General Ayurvedic RemediesThe Ayurvedic Texts say that all substances found in nature have a medicinal value provided these are used appropriately. The medicines are meant to eradicate the disease itself rather than simply the symptoms. Following are some simple ayurvedic formulations that you can begin to use for simple treatments at home. Ayurveda also uses gems and metals in its formulations. However here we shall confine ourselves to the use of herbs, vegetables and fruits. Just as for medicines so these same can be used for cosmetics and fragrances, the important point to remember is that in all Ayurvedic formulations the active constituents must be able to be absorbed in the skin and ingested too.ACIDITY, INDIGESTIONAniseed: A teaspoon of aniseed in a cup of boiling water. Leave it overnight, Seive and take it with a little bit of honey.
Celery: celery seeds soaked in buttermilk for five to six hours and then ground in the same buttermilk relieves indigestion.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon checks nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. It stimulates digestion. A tablespoon of cinnamon water, prepared as for cold and taken half an hour after meals, relieves flatulence and indigestion.
Ginger: Chewing of ginger regularly after your meals prevents acidity and indigestion.
COMMON COLDGinger: The herb is an excellent remedy for coughs and colds. Extracted juice of ginger with honey is taken three or four times a day in case of coughs.
Holy Basil: A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is effective remedy for cold. They should be boiled in water and then taken.
Pepper: Six pepper seeds finely ground and mixed in a glass of warm water taken for a few nights for good results.
CONSTIPATIONLiquorice: Liquorice is used as a laxative in constipation. Its powder is taken with jaggery and water.
Tamarind: Pulp of the ripe fruit is beneficial in the treatmentof constipation and indigestion.
COUGH/ SORE THROATGinger: The herb is an excellent remedy for coughs and colds. Extracted juice of ginger with honey is taken three or four times a day in case of coughs.
Holy Basil: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as a drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle.
Liquorice: The herb is a recognized home remedy for sore throat. A small piece of raw liquorice if chewed or sucked, provides relief by soothing the inflammation.
Pepper: Pepper is an effective remedy for coughs caused due to throat irritation. Three peppers sucked with a pinch of caraway seed and a crystal of common salt provides relief.
FALLING HAIR AND DANDRUFFCurry Leaves: The leaves, bark and the root of the curry plant are used in indigenous medicine as a tonic for falling hair.
Rosemary: Shampoos and hair lotions containing the pure extract of rosemary rejuvenate the scalp and hair while preventing dandruff and premature baldness.
Sage: The herbs is useful in preventing grey hair if blended in hair tonics.
HEADACHES AND MIGRAINEClove: A paste of clove and salt crystals in milk is a common household remedy for headaches.
INSOMNIANutmeg: The powder of nutmeg, mixed with fresh amla (green gooseberry)juice, is also an effective medicine for insomnia, irritability and depression.
Poppy Seeds: About 30 grams of milk extracted from the seeds mixed with sugar can be used for treating insomnia. A teaspoon of poppy seed oil taken every night is also very effective.
PIMPLES / ACNECoriander: A teaspoon of coriander juice, mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder, is an effective remedy for pimples, blackheads and dry skin.
Sandalwood: This oil mixed with twice its quantity of mustard oil is used for removing pimples.
TOOTHACHEAsafoetida: Asafoetida is useful in alleviating toothache. After being ground in lemon juice, it is slightly heated. A cotton piece, soaked in the lotion and placed in the cavity of the tooth, relieves pain.Ayurvedic Remedies
Margosa: Cleaning the teeth regularly with a margosa twig prevents gum it relieves toothache.Specialized ayurvedic remedies such as panchakarma, marma chikitsa, dhara or following an ayurvedic diet, basically endeavor to restore the harmony of the tridoshas. The purpose of all ayurvedic remedies and herbal medicines is to keep the doshas or the humors in equilibrium, since an imbalance indicates a disease condition. Samsodhana (cleansing process), samsamana (palliative measures) and nidanaparivarjana (treating the causes) are the three main stages through which ayurvedic remedies usually progress. Of these three remedial phases, samsodhana is considered a prominent process and according to ayurveda, should be administered with full care. Panchakarma is synonymous with this process. In fact, panchakarma is a group of five ayurvedic remedies, all of which are not practiced in all diseases.
