Darunak or commonly known as dandruff, is a disorder that affects the scalp. Dandruff causes white, dry flakes of dead skin cells to shed from the scalp. Although dandruff rarely causes baldness and hair loss, the itchiness of this condition may most certainly be a cause of concern. If white flakes persist for a long time, the person may experience symptoms of seborrhea, psoriasis, or eczema. According to Ayurveda, Darunak is a Vatakapha predominant tridoshaj disease. According to Acharya ‘Sushrut’, Madhav’ and Yogratnakar’, Darunak have symptoms like Itching, White scales like structures, Dryness in the scalp. Along with aforesaid symptoms of Acharya Vagbhatta also considered Hair loss and Numbness of scalp. The Adhisthan (place of origin) of this disease is the keshbhumi (Scalp).
Over time, proponents of Ayurveda have conducted various researches on this disease, trying to find out an effective solution when it comes to dandruff related problems.
Prolonged Treatment for Wet or Oily dandruff:
The scalp skin produces sebum (Kapha), which is an oily substance. This sebum helps in keeping your scalp and hair hydrated. It is a natural process, without which your hair may turn dry and frizzy. However, when this sebum (kapha) is over produced due to certain reasons, you may suffer from problems of the scalp. Over production of sebum (kapha) causes oily scales to appear on the scalp, which may cause severe itching and may also result in infection. Therefore, wet dandruff requires prolonged treatment, whereas it is easier to treat dry dandruff.
Impurity in the blood:
According to Ayurvedic system of medicine, dry dandruff is caused because of ‘Vata Pradhan Kapha dosha’. On the other hand, wet dandruff is caused because of ‘Kapha Pradhan Vata dosha’. As per Acharya Videha Pitta and Kapha are involved in causing darunak i.e. Dandruff. The vitiation of Vata and Pitta in the body leads to vitiation of Raktadhatu(blood) thus giving rise to impurities in the blood. This in turn leads to poor nourishment of the scalp. In such cases, detoxification of blood is also required to get rid of dandruff.
Ayurveda places the problem of dandruff in the category of Shudra Roga, which appears due to an imbalance of all three doshas (Ayurvedic humor). The primary doshas involved are Kapha and Vata.Kapha is an Ayurvedic humor which symbolizes Softness, Stickiness, provides nourishment & lubrication. Vata is dry and rough in nature. In an aggravated state, both doshas as per their predominance cause the production of specific impurities in scalp, which are dry and sticky in nature. These impurities accumulate in the deep tissues of the scalp and contaminate them. Contamination of the deep tissues and aggravated Vata-Kapha Dosha causes itching and flaky patches on the scalp. Due to these factors, the scalp sheds larger than normal amounts of dead epidermal cells, which leads to the problem of dandruff.
The Ayurvedic line of treatment is to generally pacify Kapha and Vata through herbal medicines, as well as a tailor-made diet and lifestyle plan. Also, special herbs are administered to cleanse the body of accumulated digestive impurities.
The Ayurvedic system of treatment for wet or oily dandruff, in particular, is briefly mentioned here:
- According to Ayurveda, dandruff could be caused due to prolonged intake of cold water, Excessive usage of foods that taste salty, Chronic Rhinitis, Irregular Sleeping Habits, Excessive Exposure to UV of sun, Suppressing Natural Urges, Excessive consumption of alcohol, Excessive sweating , Improper maintenance of Hair and using very less or no hair oil for massaging Head and Scalp.
- Ayurveda suggests both topical and internal medicines for the treatment of wet or oily dandruff. The topical medicines are intended to manage dandruff and also provide relief from itching and infection, if any. The internal medicines are intended to detox the blood and also improve immunity, nourish the skin and thereby help in improving the quality of hair.
- If dandruff is caused due to psoriasis and eczema, then there are exclusive medicines to combat the infection, detox the body and nourish the skin and hair.
- Ayurveda suggests that foods like coconut, Indian gooseberry ( Amla), Raisins etc. help in preventing dandruff.
- In addition to these, Ayurveda also suggests various home remedies for effective management of both wet and dry dandruff, like washing your hair with decoction prepared with Neem Leaves or Take powder of Mustard seeds and licorice, make them into paste by adding milk to it and leave it on head for 20min and wash later with water.
- Taking Panchkarama detoxification procedures like Nasyam, Raktamokshnam, Shirobasti, Abhyanga Swedanam under the guidance of expert can also play very important role in the management of both the types of dandruff.
- Accumulated hair and dandruff scales can be made returned to the healthy scalp from unclean combs and brushes. This may irritate the scalp and causes flare of dandruff again. Combs and brushes are the tools for the care of your hair; they should be properly made and well cared to accomplish this purpose. Neem wood combs can work wonder but they should also be regularly cleaned and changed every six months. It can be easily deduced that wet dandruff can be effectively managed and treated by undergoing treatment under Ayurvedic system of medicines.
However, you should avail such treatment under the supervision of an experienced doctor specialized in Ayurvedic medical science.