Ayurveda Q&A: Home remedies for hair loss

Dr Gowthaman, Founder and Medical Director, rVita Ayurveda and Yoga Centers and www.rvita.com, answers readers’ questions on Ayurveda. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Tuesday.

This week’s answers:

Dear Sir,

My eyes becomes dry quickly, I have to use lubricated eye drops couple of times. It makes hard to work, I constantly work with computers due to dryness I can not concentrate to work sometimes.

Also I have puffiness under my eyes.

I weigh about 53 kg. My age is 34 years.

I drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of water everyday, is that enough? should
there be different water intake based season like summer or winter?

Please suggest remedy.

Thank you.
vipul parekh

Hi Vipul,

Please improve your water intake to 3 liters. Once a hour remove your eyes from computer and try to focus a distant object. Ayurveda recommends a special therapy for dry eyes. Netra/ Akshi Tarpana or Netra Basti: Eyes are the most delicate organ in the body and are also the most useful parts; then how can Ayurveda forget for care of these organs. Ayurveda indicated special care for eyes under “Netra/ Akshi Tarpana”. Here “Netra/ Akshi” stands for eyes and “Tarpana” for the nourishment. In this procedure also Basti Puta is prepared around the eyes so this procedure is also called as the “Netra Basti”.

Procedure:

Before making a Basti Puta around the eyes gentle facial massage followed by steam is given so that all the channels associated with the eyes open up and we get much more enhanced results.

Then Basti Puta is prepared around the eyes as shown in the image with black gram dough.

After ensuring a leakage proof Basti Puta; lukewarm medicated ghee or oil is poured in the eyes. Be cautious temperature of Ghee/ oil should not be high otherwise patient might loss his eyes.

Luke warm ghee/ oil have better penetrating power and nourish the eye tissues deeply. Low temperature ghee will do nothing and a high temperature could have very drastic consequences so special attention should be given to this aspect.

Medicated Ghee should be recycled four to five times (about 20 – 25 minutes) after heating so that the oil inside the puta remains Luke warm.

Patient should blink his eyes frequently and should make upwards, downwards and side to side movements of cornea with out moving eye brows.After completion of procedure facial massage special around nose and eyes should be given followed by Ayurveda herbal steam.

Indications:

Dry Eyes
Stress and strain in eyes
Irritation in eyes,
Fatigue
Frequently changing no. of glasses
Decreasing vision

Dear sir,

I am losing hair for past few months,I tried English medicines but no use they are saying it an androgenic allopecia. I have an grey hair from childhood  onwards and i stopped dying it from few months because of hair loss.

So,please can u suggest an treatment for that and grey hair.

Ashok Pothina

Hi Ashok,

In my experience, Vitamin D deficiency and reduced thyroid functions lead to sudden alopecia. Please check these two parameters.

Classification of Hair (Ayurveda)

Ayurveda has classified the hair type according to the three basic body types—vata, pitta and kapha. According to Ayurveda, people falling under any of these body types have different hair features as per their doshas. Let us discuss the hair properties of people with respect to vata, pitta and kapha constitutions.

Hair of People with Vata Constitution

The hair of people with predominantly vata type of constitution is generally dark, coarse, wiry, inky, and frizzy. Such type of hair gets tangled easily and is prone to be dull with split ends. Such hair also has the possibility of dandruff infection.

Hair of People with Pitta Constitution

The hair of people with predominantly pitta type of constitution is generally brown, blonde, light, fine and silky. People with pitta constitution face problems like premature graying of hair and premature baldness. Such hair with a dominance of pitta tends to become oily particularly in hot and dry weather. This situation also leads to the dullness of hair.

Hair of People with Kapha Constitution

The hair of people with predominantly kapha type of constitution are generally dark or light, thick, heavy, wavy, and slightly oily. The hair of people with kapha constitution is lustrous.

Causes of Hair Loss

Hair is nourished by the nutrient plasma, which is produced by the metabolic processing of the food we consume. The healthy nutrient plasma is responsible for the nourishment of the hair. According to Ayurveda, excess of pitta dosha (heat) in the body is the chief cause of hair problems. There are various other reasons for hair loss as mentioned below:

Hormonal imbalance in men and women is an important cause of hair loss. In men, a high concentration of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in hair follicles causes hair fall. In women, hormonal imbalances both during pregnancy and after delivery cause hair fall.

