The Secret Behind Healthy Hair: Nourish THIS Surprising Organ
Hair is a big topic I get asked about a lot. There are whole sections on the best hair beauty foods in The Beauty Detox Foods. But besides directly targeting feeding your hair, there is another organ that might seem pretty surprising that places a role in hair health.
In Ayurvedic philosophy, there are seven dhatus, which are known as types of structures in the body. They are interrelated in different ways and affect your entire health. Each dhatu, or bodily structure, has what are called malas, or secondary tissues that are created.
Asthi dhatu is related to the solid organ of the bones in your body. The malas (products) of your bone health are your hair and nails.
Therefore, according to ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, in order to create truly healthy, vibrant hair, you have to ensure that your bones have optimal cellular nutrition and are in peak health.
It might seem funny to focus on your bones when you are trying to grow beautiful hair, but we know that many things in our body may not seem obviously related but actually are (case in point: the brain/gut axis).
Ayurvedic practitioners are taught that if you want to evaluate how healthy someone’s bones are (asthi dhatu), you can examine their hair and nails.
If there is a bone deficiency, then the hair would thin or you could observe hair loss or patchiness. Nails could be thin and break easily. In contrast, with healthy bones, your hair would be healthy, vibrant and full.
So if you want to create beautiful hair, you must in other words, make sure your bones are incredibly healthy. Even if you are eating top Beauty Detox foods for your hair, but you have compromised bone health, you can have hair problems.
Underlying Bone Problems, Outward Hair Issues:
Let’s dip our toe a little bit more into the complex field of Ayurveda. Don’t worry, I am going to simplify this for you as much as possible, (there are a lot of other complexities, including those involving the pitta and kapha dosha and so much more depth, that I am choosing to leave out here, for simplicity’s sake).
In sum, there is another close relationship between the health of the intestines and the bones that is important to consider.
The large intestine is the home site of vata dosha, which is in a simplified sense is a type of bodily constitution, which is related to the air element. When there is a disorder in the large intestine, which manifests in gas, (excess air/wind), constipation and other irregular bowel behaviors, then the pathology can be transferred to the bones, and the bones can become overly porous and filled with air. In extreme cases this can manifest in issues like osteoporosis.
Because asthi dhatu, or structure of the bones are not healthy, then your hair, which is the secondary structure to the structure of bones, will not be healthy either.
You need to nourish your bones to have beautiful hair, but as outlined above, in order to have top bone health you also need to nourish your colon. All these organs are actually related, according to Ayurvedic medicine.
Here are some of the top things you can do for beautiful hair, via beautiful, strong bones:
1. Take SBO probiotics. When agni, or digestion is compromised, then your bowel becomes imbalanced, and excess gassiness can form, and this expansion of air is said to also compromise the health of your bones, which can weaken and become of a poorer quality.
SBO probiotics are key because they can help balance your bowel bacteria and help to optimize your digestion.
Unlike other probiotics, they can actually get through the stomach acid and implant in your gut, and mimic the perfect mix of bacteria found in the soil, (hence the term SBO standing for soil based organism), that our ancestors used to eat in small amounts of unwashed fruits and vegetables.
I consider this the primary supplement that everyone needs to take for health and beauty, because it keeps your digestion, colon and therefore bones and hair in top shape.
2. Earth and air foods. Healthy bones, or asthi dhatu, is created from the consumption of a proper balance between earth and air foods. The earth element is present in foods such as grains, nuts and beans. Air is present in most vegetables.
You can’t only eat vegetables. You also have to mix in healthy, unrefined grains such as brown rice and quinoa with the veggies, as well as some nuts and occasionally some legumes like yellow split peas.
3. Root vegetables. In the subtle body, asthi dhatu, or bone health, is dependent the healthy energy of muladhara chakra, which is your energy center associated with the earth element, and helps to create stability in your bones.
Root vegetables are a good support to this chakra. I also go into great depth on how to nourish this chakra food-wise and in other ways in The Beauty Detox Power.
4. Movement, such as walking and a properly designed yoga practice that strengthens rather than jars the joints of the body is also excellent for your bones, while also toning your muscles and centering your mind.
5. Eat plenty of calcium rich foods. These include all leafy greens, sea vegetables, sesames seeds/tahini, etc.
Note: Dairy contains calcium but is acid-forming and can actually leach calcium out of the body, as many numerous studies now show. It is never recommended.
6. Include garlic and turmeric into your cooking. Garlic is beneficial for circulation and bone health and both garlic and turmeric are anti-inflammatory.
7. Eat fresh papaya and pineapple frequently. These fruits contain enzymes that help to reduce inflammation, which can harm your bones.
8. Try avoiding nightshade vegetables if you feel you have a bone or joint problem, such as tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, and bell peppers.
These vegetables are high in alkaloids that affect the metabolism of calcium and cause calcium to be deposited in other areas of the body where it does not belong such as joints, kidneys.
Hope you find the bone/hair connection as interesting as I do!
I realize in my own journey to healthy hair, the attention I was paying to improving my digestion was also improving my bone health and thereby hair health… If you have noticed some hair issues, we have to take a look at your bone health.
Have you also noticed an improvement with your hair as your digestion improved?!
Take care of yourself, and see you back here soon!
In love and health,