Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine native to India based on Hinduism that stresses use of plant-based medicine and treatments. Previously I posted a full article on the benefits of amla, but there are many additional Indian herbs for hair and overall health benefits. This post will give a quick overview of some of the five most common Indian herbs and their benefits for hair listed alphabetically.
Amla (Emblica offcinalis): Amla fruit is dried in the shade and the pieces are either crushed to produce an herb then dissolved in coconut oil (or the pieces of fruit are boiled in EVCO directly). Amla has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, can prevent grey hairs, acts as an antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant agent making it a great natural remedy for dandruff and other scalp conditions. Apply as a conditioner then rinse thoroughly from the hair.
Recommended: Vatik Herbs Amla Hair Oil ($21)
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): Contains alkoloids which increases activity of an enzyme (protein kinase) involved in hair growth by inducing the anogen phase of hair growth. Most commonly used in combination with amla oil as a hair conditioner.
Recommended: Vatik Herbs Brahmi-Amla Oil ($19)
Henna (Lawsonia inermis): There are several various plants mistakenly called henna but this is the sole species of the Lawsonia genus, making it the only “true” henna. It is a natural red/orange hair colorant that should be prepared by mixing with lemon juice and allowed to stand for 24 hours before application.
Recommended: Pure Henna Leaves ($4)
Neem (Azadirachta indica): Antimicrobial agent, great for treating ring worm, lice, dandruff, eczema and other major scalp issues. Massage heated oil into scalp then rinse thoroughly. NOT safe for use in pregnant females, has been known to cause miscarriage and is also considered an effective contraceptive.
Recommended: Pure Organic Neem Oil ($6)
Shikakai (Acacia concinna): Produced from the dried leaves and bark of the plant which are ground into a powder. Add water to prepare a paste then apply to hair. Traditionally used as a natural herbal shampoo which also has some conditioning properties.
Recommended: Hesh Shikaki Powder ($4)
Also, check out Keravada products – it is an Ayurveda based hair care line with awesome items for hair health.
If you relax your hair, please check the instructions as many Ayurvedic herbs are alkaloid and are not safe for use within two weeks of relaxing hair. Also, as these Indian herbs commonly used for their hair benefits are actually used in Eastern medicine practice, always do your own research and check with your physician before introducing them to your hair regimen.