PanchkarmaAyurveda recognizes that all living and non-living things are composed of panchamahabhut or five basic elements of the entire creation. One branch of Indian philosophy—Sankhya, states that there are 24 elements in all, of which five are the foundation of the gross world: earth, water, fire, air and ether. According to ayurveda these five elements in different combinations constitute the three body types/doshas—vata (air and ether), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth and water). These two theories are the guiding factors of ayurveda as a therapeutic science.
Ayurveda advises undergoing panchakarma at the seasonal changes to both keep the metabolism strong and keep toxins from accumulating in the body as well as the mind. The process finds the way to the root cause of the problem and corrects the essential balance of mind, body, and emotions. It is considered extremely effective to go through the process of panchakarma prior to any rejuvenation treatment (rasayana/herbal medicines), for it cleanses the body, improves the digestion, the metabolic processes of the body and cleanse the thought process as well.
Basically, panchakarma is meant to make an individual most receptive to the curative process of ayurveda by removing accumulated waste in body and mind.
Vamana (Emesis)It is a process of therapeutic vomiting (induced), which helps eliminate the toxic or waste matters from the stomach and thoracic cavity. Kapha dominant diseases like severe skin diseases (psoriasis, urticaria); bronchial asthma, mental disorders etc. are selected for this treatment procedure. This process is not suggested for expecting mothers. Normally eight bouts of emesis are followed. The vomiting is stopped when yellow coloration is seen. Then, dhoomapana—inhalation of medicated fumes—is done through a special process. Finally, certain rules have to be followed called paschatkarma that basically implies strict diet regimen.Virechana (Purgation)
The entire treatment takes 15 days, and requires good attention as well as skilled assistance.This eliminates the toxic or waste matters from the intestine. It also cures pitta or pitta-dominated diseases. Poorvakarma or initial process of cleansing like vamana is suggested here. About 20 purges may be seen in this process depending on the patient's health.
A mild form of virechana without the poorvakarma, is an integral part of ayurvedic therapy. It is also used for prevention of diseases.
Vasti (Enema)The process of vasti or therapeutic enema is resorted to eliminate toxins from colon, and strengthens the tissues. Two kinds of vastis are followed in ayurveda. Snehavasti is the vasti where medicated oils are used. This is not advised in patients suffering from diabetes, anemia, diarrhea, and obesity. Poorvakarma is required here.Nasya (Nasal Application of Herbal Medicines)
For kashaya vasti, honey, rock salt, sneham (oils), paste of medicines are required and mixed one by one in the above order. This concoction is taken in an empty stomach. After the process the patient is allowed to take a bath.
Diseases like hemiplegia, and disease due to vata are treated by this process. Medicines are selected as per disease and stage.Nasya is instillation of medicine through nose. It is an important procedure of ayurveda for the treatment of sirorogas or diseases affecting head area. Nasya helps cleanse the head and sinuses. The process is contraindicated in various psychological diseases, asthma and cough. Here, the patient is to inhale lightly warmed oil. Warmed oil is massaged in the patient's neck, shoulder, palm, face and sole before and after the process of nasya. Different timings are indicated for different dosha types. Morning time is prescribed for kapha diseases, noon in pitta diseases and evening in vata diseases.
Raktamoksha (Blood-Letting)Susruta gave stress to Raktamoksha (blood-letting) as one of the panchakarma, taking two of the vastis as a single karma (here, procedure). The process of letting out the vitiated blood is termed raktamoksha. In this procedure localized impurity or poison from the blood is removed through various methods. Often leech is used to suck out the impure blood from the affected area. Blood-letting is also done to eliminate toxins from the blood stream causing various chronic skin disorders like urticaria, eczema, scabies and leucoderma etc. The method was also effectively used to cure enlarged liver and spleen. There are steps to be followed before doing panchakarma called poorvakarma. One is snehana or oleation where medicated oils are applied internally and externally. Another process called swedana or sudation is actually classified into four types to induce sweating. The purpose of poorvakarma is to liquefy and guide the provoked doshas to the mainstream to facilitate the sodhana or cleansing.
