When we talk about Indian herbs or spices, we are usually led to associate them with the uses they find in the kitchen. Not many know that there are several Indian herbs for hair with beneficial and curative properties, which are also used in cosmetics, particularly in beauty treatments.
8 Indian Herbs For Hair Care
The Indian herbs listed below are ideal for those looking for natural hair products but, given their properties, they can also be used for facial skincare. These are powders used for centuries by Indian women, who owe the beauty and shine of their hair to these hair herbs.
Among the best known Indian herbs, there is undoubtedly amla. Phyllanthus Emblica is the scientific name of this plant, native to India and known for the medicinal properties of its fruit, the edible part. The amla fruit has a spherical shape and a yellow-green color. It is rich in vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, calcium, carotene, and B complex vitamins. Countless benefits are derived from taking the fruit internally. Still, there are various positive effects for those who decide to use amla as a cosmetic remedy for hair treatment.
When mixed with water, amla powder can be applied to the hair as a compress to strengthen it, prevent hair loss and graying, stimulate growth and pigmentation. The mixture of amla powder and water, combined with other ingredients such as avocado, rosehip or olive oil, can also be applied to the skin of the face and left on for 10-15 minutes; it has antioxidant, lightening and illuminating properties thanks to the high content of vitamin C.
Acacia concinna is the scientific name of the plant from which shikakai powder is obtained, one of the Indian herbs mainly used for washing and conditioning hair. Shikakai powder is one of the most popular and well-known Indian herbs for those who want to naturally take care of their hair. Thanks to the saponin content, added to warm water and rubbed into the hair, it produces a foam similar to that of traditional shampoos.
The mixture can also be used as a pack, combined with some moisturizing vegetable oils such as coconut or castor oil, to be fixed on dry hair and left on for about an hour. The use of this powder is particularly recommended for people with dandruff problems, thinning hair or sensitive and reactive scalp. Those with dry hair may find it helpful to combine the mixture with shea butter or rich vegetable oil, such as olive oil, to dab the drying effect of the powder.
Applied instead on the skin of the face, the mixture of shikakai, water and essential oils to taste (tea tree for oily and combination skin, that of lavender for sensitive skin and those of sweet orange and lemon to obtain a mild purifying effect) is astringent and helps to keep sebum production under control.
The Indica tree, native to India and Burma, is known in the West, thanks to the English transliteration, with ‘neem’. The medicinal properties of Neem are innumerable, and Ayurvedic medicine uses it to treat fever, pain and infections. Neem oil, obtained from the leaves from the seeds of this plant, used diluted in another vegetable oil, such as that of jojoba, coconut or avocado, applied to limited areas of the skin or skin is helpful in case of psoriasis, acne, dermatitis, boils and eczema, thanks to its powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Applied to the skin, it can help prevent the appearance of head lice. In India, neem leaves are chewed to disinfect teeth and gums; In this regard, it may be beneficial to floss soaked in neem oil to complete our oral hygiene. The neem powder, derived from drying the leaves, can be mixed with water and other vegetable oils to obtain highly purifying and astringent masks, suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. Neem-based packs are very effective on the hair, especially for fighting dandruff and purifying the scalp.
The scientific name of this herbaceous plant is Bacopa Monnieri; it is native to Asia and then spread to Australia, South America and Europe. It is characterized by fleshy green leaves and delicate white flowers. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammation, anemia, gastroenteritis and ulcers.
In cosmetics, it has a similar use to shikakai: the Brahmi powder, derived from the drying of the leaves, mixed with warm water can be applied to the skin and hair, like a regular mask, to eliminate dandruff, treat dermatitis, calm the itching and to strengthen weak hair. It is also excellent for those who do not have discomfort and irritation. It makes the hair shinier, stronger, and thicker. It can be used in synergy with other Indian herbs to enhance beneficial and medicinal effects.
The scientific name of this oriental plant is Hedychium Spicatum; the powder derived from the drying of its leaves, in addition to being very fragrant, is an excellent remedy to strengthen the hair and make it thicker. Kapoor each powder should be mixed with warm water and possibly combined with other Indian washing herbs, depending on the more or less intense effect you want to obtain, applied to the hair and left on for about an hour. The result will be shiny hair perfumed and strengthened hair. Thanks to its characteristic and intense smell, incense is obtained from the roots, particularly appreciated in some African countries.
Fenugreek (whose scientific name is Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a herbaceous plant native to the Near East, whose seeds are essential ingredients of Indian cuisine. Fenugreek lends itself to various uses: the leaves, previously dried, are used for cosmetic use; the seeds as a spice and the fresh leaves as a vegetable, in the kitchen. In the Hindi language and culture, the plant is known by the name Methi and is used, in the form of dried and pulverized leaves, for cosmetic use for hair and facial skincare.
The methi powder, mixed with warm water to obtain a homogeneous and dense compound, applied to the hair and skin of the face as a mask, exerts its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, accelerating the healing process of wounds, small sores or scars. It is one of the most effective remedies against dandruff and acts against hair loss. Like other Indian herbs, this powder can also be applied to the face. It has an anti-wrinkle effect, thanks to the content of Niacin (vitamin B3).
Eclipta Prostrata is an oriental herbaceous plant whose cultivation and use are now widespread worldwide. In Ayurveda, it is used to treat scalp and skin diseases, particularly psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and skin rashes. Bhringraj powder is obtained by drying the leaves, then mixed with water and used as a mask for the skin of the face and hair. It has anti-aging properties and is one of the most beneficial Indian herbs in preventing hair graying and premature hair loss.
The scientific name of this herbaceous plant (also called ‘sacred basil’ due to its medicinal properties) is Ocimum tenuiflorum. Tulsi is cultivated in India as a sacred plant, an object of veneration, and is used in Mediterranean countries and Southeast Asia cuisine for its intense and particular aroma. According to Ayurveda, its properties are innumerable: it is antidiabetic, protects the heart, has significant antioxidant effects and is considered a protective food for some types of cancer.
Tulsi is one of India’s most famous natural hair products used in powder form. Applied to the skin and hair, after mixing it with warm water, it helps prevent hair loss, purify the skin and fight acne and other skin problems. Mixed with coconut oil, it can be massaged into the scalp weekly to strengthen the hair. The centuries-old use has proved the effectiveness of these Indian herbs that the Indians have made of them. Recently, Western medicine is also verifying its validity through scientific studies. Of course, their positive effects on the skin and hair will manifest themselves due to their constant and combined use. In any case, Indian powders for sensitive and delicate subjects who do not tolerate traditional products aggressively and often contain synthetic elements.
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