Ayurvedic treatment for Premature greying

Premature greying

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  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
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Premature greying Ayurvedic treatment


With advancing age, the hair has a tendency to lose its natural color, hence it is natural for the hair to turn grey with age. Premature greying makes young individuals look older which causes a great deal of concern, especially women.1

At the root of each hair are special cells called melanocytes.  These cells are pre-programmed to produce melanin, the pigment that gives your hair its color, for a designated period of time. As some point, these melanocytes stop working causing grey hair to come up on the scalp.2

According to Ayurveda, premature greying of hair is called akalapalitya means graying of hairs before 32 years of age which is caused by excess of ushna guna of pitta.3

According to Ayurveda there are four main cause of premature greying of hair:4

  • Food related (Aharaj) – Excessive use of salty (lavan), sour, bittr (katu Amla rasa), acidic (kshara dravya) food in diet, eating noncompatible food (Viruddha ahar sevan)
  • Lifestyle related (Viharaj)- Atap sevan (excessive exposure of sunlight), Ratri jagaran (awakening during night), Dhuma sevan and Ativyayama (excessive exercise) and upavasa (fast), Atirajosevan (use of smoking and dust particle), Dushit vayu sevan (intake of vitiated air)
  • Mind related (Mansik): Anger (Krodha), grief (shoka), afraid (bhaya) and mental stress (maansika shrama)
  • Unknown/Genetic (Adibalapravritta)


Premature greying


The causes of premature greying of hair are:

  • Heredity
  • Medical Conditions like vitiligo, pernicious anemia and thyroid disorders
  • Medications like methotrexate, lithium
  • Smoking


Premature greying


Grey hair


Premature greying


Your doctor will take detailed history and may also ask for some investigations like as folic acid levels, serum vitamin B12, and thyroid profile to confirm the diagnosis


Premature greying


Ayurveda explains that healthy hair is a sign of good, balanced state of tridosha and imbalance in the tridosha can lead to hair diseases. The management is balancing the vitiated dosha and strengthen the dhatus by appropriate diet, lifestyle and herbs. The management principle of any disease is that avoidance of causative factors like avoidance of pittavardhak aahara and vihar in case of palitya.

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Avoid use of pungent (katu), sour (amla), salt (lavana), hot (ushna), light (laghu) aahar.
  • Avoid refined sugar, refined foods, junk food, and carbonated and alcoholic drinks.
  • Increase intake of green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and vegetable juice.

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Oil massage to the head, ears and feet should be performed frequently
  • Graying of hair can be prevented by oiling of hair.
  • Keeping a cloth dipped in oil on the head is effective in premature greying of hair.
  • Stress may cause graying of hair, perform yoga to relieve stress.
  • Inverted postures of yoga increase the blood circulation to the scalp thereby reducing graying of hair.
  • Breathing exercises improve the blood flow to the different parts of the body.


Premature greying
  1. My daughter is 8 months old. There are white patches on her scalp which are also flaky. Can you suggest any ayurvedic remedy for the same?

Your child may be at risk of cradle cap. Cradle cap are the oily or crusty scaly patches on a baby's scalp. It isn't itchy or painful; but leads to formation of thick white or yellow scales that difficult to remove. Cradle cap is a self-limiting disease and usually goes on its own. Ayurvedic management of the disease recommends balanced diet and lifestyle for mother and child along with use of herbs to strengthen the hair health. 

Aahar recommendations:

  • Breastfeeding mother should avoid consuming foods prepared out of maida, curds, and oily foods.
  • Eating healthy food during pregnancy helps prevent cradle cap. Include fennel seeds, cumins, garlic, turmeric, ginger and pepper in the diet.

Vihar recommendations:

  • To loosen the scales formed on the scalp, massage with baby oil, olive oil or petroleum jelly
  • Gently massage the affected area and brush off the loosened scales, later washing them away with a shampoo.
  • A paste of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on the scalp for ten minutes helps in removing the scales.
  1. How do I know if my hair is damaged?

You may be at risk of damaged hair if your hair appears Brittle, Dry, Lifeless or Shineless.

