Alopecia is the medical name for various types of hair loss. In Ayurveda baldness is termed as Khalitya and Alopecia Areata is known as Indralupta. Treatments in Ayurveda are increasingly popular as they are effective, safe and free from toxic effects. Ayurvedic herbal treatment focuses on treating the known causes, building immunity, treating the scalp condition and also reducing stress.
What is Alopecia Areata?
The condition in which small circular patches of baldness on the scalp and re-growth of hair later on in these patches is called as Alopecia Areata. Repeated hair fall and re-growth is noticed in a sequential pattern.
Causes of Alopecia
Genetic factors are the main cause for both types of baldness as the inherited genes are responsible for the occurrence of this disorder. According to the Ayurveda concepts the various internal and external factors cause the tridoshas to get vitiated resulting in hair loss. When there is vata and pitta aggravation at the hair roots it causes hair fall.
The causes of hair loss can also be due to external factors like
- Excessive sweating.
- Too much exposure to dust, sunlight, water and other pollutants.
- Irregular sleeping habits.
- Unhygienic way of living
- Anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia.
- Diseases and medication
- Consumption of Alcohol
- Tying the hair tightly for long periods.
- Injury or damage to the hair
- Wearing helmets, tight caps or turbans for long periods.
- Use of strong chemicals in hair.
- Dieting or poor diet.
- Bacterial or fungal infections of the scalp
Ayurvedic Treatment for hair loss
Ayurveda treatment of Alopecia involves the use of medicated oils for local application. Medicated oil prepared with the herbs such as Bhallatak, Bringaraja, Amalaki, Haritaki, Jaswand, and vibhitaki provides the most effective remedy for hair fall. Vatajatadi oil is also used successfully to combat Alopecia. Aloe Vera and Shatavati Tulsi and Gunja are also good arresting hair fall and promoting healthy hair growth.
Brahmi, Yastimadhu, Jatamansi, Shankhapushpi, and Vaclav are recommended to be taken orally for reducing stress.
Other medicines given to be used orally are Arogya Vardhini, Amalaki, Gandhak Rasayan, Laxadi Guggulu, and Guduchi.
Enemas using medicated milk namely Tikta-Ksheer Basti is recommended for those suffering from severe hair loss.
Ayurveda aims to treat hair loss with medicines for taking orally for strengthening the bones and related tissues. Asthishrunkhla, Pancha Tikta Ghruta, Mahatikta Ghruta, Laxa, Praval Panchamruta, and are prescribed for enhancing bone strength. Increased intake of milk and black gram are also recommended.
Ayurveda recommends the use leech therapy on the bald areas before the application of medications in some cases.
Ayurveda therapy also involves the use of medicated oils such as Anu Oil or Panchendriya Vardhan Oil in a procedure known as ‘Pratimarsha Nasya’ to prevent premature baldness.
Herbs used in shampoos for washing the hair
Reeta, commonly known as soap nut and shikakai are best known for their properties of gentle cleaning without damaging the hair or the scalp. Gooseberry, namely Amla is another herb used in cleaning hair which also lends darkness and gloss to the hair.