Struggling with hair loss? Explore age old remedies of Ayurveda and learn How to Use Raw Amla for Hair Growth using only natural ingredients.
There is a saying in Malayalam that translates to this: "The words of elders are like nellikka (amla); at first they taste bitter, but turn out sweet in the end". It refers to how we need to honor the life experiences of those older to us, even though we may not agree initially. It is worth noting that this saying is from Kerala, the land of Ayurveda, where the benefits of amla are well known!
Amla is also known as the Indian gooseberry, are quite a familiar ingredient in most Indian households across the country. Owing to its bitter taste, amla is often converted to things like murabba or pickle before being consumed. As a raw fruit, amla's biggest uses are in skin and hair care recipes.
Amla is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, tannins, calcium, phosphorous and loads of antioxidants. In fact, just 100 grams of raw amla has as much Vitamin C as 20 oranges, and 55 times the antioxidant content of blueberries! It's no wonder then that amla is known as sarvadoshahara, which means ‘destroyer of all diseases’. Amla has been used not just in Ayurveda, but in other traditional forms of medicine like Unani, Siddha and Chinese medicine.
Amla has many benefits for hair, but using fresh amla for hair growth is probably one of the most popular. Studies have shown that solutions containing amla have proven more effective than OTC applications for hair growth stimulation. This is mainly due to the Vitamin E and Vitamin C which promotes cell regeneration. It also stimulates the production of collagen a protein which encourages hair growth.
According to Ayurveda, it is an excess of Pitta which causes hair issues like hair loss. Amla is a natural coolant and a great ingredient to soothe a Pitta imbalance, which is why raw amla for hair growth is recommended. Here we decode the Indian secret of how to use fresh amla for hair growth at home, using only natural ingredients.
The Indian Secret of How to Use Raw Amla for Hair Growth
Amla Almond Oil
Almond oil is another ingredient that is rich in Vitamin E, a hair-friendly nutrient that increases blood circulation to the hair follicles and makes hair shiny and soft. To make the amla almond oil, start by grating the amla and discarding the pit. Grind the grated amla to get amla juice and mix a few tablespoons of almond oil to it. When ready to use, warm a little of the amla almond oil and apply all over the scalp. Wash off after 1-2 hours
Amla Herbal Hair Oil
Most herbal or Ayurvedic preparations use amla, since the tannins in it ensure it stays stable even after any kind of cooking or boiling. This herbal oil uses coconut oil, which has several benefits for hair growth, along with curry leaves, which is well known to reduce hair fall, improve hair color and promote better growth.
To make the herbal oil, chop raw amla to get 1/4 cup and discard the pits. Heat coconut oil with chopped amla and a fist full of curry leaves. Continue to boil till the color of the oil turns dark. When cool, strain the oil and collect it in a glass bottle. Apply warm oil all over the scalp and hair. Leave it on for 30-60 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo.
Amla Citrus Hair Tonic
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage, one of the causes for hair fall. If you're wondering how to use raw amla for hair growth, be sure to combine it with lemons, to get an incredible Vitamin C boost. Both these ingredients also help fight scalp infections like dandruff.
To make the hair tonic, grate fresh, raw amla and squeeze the grated amla to extract the juice. Add lemon juice to this and mix well. Apply the juice directly over the scalp, gently getting the extra flow into your strands. Leave it on for an hour and wash off as usual.
Amla Yogurt Hair Mask
Amla is known to be naturally cooling, which is why it is so great for soothing the scalp and promoting better hair growth. When thinking about how to use raw amla for hair, consider adding yogurt, also known for its cooling properties. Together, they help fight dandruff, cleanse the scalp and encourage better hair growth.
To make the mask, grate amla, discard the pits and blend the grated fruit into a paste. Add enough yogurt to make a thick paste. Use a brush to apply the mask all over the scalp and apply any remaining mask on the hair lengths. After half an hour, wash off with cool water. This is a great mask for summer, as it's cooling and encourages hair growth.
Amla Hibiscus Hair Mask
Just like amla, hibiscus also pacifies pitta and balances all the doshas. Due to this, hibiscus is a common ingredient in most Ayurvedic preparations for hair health. Hibiscus also softens the hair, making it more manageable and preventing breakage.
To make the amla hibiscus hair mask, grate amla and discard the pits. Grind the grated amla with fresh hibiscus petals to get a paste. If it's too thick, add some water or coconut oil. Apply the mask all over the scalp and hair and wash it off with cold water after 30 minutes.
Amla Henna Hair Pack
Henna is used for coloring hair as well as for cooling the scalp. Amla is an excellent addition to this as it is known to increase the pigmentation of hair and helping any other color stick to it. Amla is also great for preventing premature greying of hair.
Extract fresh amla juice by grinding the fruit or squeezing out grated amla. Add enough henna powder to it to get a paste. At this point, you can also add some fenugreek powder, which is a spice known for increasing hair thickness. Once you get the desired consistency, apply the pack all over the scalp and along the length of hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave it on for about two hours before washing off with cool water.
Amla Shikakai Shampoo
One of the main reasons for hair fall is the use of chemical shampoos. All your efforts to learn how to use fresh amla for hair growth will go to nought if you follow up the treatment with a chemical shampoo. Instead, use a herbal shampoo made with amla and other hair strengthening ingredients - reetha and shikakai. Shikakai is rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants that help hair grow thicker .Reetha offers the cleansing properties of shampoo, without any parabens or sulfates.
To make the shampoo, soak 6 reetha pods, 6 pieces of shikakai and some chopped raw amla without the pits in half a liter of water. Leave it to soak overnight and the next morning, heat the mixture till it just reaches boiling point. Let the mixture cool and grind it using a blender. Strain the mixture till all the liquid is collected in a glass bottle. This liquid can be used just like regular shampoo.
Amla Hair Rinse
Amla is so good on its own that you can use nothing but amla juice as a rinse for your hair. This is also a quick fix if you don't have much time. The amla juice is gentle enough to be used everyday and doesn't need too much prepping. There are two ways to make the amla rinse, and in either method, the rinse is to be used over cleansed hair.
You can extract fresh amla juice and directly pour this over your scalp and hair. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing off with cool water. You can also cook chopped raw amla in water for half an hour, then strain and use the cooled water as a rinse.
In addition to these methods, people often wonder: does amla help hair growth when consumed? The answer is yes, it does. You can drink a glass of fresh amla juice every morning to get a good detox and grow hair at the same time.
While amla is safe to consume and apply, some people may have allergic reactions. What's more, since amla is naturally cooling, people prone to colds may have some trouble with eating or drinking raw amla. The best way to know if amla is safe for you is to do a patch test of any of the remedies. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not advised to use amla, as are babies or young children.
Please remember that hair loss can be due to a variety of reasons, ranging from nutritional deficiencies to autoimmune disorders. If you have severe hair fall that doesn't seem to rectify itself naturally, it's best to consult a doctor to determine the root cause of the hair loss.
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