DietFollowing a strict ayurvedic diet also forms part of the ayurvedic treatment method. Ayurveda emphasizes that the diet we take has a close influence on our mind and body. According to ayurveda, the mind has three possible states (tri-gunas) that are related to the three states of our physical constitution or the three-dosha types. Sattva, or peaceful equilibrium, rajas, or excessive activity and tamas, or inertia—the three tendencies or gunas of mind influence the imbalances in the three doshas. Specific dietary adjustments serves to maintain the balance of specific doshas and thus entail perfect health. Appropriate diet can be used to remove or neutralize toxins in the body, also.Yoga
Ayurveda suggests eating food until one's appetite is satisfied. When ill, one should eat only light food, and then normal food in small quantities, until half the appetite is fulfilled. One important rule in ayurveda is never to combine contradictory foods in terms of their qualities. Some of the commonly followed rules on food habits according to ayurveda are as below:
• Keeping high-protein or high-fat food items in separate meals from lighter foods such as starches and vegetables.
• Not mixing milk with yogurt.
• Not eating cooked foods and raw foods at the same meal since they require different types of digestion.
• Avoiding drinking milk while eating radishes, tomatoes, meat, fish, eggs, citrus fruits.
• Eating fresh fruit separately from other meals (except the cooked fruits).
• Some specific vegetables and grains are forbidden in some specific days of a month. Diet is to be compatible with changing seasons.Practice of yoga is an integral method in ayurveda, which is applied to keep both the body and mind healthy and relaxed. It is recommended for cure as well as for prevention of various ailments. Different yogasanas are prescribed for different dosha based ailments. The lifestyle regimens mentioned in yoga are integral to ayurvedic treatment. Meditation is often recommended to maintain balance or peace in the thinking process. Meditation removes any disturbances in the balance of the three mental states of sattva, rajas and tamas.Ayurvedic Remedies for Hair LossIn Ayurveda, hair is considered to be a byproduct of bone formation. The tissue responsible for building bones are also responsible for the growth of hair. Ayurveda doctors believe that early hair loss is related to body type and the balance of the mind-body constitution (doshas). Pitta individuals, and those who have excess pitta in their system, are likely to lose their hair early in life, or have prematurely thin or gray hair. Excess pitta in the sebaceous gland, at the root of the hair, or folliculitis can make the person start losing hair. Hair loss is treated in Ayurveda with a combination of diet, herbs, oil massage, meditation, aromatherapy, breathing and yoga. To reduce pitta and preserve the health of hair, drink 1/3 cup aloe vera juice. Alternately, you can take 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel with a pinch of cumin 3 times a day for about 3 months.
Baldness is treated by bleeding from the forehead after treatment with oils and sweating, followed by lotions and pastes of manahsila, kuttannata, devadaru, gunja, malati, karavira, citraka, naktamala, blue and green vitriol, and black pepper.
Ayurvedic Oil MassageTo pacify pitta, rub some coconut oil on your scalp and on the soles of your feet at bedtime. Massage your scalp with brahmi oil or bhringaraj oil at bedtime to help prevent hair loss. Massage the hair with vitamin E oil. This also may prevent or slow down the hair loss.
Ayurvedic Diet for HairEat a handful of white sesame seeds every morning. One handful of these small seeds contains about 1,200 mg. of calcium and magnesium.
Take some yogurt everyday (unless you are allergic to milk).
Ayurvedic Herbs For HairUse the following herbal combination:Massage
Dashamoola 5 parts
Bhringaraj 4 parts
Jatamamsi 3 parts
Add 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture to 1 cup of goat's milk. Heat to boiling, and drink at bedtime.Massage improves circulation, which in turn improves the health of your hair and scalp. A few drops of vitamin E oil massaged into the scalp is recommended to strengthen fragile hair and help prevent dry, flaky skin.Yoga
Give yourself a daily massage for 5-10 minutes to stimulate circulation, which is vital for healthy hair growth. Using your fingers (knuckles), work over the surface of the scalp, temples and back of the head, applying pressure in circular movements.Yoga exercises such as headstand is another excellent way of stimulating blood flow to the hair follicles. To relieve tension in the scalp and to promote healthy looking hair, try this Indonesian massage technique. Stand with your feet apart and slowly breathe in and out. Gently lean forward from waist, curving your spine, until your head is just below waist level. Keeping your legs straight, gently rap your scalp all over with your knuckles for half a minute. Slowly raise your body and repeat the rapping in an upright position.
Neck Exercises.Turn your head to the left 3 timesCaution: Don't be too rough when you are massaging your scalp. Vigorous pulling or brushing can actually pull hair out of your head and damage the hair.
Now turn your head to the right 3 times
Lift the head up 3 times
Move it down toward your chest 3 times
Roll your head gently in a circle 3 times in each direction.
Bend your head forward.
