Dandruff- (Darunaka)

दारुणा कण्डुरा रुक्षाकेशभूमिःप्रपाट्यते|
कफवातप्रकोपेण विद्याद्दारुणकं तु तम् ||


The word dandruff (dandruff, dandriffe) is a combination of ‘tan’ meaning ‘tetter’ and ‘drof’ meaning ‘dirty’. Dandruff affects aesthetic value and often causes itching. It has been well established that keratinocytes play a key role in the expression and generation of immunological reactions during dandruff formation.The severity of dandruff may fluctuate with season as it often worsens in winter.


In Ayurveda, it can be correlated with Darunaka. It is a Kapalagata roga (disease of scalp), but Acharya Sushruta has described this disease as a Kshudraroga (minor diseases) due to the vitiation of Vata and Kapha Doshas with symptoms like Kandu (itching on scalp), Keshachyuti (falling of hair), Swapa (abnormalities of touch sensation on scalp), Rookshata (roughness or dryness of the scalp) and Twaksphutana (breaking or cracking of the scalp skin).


Dr. Gupta’s IAFA successfully address this condition and provides very safe and effective treatment for Dandruff.

Causes of Dandruff

There are various reasons which can cause dandruff in hair, e.g. Increased intake of dry, oily, cold, spicy, stress, anxiety, certain diseases such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands such as sweat glands, environmental allergens such as dust, sunlight, soaps, shampoos and even certain types of food are sometimes responsible for dandruff. These factors worsening factors of this complaint. 

Ayurvedic reference of Dandruff-Darunaka

Symptomsof Dandruff

Symptoms include,

  • Keshachyuti (Hair fall)
  • Kandu (itchy feeling on the scalp)
  • Twaksputana (Cracking of the skin)
  • Daruna (Dryness followed with crack in the scalp, Appearance of white scales on scalp)
  • Daha (Burning sensation)
  • Gaura(Heaviness) and
  • Toda (Pricking sensation) etc.

Dr. Sahil Gupta Allergy Specialist

Dr. Gupta’s IAFA successfully address this condition and provides very safe and effective treatment for Dandruff. IAFA aspires to be the destination of choice for people seeking authentic Ayurveda healthcare. Institute of Applied Food Allergy® ensures that our health care system better meets the needs of   all about your health”. 

The Right Care. Right here.!!!Dr. Gupta’sIAFA for your health…….


– Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist
CEO & Founder of IAFA®

Diet Management in Dandruff

Do’s (Pathya) in Dandruff

  • Eating sweeter, juicy fresh fruits, cooked greens and leafy green vegetables with a bitter taste will help in hair treatment.
  • fenugreek, turmeric and coriander, cumin, ghee, oil will also help purify fat tissue and strengthen bone tissue.
  • Food with good nutritive value; include fiber rich foods, salads, fruits and lentils.
  • Adding coconut water to diet and always using healthy fats like ghee in cooking is also recommended. 

Don’ts (Apathya) in Dandruff

  • Avoid using hot water for hair wash.
  • Don’t apply heat and direct sunlight on scalp
  • Don’t comb hair before getting dried after wash.
  • Avoid excess sugar, salt, dairy products, meat, acidic food 
  • Avoid spicy, fatty, hot and penetrating foods, junk food, and aerated drinks

Yoga Therapy for Dandruff

Postures include,

  • Pashchimottanasana 
  • Adho Mukha Savanasana 
  • Chakrasana
  • Sarvangasana

Pranayama include,

  • Kapalbhati
  • Nadishodhana Pranayama
  • Bhastrika Pranayama
  • Bhramari


Ayurvedic Treatment for Dandruff

The Ayurvedic line of treatment is to normally modify doshas through internal medicines, diet and lifestyle management along with Panchakarma therapy. Some special herbs are administered to purify the body of accumulated digestive impurities

Internal Medicines forDandruff

  • Saptamritaloha 
  • Chandanasava 
  • Panchatiktaka Kashaya
  • Manjishthadi Kashaya
  • Mahatiktaka Kashaya
  • ArogyavardhiniVati
  • Triphala Rasayana

  • Triphala churna
  • Yashti churna
  • Bhringaraja Taila 
  • Triphaladya Taila 
  • Brahmi Taila
  • Malathyadi keram
  • Durdurapatradi keram

External therapies forDandruff

  • Snehana(Massage): The warm oil head and scalp massage, especially when done with oil medicated with Keshya(hair-nourished) herbs, nourishes the hair and scalp, alleviates dry scalp, enhances circulation. 

Purificatory Therapies

  • Raktamokshana:Bloodletting therapy with Jalaukavacharan can help to remove impurities of blood and it would be also helpful in treatment of dandruff
  • Nasya: Nasya is indicated in all Urdhwa Jatrugatvyadhi (the diseases of heads), medicated oil Nasya would improve the condition of hair. 

Single herbs used in Dandruff

  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri
  • Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba

  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)


  1. Susrutha Samhita Nidana Sthana, Chapter 13, Kshudraroga Nidana, Sloka 34.
  2. Shastri AD, Editor. Sushruta Samhita, Nidana Sthana, Chapter 13, Verse 35. Reprint Edition. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, 2015; p. 368.
  3. Shastri RD, Editor. Charak Samhita, Sutrasthana, Chapter 28, verse 11-14. Reprint Edition. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, 2014; p. 571-572.
  4. Shastri LC, Editor. Ashtanga Sangraha, Sutrasthana, Chapter 27, verse 5. Kolkata: Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Private Limited, p. 580.
  5. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Aspects of Allergies and Fungal Infections, Edition 2021, Dandruff Chapter No. 42, Page No. 267-271.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is Dandruff?

Answer:   Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to appear. It is often accompanied by itching.

Question: What are the causes ofDandruff?

Answer: The cause is unclear, but believed to involve a number of genetic and environmental factors; the condition may worsen in the winter.

Question: What is the Ayurvedic treatment for Dandruff?

Answer: Ayurvedic classics have dealt with various procedures and medications including palliative and purificatory treatments to manage the disease Darunaka.

Question: What Ayurveda says about Dandruff?

Answer: Dandruff is caused due to the dryness of skin. The dryness of skin is contributed by the vitiation of Vata dosha. Excessive oily scalp also causes dandruff. Oily scalp is caused due to the vitiation of Kapha dosha. Hence, there is involvement of both Vata and Kapha doshas.

Question: What is the Ayurvedic treatment of Dandruff?

Answer: If the cause lies on the scalp, then herbal oil application or local treatment is enough but if the cause lies in underlying skin disease, then the treatment for the causative disease should be done.

Question: What is the wholesome diet for dandruff?

Answer: Food that is rich in Vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids help in keeping the scalp in good health. Food rich in Vitamin E: almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseed oil, soyabean, broccoli, carrots, turnip greens etc. should be consumed.

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