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  5. Yashtimadhu (Licorice): 6 Amazing Hair Benefits + How To Use
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Are you troubled with hair fall, dry scalp and premature balding? Yashtimadhu is a wonderful herbal solution for all these issues. An efficient Ayurvedic herb, it has the potential to cure all your hair problems.

Read on to know more about this herb and how yashtimadhu can soothe your doshas and help you with your hair problems.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks

“Bhavaprakasha Nighantu describes yashtimadhu and enlists its many pharmacological benefits. This Keshya herb promotes hair growth, and prevents greying and hair ageing. By its pitta pacifying action, yashtimadhu also relieves dandruff.”

Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Is Yashtimadhu (Licorice)?

purple blue aromatic flower

Popularly known as licorice, yashtimadhu plays a very important role in Ayurveda. The word ‘yashti’ means wood and ‘madhu’ means honey. This herb has sweet roots and its extract can be 50 times sweeter than sugar. Used in Ayurveda for centuries, it has a vast range of health benefits and flavoring abilities. Yashtimadhu has also been used for years in regions of Egypt, China and Greece for therapeutic purposes and especially for treating hair problems. [1]

Yashtimadhu is actually a legume derived from a perennial plant mainly cultivated for its roots. The plant has dark green leaves and produces flowers that are purple, yellow, or violet in color. This plant grows best in sandy soil and prefers warm climates and moderate rainfall, which is why India has the perfect climate for growing yashtimadhu. Its roots contain 3.8% of glucose. 3%-6% of sucrose and 2%-4% asparagine.

Ayurvedic View Of Yashtimadhu

This medicinal herb has been cultivated in the Himalayan regions of India for centuries. Yashtimadhu has a sweet rasa or taste, it is a vipaka, meaning it has digestive qualities and it is veerya or cold in nature.

It can be used to balance both vata and pitta dosha imbalance in your body. Its sweet taste and digestive qualities can calm down an aggravated vata in your body. Its cold nature helps in soothing the pitta aggravation. This is the main reason why it is effective for hair-related problems. If compared, a 2% concentration of yashtimadhu proves much more effective than any standard drugs of the same concentration.

Yashtimadhu is one of the jeevanya herbs, which boost your longevity. It is also a varnya herb, which improves your skin complexion and a vamanopaga herb, which is used in panchkarma. [2] A popular Ayurvedic medicine made with this herb is yashtimadhu phanta, which is a water infusion of yashtimadhu that is used in panchakarma therapy. You can also consume yashtimadhu infused ghee or clarified butter and yashtimadhu infused oil for nasal instillation.

As per Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, ““Bhavaprakasha Nighantu describes yashtimadhu and enlists its many pharmacological benefits. This Keshya herb promotes hair growth and prevents greying and hair ageing. By its pitta pacifying action, yashtimadhu also relieves dandruff.”

Benefits Of Yashtimadhu For Hair

1. Cures Infections

Yashtimadhu has various anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help in soothing an irritated scalp that hosts infections. Even if you are exposed to dust particles and harmful free radicals, yashtimadhu negates their harmful effects and prevents any itchiness, scalp irritation and dandruff.

The use of licorice root dates back to the 3rd century B.C. when the Egyptians used it to soothe skin irritation. This herb helps open pores on your scalp and is great for the hair shaft. It also prevents and cures dandruff and scabs on your scalp. The demulcent properties of yashtimadhu make it an elixir for your scalp and it can be used once a week to keep your scalp healthy.

2. Reduces Hair Fall

Apart from pitta and vata dosha imbalance, stress and lack of sleep are two other reasons behind excessive hair fall. Yashtimadhu helps in reducing stress and improving your sleep cycle, which in turn helps you with hair loss. Yashtimadhu is rich in flavonoids and phytoestrogens, both of which are responsible for a healthy scalp.

It increases blood flow in your hair follicles, which promotes hair growth and its minty effect keeps your scalp calm. Yashtimadhu has been successfully used for years in herbal formulations for treating alopecia through the nasya therapy. Ayurveda has been using yashtimadhu for treating shirogas like hair fall or khalitya and indralupta, which is loss of hair in patches. [3]

3. Prevents Greying Of Hair

Ayurveda has also proved that yashtimadhu can be used to cure palitya or greying of hair. Premature greying can be caused by many factors like genetics, stress and pollution. Yashtimadhu is a widely used ingredient in hair dyes as it stops the spread of white hair throughout your head and keeps your scalp naturally cool. Phytoestrogens present in yashtimadhu increase pigment production and thus turn your hair black.

4. Hair Regrowth

Yashtimadhu enables increased blood circulation in your scalp, thereby making your hair grow faster and stronger. Better blood circulation means your hair shafts receive a sufficient amount of nutrients that are needed to regenerate the cells that lead to hair growth.

5. Stops Balding

Various reasons like genetic traits, alopecia [4], or severe treatments like chemotherapy can cause premature balding. Yashtimadhu cannot prevent the reasons that cause premature balding. However, it can boost the rate of hair regrowth or even slow down the process of balding. When applied to your scalp as a paste, this Ayurvedic herb opens pores and strengthens your weakened hair follicles.

6. Works As A Moisturizer

Licorice helps in hydrating and moisturizing your scalp. It further acts as a catalyst in the hair growth process. If you have chemically treated hair, or take medicines that make your hair rough or work in an environment that damages your hair, yashtimadhu is the best choice of treatment for you. This Ayurvedic herb helps preserve natural oils and heals your damaged hair.

How To Use Yashtimadhu For Hair Growth?

A process of dyeing hair with henna ecological product

Yashtimadhu can be both consumed and applied topically but topical application is the best way to benefit your hair. You can use yashtimadhu powder and make it into a paste and apply it to your hair as a hair pack. You can also consume yashtimadhu powder every morning with water and add it to your smoothie as a sweetener.

1. Yashtimadhu Hair Pack To Prevent Hair Fall

  • Take 1 tbsp of yashtimadhu powder
  • 1 tbsp of amla powder
  • Few strands of saffron
  • Few tbsp of milk enough to make a thick paste
  • Make a paste and apply to your balding patches and leave it overnight.
  • Wash it off the next day with cold water.
  • Repeat this once a week.

2. Yashtimadhu Hair Pack For Moisturizing The Scalp

  • Take 1 cup of curd
  • Add 5 tsp of yashtimadhu powder
  • 2 tsp of sesame oil also known as keshya in Ayurveda
  • Mix and apply it all over your scalp.
  • Let it dry for 15-20 minutes.
  • Wash it off with warm water.

Side Effects Of Yashtimadhu On Hair

Although there are no proven side effects of yashtimadhu on hair, it can have some adverse effects on your health. Yashtimadhu can cause high blood pressure, liver and kidney disorders among pregnant women.

Your hair and scalp texture are the root cause of your hair problems, so first, you need to identify the type of scalp and hair you have.

The Last Word

Yashtimadhu is an extremely beneficial Ayurvedic herb that can help you tackle many hair problems. However, you need to use it with caution and in the right manner. Avoid using or consuming yashtimadhu if you have low potassium levels, heart disease, or fluctuating blood pressure. Also avoid it if you have uterine fibroid or are on birth control pills.

Consult your dermatologist or an Ayurvedic expert before using this herb for your hair problems, especially if you are unaware of the reason behind your hair problems.

Know Your Dosha Now

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