High amount of sebum in the scalp clogs the pores of the scalp and prevents nutrients from reaching the hair follicle, resulting in hair loss.

Inadequate nutrition or unhealthy diet also causes hair fall.

Stress, worry, lack of sleep, and anxiety too cause hair fall.

Long-standing diseases like typhoid, viral infections, anaemia, surgery, etc. cause general debility which leads to hair fall.

Some medicines like birth-control pills, anti-depressants, etc., including those used for gout, during chemotherapy against cancer, etc. cause hair fall.

Diseases like lupus and diabetes also cause hair fall.

Tying hair tightly pulls the hair from the follicles and cause traction alopecia.

Heredity is also responsible for hair fall.

Dandruff or fungal infection of scalp causes hair fall.

Accumulation of dirt on scalp causes blocking of pores and weakens hair roots. This leads to hair fall.

Hair Loss Remedies

Hair loss, in general, can be stopped or reversed at home by taking some simple steps. However, in case of chronic alopecia, expert guidance is required

Always use a natural shampoo or soap (without too many chemicals) to clean the hair.

Oiling and massaging of the scalp is highly beneficial in preventing hair loss. Use coconut oil or mustard oil at least three times in a week. Certain medicated oils like Mahabhringraj oil, Amla oil, and Arnica oil are also very useful.

Ensure regular bowel movement everyday. In case of constipation, a mild natural laxative may be taken. One teaspoonful of Triphala powder can be taken at bedtime with warm water.

Rub your scalp vigourously after washing the hair. It increases the blood circulation and activates the sebaceous glands.

A paste of licorice made by grinding it in milk can be applied in the bald patches. It induces hair growth. A paste of the seeds of lemon and black pepper may also be applied on the bald patches.

Consume raw vegetables, fresh fruits, salads, and green leafy vegetables regularly.

Use relaxing techniques such as yoga, pranayama, etc. to overcome stress, anxiety and sleeplessness.

Avoid hairstyles which pull the hair and consequently damage it.

Do’s:

High protein diet like milk, buttermilk, soya bean, cheese, ghee, butter should be taken. Seeds, nuts and grains should also be taken on a regular basis. Seasonal fruits and vegetables should be consumed in sufficient amounts. Sprouts made from Moong or Chana dal are also recommended. In addition, taking food items that cool the body and living in a cool climate (especially in the summer) is very beneficial.

Dont’s

One should avoid pitta-aggravating diet such as fried, spicy and sour foods. Excess use of yogurt, pickles, tea, coffee, alcohol and non-vegetarian foods also increases pitta. Smoking should be avoided. White flour/white sugar products should be avoided. Junk foods, fast foods, or foods that contain artificial colours, flavours and preservatives should not be consumed regularly.

Hello ,

I need to know abt the psoriasis treatment in Ayurveda.
Please suggest…

Waiting for reply…

Girish

Hi Girish,

According to Ayurveda, Psoriasis is due to imbalance of two doshas – Vata (Air) and Pitta (Fire). Vata and Pitta doshas manifest in the skin and cause accumulation of toxins. These toxins accumulate in deep tissues like rasa (nutrient plasma), rakta (blood), mansa (muscles), and lasika (lymphatic). These toxins cause contamination of deeper tissues, leading to Psoriasis.

Purification of blood and tissues is the primary aim of Ayurvedic treatment in cases of Psoriasis. Toxins are cleansed from the body and the digestion restored to prevent further accumulation. Nourishing herbs are then administered to strengthen and tone the tissues to promote complete healing of the skin.

Psoriasis is believed to occur due to vitiation of all the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) in varying degree, but predominantly Vata and Kapha according to the Ayurvedic concept.

The predominance of vatha causes pain, dryness and scaling of skin. Pitha vitiation leads to burning sensation, redness, inflammation etc and that of kapha causes rashes, itching, discharge, thickening of skin etc. From these signs and symptoms, the doshic involvement is analyzed carefully in each patient, which is of utmost importance in the management of this disease.

