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Shikakai Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

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By NS Desk 22-Dec-2020

Shikakai Health Benefits

Shikakai Health Benefits: Shikakai, which means "fruit for hair," is part of traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It is a plant used to control hair loss and dandruff.
 
Shikakai can be used alone or as a shampoo with amla and reetha to control hair loss, prevent hair fall, and manage dandruff. It gives shine to the hair and prevents greying.
 
According to Ayurveda, Shikakai powder and rose water or honey can be applied to wounds daily that can promote better healing due toRopan (healing) and Sita (cold) nature.
 
Due to its Rechana (laxative) nature, drinking Shikakai infusion can help control constipation. It is also suitable for bleeding piles due to the presence of Kashaya (astringent) property.
 
In addition to being a magical remedy for hair, Ayurveda also mentions its use in treating many ailments, including inflammation, jaundice,Abdominal distension, fever, skin problems, acne, herpes, and intestinal worms.
 
Shikakai Uses
Shikakai has been traditionally used for hair care in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. It is one of the Ayurvedic medicinal plants. It is traditionally used as a shampoo and is also added to synthetic ayurvedic shampoos.The fruit seeds, leaves, and bark are dried and blended into a powder, which is then made into a paste to prepare it. Although the traditional shampoosdo not produce the usual amount of latherthat a shampoo containing sulphate would, which means it is a good cleanser. It is soft and naturally low in pH, which meansit retains natural oils in your scalp. The infusion of the leaves was for anti-dandruff treatments.
 
A Shikakai extract is used in natural shampoos or hair powders and is now growing commercially in India and the Far East. The parts of a plant that use dry powder or extract are theleaves, pods, and barks. The bark contains high levels of saponins, which are the foaming agents found in other plants used in shampoos and soaps. Plants containing saponin have a long history as moderate cleaning agents. 
 
What are the synonyms of Shikakai?
Shikakai is called different names in different languages. It is called Reetha in Marathi, In Tamil as  Shika, Chikaikkai, and Sheekay. In Malayalam as Cheeyakayi, Cheenikka, and Chinik-kaya. It has multiple names in Telegu, such as Chikaya, Cheekaya, and Gogu. In Kannada, it's known as Shige kay, Sheegae, and Sigeballi. In Assamese as PasoiTenga, Kachuai, SuseLewa, and Amsikira. In Oriya as Vimala, and Sanskrit as Bhuriphena, Charmakasa, CharmakansaBahuphenarasa, and Phenila.
 
What is the origin of Shikakai?
Shikakai is a Plant-based herb
 
What are the benefits of Shikakai?
1. Manages appetite
Shikakai helps to improve appetite when it is part of the daily diet. In Ayurveda, loss of appetite due toAgnimandya(weak digestion). It is caused by the exacerbation of Pitta, Vatta, and Kapha dosha. It causes the inadequate secretion of gastric juice in the stomach, which reduces appetite. Shikakai stimulates digestion and increases appetite due to Deepan (appetizer) property.
Tips:
a. After crushing the fruit, remove the seeds of Shikakai.
b. Soak in 1 glass of water for at least 1 hour.
c. Take 1/4 glass of infusion before meals to improve appetite.
 
2. Manages bleeding piles
In Ayurveda, Piles are called arsh due to an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. It can lead to an imbalance of the three doshas, primarily Vata. An exacerbated Vata can cause low digestive fire, which can lead to constipation. It causes inflammation in the veins of the rectum. Sometimes bleeding occurs even in this condition. Shikakai helps to control bleeding. The reason for this is the property of Kashaya (astringent).
Tips:
a. After crushing the fruit, remove the seeds of Shikakai.
b. Soak in 1 glass of water for at least 1 hour.
c. Take 1/4 glass of this infusion before bedtime.
 
3. Hair Fall
Shikakai is one of the Ayurvedic herbs used for hair-related problems, especially for hair fall. It helps to remove dirt and excess oil from the scalp and promotes hair growth. The reason for this is due to the presence of Kashaya (astringent) property.
Tips:
a. Take 5-10 drops of Shikakai based oil.
b. Apply on the scalp and leave on overnight.
c. The next day, wash your hair with an herbal or Shikakai base shampoo.
d. Do this procedure two or three times a week.
 
4. Anti-dandruff
Shikakai serves as an anti-dandruff agent because of its unique ability to cleanse without irritating the scalp. It is beneficial for controlling chronic dandruff caused by excess oil on the scalp. Applying Shikakai helps to remove excess oil from the scalp and prevents dandruff when used regularly.
Tips:
a. Take 5-10 drops of Shikakai based oil.
b. Apply on the scalp and leave on overnight.
c. The next day, wash your hair with an herbal or Shikakai base shampoo.
d. Do this procedure two or three times a week.
 