Grasp a hank of hair close to scalp.
Tug hard, relax your grip, then tug again.
Repeat the procedure three times.
Repeat all over scalp, to stimulate new, thicker growth, concentrating on any thinning areas, such as the sides of the forehead.
A wholesome diet, rich in silica, calcium and iron, will help reduce or prevent hair loss. Green, leafy vegetables, especially sea vegetables, are good mineral sources. Raw oats provide silica. Dried fruits and cherry juice are rich sources of iron.
For women, thinning hair or hair loss can be a sign of a problem in the gastrointestinal tract. It could be a sign of insufficient stomach acids; It could also mean a deficiency of protein, zinc and other nutrients. Taking two acidophilus tablets after or between meals (four to six tablets per day) for two months will help.
For men, balding process can be slowed down by taking a low-fat diet. Some scientists postulate that the male pattern baldness is tied to increased testosterone levels during puberty. A high-fat, meat-based diet raises testosterone levels, and that may adversely affect hair follicles. For example, in Japan, male pattern baldness was very rare prior to World War II when the diet was lean and healthy. The Japanese now consume a more fatty, Westernized diet. Baldness is now increasing substantially among Japanese men. Eating low-fat foods may not stop hair loss; but it might help slow down the hair loss.
Anemia is one of the most frequent causes of hair loss. Eat plenty of iron-rich foods, like liver (Avoid if you are pregnant) and other organ meat, whole grain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, dates, and raisins. T
The hair is comprised mostly of protein. To encourage hair growth, adhere to a diet rich in protein. A recommended diet for this purpose includes calves liver, brewer's yeast, wheat germ, and two tablespoons of granulated lecithin. Along with protein, these foods are also high in B vitamins, an important nutrient for hair.
European studies have found that soy protein reinforces hair and stimulates its growth. In one study, The hair growth increased by 15 percent. Tofu and soy milk are good sources of soy protein. Other good sources of protein are: low-fat cheese, eggs, fish, beans, brewer's yeast and yogurt.
Another important nutrient for hair health is silica. Studies in the former Soviet Union have shown that silica therapy slowed hair loss. Organic silica added to shampoo was found to help prevent baldness, stimulate healthier hair growth and assure beautiful shine, luster and strength. Some scientists claim that they have effectively stopped further hair loss by adding silica to their shampoo. This can be applied externally to regrow already lost hair. Silica is found in the outer coverings of potatoes, green and red peppers and cucumbers. Bean sprouts are also high in silica. Eat whole foods including sprouts.
Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron. Include a good serving of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Vitamin E is important for healthy hair growth.
Eat avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil on a regular basis. If hair loss is due to thyroid dysfunction, eat more foods rich in vitamin A and iodine.
Eat vegetables such as carrots or spinach in unrefined, cold-pressed seed oils such as flax, walnut or pumpkin seed and sea salt.
Take turnips, cabbage, mustard, soy beans, peanuts, pine nuts and millet if there is a deficiency of iodine. Caution: Excessive intake of Vitamin A can cause hair loss.
Foods to EatFoods to build spleen/pancreas:
Sweet rice and mochi (pounded sweet rice)
Root vegetables, such as carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, ginger, turnips, and onions
Brown rice syrupTo build or strengthen the blood:Seaweed (wakame, arame, hiziki), when consumed daily, can prevent hair loss for many.
Nuts and seeds
Leafy, green vegetables
Foods to AvoidCold foods and drinks
Sugary foods and drinks
Excessive raw foods
Fruit, especially citrus
Nutrition/VitaminsHair loss occurs when the diet is inadequate in the B vitamins - especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid; and the minerals magnesium, sulfur and zinc. The B vitamins, especially B5 (pantothenic acid and B3 (niacin), are especially important for hair growth. Certain essential amino acids are found to control the thinning and thickening of hair in laboratory animals. For example, when rats were fed a diet deficient in magnesium, they lost their hair in bunches. The situation was even more serious with some other B-vitamins. When rats were fed a diet low in biotin or inositol, they became hairless! This nutrient-deficient condition was found to be reversible. When the rats were fed a diet that was rich in B vitamins, it resulted in the complete restoration of hair. Heavy intake of vitamin supplements, in some cases, have resulted in stimulating hair growth. Men deficient in vitamin B6 often lose their hair. When they are deficient in folic acid, some men became completely bald! As in case of animals, when normal intake of theses vitamins were restored, the hair also returned in most instances.
