Modern-day hair problems are not uncommon. Hair issues like alopecia, pattern baldness, dandruff, hair fall, premature greying of hair are prevalent specially in the urban population of India. Studies show that these issues can have many major reasons such as nutritional deficiencies, stress and depression (causing hormonal imbalance), climatic change, pollution, water contamination and genetics.
Ayurveda is thousands of years old science of natural healing but it contains mention of timeless herbs for all kinds of health issues that we are facing in the modern world. Today I will give you a list of top 5 Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth and health that you can start using now to get rid of your hair problems.
1. Bhringraj (Eclipta Prostrata / Eclipta Alba)
Bhringraj also known as False Daisy is the best Ayurvedic herb for hair and is used in almost all Ayurvedic hair growth remedies and preparations you can find. The word bhringraj itself comes from the Sanskrit words ‘bhring’ which means head and ‘raj’ meaning king. It is considered a miracle worker when it comes to issues related to hair like premature grey hair, hair loss, dandruff, dryness of scalp, baldness, and alopecia. It fulfils Vitamin B12 and Keratin deficiency in the body which is the main reason for hair problems especially hair fall and premature greying. It strengthens the hair roots, stimulates growth and prevents the development of split ends.
How to use?
The leaves of bhringraj plant are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin E, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Iron, Polypeptides, Steroids Calcium and Protein and are used to make bhringraj oil. It is easily available these days by many natural cosmetic companies. For deriving the full benefit of this herb, along with using the bhringraj oil for massaging your hair, it is best to consume its leaf juice but if you cannot find it easily, you can consume it in powder form as well.
My personal favourite bhringraj oil that I use myself is called Neelibringadi Oil. It contains some other therapeutic herbs along with Bhringraj. Click on the link to purchase it.
2. Gudhal Ka Phool (Hibiscus Flower For Hair)
Gudhal Ka Phool or Hibiscus Flower is an edible bright red coloured flower found mostly in the northern regions of India. It is a great supplement for hair as well as skin. These flowers are rich in amino acids which help build a protein called keratin, which is vital for hair health. The hibiscus plant itself is known to contain many medicinal properties but the flower is seen to be more effective in hair problems:
- Regular application of coconut oil infused with hibiscus flower increases hair growth and cures hair fall, thinning and dandruff.
- Strengthens the root and brings out the darker colour in the hair. Prevents premature greying.
- Stimulates the dormant hair follicles and increases growth in bald patches.
- Treats split ends, dryness and hair breakage by keeping the hair hydrated
How to use?
You can find the recipe for making hibiscus hair oil here
3. Amla (Indian Gooseberry) For Hair
You must have heard about the good old Amla oil for hair that our grandmother used to make? The reason for the popularity of this oil is because it is packed with the goodness of Amla. Amla is considered a potent herb in Ayurveda and is one of the largest sources of antioxidants you can find. It is extremely beneficial for hair growth, hair loss, dandruff control and deals with many other hair and scalp related problems.
- Contains an abundance of Vitamin C, lack of which is considered one of the main reasons why hair becomes weak and break. It reduces hair breakage to a large extent.
- Stimulates the growth of new hair by stimulating the hair follicles and increasing blood circulation in the scalp. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of Amla promotes a healthy scalp and also reduces dandruff, redness and itchiness on the scalp.
- Amla oil helps maintain a good pH in the scalp and dissolves the collected dirt and oil in the roots.
- Reduces greying of hair by pacifying aggravated pitta. In Ayurvedic philosophy, an excess of pitta dosha in the system is considered the main reason for premature greying. Amla is cooling in nature. It helps in increasing the dark pigmentation of hair.
- Regular consumption of Amalaki Rasayan (an Ayurvedic formulation made from Amla and other ingredients) for a few months helps increase the growth and strength of hair along with giving hair new shine due to its high antioxidant content.
How to use?
Mixing Amla, Shikakai and Henna powder can literally replace your everyday shampoo and save your hair from harmful chemicals. You can see the full recipe of homemade shampoo here.
4. Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
Jatamansi is an Ayurvedic herb found in the eastern and central Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Tibet. It is also popularly known as Spikenard Muskroot in English and it belongs to the Valerianaceae family. Spikenard contains various medicinal properties like anti-depressant, anti-stress, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-hypertensive, carminative, heart tonic, neuroprotective and deodorant.
Jatamansi oil or Spikenard oil made from the rhizome of the plant infused with sesame oil is an excellent remedy for hair fall and premature hair whitening.
- Compounds found in Jatamansi rhizome boost hair growth and brings natural black colour to the hair. It calms the nerves and brain which helps in hair growth. It’s been scientifically proven that Nardostachys Jatamansi oil used topically increased hair growth by 30% in mice.
- Very useful for people suffering from premature greying. You can use Jatamansi powder mixed with henna to bring back more natural-looking hair colour.
How to use?
Try this remedy suggested by Acharya Nityanandam Shree: Mix Jatamansi powder with Henna and apply this paste on your hair. Keep for a few hours and wash it off. Alternatively, you can infuse the Jatamansi herb in coconut/sesame oil overnight. Apply on the hair roots the next day and feel the difference. Jatamansi oil usage is also known to completely eliminate dandruff and dry scalp.
5. Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus)
Nagarmotha or Nutgrass is a wild invasive plant belonging to the Cyperaceae family. It grows wild across Madhya Pradesh and along with pockets with watercourses in India. Nagarmotha is revered in Ayurveda for its many-fold health benefits like women health, memory enhancement, skin and hair care, fevers, nervous disorders, liver disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and many more.
