Alopecia - Causes, Symptoms, and Ayurvedic Treatment
Alopecia refers to hair loss. It may affect either scalp only or the entire body. Loss of hair can be temporary or permanent. It may be due to heredity reasons, hormonal variations, other underlying medical conditions, or aging. The condition is more commonly seen in men. Ayurveda explains this medical condition as Indralupta. Dr. Gupta’s IAFA has an effective Ayurvedic treatment protocol for treating this embarrassing disease. IAFA is deeply concerned about the ultimate cure of its patients from all types of illness.
Causes of Alopecia
Normally people lose about 50 to 100 hairs per day. This is not commonly noticeable as new hairs are growing almost at the same rate. Hair loss is said to occur when new hair is not replacing the lost hair.
Following factors may contribute to hair loss:-
- Hereditary Factors: It is the most common cause of hair loss and happens usually with aging. It commonly occurs gradually and will be in predictable patterns. In men, there will be a receding hairline and bald spots and in women thinning of hair along the crown of the scalp is observed.
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions: Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, thyroid problems, etc., and medical conditions like scalp infection by ringworm, a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania, etc. can lead to Alopecia.
- Medicines and supplements: Hair loss can be caused as a side effect of certain drugs, used in the treatment of cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart problems, depression, gout, etc.
- Radiation therapy: Hair lost due to radiation may not grow back easily.
- Mental stress and anxiety: People may experience a temporary thinning of hair due to some physical or emotional shock.
- Hair treatments: Unhealthy hairstyling and hair treatments involving the application of hot oil, coloring, straightening, etc. can lead to hair loss.
In Ayurveda, Indralupta is caused by vitiation of Vata dosha along with Pithadosha in hair follicles. Kapha dosha along with Raktadathu forms a covering in these follicles and prevents the formation of new hairs.
Ayurvedic Reference of Alopecia (Indralupta)
Symptoms of Alopecia
Alopecia can appear in different ways, depending on the actual cause behind it. It may occur rapidly or progressively and can affect only the scalp or the whole body.
Signs and symptoms of hair loss include:
- Gradual thinning of hair on top of the head
- Circular or patch like spots without hair
- Sudden loosening of hair
- Hair loss all over the body
- Scaly patches that spread over the scalp
“Dr. Gupta’s IAFA assures effective Ayurvedic management in Alopecia. IAFA is deeply concerned about the ultimate cure of its patients from all types of illness. Institute of Applied Food Allergy® is a trustworthy Ayurvedic institution for all your health-related worries”.
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– Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)
Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist
CEO & Founder of IAFA®
Diet Management in Alopecia
Do’s (Pathya) in Alopecia
- Consume old harvested grains and cereals
- Include more fruits and vegetables in the diet
- Warm water for drinking
- Green gram
- Mild to moderate exercise
- Use of separate personal items
- Maintain personal, social, and environmental hygiene
- Change clothes, bedsheets, etc. at regular intervals
- Expose to mild sunlight daily in the morning and evening
- A positive and stress-free mind
Dont’s (Apathya) in Alopecia
- Excessive sweet, salty, spicy, and sour food
- Fermented food
- Non-vegetarian diet
- Black gram
- Old and refrigerated food
- Reheated food
- Excess sweating
- Stress and mental tension
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Exchange of personal items
Yoga and Pranayama in Alopecia
Various yoga postures help to make the mind and body relaxed. It helps to increase blood circulation. Following postures will be especially beneficial in hair loss:
- Supta Baddha Konasana
Pranayama helps to attain relaxation in the mind. It confirms oxygen supply and helps the formation of new cells.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Alopecia
Ayurveda incorporates internal as well as external medicines in the management of Alopecia.
Internal Medicines for Alopecia
Following medicines can be advised based on type and site of infection.
- Triphala Kashayam
- Patolamuladi Kwatha
- Nimbadi Kwatha
- Panchatiktaka Kwatha
- Patoladi Kwatha
- Kaisora Guggulu Tablet
- Vilwadi Gulika
- Dooshivishari Gulika
- Avipathi Churna
- Triphala Churna
External Medicines for Alopecia
External medicines as listed below can be provided based on stage and site of infection.
- Triphala Churna
- Nimbadi Churna
- Kulatha Choorna
- Tuthadi Tablet
- Rasothamadi Lepa
- Malathyadi Kera
- Durdurapathradi Kera
- Dinesavalyadi kera
External Therapies in Alopecia
Following procedures help in easy healing of wounds and ulcers.
- Swedana (Sweating therapy)
- Udwarthana (medicinal powder massage)
- Lepa (Medicinal paste)
- Abhyanga (Oil massage)
- Kshalana (Washing)
Purification Therapies in Alopecia
- Virechana (Purgation)
- Vamana (Emesis)
- Raktamoksha (Blood-letting)
Single Herbs Used in Management of Alopecia
Use of the following single herbs can be suggested in different forms as per the condition of patient and infection.
- Nimba (Azadirachta indica)
- Patola (Trichosanthes dioica)
- Tila (Sesamum indicum)
- Pippali (Piper longum)
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Haridra (Curcuma longa)
- Kushta (Saussurea lappa)
- Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica)
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
- Sushruta Samhita with Nibandhasangraha of Dalhanacharya edited by Vaidya Yadavji Trikam ji Acharaya, published by Chaukhambha Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, reprint 2017, Nidana Sthana, Chapter 13/34, p. 322.
- Astanga Hrudaya with Sarvanga Sundara teeka of Aruna Dutta & Ayurveda Rasayana of Hemadri edited by Pandit Hari Sadashiva Shastri Paradkara, published by Chaukhambha Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, reprint 2017, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 26/53, p.325.
- Ashtang Hrudaya by Vagbhata, Utharsthana, Sirorogavinjaneeyaadhyaya, Chapter 23, Sloka 25.
- Sahil Gupta, Child Health and Ayurveda, Edition 2021, Allergic Diseases in Children, Chapter No. 12, Page No.53-57.
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)