ginger before bath as a day-to-day practice for prevention and to improve hair growth.

Ayurveda medicines like Dhoor doora patradi coconut oil, Karkunthal, Eladi coconut oil etc are very effective to improve the scalp health. In chronic conditions medicines like Khadira Arishtam, Loha asavam, Chandana asavam, Gandhaka Rasayanam, Bakuchi capsules, Keshmani Capsules, Haridra Kanda Choornam etc are prescribed.

Ayurveda medicines and therapies with changes in the lifestyle and food habits can cure this problem permanently. The results may be slow but it is without any side effects and permanent. Instead of using chemical based products for symptomatic relief, better use natural home remedies for prevention and easy permanent cure.

Source: Dr Gowthaman, Medical Director, Dr Gowthaman’s Ayurveda Panchakarma Center, Chennai
Image: Getty Images