Irregular food habits, consumption of foodstuffs that are advised not to be eaten together (incompatible foods like dairy products with fish), excessive intake of yogurt, paneer, black gram, seafood, sour and salted items etc can activate the pathogenesis. The produced toxins accumulate in deep tissues like rasa (nutrient plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscles), and laseeka (lymphatic). These toxins cause contamination of deeper tissues, leading to Psoriasis. Alcohol and tobacco consumption will act as a catalyst here. Ayurveda also emphasizes on the effect of stress in the pathogenesis of Psoriasis.

The vitiated doshas affect the skin and blood tissues. They also influence water element of the affected region on skin. Thus the skin which is influenced by affected doshas becomes discolored (white or copper colored), scaly and thin.

our treatment primarily focuses on blood purification and balancing the vitiated Doshas. Management of Psoriasis comprises of:

Shodhana chikitsa (Detoxification) through Panchakarma therapies,
Shamana chikitsa through administration of internal medication and external applications
Rasayana chikitsa (immunomodulation)
Very strict Diet regime
Lifestyle changes
Stress management

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

Avoid consuming opposite foods.

Do not control natural urges like vomiting, urination, bowels, etc.

Do not take cold water bath immediately after a heavy workout, traveling, a long walk, etc.

Take care not to consume foods which cause indigestion.

Absolutely do not eat too much of salty, sour or acidic foods.

Avoid sleeping in afternoons.

Say no to radish, sesame, jaggery (gur), curds, fish and other sour foods.

Some Home Remedies

Boil some soap nut (shikakai) in water and apply on the affected parts.

Cover a fresh thin banana leaf on the affected part.

Sesame seeds (til) are also used for the treatment of various skin diseases. Take 15-20 sesame seeds and soak in a glass of water. Keep it overnight and drink on empty stomach early in the morning.

Take 1-2 cup of bitter gourd juice on empty stomach in the morning. Continue this for 5-6 months. Patient may add a tablespoon of lime juice, if they find it difficult to digest the bitter taste.

DEAR SIR

I AM READING YOUR NOTES EVERYDAY AND I FIND VERY HELPFUL.
DAILY IN THE MORNING I GET RUNNING NOSE AND EXCESSIVE SNEEZING.

I STAY IN ABU DHABI.
PLEASE SUGGEST REMEDY

BIRENDRA ADHIKARY

Hi Birendra,

Just put one drop of Mustard oil in each of the nostrils and inhale, after few minutes you will see the secretions are coming out. spit it out. Do this for one week, this therapy is called shamana nasya helps to remove all unwanted toxins and blocks from Nose.

Milk 100 ml + water 200 ml + fresh Ginger 5 gm – Boil and reduce it 100 ml. Filter and take this as the first thing in empty stomach. This remedy is helpful in preventing all upper respiratory tract infections.

DEAR SIR,

MY GRANDDAUGHTER WHO IS JUST 2 1/2 YEARS OLD IS SUFFERING FROM ” ATOPIC DERMATITIS”

HER SKIN GETS TOTALLY DRY WITH WHITE FLAKES ALL OVER BODY WITH LOT OF ITCHING

AT PRESENT SHE IS GOING THROUGH ALLOPATHY WITH NO TANGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS OR CURE

THANKING YOU IN ANTICIPATION,

BB ANEJA

Hi Aneja,

Eczema or dermatitis, as it is sometimes called, is a group of skin conditions, which can affect all age groups. The severity of the disease can vary. There is usually a family history of allergy, such as asthma, eczema, and hay fever. General physical debility predisposes one to eczema by lowering the resistance of the individual. Climatic extremes such as heat, dampness and severe cold, and also, psychological stress, promote the development of eczema. Local factors for example dry skin, greasy skin, excessive sweating, and varicose veins predispose to eczema. The signs and symptoms of paama and vicharchika, that are described in ayurveda, may be correlated with eczema or dermatitis.

Different Types

Atopic eczema is the commonest form of eczema and is closely linked with asthma and cold symptoms. It can affect both children and adults, usually running in families. It is proposed that people with atopic eczema are sensitive to allergens in the environment, which are harmless to others. In atopic type, there is excessive reaction by the immune system producing inflamed, irritated and sore skin. One of the most common symptoms of atopic eczema is its itchiness (or pruritus), which can be almost unbearable. Other symptoms include overall dryness of the skin, redness, and inflammation. Constant scratching can also cause the skin to split, leaving it prone to infection. In infected eczema, the skin may crack and weep (‘wet’ eczema).

