What is Ashwagandha?
You’ve probably heard of Ashwagandha, an ancient herb that does wonders for your health.
But are you aware of the numerous advantages it has for your hair? Yeah, you read that right. Ashwagandha can help your hair as well.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. Its root seems to have a horsey odor and is claimed to offer energy and virility. Ashva means ‘horse,’ and Gandha means ‘smell’ in Sanskrit.
The plant’s many components are utilized, but the most popular supplementary form is a root extract.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, which means it is thought to improve the body’s resistance to stress.
This plant is used by practitioners as a general tonic to increase energy and relieve stress and anxiety. Some people believe the herb can help with cancer, Alzheimer’s illness and anxiety.
Yet more study is needed. Promising investigations on the health effects of Ashwagandha have primarily been conducted on animals.
This article covers the traditional usage of Ashwagandha for hair, the benefits, how to take it, and the research supporting its potential health benefits and risks.
Does Ashwagandha help with hair loss?
Do you wake up in the morning and find hair on your pillowcase? Or maybe you are clogging the drain after a shower.
According to research conducted by NYU Langone Health 80% of men and almost half of women experience considerable hair loss over their lives. Yet our beautiful manes are our crowning glories, and both men and women are working towards reducing hair fall and boosting hair growth.
According to Ayurveda, every human body’s physiology results from the partnership of three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which exist in a unique ratio in each individual.
A change in the ratio of these tridoshas in your body can cause various dosha-specific diseases, including scalp and hair issues.
They believe it is essential to maintain the equilibrium or ratio of these doshas, which regulate your whole body and mind functioning, to maintain a healthy body, mind and soul.
One of the most potent Ayurvedic medicines, Ashwagandha, is said to balance the three doshas in your body. It is very effective in calming exacerbated Kapha and Vata doshas, which helps prevent hair loss.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for hair
Most of Ashwagandha’s advantages are attributable, at least in part, to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. Ashwagandha can boost antioxidant enzyme levels such as glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase while preventing lipid peroxidation.
Ashwagandha appears to alter the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which plays a crucial role in response to stress, as indicated by its capacity to lower cortisol levels to relieve stress and anxiety.
1. Relieves your hair loss
An excess of stress hormones like cortisol disrupts the normal functioning of your hair follicles, ultimately leading to hair loss. Ashwagandha can help you control follicular damage and hair loss by regulating cortisol levels in your body. The plant contains natural mood-boosting qualities that reduce hair loss by reducing anxiety and stress.
2. Strengthens your hair
Ashwagandha increases DHEA synthesis (Dehydroepiandrosterone), a naturally occurring hormone in your body that acts as an antioxidant. As a result, Ashwagandha aids in the elimination of free radicals from your scalp and hair follicles, supporting healthy hair growth.
3. Enhances your scalp and hair nourishment
Ashwagandha also assists in the delivery of nutrients to hair follicles through dilation of blood vessels, which improves blood circulation.
4. Conditions your scalp and hair
Ashwagandha may boost the formation of collagen and sebum on your scalp by simulating DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) production.
The use of Ashwagandha moisturizes your scalp and hair texture while also repairing dry and brittle hair. Furthermore, collagen and sebum protect your scalp and hair from UV damage.
5. Controls your scalp Irritation
Ashwagandha promotes the general health of your hair follicles due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. It treats scalp conditions such as dandruff, itchiness, psoriasis, eczema, and other inflammation-related allergies.
6. Reverses premature greying of hair
An amino acid called ‘Tyrosine’ found in Ashwagandha also helps to keep melanin levels stable. Melanin is the pigment responsible for your hair color, which reverses premature hair greying.
How to use Ashwagandha for hair loss
1. Ayurvedic hair care products
You can pick hair-care products containing Ashwagandha as one of the core ingredients, such as hair oil, shampoo and conditioner. For topical treatment, you could also add Ashwagandha powder to your shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner.
2. Ashwagandha hair masks
Ashwagandha hair masks can do wonders for your hair.
Below are a few steps to help you make an Ashwagandha hair mask at home,
- Make a fine paste with 2-3 spoons of ashwagandha powder and the needed quantity of warm distilled water.
- Apply this paste to your scalp and hair, massaging it gently.
- Then wrap it in a towel for 30 minutes.
- Afterwards thoroughly rinse it with warm water.
Another popular hair mask combines Ashwagandha, Hibiscus, and Brahmi powders
- Add each of the powders in equal amounts.
- Add enough yogurt or coconut milk to make a smooth paste as a base.
- Apply the mask to your hair and scalp and keep it on for 30 minutes before rinsing with a mild shampoo.
3. Ashwagandha tea diet
- Add a scoop of Ashwagandha powder or a few dried roots to water.
- Boil it for around 10-15 minutes on low heat with the lid covered.
- Pour the decoction into a cup.
- Add a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice to taste.
To counteract the bitterness of the tea, you can add spices like ginger, elaichi etc
Alternatively, if you want to experiment, you can add a quarter of a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder into your regular morning coffee.