  1. What are the ayurvedic remedies for dandruff?

Aahar recommendations:

  • Eat fruits such as mango, pomegranate, lemon, coconut
  • Include vegetables such as drumstick
  • Use ghee in moderate amount
  • Have food rich in vitamin E (almond, pine nuts, peanuts, spinach, flaxseed oil, soyabean) and omega 3 fatty acids (flax seed, walnut, sardines, salmon, soyabean, tofu, shrimp) for good scalp health
  • Avoid wrong food combinations (for e.g. fish with milk)
  • Avoid drinking cold water

Vihar recommendations:

  • Massage scalp with sesame oil
  • Applying paste of neem leaves
  • Apply green gram powder
  • Massage aloe vera on your scalp may be beneficial.
  • Practice asanas like Shirshasana and suryanamaskara. It enhances blood circulation to head and brain nourishing the scalp with necessary nutrients
  • Practice meditation, as it helps in controlling stress and anxiety
  • Mix of lemon juice + coconut oil may be beneficial to control dandruff
  • Mixture of coconut oil + camphor may be beneficial to control dandruff
  • Fine paste of methi seeds can be applied on scalp for controlling dandruff
  1. Does oil massage really benefit dry hair?

Warm oil massage to scalp and hair is an effective way to nourish the scalp and hair.

  1. My hair is often frizzy and unmanageable, what could be the possible reason for it?

Frizzy hair may be due to:

  • Not eating a balanced diet and drinking enough water.
  • Not enough oil production on scalp.
  • Not choosing right type of hair product.
  • Certain medications.
  • Chemical hair treatments.
  1. I am suffering from hair thinning leading to low hair density. What are the foods that I should be consuming?
  • Increase intake of healthy nutritious balance diet
  • Protein rich foods will help prevent hair fall and baldness. Include foods such as eggs, beans fish, low fat cheese, yeast, soybean, and yoghurt which will help in proper hair growth.
  • Increased intake of iron as it is essential for hemoglobin and blood formation. Increase the quantity of raisins, dates, green vegetables, etc.
  • Avoid foods which may lead to thinning of hair like spicy, sugary foods, fried foods, caffeine, carbonated drinks, etc.
  • A lettuce and spinach juice helps in encouraging hair growth.
  1. What are the ayurcedic remedies to treat head lice?
  • Lemon juice and almonds are effective home remedies for killing head lice.
  • Massaging hair with olive oil helps in head lice treatment.
  • Applying alcohol over the hair helps in eliminating lice.
  • Neem paste and tulsi leaves application on hair gets rid of head lice
  • Avoid using personal items of the person suffering from head lice.
  • Prevent the scalp from drying, it may lead to head lice and dandruff.
  • Always keep scalp clean and apply coconut hair oil.
  1. I have oily scalp and hair. Is it advisable to use conditioner after hair wash?

Leave shampoo on hair for at least 5 minutes before rinsing. Use conditioner only on the ends of the hair. Avoid putting it directly on the scalp.

  1. What are the causes for premature greying of hair?

The causes of premature greying of hair are:

  • Heredity
  • Medical Conditions like vitiligo, pernicious anemia and thyroid disorders
  • Medications like methotrexate, lithium
  • Smoking
  1. What practices for hair care are to be followed to prevent split ends?
  • Avoid brushing hair frequently
  • Use less heat on hair
  • Use conditioner regularly
  • Protect the hair from extreme hot or cold weather
  • Regularly get haircuts and trims.







Premature greying
  1. Premature greying of hair. Accessed on 21st Sept 2016; downloaded from: http://www.healthlibrary.com/reading/ncure/chap70.htm
  2. Reasons for Premature Greying Hair. Accessed on 21st Sept 2016; downloaded from http://www.livestrong.com/article/172010-reasons-for-premature-greying-hair/ 
  3. Meena MS Prasad M Singh SB. STUDY OF PALITYA (PREMATURE GRAYING). IAMJ May - June 2014; 2:3 (296 – 300)
  4. Asharani Kore. Role of ayurveda in akala palitya (premature greying of hair). AAMJ 2015; 1: 253-5
  5. Pandhi D, Khanna D. Premature graying of hair. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2013;79:641-53

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