Allergic contact dermatitis develops when the body’s immune system reacts against a substance in contact with the skin. The allergic reaction often develops over a period through repeated contact with the substance. For example, an allergic reaction may occur to nickel, which is often found in earrings, belt buckles and jeans buttons. Reactions can also occur after contact with perfumes, detergents, chemicals, rubber, and such other substances.

Infantile seborrhoetic eczema, is a common condition affecting babies under one year old, the exact cause of which is unknown. It usually starts on the scalp or the nappy area and quickly spreads. Although this type of eczema looks unpleasant, it is not sore or itchy and does not cause the baby to feel uncomfortable or unwell. Normally this type of eczema will clear in just a few months, though the use of medicated creams and bath oils can help to speed this along.

Adult seborrhoetic eczema characteristically affects adults between the ages of 20 and 40. It is usually seen on the scalp as mild dandruff, but can spread to the face, ears, and chest. The skin becomes red, inflamed and starts to flake. The condition is believed to be caused by the yeast or fungus growth.

This disease usually is constitutional, though as we have seen, it is sometimes due to local influences. No matter where the eczema may appear, it must be remembered that the poisons eliminated through these skin manifestations are carried by the blood; therefore, eczema is really a blood or constitutional disease, so it must be treated as such. The ordinary methods of treating this trouble, with external applications alone, will be inefficient in most instances.

Such treatment simply heals the surface sores without removing the constitutional cause. One should realise that this is a constitutional difficulty, and should proceed with an Ayurvedic blood purifying process, commencing with snehana (literally, ‘to oleate’ or ‘to make smooth, with oily preparations), swedana (to induce sweating by application of heat) and panchakarma (cleansing procedures—vamana, virechana, vasti, siro-virechana, and andrakata mokshana).

Guidelines

There are a number of ways to manage eczema all of which begin with an effective skin care routine.

Use a mild soap or no soap on the eczema. Warm starch bath in winter and cold plain water in summer helps a lot. After the bath, blot yourself with a smooth towel and avoid rubbing. If there is dryness of skin, an oil, butter or ghee massage for about an hour before a bath, helps lubricate and soften the skin. Do not take baths too often. Add olive oil to the water. In addition, take quick showers with warm (not hot) water. Washing your body with cold or warm water will help preserve your natural oils. Our skin is supposed to be slightly acidic, and soap removes this very important acid mantle because it is alkaline. The slight acidity of the skin protects us from bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms.

Avoid extremes of climate. Moderate temperature, with fresh air and the mild sun are usually beneficial.

Stay away from wool clothes and blankets.

Try to keep away from excessive sweating. For example, do not wear too many clothes.

Take light diet. Avoid allergenic foodstuffs like excessive salt, tea, coffee, alcohol, milk, eggs, cheese, fish, sugar, hot spices, and food additives.
Avoid cutting of vegetables especially garlic, onion, tomatoes, and ladies finger. Also, avoid peeling of oranges. Be cautious about marking nut, cashew nut, mustards, radish etc., as these may cause contact dermatitis. The same is true with hair dies, kumkum, lipstick, face creams, nail polish and remover, eyebrow pencil, perfumes, depilatories, deodorants and perfumed hair oils.

The other common offending substances are—rubber footwear, spectacle frames, furs, artificial jewellery, and synthetic clothes. Avoid contact with fluffy toys, grass, flowers and chemicals. Wear rubber gloves when you do housework. Put a little cornstarch inside the gloves. Alternatively, try latex gloves lined with cotton.

Do not fatigue yourself, either physically or mentally. Learn to live within the limits of your mental and physical strength, knowing your inborn weaknesses. It is a chronic but not a serious disease and, therefore, do not get depressed. Avoid anger, resentment, and frustration. Rest to the affected part is recommended; bed rest becomes necessary in generalised eczemas.

Ayurvedic Remedies

Apply the juice of the tender leaves of Terminalia catapa (Jangali badam) over the affected parts.

The emulsion made from Karanja tel (oil extracted from Pongamia pinnata seeds) and lemon juice is a very useful application.

Prepare ointment by boiling together one part of til oil (sesame oil), 16 parts of milky juice of Calotropics gigantica (Madaara or Arka or Jilledu) and one part of turmeric. Apply it externally.

