Ayurveda Q&A: Home remedies for premature greying

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. i am 21 yrs old. i have premature greying in my hairs. would like to know can it be treated? can the grey hairs be converted back to black?
Priyanka
Yes, It can be treated with Ayurveda therapies and medicines.

Basically Ayurveda calls it ‘Kalithya’ – Premature grey or whitening of black hairs. This condition is due to vitiation of pitta dosha. Premature graying is caused by emotional disturbances, anger and over physical exertion .The hair color changes according to the vitiation of dosha.Hair color is produced by tiny hair pigment cells within our hair follicles called melanocytes. As we age, the activity of these melanocytes gradually declines until they stop making pigment. New hairs grown in without pigment, resulting in gray hair.

Causes

Inadequate nutrition (deficiency of vitamin B, iron, copper and iodine in daily diet), Hereditary, Stress, Unhealthy scalp, Scalp which is not hygienically maintained, Using harsh shampoo, soaps and other hair styling accessories, Blow drying etc

Following are the common underlying causes for this condition.

a. Thyroid disorders, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism have been linked with premature gray hair.

b. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. It can be due to a diet low in vitamin B12, which is found mainly in meat, eggs, and milk. It can also occur if the stomach can’t absorb vitamin B12, due to surgery involving the stomach or small intestine (such as gastric bypass surgery), diseases that affect the small intestine etc.

c. Vitiligo. A condition in which your skin loses melanocytes, resulting in very light patches of skin and possibly premature gray hair

d. Early menopause

e. Smoking. Cigarette smoking has been linked to premature gray hair.

The following home remedies are very effective:

a. Six drops each of bay and lavender essential oils can be added to four ounces of sesame oil or soybean or almond oil and massaged into the hair roots.
b. Herbs like Sage and Rosemary have been proved to be effective in treating premature graying. Jojoba oil being hypoallergenic promotes hair growth, hair coloring and regulates dandruff problems.
c. Aloe Vera helps in healing the scalp, balances the PH level of the scalp and cleans the pores. A mixture of Aloe Vera gel with wheat germ oil and coconut milk promotes hair growth and hair color.
d. Amla or the Indian gooseberry is an excellent tonic for premature graying of hair and preventing hair loss. Cut a few Amla fruits into pieces, dry it in shade and boil in coconut oil until the solid matter is well cooked and appears dark in color. This oil when massaged into the scalp every day is the best medicine for premature graying of hair.
e. Even the water in which a few dried pieces of Amla are soaked overnight can be used for rinsing hair. This is very nourishing and helps prevent premature graying. Also massaging Amla juice, mixed with almond oil and few drops of lime juice every night is found to be beneficial in treating premature graying of hair.
f. Adding curry leaves to one’s regular diet has proven to be beneficial in treating premature graying of hair, as the curry leaves add strength and vitality to hair. Curry leaves can also be boiled in coconut oil and applied regularly for healthy hair.
g. Finally, Henna, the traditional herb found in India is a good hair conditioner and is the best way to healthier hair. Apart from conditioning the hair, it protects the color and breakage of hair and gives back that natural shine to the hair.

2. what if the patient is hypertensive and diabetic patient
Sam
According to Ayurveda we don’t treat these conditions separately. We try to understand the cause behind the health problems and create a healing plan with Ayurveda, Yoga and diet.

Since both these problems are life style, stress based ones, I suggest you to visit a Ayurveda physician nearby and explain the complete medical history. Ayurveda’s 10 evaluation diagnostic techniques help the physician to understand and help you better.

As medicine, I recommend you to take Siva Gutika and Madhumeha Nasini Ras 1 tablet thrice daily 5 minutes before food and Mehanath (Extract of Andrographis panniculata) 2 tablets thrice daily after food helps for both conditions.

Herbal tea / Liquid extract of Adathoda vasica 50 ml thrice daily helps too. These medicines are very effective to improve the Diabetes and its complications and Hypertension

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

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