- The oil of nutgrass extracted from the tuber of the plant is known for its hair strengthening and scalp rejuvenating properties.
- Nagarmotha prevents split ends and gives strength and stimulation to the hair roots. It works on sebaceous glands to promote new hair growth.
- It moisturises the scalp and prevents drying of the scalp.
- Removes dandruff, and dissolves the dirt and dust. It heals the damage of scalp.
How to use?
All you have to do is simply massage this oil (2-5 drops) into your scalp along with coconut oil. Leave it for 4-5 hours if possible and wash with a herbal shampoo. Repeat it twice or thrice a week to control hair fall
6. Brahmi Benefits For Hair
Brahmi or Bacopa Monnieri is an ayurvedic medicinal herb generally used for neurological and psychiatric disorders (manavikara). It is a creeping perennial commonly found in the marshy area of India, Srilanka, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and USA. Apart from being a brain tonic, it also has an effect on the digestive, nervous, muscular, circulatory and reproductive systems.
Brahmi is pitta balancing as well as kapha reducing. If we look at the qualities of Brahmi for care hair, it works mainly as a stress reliever. Here are some its qualities for hair
- Improves blood circulation in scalp rejuvenating the roots and making the hair stronger.
- Enhancing the majja dhatu (nervous tissue) and help relax stress, tension and anxiety. According to research, stress is one of the biggest factors for drastic hair loss, premature greying and baldness.
- Helps control dandruff, split ends, itchiness in the scalp. Promotes quick hair growth and increases volume. It is specifically considered great for hair growth in children.
- The use of Brahmi oil moisturises the hair giving them a smooth and shiny appearance. It also makes the hair darker in colour.
- Its cooling properties keeps the head cool and promotes sound sleep. Works as a brain tonic boosts memory and cognitive skills.
How to use?
Brahmi oil made from infusing Brahmi with coconut oil is easily available amazon. Just message on the head and leave it overnight. Wash it off the next day.
Another method to use it is to make a paste of Brahmi powder with coconut oil and apply on scalp. Message it for a few minutes and wash it off the next morning.
7. Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) For Hair
Mulethi also known as Yastimadhu, is a sweet-tasting Ayurvedic herb which is quite widely known for its hair growth-enhancing properties. In Ayurveda, it is used for treating Vata and Pitta disorders. The most common use of Mulethi is in case of a cold and sore throat. It majorly benefits Liver, stomach, intestines, brain, heart and blood vessels.
- Yashtimadhu has antibacterial and antioxidant qualities and hence protects against oxidative stress of pollution and harmful sun rays on skin and hair.
- Helps in the treatment of baldness, eczema and psoriasis.
- Hair pack prepared with mulethi powder and milk can help relieve dandruff problem. It also increases hair growth and enhances hair quality.
- Various herbal shampoos have Yashtimadhu as an ingredient for promoting hair growth. Since premature greying of hair and hair fall is caused by imbalances of Vata and Pitta doshas, mulethi balances these elements and helps in the said conditions too.
- On one hand, it increases hair growth but on the other hand, it can also be used to get rid of unwanted body hair especially facial hair growth that happens due to excessive testosterone levels in females.
8. Ratanjot For Hair (Alkanna Tinctoria)
Ratanjot or Alkanet is a plant that belongs to the borage family. The roots of alkanet give a deep ruby red colour hence used as a red dye used in tinctures and varnishes. Because of its colour, it is used in many cosmetic products like lipsticks, lip balms, lotions, ointments and it is also used as a food colouring agent. It is cultivated in the Himalayan region of India as well as Central, Southern European region and North America.
Ayurveda has shown uses of Ratanjot roots for many medicinal purposes like treating kidney stones, clearing up jaundice and liver diseases, treating intestinal worms, wounds, but Ratanjot is most famously known for its skin and hair care properties. Ratanjot conditions the hair and helps prevent premature greying. It also strengthens the roots and relieves from dandruff and dry hair, itchiness and scalp infections. It also relieves excessive hair loss.
How to use?
Take a cup of unrefined coconut oil, add 1/4 cup of unrefined castor oil, and finally add in 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds along with a tbsp of alkanet root to the oil. Leave it under the hot sun for 2 to 3 days. Once heated, you’ll notice that the oil has turned a bright red colour. Simply apply this oil, leave it on for an hour and wash. You’ll notice a visible change in a few weeks.
9. Kala Til (Black Sesame Seeds For Premature Greying)
Ayurveda recommends the use of Kala til / black sesame seeds for hair problems as they are one of the best sources of antioxidants ( sesamin, sesamolin, sesamol ) and contain high anti-ageing properties. They contain the highest levels of oil compared to the white, brown, red or tan variety. They are a good source of hair nourishing vitamins and minerals like copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B1, amino acids, selenium, and dietary fibre.
- Nourishes the kidneys and liver which in turn promote hair growth.
- It is especially useful for premature greying as it promotes melanocyte activity, which is the chemical that produces melanin; a pigment that gives skin and hair its colour. Regular consumption for 3 to 6 months can help stimulate the natural colour of hair.
- Stimulates blood circulation in scalp reducing problems like hair fall, dandruff and dry itchy scalp.
How to use?
Make a powder of black sesame seeds and mix it in equal parts with virgin coconut oil. Apply on scalp and massage for a few minutes. Wash off after an hour or so.
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