KESHA (in sanskrit) = Hair
Ayurvedic classics consider Kesha as an Upadhatu (secondary body tissues) and also as a Mala (waste product) of Asthi dhatu (bones). Kesha are the elements that grow on the scalp (mastaka). The definition for kesha means the one that is sheltering over the head. Kesha is the word derived from root word ‘ke’ means (Mastaka) – head with ‘shi’ to shete – (sleep). In Sanskrit – “Kashate prakaashate iti kasha” – One which shines.
Kesha Vikara (Disorders):- a. Indralupta (hair loss in patches or alopecia), b. khalitya (scalp hair loss), c. ruhya (hair loss of entire body), d. paalitya (greying of hair) and e. Darunak (dandruf).
In Ayurvedic texts three terms are used to describe the symptom of hair loss, such as – indralupta (alopecia), khalitya (khalitya) and ruhya .
a. ALOPECIA: Indralupta :-According to Acharya Vagabhata, when hair falls suddenly and in patches it is known as indralupta or Alopecia. Pitta in the romakoopa (hair follicle) makes the hair fall at a small region by obstructing the vessels connecting Romakoopa and leads to indralupta. One more opinion is that indralupta affects the beard
b. HAIR LOSS: Khalitya :- khalitya is a long running process of hair fall affecting the scalp. Khaalitya does not usually occur in healthy women. Raja (arthava / menstrual blood) takes out Doshas and hence no Srotorodha (obstruction of channels) takes place.
c. HAIR LOSS: Ruhya:- hair loss that affects the entire body.
d. PREMATURE GREYING OF HAIR: Paalitya :- People with Pitta prakruti tend to have thin and light coloured hair. These people tend to have more grey hair. Grey hair is very prominent in old people which is quite natural. But premature greying of hair needs to be taken under consideration and treated on time.
e. DANDRUFF: Daarunak:- The term dandruff generally refers to the condition of the skin where in shiny, silvery scales separate from the scalp and collect amidst the hair.
Om Vedic provides comprehensive consultation and effective herbal treatment for all the above hair disorders with the help of
1. Internal herbal medications
2. Vitiated, dosha specific, customised external herbal applications of herbal oils , herbal shampoos and conditioners, herbal hair mask.
3. External therapies like Shirolepam, Herbal Henna hair pack, Takradhara, Shiro basti etc.
4. Proper Diet advice.
b. Khalitya: In Ayurveda hair fall is termed as Khalitya. Nowadays hair fall is quite common.
What causes hair loss according to Ayurveda? It is caused due to Pitta(Fire) and Vata(Air) dosha imbalance. Hair follicle (Romakoopa), contains Bhrajaka pitta. If this pitta that is present at the root of the hair increases with vata association it results in hair fall. Along with this if Kapha and rakta together block the follicles of the hair, fresh ones do not grow.
Other Causes:- Increased intake of fried food, sour, spicy, salty and fermented food. Intake of tea and coffee aggravates the pitta dosha (fire) in the body. Dieting and poor nutrition. Low digestive power (poor digestive fire/Agni), iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, excessive intake of birth control pills, steroids. Chemotherapy. Not applying hair oil on a regular basis. Regular or improper use of dyes, gels and hair sprays, use of harmful shampoos, frequent use of a blow dryer. Improper washing, drying, and combing of hair. Factors like excessive anger and stress are also responsible Excessive consumption of alcohol and meat also disturbs the normal pitta. Hormonal imbalance especially of testosterone, thyroid hormones are other factors. People leading either a stressful or sedentary lifestyle, along with poor dietary habits result in dosha imbalance which directly reflects in loss of hair. Hereditary and family history of hair loss, and underlying medical conditions like thyroid issues, anaemia, dandruff, hormonal imbalance also lead to hair loss. In women hair loss is quite common during menopause.
e. Dandruff (Darunaka):- The stubborn white flakes from the hair can cause social or self-esteem problems. You can say goodbye to dandruff with the help of Ayurveda.
