Managing alopecia areata through Ayurveda

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Alopecia areata in allopathic and Indralupta in Ayurveda is an auto-immune condition where hair loss occurs on the scalp in patches without any symptoms. Although this disease is prevalent in men and women, men are more affected than women. Due to cosmetic concerns, this condition has more impact and emotional issues in women and children. Western medicine uses corticosteroids to treat alopecia. However, it is not without side effects.

Ayurveda offers different treatment modalities to manage various auto-immune diseases, which does not spare anyone, be they rich or poor. 

You may remember the unexpected turn of events at the 94th annual Academy Awards this year. There was an on-stage altercation between the host Chris Rock and renowned Hollywood actor Will Smith (who won the award for Best Actor), the former joking about the latter’s spouse Jada Pinkett Smith’s tonsured head. The spat began when Rock compared Pinkett Smith’s tonsured head to Demi Moore’s look in ‘GI Jane,’ commenting he couldn’t wait to see her in ‘GI Jane 2,’ to which Jane rolled her eyes. But it did not augur well with Smith, who walked onto the stage and slapped the comedian to the shock of thousands of people watching the event in-person and on television. 

Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia areata lost lots of hair, forcing her to shave off the hair. She is not the only celebrity suffering from this condition as other actors, including Viola Davis and Tyra Banks, had undergone traumatic days with the condition. All of them attributed their hair losses due to stress.

Apart from genetic factors, nutrition deficiency, stress, environment, medicines, long-term illness, thyroid dysfunction, vaccines, and fungal infections are some of the causes of alopecia areata. The symptoms include gradual thinning on top of the head, sudden hair loss, circular or patchy bald spots, and scaling patches that spread over the scalp.

Ayurvedic solutions

Pitta pacification is a prerequisite for the alopecia areata in Ayurveda. There are methods such as rakta moksha, nasya, lepa, and applying medicated oil, among other methods, to treat alopecia areata. In Ayurvedic terminology, rakta moksha stands for effective blood purification therapy, where the vitiated rakta or blood is removed, thus helping in neutralizing aggravated Pitta (Pitta is the hottest dosha or disease as it is associated with fire). Nasyam is a therapy where the Ayurvedic medications are sent through nasyam or nasal cavity, thus eliminating the impurities from there. Nasyam seems to be a very effective therapy for treating the sign of alopecia areata. In the lepa treatment, the patient is administered with medicated powders while the lepas helps hair growth. Medicated herbal oils known for their effectiveness in treating Alopecia areata are also prescribed.

Besides these treatment methodologies, including lentils, pulses, leafy green vegetables, herbal teas, sesame and sunflower seeds, soaked almonds, soybeans, ghee, fresh juices, buttermilk, egg, and fish in the diet, too, helps in quick recovery from alopecia areata.

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