Taking large doses of vitamin A (100,000 IU or more daily) for a long period of time, on the other hand, can trigger hair loss, but stopping the vitamin A will reverse the problem. As in case of deficiencies, often the hair grows back when the cause is corrected.
Essential fatty acids (flaxseed oil, primrose oil, and salmon oil are good sources) improves hair texture. Prevents dry, brittle hair.
Raw thymus glandular stimulates immune function and improves functioning capacity of glands. Dosage: 500 mg daily.
Caution: Do not give this supplement to a child.
B-VitaminsB vitamins are important for the health and growth of the hair. Foods rich in B vitamins include beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, soy beans, nutritional yeast, bran, nuts and eggs. Take a vitamin B-complex and supplement it with the following additional B-vitamins for best results.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) - 50 mg 3 times daily.
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) -100 mg 3 times daily.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) -50 mg 3 times daily.
BiotinBiotin is very important for hair health. It is needed for healthy hair and skin, and may even prevent hair loss in some men. Eat plenty of foods high in biotin and/ or take it in supplemental form. Good food sources of biotin include brewer's yeast, brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. You can also use hair care products containing biotin.
Dosage: 50 mg 3 times daily.
InositolInositol is vital for hair growth. Dosage: 100 mg twice daily.
Vitamin CVitamin C aids in improving scalp circulation. It is important to maintain capillaries that carry blood to the follicles.
Dosage: 3,000-10,000 mg daily.
Vitamin EVitamin E increases oxygen uptake, which improves circulation to the scalp. It improves health and growth of hair. Since hair health is tied to the immune health, vitamin E is believed to stimulate hair growth by enhancing the immune function.
Dosage: Start with 400 IU daily and slowly increase to 800-1,000 IU daily.
ZincZinc stimulates hair growth by enhancing immune function.
Dosage: 50-100 mg daily. Do not exceed this amount.
Other Nutrients That May Help Hair HealthCoenzyme Q10 - Improves scalp circulation. Increases tissue oxygenation. It is also very important for heart health. Take 60 mg daily.
L-Cysteine and L-methionineTwo amino acids belived to improve quality, texture, and growth of hair. They help prevent hair from falling out.Herbs for hair loss treatment
Dosage: 500 mg each twice daily, and on an empty stomach.
Some important herbs for hair loss are aloe, arnica, birch, burdock, catmint, licorice, Marigold, parsley, rosemary, and sage. Brahmi, jatamamsi, dashamoola, and bhringraj are some important ayurvedic herbs. Psoralea seeds, oyster, clamshell, and mulberries are some Chinese herbs.
VitaminsHair loss occurs due to inadequate diet and less intake of vitamins. Vitamins are essential for growth of hair. Some important vitamins that affect the hair growth are biotin, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Inositol, and Zinc also.Ayurvedic treatmentAyurvedic treatment for loss of hair works on the philosophy that the tissues responsible for bones are also responsible for the growth of hair. Hair loss is directly related to the mind-body constitution or doshas. Excess pitta in the system results in the loss of hair in early age.Homeopathic Remedies
Ayurveda treats hair loss with a regimen of diet, herbs, oil, meditation, and message.Homeopathic remedies are beneficial for those who suffer loss of hair due to pregnancy, stress, or emotional trauma.Aromatherapy
• Fluoric acid: The use of Fluoric acid is beneficial for the treatment of brittle hair that falls out in small amount.
• Lycopodium: This is prescribed for hair loss after childbirth or for early age balding and graying of hairs.
• Phosphorus: This is indicated when there is a sudden onset of hair loss or hair starts falling thick and fast.
• Selenium: Selenium is prescribed for hair loss on body and painful scalp.
Kali Carbonicum: Kali Carbonicum is useful for dry and fast thinning hairBay, cedar wood grape fruit, jojoba oil, lavender, lemon, and rosemary are few essential oils beneficial for hair loss problem. Massage 2 drops of these essential oils well into the scalp. Leave it covered with a warm towel for 2-3 hours or overnight. Use a mild shampoo after that to clean the hair and not to damage the sebum balance.Reflexology (Accupresure) Method for Hair LossIt is a type of alternative therapy based on pressure and massage of certain points on the soles of human feet. Nails are supposed to be the reflex point for the hair and scalp. Few minutes rubbing of both hands fingernail may nourish the hair and scalp.
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