You must have known ashwagandha as an ancient herb that works wonders for your body. But are you aware of the myriad benefits it offers for your hair?
Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has been used for over thousands of years in Ayurveda as a medicinal herb. Besides, it’s a powerful tridosha hara herb that takes care of your complete hair health.
Let’s learn more about the wonder herb and its benefits in your hair care.
Does Ashwagandha Help With Hair Loss?
In Ayurvedic science, it is believed that every human body physiology is the collaboration of three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which exists in a unique ratio in each individual. Vitiation in the ratio of these tridoshas in your body can lead to different dosha-specific ailments, including scalp and hair related problems. To maintain a healthy body, mind, and soul, it is essential to maintain the equilibrium or ratio of these doshas, which govern your overall body and mind functioning.
Ashwagandha, which is one of the most powerful Ayurvedic herbs, balances all the three doshas in your body. It is especially a good pacifier of aggravated Kapha and Vata doshas, which in turn helps you stop the hair loss caused due to the imbalance of these doshas.
“Ashwagandha as a natural adaptogenic herb, helps in controlling chronic stress and hormonal imbalances, which are the key reasons behind ‘telogen effluvium’ hair loss in your body. Also, the herb benefits all Ayurvedic hair types,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
The word ‘ashwagandha’ is translated from Sanskrit as ‘ashwa’, meaning a ‘horse’ and ‘gandha’, meaning ‘fragrance’. And, the root of ashwagandha is reminiscent of a horse.
Benefits Of Ashwagandha For Hair
1. Relieves Your From Hair Loss
An increase in stress hormones such as cortisol affects the proper functioning of your hair follicles, eventually leading to hair loss. Ashwagandha can be an instant solution to manage the cortisol levels in your body and thus control follicle damage and hair loss. The herb has natural mood-boosting properties that minimize your hair loss by keeping your anxiety and stress at bay.
“Also, ashwagandha is best known for controlling postpartum hair fall caused by hormonal imbalances in women’’, says Dr. Zeel.
2. Strengthens Your Hair
Ashwagandha stimulates the production of DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), a natural hormone in your body that is an ultimate antioxidant. Thus, ashwagandha helps you combat free radicals from your scalp and hair follicles, thereby promoting healthy hair growth.
3. Enhances Your Scalp And Hair Nourishment
The flavonoids of ashwagandha are a rich source of protein, vitamin C, iron, glucose, tannins, potassium, and nitrate, which are essential components for healthy hair growth.
“Ashwagandha improves blood circulation in your scalp which in turn supports the delivery of the nutrients to your follicles,” says Dr. Zeel.
4. Conditions Your Scalp And Hair
The simulation of DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) production caused by ashwagandha can increase the production of collagen and sebum on your scalp. This keeps your scalp and hair texture conditioned while repairing your dry and brittle hair. Also, the collagen and sebum prevent sun damage to your scalp and hair.
5. Controls Your Scalp Irritation
With its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, ashwagandha improves the overall health of your hair follicles. It controls scalp ailments such as dandruff, itching, psoriasis, eczema, and other allergies caused by inflammation.
6. Reverses Premature Greying Of Hair
You can find an amino acid called ‘Tyrosine’ in ashwagandha that helps in stimulating the melanin production in your hair follicles. This helps you restore the lost melanin and reverse your premature hair greying.
How To Use Ashwagandha To Stop Hair Loss?
1. Ayurvedic Hair Care Products
You can choose hair care products such as hair oil, shampoo, and conditioner which contains ashwagandha as one of the primary ingredients. Also, you can add some ashwagandha powder to your shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in products for topical application of the herb.
2. Ashwagandha Hair Masks
- Prepare a fine paste by adding the required amount of warm distilled water to 2-3 spoons of ashwagandha powder. Apply the paste to your scalp and hair thoroughly with a gentle massage. Wrap a towel around for half an hour and then rinse it off well with normal water.
- Add ashwagandha, hibiscus, and brahmi powders in equal parts. Now, add sufficient amounts of yogurt or coconut milk as a base and blend them into a smooth paste. Apply the mask across your hair and scalp and leave it for half an hour before washing it off with a herbal shampoo.
3. Ashwagandha Tea Diet
Add a spoon of ashwagandha powder or a couple of dried roots in water and boil it on low flame for about 10-15 minutes with a closed lid. Now, strain the decoction in a cup and add a spoonful of honey and lemon juice into it.
“You can add spices of your choice to it to temper the bitter taste of the tea. You can also mix ¼ spoon of ashwagandha powder in your daily morning coffee,” says Dr. Zeel.
4. Ashwagandha Churna
Traditionally, ashwagandha is consumed in powdered form by mixing it with ghee, honey, or warm milk. You can take a spoon of ashwagandha churna every day just after your breakfast. It is recommended to start with a lower dose as ¼ spoon and then increase the dosage gradually.
5. Ashwagandha Supplements
Most of the hair growth-boosting Ayurvedic supplements contain ashwagandha in their formulation. You can take the oral supplements with a dosage of 300-500 mg every day. Also, the active components of ashwagandha are fat-soluble and hence, the supplements should be taken with meals that include quality fats.
Vedix Tip: Using ashwagandha directly can cause increased hotness in people with Pitta dominant Prakriti. For them, it is best to consume ashwagandha along with ghee or milk to balance the hotness. Also, it is recommended to take ashwagandha during the daytime.
Where Do You Get Ashwagandha?
You can get ashwagandha in the form of dry roots, stems, powder, and supplement tablets in most of the herbal and Ayurvedic stores across India. While you can also buy it online, it is better to go for reputed brands that deliver you the herb with a standard amount of withanolides (active component). Ensure that you purchase ashwagandha that has been tested for impurities and is free of contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.
How Long Does Ashwagandha Take To Work?
Ashwagandha can bring your stress levels down within a week on regular usage. However, for an overall optimization of your hair health, ashwagandha can take at least 12 weeks.
Side Effects & Risks Of Excessive Usage Of Ashwagandha
1. Drowsiness, headache, and stomach upset are some of the common side effects of ashwagandha when taken in moderate dosages.
2. In some rare cases, rapid heart beating and allergic reactions can be observed due to overdose of ashwagandha.
3. While ashwagandha can resolve hypothyroidism, it can also promote hyperthyroidism .
4. Women with pregnancy must avoid ashwagandha as it can cause premature delivery. Also, breastfeeding mothers should not consume ashwagandha orally.
5. People who are sensitive to plants belonging to the nightshade family (Solanaceae) such as pepper, tomato, potato, etc. can be intolerant to ashwagandha.
6. Avoid sedative medications such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol consumption while you are taking ashwagandha.
As ashwagandha can interfere with several medications and conditions, it’s important to consult with your doctor before using ashwagandha orally.
The Last Word
With a plethora of benefits for your hair, ashwagandha is termed as the ‘Queen of herbs’ in Ayurveda. You can include the wonder herb in your everyday hair care routine to see the best results. It is a potential hair growth stimulator too and can help you prevent the damage of follicles, scalp and hair tissues. Also, it can be a great option to enhance your innate immunity. Studies have revealed that ashwagandha can be a natural potential drug candidate against COVID-19.
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