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Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), commonly known as myrobalan, is well known in Ayurveda because of its benefits in preventing and treating various ailments. It has been appreciated for its various uses and is called the “king of medicines.” (1)(2)
In Ayurveda, seven varieties of haritaki fruits are known:
All the different parts of the haritaki tree can be utilized for special therapeutic goals:
How Can Haritaki Treat Hair Loss?
With a rich pharmacological and photochemical constitution, haritaki can be employed as a treatment for treating and preventing hair loss.
Here are some benefits of using haritaki on the hair.
1. Treats dandruff and lice
Research has established that premature hair loss can be provoked by poor scalp health that may result from dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. (3)
Also, according to research, hair loss in a circular pattern is an unusual symptom of head lice infestation. A study even highlights the importance of checking for head lice infestations in cases of unusual hair loss patterns. (4)
The literature shows that haritaki can be used to treat both dandruff and lice. (5)
How to use:
- To 1 cup of coconut oil, add 3 haritaki pods.
- Heat the mixture till it turns brown.
- Once the outer shell of the pods cracks, turn off the heat.
- Let it cool and store it in a container.
- Apply to your scalp to prevent dandruff and lice. (5)
2. Provides antioxidants
The leaves, bark, and fruit of haritaki and T. chebula possess a high level of antioxidant action. This is because haritaki is rich in phenolic compounds.
Research has found that extracts and compounds of T. chebula fruit displayed good antioxidant activity at different degrees of potency. (6)
Compounds with antioxidant activity are known to be great for preventing hair loss. This is because oxidative stress caused by free radicals is one of the major reasons for hair loss and damage.
The antioxidant-rich haritaki can prevent such damage caused by oxidative stress. (7)
3. Treats fungal scalp infections
Haritaki fruits can be used for their rich antifungal activity to treat scalp infections. Some common fungal infections of the scalp include dandruff and ringworm, which contribute to hair loss.
Topical use of a mixture of haritaki fruit pulp and coconut oil on the affected area can diminish skin irritation and facilitate rapid recovery of the condition. (8)
4. Provides vitamin C
Depletion of vitamin C in the body has been investigated to result in hair breakage since vitamin C is necessary for collagen and sebum production. Haritaki, abundant in vitamin C, can be helpful in the prevention of hair loss. (9)(10)
How to Use Haritaki for Hair Loss
Here are some ways to use haritaki to promote hair health:
- Haritaki oil: Massage haritaki oil into your scalp.
- Haritaki hair mask: Mix haritaki powder with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or yogurt to create a hair mask. Apply this mask to your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off with shampoo.
- Haritaki supplement: You can take haritaki supplements orally to potentially promote overall hair health. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.
Keep in mind that while haritaki may have potential benefits for hair health, it is important to address the underlying cause of hair loss for effective treatment. It is recommended to seek medical advice if you are experiencing significant hair loss.
Is There a Direct Scientific Study Done for Haritaki on Treating Hair Loss?
There is no direct scientific study that specifically examines the use of haritaki for treating hair loss. However, some studies suggest that haritaki may have potential benefits for overall hair health, such as improving scalp circulation and reducing inflammation, which could indirectly contribute to reducing hair loss.
Another reason that may support the use of haritaki for the promotion of hair health is its role in combating dandruff, which can be beneficial for overall hair health.
Dandruff is a common scalp condition that can cause flaking, itching, and irritation. Haritaki is believed to have antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate dandruff-causing fungi and bacteria from the scalp.
Additionally, haritaki is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation and irritation associated with dandruff. Therefore, the use of haritaki in hair care products may help promote healthy scalp and hair. However, further research is necessary to confirm these benefits and their effectiveness in combating dandruff. (3)(5)(8)(11)
Most-Asked Questions About Haritaki for Hair Loss
How to differentiate between the different fruit varieties of haritaki?
- Vijaya – gourd shape
- Rohini – round in shape
- Putana – has a big stone
- Amrita – fleshy
- Abhaya – has five ridges
- Jivanti – has a golden color
- Chetaki – has three ridges (2)
How is triphala related to haritaki?
Triphala is a well-known and positively effective polyherbal Ayurvedic medicine that is made of fruits of three plant species:
- Emblica officinalis (amalaki)
- Terminalia bellirica (bibhitaki)
- Terminalia chebula (haritaki) (12)
What are some beneficial therapeutic actions of haritaki?
The haritaki plant possesses multiple pharmacological and medicinal activities. These include:
Haritaki is an excellent and famous drug used in traditional medicine. It has a superabundance of advantages for hair and scalp health. Haritaki is a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial agent and can be used for treating various hair issues.