5. Drying of wounds
Shikaikai helps heal the wound faster, reduce inflammation, and restore the skin's normal structure. This is because of its Ropan (healing) property. Shikakai helps to reduce the sensation of inflammation and burning when applied to the wound. This is due to its Sita (cold) nature.
Tips:
a. Take 1 / 2- 1 tsp Shikakai powder.
b. Make a paste with honey or rose water.
c. Apply once or twice a day on the affected area for faster healing of the wound.
 
6. Stomatitis
Stomatitis is a painful inflammation of the mouth. In Ayurveda, it is called facial. Three cakes (mainly bile) are involved and are associated with facial bleeding (bleeding). Shikakai powder improves the healing process due to its ropan (healing) property and reduces inflammation due to the bile's balanced nature.
Tips:
a. Take 1 / 2- 1 tsp Shikakai powder.
b. Make a paste with honey or rose water.
c. Apply once or twice a day on the affected area.
 
7. Constipation
Shikakai helps in controlling constipation after soaking in water. Frequent intake of junk food, excessive consumption of coffee or tea, late sleep, stress, and depression are the leading causes of constipation.The suppository and cleansing properties of Shikakai seeds are very beneficial in treating constipation and abdominal pain,impaired digestion, and flatulence. It improves the absorption of food facilitates the easier movement of stool throughout the body.
Shikakai increases stool bulk and improves bowel movements. This is because of its laxative nature.
Tips:
a. After crushing the fruit, remove the seeds of Shikakai.
b. Soak in 1 glass of water for at least 1 hour.
c. Take 1/4 glass of this infusion before bed to control constipation.
 
Precautions when using Shikakai
 
Breastfeeding
According to Modern Science, you should Avoid Shikakai or use only under medical supervision while breastfeeding.
 
Pregnancy
As per Ayurveda, Avoid Shikakai during pregnancy or use only under medical supervision.
 
What is the optimal dose for Shikakai?
• Shikakai powder - 1–2 tbsp or as needed.
• Shikakai oil - 5-10 drops or as needed.
 
How to use Shikakai?
 
1. Shikakai Powder
a. Take 1-2 tablespoons Shikakai powder.
b. Add honey to it.
c. Also, add water to form a paste.
d. Use for quick wound healing.
 
2. Shikakai Infusion
a. After crushing the fruit, remove the seeds of Shikakai.
b. Soak in 1 glass of water for at least 1 hour.
c. Take 1/4 glass of this infusion before bed to control constipation and constipation.
d. Or, eat before meals to improve appetite.
 
3. Shikakai Oil
a. Take 10-15 drops of Shikakai based oil.
b. Add amla oil to it.
c. Gently massage into hair and scalp.
 
Frequently asked Questions
 
Q1. Can we use Shikakai and Amla together to nourish our hair?
As per modern science, Amla and Shikakai can be mixed together. Amla prevents premature graying of hair, and Shikakai provides strength and nutrition. Most hair packs available in the market have both.
 
Q2. Can I use Shikakai in my hair every day?
As per modern science, Yes, it is good to wash your hair with Shikakai every day. Applying Shikakai on hair is better than any other hair shampoo in the market. Shikakai cleanses the hair as it contains natural saponins. Commercially available shampoos contain chemicals that can harm your hair.
Tips for making Shikakai shampoo:
1. Take 20 tablespoons of Shikakai, ten teaspoons of rhubarb, five teaspoons of mint, and neem powder.
2. Mix all ingredients well.
3. Take 1-2 teaspoons of powder when needed and add a little water to make a paste.
4. Apply on damp hair and scalp.
5. Gently massage.
6. Wash hair with cold tap water.
 
Q3. Can Shikakai be used on the skin?
According to Modern Science, Shikakai can be used on the skin. It has excellent antiseptic properties. Washing the skin with Shikakai protects you from various germs. Shikakai effectively treats various skin diseases such as itching and reduces the aging symptoms like wrinkles and fine lines due to its antibacterial properties.
Mix 1-2 tablespoons chicory powder, one teaspoon cream, almond powder, honey, and turmeric. Scrub your face with this mixture every day to get glowing pale skin.
 
Q4. How to use Shikakai Powder as a shampoo?
1. Take one tablespoon Shikakai powder or as per your requirement.
2. Stir in 1 cup of water.
3. Boil the contents for 5-7 minutes.
4. Let it cool and apply evenly on hair and scalp.
5. Massage the hair roots for about 5 minutes.
6. Then leave for 15 minutes.
7. Rinse with plain water.
8. Repeat this once a week.
 
