Herbal Treatments for Dandruff

Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes white flakes to appear in the hair and on the head. The flakes are caused by dead skin cells, and the flaking and itching associated with dandruff is often a chronic and frustrating disorder to live with. No single cause has been identified, and it is not known why some people experience this condition and others do not. Some possible causes or triggers include hormonal imbalance, allergies, stress, fungal infections, and frequent or improper use of harsh shampoos or other hair-care products.

The most common treatment for dandruff includes prescription and over-the-counter shampoos, but some of these shampoos are expensive and many do not work for a number of people. Biotin is believed to be the most effective treatment for dandruff, and experts recommend taking 6 milligrams each day for the prevention of this condition. Many herbal treatments are available and effective in the treatment and prevention of dandruff, and some of those are listed below:

  • Soybean: Soybean is very high in levels of biotin, and it is for this reason that it is so effective in the treatment of dandruff. A diet high in soybean and other foods containing biotin, such as garlic, oats, avocado, and corn, should be the first step in any treatment program for dandruff.
  • Comfrey: Comfrey contains a chemical known as allantoin, which has antidandruff properties. Some shampoos contain comfrey, but it might be easier to simply add a few drops of comfrey tincture to the shampoo that you are currently using.
  • Licorice: Glycyrrhizin, a compound that minimizes the amount of oil produced by the scalp, can be found in licorice. Some cases of dandruff are caused by an excess of oil, and keeping oil production to a minimum is all that is needed in those cases to keep dandruff under control. Add licorice to vinegar and use it as a hair rinse every time you shower.
  • Teatree: Teatree oil is an antiseptic that contains substances called terpenes. These substances are known to penetrate the top layers of the scalp, making teatree more effective than many other topical treatments. Try mixing a few tablespoons of teatree oil in with your favorite shampoo, but be careful not to get the mixture in your eyes or mouth as consumption of teatree oil is very dangerous.
  • Fenugreek: Some naturopaths suggest using fenugreek seeds to treat dandruff. A few tablespoons of seeds should be soaked overnight in water, and then ground into a paste the following morning. The paste should then be applied to the affected skin and left on for at least one hour before washing out.
  • Vinegar: Both apple and cider vinegar have been shown to help ease the symptoms of dandruff in some people. Warm a cup of vinegar and use it as a hair rinse. Vinegar should be applied to the scalp and hair before shampooing to eliminate the vinegar odor often left behind by this treatment.

author: Sandra Ketcham

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