The term dandruff generally refers to the condition of the skin where in shiny, silvery scales separate from the scalp and collect amidst the hair. The condition can become troublesome when the skin gets infected. Dandruff is the peeling of dead skin cells from the scalp. A small amount of flaking is normal but in some people, however, unusually large amount of flaking either chronically or as a result of certain internal / external triggers. The main causes of dandruff are impairment of general health, development of a toxic condition mainly due to taking of wrong foods, constipation, and a low vitality due to infectious diseases. Other factors contributing to this disorder are emotional tension, harsh shampoos, and exposure to cold, and general exhaustion.
Success Story: Female / 38 years old History of dandruff and dry skin past 5 years. After detailed consultation and accessing the prakriti of the person, she was prescribed ayurvedic herbal medicines to cleanse the blood and at the same time to prevent the dryness of the skin. Oils (dhurdhoorpatradi Coconut oil/durvadi kerathailam/ Asoria (AVP proprietary oil) were given to use thrice a week. Also shirolepam was advised for 7 sessions.
Diet and lifestyle changes were advised. Within A WEEK there was remarkable improvement in the reduction of dry scales on the scalp, less itching and skin was less dry now. She was asked to continue the medicines and the oils, after a month all symptoms were gone, her hair was more smooth and no more dandruff.
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Treatment: How does Ayurveda help with various hair issues?
Treatment ranges from oral medication like decoctions,concoctions to external application of herbal paste (Shirolepam), hair oils, panchkarma (Detox procedure),etc. Some of the herbs that have proven to be effective in such conditions are:- Bhringraj, Amla, Brahmi, Gunja, Yashtimadhu, Aloe vera, Jatmansi, Shatavari, Tulasi, etc.
•Rasayanas(Rejuvenating medicines) like Chyawanprash, Markkava Rasayanam etc helps to provide nourishment to the tissues(Dhatu posharn)
•Application of ayurvedic formulated oils/powders/packs externally,
•Panchakarma for detoxification since toxin also affects the cells of the hair follicles
•Shiro Abhyanga warm oil scalp massage to prevent dry scalp and increasing blood circulation to the scalp. It not only helps in preventing hair fall but also in re-growth.
•Shirodhara to prevent stress and strengthen the nervous system
•Shirolepam a herbal paste application using Amalaki, Yastimadhu etc.
•Nasyam a nasal oil administration to promote blood circulation
Diet & Life Style Management
•Healthy lifestyle is extremely necessary to control hair fall.
•Good-quality sleep to help the natural process of rejuvenation.
•Daily exercise, and practice yoga asanas and breathing exercises (pranayama) to relieve mental and physical stress.
•Use gentle, natural shampoos and hair products that do not contain harmful chemicals.
•Eating healthy & balanced diet.
Following formulations are helpful in arresting the thinning of hair
– Blood cleansers like Khadirarishtam or sarivadyasvam
Following preparations are helpful for the promotion of hair growth
• Chemparutyadi keram/taila
• Dhurdhoorapatradi oil
• Neelibringadi oil
• Bhringamalakadi oil
Application of specially customised (by Om Vedic’s Ayurevdic Consultant) herbal paste (shirolepam for minimum 7 days).
Shirolepam (Herbal Hair Pack)
Shirolepam (Thalam) is a special kind of therapy for the scalp, and it is extremely useful in the treatment of disorders related to the scalp and skin. ‘Shiro’ means head and ‘Lepam’ means application of herbal paste. This therapy is also considered as a rejuvenation therapy for the scalp and hair, as it nourishes hair follicles, which will reduce hair fall and avoid premature greying of hair.
Shirolepam Therapy involves soothing oil massage to head, neck and shoulder. Then a thick layer of specially prepared herbal paste made of various herbs and herbal powders is applied over the scalp and retained for 45 minutes.
Benefits of Shirolepam:
- Prevents hairfall
- Promotes stronger and healthier hair growth
- Controls dandruff
- Prevents premature greying of hair
- It nourishes the scalp and the head
- Useful for skin diseases
- Relieves tension and fatigue
- Reduces mental stress
- Helps to improve concentration
- It promotes undisturbed sleep
Shirolepam is also beneficial to reduce medical conditions such as migraines, insomnia, hypertension and dry vision syndrome.
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