Q5. How to make Shikakai powder at home?
1. You can take 1/2 kg Shikakai, 100 g Reetha, 100 g Fenugreek seeds, some tulsi leaves, hibiscus petals, and some curry leaves.
2. Dry all ingredients in sunlight for about two days.
3. Grind things.
4. Next, store this freshly made Shikakai powder in an airtight container and use as needed.
 
Q6. Is Shikakai good for asthma?
As per Ayurveda, Yes, Shikakai can help reduce asthma symptoms due to its Kaphabalancing property. It removes excess mucus from the mucous membranes and relieves asthma.
 
Q7. Is Shikakai suitable for contraception?
As per modern science, Yes, Shikakai is suitable for contraception because of its spermicidal properties. Some parts of Shikakai bark can destroy sperm. Shikakai has the property of coagulating semen.
 
Q8. Can Shikakai help in managing excess secretion of bile?
Although there is not enough scientific evidence, having a deduction ofShikakai pods can treat excess secretion of bile.
 
Q9. Is Shikakai good for constipation?
Although there is not enough scientific evidence to support the modern scientific perspective, in traditional medicine, Shikakai is used to treat constipation due to its laxative properties.
 
Q10. Is Shikakai good for cough?
Although there is not enough scientific evidence, Shikakai has been used in traditional medicine to treat coughs.
As per Ayurveda, Shikakai is useful for treating coughs due to its Kapha balancing nature. It removes excess mucus and relieves cough-related problems.
 
Q11. Is Shikakai good for diabetes?
As per Ayurveda, Shikakai is useful for maintaining blood sugar levels.
 
Q12. Can Shikakai help in managing dyspepsia?
Although there is not enough scientific evidence, Shikakai can help manage dyspepsia.
 
Q13. Can Shikakai help in managing flatulence?
As per Ayurveda, Shikakai helps to control indigestion or flatulence. Its Deepan (appetizer) property facilitates the digestion of food.
 
Q14. Is Shikakai helpful for Halitosis?
As per Modern science, Halitosis or bad breath is one of the most common problems many faces. Bad breath has many causes, but the most common cause is poor digestion. Shikakai helps to improve digestion by increasing your Pachak Agni (Digestive Fire).
 
Q15. Can Shikakai treat inflammation?
As per Ayurveda, Shikakai helps manage inflammation as it has Sita (Cold) and Ropan (Healing) properties, which help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
 
Q16. Can Shikakai treat jaundice?
Although there is not enough scientific evidence, Shikakai can be used to control jaundice.
 
Q17. Is Shikakai helpful in treating malaria?
 Although there is not enough scientific evidence, Shikakai leaves can be used to control malaria.
 
Q18. Is Shikakai useful for treating dry hair?
As per modern science, Yes, Shikakai is suitable for dry hair. It is a good cleanser that does not remove natural oils from hair and the scalp.
 
Q19. Can Shikakai help in treating Gum infection?
There is no scientific evidence towards Shikakai's contribution in treating Gum infection. However, the antibacterial properties of Shikakaiare very important in preventing tooth and gum infections. It prevents tooth decay and plaque formation and resolves gum problems like gingivitis.
Tips: Rinse your mouth by boiling three tablespoons of Shikakaiin water. Gargle with this solution regularly to get rid of inflammation in teeth and gums.
 
Q20. Can Shikakai help in managing and treating dandruff?
Yes, Shikakai can help reduce dandruff due to its anti-dandruff properties. Shukokai's strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties play an essential role in removing dandruff and lice from the scalp and hair. It effectively removes dandruff while also retaining essential oils in the scalp, thereby preventing dry skin problems. 
Tips:
Boil the Shikakai pods in water. Strain it and add half a lemon juice to it. Wash hair regularly with this water to get rid of dandruff and lice.
 
Q21. Is Shikakai suitable for the face?
Although there is not enough scientific evidence, Shikakai pods can treat skin diseases and infections.
 
Q22. Is Shikakai Good for Hair Growth?
According to modern science, Shikakai can be used to control hair loss. Shikakai can be used as a hair cleanser, which has a naturally mild pH in general. It retains natural oils from the hair, promotes hair growth, and strengthens the roots.
 
Q23. Can Shikakai soap help in preventing hair loss?
As per Modern Science, Shikakai soap can help prevent hair loss because it contains vitamins C, E, A, and K. It strengthens the hair and improves hair growth.
As per Ayurveda, Shikakai based soap helps in controlling hair fall. Kashaya (astringent) property present in Shikakai, strengthens the hair root and prevents hair fall. However, one should useShikakai in its original form for maximum benefits.
consult with ayurveda doctor.
Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.
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