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Ayurveda > Kesh Chikitsa

By Dr. Satish Kulkarni

Treatment for Hair Loss

Ms. Amanda Keller is twenty-five years old. She came to me a month ago with a complaint of hair loss. She said that she had been experiencing hair loss for no apparent reason since the past one year. She tried a variety of different shampoos and conditioners and also sought advice from a beautician over a considerable period of time. Her family doctor also advised her blood tests. Overall the blood report was normal. She tried some lotions suggested by her doctor too, but all in vain.

After a short discussion, we unanimously decided to opt for an ayurvedic regime for this problem. I first explained to Amanda the ayurvedic anatomy and physiology behind the hair cycle. Hair is the mala (metabolic end product) of asthi (bones) and majja dhatu (bone marrow and nervous tissue.) The root of hair is the skin, which is an updhatu (sub tissue) of the rakta dhatu (blood and blood products.) Therefore, in order to have good skin and hair, we need to improve the functioning of the rakta, asthi and majja dhatu.

We then discussed dietary changes that Amanda needs to make. I advised that Amanda should start her day with a good breakfast containing one boiled egg in the morning. This will add nutritional value to her breakfast. I also advised her to include curd or buttermilk in her meals since these are both natural sources of B complex. I suggested eating fish too since it is a good source of essential nutrients which she needs at this age. I prescribed eating any available seasonal fruit like banana, apple, guava, orange, etc., every day. Fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals. Green salad is also an essential element of meals. It helps in two ways-- it provides vitamins and minerals and in addition it keeps the digestive tract clean. Clean bowels are a vital factor that contributes to our health. In addition, I strongly recommended taking a cup of warm milk at bedtime since it is a good source of calcium. Thus, we made these changes to her diet, which I felt did not previously provide enough nourishment for the asthi and majja dhatu.

We then talked about psychological elements contributing to hair loss. Amanda is doing her Ph.D. and she mentioned that the past semester had been very hectic and strenuous for her. Stress and worry lead to unhealthy hair, so to counter these, I suggested some yogasanas (yoga exercises) and general body conditioning exercises. Furthermore, aggressive or temperamental behaviour, sleepless nights, too much exposure to the sun, etc., worsen the situation. Amanda said that she would try to avoid these.

Along with a good wholesome diet with adequate calcium, iron and B complex, appropriate use of good soaps and shampoos can help to keep hair clean and healthy. Hair looses natural oils and luster if soaps and shampoos are strong. I recommended a soap containing shikakai to wash hair. For the body, I suggested using a mixture of chandan (sandalwood), haladi (tamarind) and milk. This adds to the natural glow of the skin.

Our skin and hair are a mirror of the rasa (life sap) and rakta (blood) dhatu. Glowing skin and smooth, lustrous, dandruff free hair are a result of good quality of rasa and rakta. No amount of shampooing, hair conditioning in beauty parlors, bleaching or facial massage can make the skin and hair healthy. Applying different oils to hair and using makeup can hide ill health for the time being but they will not go to the root of the problem. Conversely, healthy skin and hair will always look attractive even without makeup. Amanda listened to my advice carefully and said that she would follow the prescriptions. I have asked her to schedule a follow-up visit after a month. I expect to see good results of ayurvedic treatment so that Amanda will regain healthy hair.

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Ayurvedic Milestones
Ayurvedic Thought
 Vaat, Pitta, Kafa, Dosh
 Dhatu, Mala, Fire
Pathology - Ama
 Ashtang Ayurved
 Agad Tantra
 Kaumar Bhrutya Tantra
 Shalya Tantra
 Shalakya tantra

Actual Case Notes
 Asthmatic Bronchitis
 Bleeding per anum
 Hair Loss
 Pregnancy Care
 Senile Debility
 Solution To Baldness
 Vaat Related Fever

Academic References
Ayurvedic Herbs


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