Hair is a distinct characteristic of mammals, especially human beings. It is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in skin. Though known to essentially have more of aesthetic importance, it is not merely about looking good. It also bears a protective role. The hair found on the head serves as a primary source of heat insulation and cooling as in when sweat evaporates from soaked hair, as well as protection from exposure to ultra violet radiations. As prominent and important is the health of this hair in human lives, equally substantial has been the concern for poor quality of the strands coupled with hair fall and several other issues related to hair. The subject always grabs attention for more study and research.
Human hair is prone to a large number of problems caused due to various factors. These factors could be external or internal. They are responsible for the deterioration in quality of hair. Sometimes hair loss could be a result of hormonal imbalance due to drugs or pregnancy. To determine the causes of hair damage, to deal with all kinds of simple to complex ailments, to ensure maintenance, enhance the quality of the hair and impede premature greying of hair a lot of research has been carried out in various streams of medicine. Ayurveda, the natural system of medicine, has rendered a commendable contribution in this field.
An important ingredient in a couple of Ayurvedic formulations, Baheda has multiple roles in care and maintenance of the hair apart from providing holistic care to the body.
What Is Baheda?
Known as Baheda in Hindi and Vibhitaki or Bibhitaki in Sanskrit, this fruit is a wonderful creation of nature. Bheeta means fear; vibheeta means lack of fear and vibhitaki means something that takes away the fear of diseases. Its botanical name is Terminalia Bellirica. Baheda can boast of long association with Ayurveda.
Baheda is primarily found in the lower hills and plains in the Southeast Asia where it is also grown as an avenue tree. In India the trees grow in abundance in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra.
It is a large, deciduous tree, about 10-20 meters high with bark thick and dark green and sometimes bluish grey in colour. The leaves are elliptical and the flowers are pale greenish yellow with offensive odour that blossom in the month of May. The fruits are small, greyish, velvety, thick walled and hard. The kernels of the fruit are sweet.
Baheda, most commonly known as one of the three key ingredients of Triphala, an Ayurvedic preparation, is a widely consumed medicinal herb. It is primarily a laxative and astringent. However due to a large number of benefits yielded with its use in the field of health care, its properties have application in treatment of numerous diseases.
Uses and Benefits of Baheda
Baheda is a rich source of Vitamin C. The fruit, the bark, leaves and the seeds are immensely used in Ayurveda for treatment of a wide variety of ailments. It is sweet, astringent, anti inflammatory, digestive, expectorant, ophthalmic, antipyretic, anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti asthmatic etc. It also reduces stress and rejuvenates the body. It is both useful in external and internal treatments. Some of the known applications are as follows.
- Baheda is a key ingredient in Triphala and is an excellent laxative, which eases motions.
- It controls kapha and provides relief in cough and cold.
- It is good for eyes. It is even applied on eyelids in case of conjunctivitis.
- It detoxifies blood and delays ageing. It boosts immunity, improves mental faculties and enhances body resistance against diseases.
- It helps in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
- The oil from seeds is extremely beneficial in skin problems and premature graying of hair.
- Fruit powder is often used to dress wounds and arrest bleeding.
- The kernels along with the fruit are used in preparation of medicated hair oil, which boosts hair growth and imparts black colour to the hair.
- The ripened fruit acts as an anti-diarrheal and an astringent.
- Baheda is known to nourish and strengthen the respiratory tract and the lungs.
- It tones the gastrointestinal tract.
- It relieves from worm infestation.
- Besides cleansing the system as a whole, baheda detoxifies blood, lymph, muscles and fatty tissues of the body.
- The kernel is used in acute problems related to thirst and vomiting.
Baheda As a Hair Vitaliser
- Baheda is an age-old herb used in ayurvedic formulations to treat and cure a vast number of ailments.
- It is full of vital nutrients, which promote hair growth and help in keeping the hair strong and healthy.
- As a component in the triphala, it arrests hair loss and keeps the hair soft and smooth.
- It nourishes and strengthens the roots.
- It enriches hair color and delays premature graying of hair.
- Baheda is essentially blended into hair oil for easy application and maximum benefits.
- It can also be applied on the scalp with curd for relief from dandruff.
- It also helps treat baldness.
- All in all baheda is nature’s blessing to human hair.
We all desire healthy, shiny, thick and strong hair. Health of our hair determines the complete health of a person. It adds to the appearance of any individual. There is a range of cosmetic products and formulas in the market that claim to nourish and revitalize hair. However, nothing can compare to the benefits supplemented by use of Baheda. When we are blessed to have natural remedies and nourishment available for hair, it is any day advisable to resort to its benefit than get attracted to attractive artificial promises packaged and marketed under various brand names.