4. Ashwagandha churna
Ashwagandha is traditionally ingested in powdered form, mixed with ghee, honey, or heated milk. Every day, take a spoonful of Ashwagandha churna after breakfast. It is advisable to begin with a modest dose of a quarter of a spoon and gradually raise the dosage.
5. Ashwagandha supplements
Ashwagandha is found in the majority of Ayurvedic supplements that promote hair growth. They can be taken as oral supplements every day at a 300-500 mg dose.
Furthermore, because the active components of Ashwagandha are fat-soluble, you must accept the supplements with meals that include high-quality fats.
Where do you get Ashwagandha?
Most herbal and Ayurvedic stores in India sell Ashwagandha in the form of dry roots; powder steams and supplemental pills.
While you may buy it online, it is best to deal with reputable companies that provide the herb with the prescribed amount of withanolides (active components). Ensure the Ashwagandha you buy has been tested for impurities and is free of toxic metals.
How long does Ashwagandha take to work?
When used regularly, Ashwagandha can reduce your stress levels within a week. However, Ashwagandha might take at least 12 weeks to improve your hair health fully.
Ashwagandha’s hair benefits for women
Ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety
Stress is a major cause of hair loss since it can promote telogen effluvium, a condition wherein hair follicles enter a resting phase and start falling out. Ashwagandha is an apoptogenic plant with stress-relieving properties.
As a result, it indirectly helps in managing hair loss by lowering stress and anxiety levels.
Ashwagandha benefits for grey hair
Ashwagandha has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help the scalp’s health. Ashwagandha powder contains flavonoids and fatty acids, glucose, potassium, tannins and nitrate. Tyrosine, an amino acid in Ashwagandha, promotes melanin production and prevents hair melanin loss.
This helps to keep hair from greying prematurely.
Ashwagandha for postpartum hair loss
Ashwagandha is also reported to prevent postpartum hair loss and is frequently used in shampoos to increase scalp circulation and hair strength. The enhancement of sebum production promotes healthy hair growth by stimulating DHEA.
Ashwagandha promotes digestion and gut health
How is this related to your hair, you may ask. Improved digestion results in increased absorption of minerals and essential vitamins found in food, promoting hair growth and hair density and structure.
Ashwagandha helps with scalp psoriasis and scalp eczema
Ashwagandha can be used to treat scalp psoriasis and eczema in women. Its anti-inflammatory properties also aid in the elimination of dandruff.
As it lowers inflammation, Ashwagandha relieves scalp irritation caused by dandruff, psoriasis and itchy scalp. It also helps in the general improvement of the skin’s condition.
Ashwagandha is used for strengthening hair
Ashwagandha can also help to strengthen hair. It includes amino acids and antioxidants, which help thicken hair while preventing damage. This is why Ashwagandha’s advantages for hair restoration are so popular among women.
Risks of excessive usage of Ashwagandha
1. Headache, drowsiness and stomach discomfort
Headache, drowsiness and stomach discomfort are some of the most prevalent Ashwagandha side effects when taken in lower doses.
2. Rapid heart rate and allergies
In rare situations, Ashwagandha overdose might result in a rapid heartbeat and allergic reactions.
3. Low risk of Hyperthyroidism
Although Ashwagandha can treat Hypothyroidism, it could also cause Hyperthyroidism.
4. Dangerous for pregnant women
Pregnant women should avoid Ashwagandha since it might cause preterm labor. In addition, nursing moms should avoid taking Ashwagandha orally.
5. May cause allergies
People sensitive to nightshade plants (Solanaceae), such as peppers, tomatoes and potatoes, may be allergic to Ashwagandha.
6. May cause adverse drug interactions
Avoid sedative drugs, including benzodiazepines, barbiturates and alcohol, while consuming Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is known as the ‘Queen of herbs’ in Ayurveda for its numerous hair benefits. Include the miracle herb into your daily hair care routine to achieve the best effects.
It is also a good hair growth promoter and can help prevent follicles, scalp and hair tissue damage. It might also be an excellent way to boost your natural immunity.
According to research, Ashwagandha is a realistic potential medication against COVID-19.
1.Does Ashwagandha regrow hair?
Yes, Ashwagandha hair loss products can help with hair growth in various ways. It has the potential to increase hair health, but it is dependent on the cause of your hair loss.
2.Can Ashwagandha cause hair loss?
While Ashwagandha has many advantages for healthy hair growth, some people report experiencing hair loss after beginning Ashwagandha hair loss treatment.
This occurs because this non-medicinal plant raises testosterone levels, and this subsequently turns to DHT, which can cause hair loss in persons who are prone to pattern baldness genetically.
3.What is Ashwagandha powder used for?
Compounds in Ashwagandha powder may help relax the brain, decrease swelling, regulate blood pressure, and change the immune system.
Because Ashwagandha is traditionally used as an adaptogen, it is utilized to treat various stress-related disorders. Adaptogens are thought to aid the body’s resistance to physical and mental stress.
4.Are there any side effects of Ashwagandha powder?
Ashwagandha’s long-term safety is unknown. Ashwagandha at high dosages might induce stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. Rarely liver issues arise.