According to Ayurveda, dandruff is a condition of the skin where in shiny, silvery scales separate from the scalp and collect amidst the hair and it is categorized in “shudra roga”. It is named as “darunak” which appears due to an imbalance of all three doshas. According to some other, Dandruff can be correlated to Sidhma Kushta described in Charak Samhita.
The primary doshas involved are pitta and vata. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor which symbolizes heat or digestive fire and vata is the carrier in the body and is dry and rough in nature. The increase of Vata and Pitta in the body leads to destruction of Raktadhatu thus giving rise to impurities in blood. This in turn leads to poor nourishment to the scalp
In an aggravated state, both doshas cause production of specific impurities. These impurities are dry and heating in nature. These impurities accumulate in the deep tissues of scalp and cause contamination of these tissues. Contamination of the deep tissues and aggravated vata-pitta dosha cause itching and patches on scalp. Due to these factors, the scalp sheds larger than normal amounts of dead epidermal cells, which leads to the dandruff problem.
Vata associated dandruff has pain as a symptom, while the Pitta associated dandruff has burning sensation in the scalp hence the line of treatment is to generally pacify both pitta and vata.
** The main causes of dandruff are impairment of general health, development of a toxic condition mainly due to taking of wrong foods, constipation, and a low vitality due to infectious diseases. Other factors contributing to this disorder are emotional tension, harsh shampoos, and exposure to cold, and general exhaustion. One should take care to avoid all these mentioned above.
Diet and Lifestyle
** Include a plenty of green vegetables and fruits in the diet.
** Drink mineral water, herbal teas and unsweetened fruit juice.
** Spicy, greasy, fermented foods and baked products must be avoided.
** Strong tea and coffee, processed foods should be avoided.
** Limit your intake of alcohol.
** Milk, dairy products, sea foods, animal proteins and fatty foods are also to be avoided.
** Foods which have vitamin C in them like tomatoes, oranges, lemons, tamarind, etc. which contain acidic content, must be avoided.
** Exposure of the head to the rays of the sun is also a useful measure in the treatment of dandruff.
** Develop a regular exercise regimen as it stimulates the circulatory system,
** Take care while using some contraceptive pills deplete the vitamin B-complex and zinc which brings in dandruff.
** Use any herbal shampoo for cleaning the hair. Using a herbal pack of mixing henna powder, curd, ritha powder together is effective.
** Keep the hair and scalp clean so as to minimise the accumulation of dead cells. The hair should be brushed daily to improve the circulation and remove any flakiness. Keep hair well oiled.
** Have a regular mild shampoo bath, then, dry your hair and brush it in order to remove the flaky dandruff from it.
** Stress affects your overall health and triggers dandruff or exacerbate existing symptoms. Take care to do meditation or yoga to bring down your stress level.
Ayurveda treats dandruff in a more safe and effective way. It is a condition when the cells of the scalp of the head excessively die and flake off and is easily visible as flakes present in the hair, most often accompanied by itchiness of the scalp. According to Ayurveda, this is caused due to aggravation of Vata.
Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system has a promising remedy for dandruff, in which the dry skin flakes off the scalp resulting in itchiness. It believes that aggravation of Vata is its main causes and suggests the following modified diet and lifestyle to pacify doshic imbalance.
** Ayurvedic herbal preparations like Shweta Kutaja ( Wrightia tinctoria), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata/ glabra), Backuchi (Psoralia coryfolia), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Giloy(Tinospora cordifolia), Neem (Azadirachta indica) are recommended.
** Cobra (Bhujanga Asana) and Vajrasana are the recommended yogic practice which go long way in treating emotional imbalance thereby prevents dandruff.
a) Ayurvedic medicines used for the treatng dandruff are
** For external application, Dudurpatradi tailam, Brihat Dantapala Tailam, Ayyapala Kera Tailam, Dinesavalyadi Kera Tailam etc are prescribed.
** Gandhaka Rasayana, Kaisore guggulu, Guggulu Panchapala Churna, etc are used as an internal medicine.
** Vajarakam qwath, Mahathiktakam Qwath, Gugguluthiktakam qwath, Patolakadurohinyadi qwath, Patolamooladi qwath, Manjishtadi qwath, Brihat Manjishtadi qwath, etc are used as initial medicines to cleanse the body tissues.
** Aragwadha Mahathiktaka Ghritham, Shadpala Ghritham, Vajraka Ghritham, Chiruvilwadi ghritham are used for the sneha pana.
** Since dandruff can be due to the impurity of the blood, ayurvedic medicines like Khadirarishta, Nimbasava, Patolarasa, Argwadhasava and Saribadyaasavam are taken for the purification of blood.
** There are several effective patented preparations available in India and are widely used to manage dandruff and Psoriasis. The commonly used products are Brihat danatapala tailam, Psoria Oil, Psoria tablets, Immupsora tablets, Immupsora oil and ointment, Neem tablets, Winsora cream, Psorakot tablet, Psorakot ointment, etc.
** Take one teaspoonful of pure Haridra powder in a glass of milk twice a day.
b) If some food allergy causes dandruff then avoid that particular food. If we are not able to find any particular allergy then healthy diet can keep the scalp healthy.
c) Fresh Green vegetables and fruits must be included in the diet. Vitamin C is not good for dandruff. Diary, fermented, processed, spicy foods are all to be avoided.
d) Make a paste of sandalwood oil with triple the amount of lemon juice and to apply it on the scalp when still fresh.
e) A daily bath is essential. Even if you do not shampoo your hair daily one must wash scalp thoroughly. After the bath, dry the hair and then brush it in order to remove the flaky dandruff from it. And keep your hair well-oiled.
f) Give your hair a hot steam bath . Message hot oil with a damp towel and leave it on the head like the turban so that the team can fight dandruff .
g) Some of the popular Ayurvedic Herbs used are Alfalfa (Medicago satina), Ash Gourd (Benincasa hipsida) and Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum).
Dandruff can be managed and cured by a proper medical advise and so it’s important to consult a qualified and experienced Ayurvedic doctor for better results.