Shikakai: Benefits, Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects

Shikakai is a powerful natural herbal plant that continues to be used from generation to generation. Shikakai benefits it contains high cleansing properties(natural saponins), thus it works best as a shampoo replacement. Shikakai can treat skin-related diseases like scabies, psoriasis, dryness and its regular usage can prevent further skin infections. Being a potent anti-bacterial, shikakai is quite effective in treating various skin concerns like acne pimples, dullness, blemishes, pigmentation etc., and also reduces signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.  Shikakai is rich in antioxidants and vitamins like A, C, and K which helps in keeping the hair healthy and shiny.

Shikakai is also known as “Acacia Concinna”

Shikakai Benefits

Apart from being a magical remedy for hair, ayurveda vouches for its usefulness in treating a host of ailments including swelling. Abdominal distension, jaundice, fever, skin problems, piles, ascites, herpes, intestinal worm infestation etc.

  • Shikaikai helps in quick healing of the wound, decreases swelling and brings back the normal texture of the skin
  • Shikakai helps to manage constipation when it is taken after soaking in water. Constipation is mainly due to frequent consumption of junk food, excess intake of coffee or tea, sleeping late at night, stress and depression
  • Shikakai helps to improve appetite when it is made a part of the daily diet. Shikakai stimulates digestion and improves appetite due to its Deepan (appetizer) property.
  • The anti-bacterial nature of Shikakai holds high significance in preventing tooth and gum infections. It also prevents tooth decay and plaque build-up and cures gum problems like gingivitis.
  • Ayurveda vouches for the effectiveness of this potent herb in treating jaundice. It acts as a liver stimulant and normalizes bile secretion.

Shikakai benefits for hair

 Shikakai contains natural saponins, lactones, lupeol and much more making it antifungal and anti-dandruff along with other properties. This makes it ideal for hair care. Shikakai is also known as the hair fruit as it provides numerous nutrients to the hair and accelerates growth. Shikakai contains high cleansing properties, thus it works best as a shampoo replacement.

  • It acts as a hair cleanser. Although it does not work up a rich lather, it cleans your hair effectively without any harsh effects to the hair or scalp.
  • Shikakai is useful as an anti-dandruff agent because of its unique ability to cleanse without irritating the scalp. It is especially useful for controlling chronic dandruff which is due to excessive oil on the scalp. Applying Shikakai helps to remove excess oil from the scalp and controls dandruff when used regularly.
  • Shikakai has the antifungal and antimicrobial properties that helps in removing the hair lice and dandruff from the scalp. Shikakai also takes care of all the essential oils that are required to hair and prevents the scalp to get dry too much which can cause flaking and dandruff.
  • ·Shikakai strengthens hair roots. The result is stronger and healthier hair, with lesser hair fall.
  • The antifungal and antimicrobial properties of shikakai work like a charm to keep problems such as dandruff, scalp eczema, psoriasis and itchy scalp, lice, inflammation and other issues at bay.
  • Shikakai can actually slow down and delay the appearance of grey hair, letting you retain the natural youthfulness of your hair for long.
  • Shikakai contains active ingredients that provide essential oil and vitamins to the scalp that generates good hair growth. Shikakai powder helps in holding the hair roots and prevents them from split ends, breakage, and hair fall.

Shikakai for eczema and psoriasis skin condition 

Shikakai is helpful to ease the intense dryness, itch and inflammation usually experienced in eczema & psoriasis skin conditions. 

Frequently asked questions about benefits of shikakai

What is shikakai good for?

Shikakai is good to use as a cleanser for face, body and skin. It contains natural saponins which provide effective cleansing. The herb is also used to treat internal body disorder like constipation, jaundice etc.

Can I use a conditioner after washing my hair with shikakai?

No, there is no need to use a condition because shikaki itself is loaded with massive hair conditioning properties.  

Can Shikakai be used every day on hair?

Hair wash is usually not practiced everyday unless one is working under dust and dirt environments. It can be used everyday too.  

How to use Shikakai powder as shampoo?

Simply dilute the powder in water and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Shake the water well before use. Use it like a shampoo. Rinse with cool water. Shikakai does not lather up like shampoos does but provide effective cleansing without causing any harsh feel. 

Is Shikakai good for cough or biliousness?

Shikakai is a potent herb that helps pacify the kapha dosha of the body. It has been found to be used in earlier times to treat various internal imbalances as well. However, we always suggest taking advice from an ayurvedic practitioner on usage and doses. 

Is Shikakai good for halitosis?

Yes, shikaki act as an astringent and hence can be used as a oral rinse to ease dental carries, bleeding gums, mouth ulcer, inflammation, halitosis etc.  

Side Effects of Shikakai

When applied on hair and skin regularly, Shikakai does not usually trigger any noticeable health repercussions. However, for individuals prone to allergies and having sensitive skin on the scalp and face, it is recommended to seek the advice of a dermatologist prior to topical application of Shikakai powders and products.

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