I’ve recently been thinking about trying to incorporate Ayurvedic treatments into my regimen for the Fall, so I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject. One of the first things that threw me off about Ayurvedic treatments was all the powders. If you had to ask me how to pronounce them, I doubt I’d say it correctly, so of course I had to find out what each of the powders do. After reading through the forums, I managed to compile a list of commonly used herb powders that naturals have incorporated into their routines. Check it out–
Amla Known for having the highest content of vitamin C, Amla is especially good for boosting the immune system. In hair care, Amla is used in oil infused tonics or in powder form to provide added strength to hair roots, to add shine, encourage hair growth and addresses premature greying. In skin care, face masks using amla paste provides nourishment and reduces dullness.
Bhringraj Bhringraj is an ancient Ayurvedic herb widely known for its effectiveness against hair ailments. In Ayurveda, the herb is used for treating hair loss, improving hair texture, and to stop premature balding and graying and various skin allergies. Alopecia sufferers will also find bhringraj to be beneficial in promoting hair regrowth. Even without suffering any ailments, bhringraj aids in luxurious hair growth. Infusing bhringraj in an oil such as coconut or sesame oil to massage onto the scalp will help with baldness and can cause a regrowth of hair. Use as a paste in combination with amla, brahmi, shikakai, tulsi, and/or neem to see wonderful growth and hair conditioning benefits.
Brahmi Brahmi is best known traditionally for its rejuvenating properties affecting brain cells and bringing improvements to memory functions. For hair care, Brahmi is best used in combination with amla, bhringraj, shikakai, tulsi &/or neem powders to provide not only stronger roots, but also thicker hair and relief from itchy scalps. Brahmi can be used in a paste, a tea spritz for hair or in an oil infusion.
Cassia Cassia, also known as neutral henna, is used by many who want the benefits of conditioning that comes from henna, but without dramatic color changes. Cassia will turn gray hairs a pale blondish color, but shows no color difference on darker hair.
Henna works to stop breakage by strengthening the hair shaft. Henna also works to seal and repair the cuticle which makes for more manageable hair, a plus when it comes to detangling. Although Henna is mainly known as a mega strengthener, Henna has conditioning properties as well, which leaves the hair shiny, soft and fully of body.
In Ayurveda, Hibiscus (Jaswand) is known as one of the best secrets to beautiful and healthy hair. Hibiscus promotes hair growth, stops hair fall, gives hair a healthy luster with bounce, and delays premature graying. Hibiscus has been a wonderful ingredient in hair treatments that combine other Ayurvedic herbs such as Amla and brahmi. For henna color treatments, hibiscus is used to achieve a burgundy to black cherry color on hair. It is also slightly acidic and helps to aid in a faster henna dye release. As a drinkable tea, hibiscus is a natural body coolant and makes a great refreshing drink. Even better is using hibiscus powders and in a tea rinse for hair!
Kapur Kachri promotes growth by stimulating the roots. It also has antiseptic properties benefiting the scalp.
Neem is known in Ayurveda for its powerful effectiveness in fighting diseases. Its properties are naturally antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.
In skin care, a paste made with neem will remove excess oils from the face and clear pimples. It will also aid with scars. When used in a soap or oil, neem can help to relieve dry skin as well as the itchiness and redness from eczema. In a salve or cream, neem’s antiseptic properties aid in healing cuts and minor wounds. Using neem to make a tea or face mask will help to treat acne.
In hair care, neem promotes shiny, healthy hair, combats dryness of scalp, and fights scalp infections and dandruff. Undiluted neem oil will help treat head lice.
Shikakai is an herb known in ayurveda for its cleansing properties and natural mild foaming properties. Literally meaning “fruit for hair”, it has been traditionally used for beautiful and healthy hair as a mild shampoo. Shikakai has anti-dandruff properties and is known to aid with detangling of hair. Mixing shikakai with amla promotes hair strengthening and conditioning. This naturally astringent herb will also promote a healthy scalp and stronger roots.
Best for all hair types. However, for hair that is prone to dryness, shikakai is best used sparingly and mixed with an additional herb, such as amla.
Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is known to promote health and for having healing properties. It is a purifying herb and additionally has antiseptic properties. The powder form has a purifying action for the blood. It addresses all sorts of skin diseases when prepared properly, such as ringworm, skin eruptions, scabies, eczema, minor wounds, itching, and scalp irritations and infections. In beauty, tulsi is effective in removing blemishes, treating acne, and for removing dirt deep in pores. Now that I’m a little more familiar with what each does, I will begin experimenting with them as the months pass. I still have to do my Henna + Amla mix, so I guess that’s a great place to start.