One can expect cure by internal usage of tender leaves of Tephrossia purpurea (Sarapunkha) in the form of expressed juice for a longer period.
Pancha Tikta Ghrita Guggul—2 teaspoonfuls mixed in warm milk on empty stomach is an effective remedy for eczema.

Kadirarista, in the dose of 20 ml mixed with equal quantity of water, should be taken twice a day after meals.

Panchanimbaadi choornam half to one teaspoonful twice daily after meals, gives good results.

Mahaamanjistaadi kaada, Saaribaadyarishta, Gandhaka rasaayana are some of the specific medicines that are used internally. Externally, Mahaa-marichyaadi taila, Guduchyaadi tailam, are advised.

Dear Sir,

I am suffering from skin disease named lichen Planus, due to which I have red spots on almost all body, but more on legs and back. There is etching, which results into bloody tinny spots.

Please suggest medicine for the same.

Regards,
Gaurav Kaushik

Hi Gaurav,

Some of the medicines usually used for the treatment of lichen planus are:

Arogya Vardhini, Gandhak Rasayan, Nimba-Gandhak, Swayambhu Guggulu, Sukshma Triphala, Saarivadyasava, Mahamanjishthadi Qadha,and Khadirarishta. Single herbal medicines used for this disease are: Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Chirayta (Swertia chirata),Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Khadeer (Acacia catechu) and Vacha (Acorus calamus). These medicines have the unique property of acting on the skin and blood tissue, and also bring about the desired immunomodulation.

Medicines used for local application are: Shatadhout ghruta, honey, Neem-Karanj oil, Shodhan oil, Ropan oil, Chandan oil, Marichyadi oil and Bakuchi oil. Selection of the appropriate medicine is made according to the predominance of symptoms and the location of the lesions. Some physicians advocate cleansing of the body for the purpose of detoxification. This is advisable if the lesions are widespread or do not respond to standard oral medicines. Induced emesis, induced purgation, and periodical blood-letting are some of the procedures adopted for this purpose.

Dear Sir,

I am Paul, Male, Age 33. I am suffering from lichen planus on skin from one weak. One of my friends suggested – Pancha Tikta Ghrita Guggulu i don’t know about Ayurvedic medicines. Can i use this, if not please suggest me a medicine & also tell me about the Diet

I will be waiting for your feedback

Thanks and regards
Paul

Hi Paul,

Ayurveda considers digestion to be the primary factor in the pathology of disease. In the case of psoriasis, a compromised digestive system leads to an increase of pitta dosha into rasa dhatu. Pitta dosha is an ayurvedic principle of physiology representing the energy of transformation in the body. Rasa dhatu is the first tissue created from the process of digestion and is akin to plasma, serum, white blood cells and the lymphatic system.

Lichen Planus is caused by vitiation of Vata and Kapha dosha. The vitiated doshas affect the skin and blood tissues. They also influence water element of the affected region on skin. Thus the skin which is influenced by affected doshas becomes discolored (Violet ), scaly and thin.
with new mature skin cells. According to ayurveda principles the vitiated vata dries the water element of skin and also initiate rapid growth of skin tissue. The vitiated Kapha dosha causes itching on the affected skin. The blood which is affected by vata and kapha adversely influences healing process

In treating lichen planus, ayurveda recommends a comprehensive treatment strategy that involves strengthening your digestion and detoxifying and eliminating toxins. Addressing your diet, and not only how you eat, but also when and what, is important. Herbal formulas support digestion and aid in the detoxifying process.

Ayurvedic treatment of lichen planus aims to rid the body of accumulated toxins. Ayurveda’s primary purification and detoxification method is a process known as panchakarma, which uses a combination of therapies to cleanse the body and balance the doshas. Panchakarma may include therapeutic vomiting, purgation, enema therapy and nasal cleansing, as well as the use of medicated oils and steam baths. After the detoxification process, patients undergo a period of rest that may involve a special diet

Hello Doctor,

My mother (age=64Yrs) is suffering from geometrical tongue disease quite for few months. It partially cures but re-appears and not able to cure in spite of allopathic medication so far. Kindly suggest the remedy in from Ayurveda.

With best regards,
Banarsilal.Mathpati

Maha thikatakam gritam is a very good medicine. Apply this medicated ghee over the tongue and leave it for 15 minutes. then gargle with warm water. Do this twice daily for 60 days. It will help the tissue heal naturally.

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