Dandruff is a common, non infectious skin disease of the scalp. It may be found even in face, ears, body folds, neck and front of the chest. It is caused due to faster shredding of the dead skin in the lesions. Thus the white dust gets seen on shoulders of the victim.
Causes for dandruff
The studies reveal that the chemical residues from cosmetics,
stress, anxiety,certain diseases such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, yeast overgrowth and tensions are the worsening factors of this complaint.
People with inherent dry skin also face this problem.
Dandruff is termed as Darunaka in Ayurveda. Most of the Ayurvedic texts refer this complaint under minor diseases (Kshudra Rogas).
Dandruff causes as per Ayurveda:
Excess intake of sour tasting foods leading to
Intake of cold water for long
Excess exposure to sunshine
Exposure to dust
Suppression of natural urges
Not washing hair regularly
Non application of oil to the scalp etc
Origin of disease
How dandruff is formed as per Ayurveda?
The dryness of the skin is contributed by Vata Dosha.
Excessive oily scalp also causes dandruff. Oiliness is caused by Kapha Dosha. Hence, dandruff has involvement of Kapha and Vata Dosha.
1. Kandu (Itching)
2. Keshachyuti (Hair fall)
3. Swaapa (Numbness)
4. Twak sputana (Cracking of the skin)
5. Daruna(Dryness followed with crack in the scalp)
6. Daha (Burning sensation)
7. Gaura (Heaviness) and
8. Toda (Pricking sensation) etc
If the cause lies on the scalp such as dry skin, then just hair oil application or local treatment will be sufficient to cure dandruff.
If the cause lies in underlying skin disease such as psoriasis, treatment for the causative disease will be required.
Ayurvedic treatments such as shirodhara, shirobasti helps not only to relieve dandruff and improve hair quality. They also help you to relieve stress and lack of sleep (which are also cause for dandruff).
Herbal hair oils
Internal medicines helpful in this complaint are-
Saptamrita loha – Contains Indian licorice and Triphala, useful in skin diseases
Bhringarajasava – an alcoholic Ayurvedic medicine. Improves immunity, skin complexion
Chandanasava – Improves immunity, relieves excessive oiliness
Narasimha Rasayana – Improves hair quality and scalp skin health. Especially useful when dandruff is caused due to dryness in the scalp.
Dandruff due to blood impurities
As per Ayurveda, most of the skin diseases are related to blood impurities / Dosha imbalance in blood. If that is the cause, then medicine and treatments to treat impurity, then treatment for blood and liver detox such as below mentioned medicines might be required.
Panchatiktaka kashaya – used in treatment of fever and burning sensation
Mahatiktaka kashaya – used in treatment of skin diseases of Pitta origin
Patolakaturinyadi kashaya – used in treating jaundice, anorexia, it is used for liver detox.
Dandruff due to psoriasis, eczema
If it is due to underlying diseases, then respective medicines for such diseases will be required.
Eczema: Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Home Remedies
Psoriasis – Ayurvedic Understanding And Treatment Modalities
Herbs for dandruff cure
Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba)
Neeli (Indigofera tinctoria)
Sandalwood – Chandana(Santalum album)
Licorice – Yashtimadhu
Hibiscus – Japa
Dhattura (Dhattura alba)
Tulasi (Holy basil) etc
Wholesome diet and habits
Mango – Amra
Pomegranate – Dadima
Lemon – Matulunga (Citrus medica)
Ghee – Ghrita (Ghee)
Moringa – Shigru (Drumstick)
Shiro abhyanga(Application of oil to the scalp) etc
Food rich in Vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids help to keep the scalp in good health.
Food rich in Vitamin E –
Sunflower seed, almond, pine nuts, peanuts, spinach, taro root, flaxseed oil, soybean, pistachio.
Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers
Food rich in Omega 3 fatty acid:
Flax seeds, walnut, sardines, salmon, soybean, tofu, shrimp, Brussel sprout, cauliflower, winter squash, fish oil, egg oil, krill oil, chia seeds, Canola oil, camellia.
Unwholesome diet and habits
Viruddhahara – wrong food combinations
Sheetala jalapana (Excess intake of cold water)
Madyapana (Alcohol intake)
Vegadharana (Suppression of the natural urges)
Atapa sevana (Exposure to strong sunlight) – Wear a hat while going under Sun.
Ayurvedic home remedies
Easy Ayurveda Home remedies for Dandruff:
1. Equal quantity of Hibiscus flower, fresh amla (gooseberry) and leaves of holy basil (tulasi) are taken and mixed with 4 times of gingelly oil (Sesame oil) and 8 times of coconut water. This is cooked till the complete evaporation of water content. This is filtered and stored. This oil is used for the application on the scalp. It contributes good benefits in dandruff.
2. 10 gram of borax (dehydrated) is taken and mixed well with 60 ml of curd. This is applied to the scalp. (Instead of curd, lemon juice can also be used.) Regular application of this for 70-10 days relieves the complaint of dandruff.
3. If you are from hot climate place, then regular application of coconut oil, 20 minutes before bath, with gentle scalp massage benefits you. Still better, put a teaspoon of neem powder or 5 – 10 neem leaves or 5 – 10 curry leaves to the coconut oil, heat it in mild fire for 5 minutes and filter it. Use this as hair oil for improved benefits.
4. Soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek in water. Next day, grind it. Apply this slimy paste to scalp. Leave it for 15 – 30 minutes, wash hair. This acts as a natural hair conditioner and you will be stunned to see the improved hair shine.
5. Make a paste of fenugreek powder and amla powder with water or curds. Apply this paste to scalp, leave it for 10 minutes, wash hair.
6. This one is my favourite. You might have heard of it many times and already got bored – soak five raisins and five almonds in water at night. next day morning, eat them.
Dandruff is not a life threatening illness. But repeated negligence will result in major kind of infective skin diseases. Regular application of oil to the scalp(Shiro abhyanga) and wholesome diet will help to prevent from dandruff.
Article by Dr MS Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar.