Nourishing Oils and Herbal Treatment For Hair Growth and Gloss

Warm Oil Treatment with Herbs For Damaged Hair: This nourishing Oil  treatment, combined with herbs,  is a good one to stimulate hair growth and to add lustre to the hair.  It can be applied once or twice every month to give your hair a boost. This  warm oil treatment takes a little time, but it is well worth the effort.  Any of these vegetable oils may be used in your warm oil hair treatment:  Avocado oil, grape-seed oil, wheatgerm oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, or almond oil.

First of all, wash the hair.  Towel dry.  Now take one cup of your chosen vegetable oil.  Heat it up gently in a saucepan on the stove.  It should be just hot enough so that it is a comfortable temperature when it is applied to the scalp.  Put your finger in first, to make sure it is not too hot before applying to your head.

Part the hair, which should still be damp. Into each parting, dribble a tablespoon of the warmed oil.  Massage into the parting.  Then make another part, and repeat the process.  Continue until all the oil has been used up.  Give the scalp a good gently massage for a few minutes, and make sure the hair is all covered at the same time.

Now – You should have ready your chosen herbs to make a hot infusion for the hair.  Good herbs to use are nettles, comfrey, or rosemary, on their own or in combination, as these are all  high in silica, which helps hair growth; an onion on its own, skin and all, can be used.  Onion has been found to help stimulate hair growth;  a mixture of yarrow, lavender, watercress is also good.

Use 2 cups of your chosen herb, or herbal combination.  If you are using onion, then use one whole onion, chopped up.  Put your herbs into a saucepan and pour 12 cups of  boiling water over them.  Simmer gently for five minutes.  Strain, and let cool for five minutes so that it is a comfortable temperature to apply to the hair: fairly hot, but not burning hot.   Now dip a towel  into the herbal/onion mixture.  The towel should be not too thick and not too big, but just big enough to wrap around the head turban-style.  Wring out the towel and quickly wrap it around the head.  Cover the towel with a plastic bag or a shower cap and leave to cool.  Then heat up your herbal mixture again and soak the towel, wring out, and apply again while still hot.  Keep repeating the hot towel treatment for around an hour, if you are able.  The more heat and herbs, the better.

At the end of the hour, wash out the oil with plain soap, such as sunlight soap. It is best to take a shower to do this, as it will take several applications of soap lather to remove the oil.  Towel the hair dry, then make a rosemary infusion to use as a herbal hair rinse:  Use 2 cups of rosemary spikes with 4 cups of boiling water. Simmer for five minutes, allow to cool, then apply to the hair, massaging in the nourishing rosemary tea to the roots of the hair.  Let dry and brush out.

This is a very good, natural, non-toxic, nourishing oil and herb treatment to use for the benefit of the  hair:  It gives the hair gloss,  and also  feeds the hair follicles on the scalp.

Note:  Comfrey is a ‘miracle herb’, capable of restoring bones, building stong teeth, and aiding in hair growth.  Comfrey is banned in most westernized countries, mainly because of the efforts of  big drug companies, who do not wish us to have available this once-free-to-all healing and medicinal herb.  Join forces to get Comfrey taken off the banned list, so that we may all enjoy its benefits once more.

Birch Tree Leaves for Kidney Stones

Herbal Remedies For Kidney Stones

The common Birch Tree is a very versatile and useful herb.  It has many medicinal uses, as well as being a common additive in various parts of Europe to certain types of beers, wines and ciders and vinegars.  (see ‘Herbal Remedies and Homeopathy’, published by Geddes and Grosset.)

The Birch Family are native to Europe and Canada, but now are common in New Zealand and parts of Australia.

The much renowned herbalist John Lust gives several medicinal uses of various types of birch tree in his little herbal entitled ”The Herb Book’.

There are many different species of birch tree, and they  all possess medicinal and healing properties. The White Birch is the one most used for kidney ailments.  It is an old and well-tried  folk medicine which was formerly much used to dissolve kidney stones.

Of course, you must see your physician or your health professional if you suspect you might have kidney stones. This post is for information only.

The freshly picked, young leaves are commonly used in herbal medicines, but the bark of the paper birch can also be peeled off in strips and used to make an herbal tea or infusion.

Note:  You do not use dried birch leaves in herbal medicine.  The leaves must always be fresh, according to John Lust.

The White Birch, Betula alba:  This is also known as canoe birch, and paper birch.

The White Birch Tree leaves are astringent, diuretic and diaphoretic in their action.

White Birch Leaf Tea: An infusion of white birch leaves is said to eliminate gravel and dissolve kidney stones when it is made into an infusion and taken daily over a period of time.  The dose is 1 to 1 1/2 cups a day, sipped at intervals through the day.

White Birch Leaf Wash For External Use: A strong infusion of birch tree leaves can be used as a skin wash for skin problems such as acne, and eczema. If the skin problem is severe, the outer bark is recommended to make a decoction or ointment to be used on the skin.

For Baldness: A decoction of the leaves is recommended for baldness.  Leaves can be pounded to extract the juice, and this juice can be massaged into the scalp to help hair growth. Birch leaf tea is also good for the hair.

Hair Tonic:  Alternatively, to help hair growth, you could pound up some leaves and add them to apple cider vinegar.  I would infuse them in the vinegar for two weeks, and then strain off the vinegar and bottle it.

Apple cider vinegar is very good for hair growth, as it is rich in nutrients and helps to neutralize the scalp after using soap or shampoo.  Birch tree leaves added to the vinegar would make a very potent hair restorative.  Massage a little into the dried but damp hair after washing.

Insomnia:  Use Birch Tea For Restful Sleep: Birch Tree leaf tea is a mild sedative, which is partly why it is good for skin problems such as eczema, which are often stress related.  A cup of mild tea can be taken at bedtime to help you have a good night’s sleep.

Use as a Bath Additive: Put a handful of fresh leaves into your bath water.  This is good for the skin, and is conducive to a good night’s sleep.

The inner bark contains an oil which is sometimes substituted for wintergreen in liniment.

Standard Recipe for a Medicinal Tea: Infuse 1 tbsp leaves in ½ cup hot water

Decoction for Kidney Stones: This is John Lust’s recipe.   Use 1 tbsp leaves with ½ cup water. Boil briefly, let stand for 2 hours. Then add ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda. Take up to 1 cup a day.

Expressed juice from the leaves can be taken one teaspoon at a time, as required.

Sweet Birch Tree: The botanical name is betula lenta, also known as  black birch, cherry birch, mahogany birch, mountain mahogany, spice birch, and  sweet birch.

Sweet Birch is anthelmintic, astringent, and diuretic in its action.

As in Betula alba, the white birch, the leaves and bark can be used.

For Intestinal Worms and Urinary Problems . Like the White Birch, Sweet Birch has a therapeutic action on the kidneys.  However, sweet  birch  leaf tea is used more for urinary problems and to dispel intestinal worms.

Tea from inner bark makes a good mouthwash.  This tea can also be taken for diarrhea, rheumatism, and boils.

How To Make Birch Leaf Tea:  Use 1 teaspoon of inner bark or leaves.  Pour over a cup of boiling water and let stand for five minutes.  Strain.  Take 1 to 2 cups per day to soothe the nerves and for conditions such as gout, rheumatism and dropsy, or to help prevent kidney stones.

The inner bark of Betula lenta, like betula alba, produces an oil similar to oil of  wintergreen:  This can be distilled from the inner bark and twigs. The oil of the Birch Tree Bark is used externally for treating eczema and other skin diseases.

What Is Castor Oil Used For?

Medicinal Uses of Castor Oil

Castor Oil Plant: Sources of Information:  The Reader’s Digest  ‘Magic and Medicine of Plants’, Published in 1994,  Surrey Hills NSW and John Lust’s herbal,  entitled ‘The Herb Book’. (publisher etc to be given)

The Castor oil Plant, ‘Palma Christi’.

The Castor Oil Plant has been known for centuries as the  ‘Palma Christi’, the Palm of Christ.  This gives an indication of just how highly the plant has been regarded over many  centuries.

Its botanical names are:  Ricinus  communis L., and it belongs to the Spurge Family, a Euphorbiaceae.   It is native to India and parts of the Mediterranean, but now grows in many parts of the world.

Castor Oil plant, the Palma Christi, has a long history: The seeds of the plant have been found in some ancient Egyptian tombs which date back 4000 years,  according to the Reader’s Digest herbal.  Dioscorides and Pliny in their writings which are almost 2000 years old,  both mention the therapeutic aspects of the castor oil plant as a purgative oil and laxative.

The Castor Oil Plant grows  in Australia and New Zealand as a free-range weed.  You can find it in many overgrown gardens and along the banks of railway lines.  These days, though, it is becoming harder to find, because councils, farmers and householders often use dire methods of weed eradication which are eliminating many varieties of plants from our botanical lists.  Big  weed-cutters  are used along banks to eradicate weeds, and herbicides are used by many people: these practices are causing many medicinal ‘weeds’ to become scarce.

Castor Oil is pressed out from the seeds of the plant.  The oil is not poisonous, but the seeds and leaves of the plant are poisonous. So you must never use castor oil leaf or seeds to make your own remedies for internal use.  The leaves, however, can be used externally in poultices which can be laid on the body.

Castor oil, which you can buy in most supermarkets, health shops and chemist shops or drug stores, comes from  Brazil,  India, and other places where it is farmed commercially.

In Medicines: Castor oil is a valuable vegetable agent which is used in ayurvedic medicine, some orthodox  medicines,  and cosmetics, especially lip-sticks and eye-cosmetics.

For Intestines: It is famous for its laxative effect and as a remedy for constipation.It cleanses the intestines of old debris.

Liver and Gall Bladder: It benefits the liver and gall bladder. Castor oil removes toxins from the liver, helps eliminate stale bile, and helps to dissolve gall stones.

Eyes: Castor oil benefits the eyes, and so castor oil is found in some eye medications. Castor oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for some eye diseases, such as cataract if it is caught in the early stages.

Castor Oil  benefits hair growth when applied externally, and taken internally on a regular basis, such as in the Gerson Cancer Therapy. Castor Oil can be applied once a week to thinning hair, or to baby’s scalp to encourage hair growth.  Leave it on for several hours, or overnight, then wash out with good  quality natural soap.

Ricinoleic acid is the active ingredient of castor oil. Ricinoleic acid is the purgative agent.  This is used in some contraceptive jellies, creams and foams.  Castor oil, because of its ricinoleic acid content,  is also used in industry to make things like nylon and linoleum.

In Africa and parts of Europe, castor oil leaves have been used as an external application on the breasts to increase lactation.

Castor Oil is a valuable healing oil, both externally and internally.  It has been used by many alternative cancer therapists, such as Dr Max Gerson, Walter Last and Dr Ann Wigmore. Jacqui Davison wrote a book on how she recovered from cancer using castor oil therapy, which she learned about from the writings of Dr Gerson.

Gerson Castor oil Treatment For Cancer: This therapy can be used to treat many degenerative diseases, not just cancer.  Dr Gerson devised a treatment which included the use of castor oil.  The dose of castor oil was 2 tablespoonsful every second day. Castor oil is a powerful detoxifier, which makes it a very good medicine for cancer patients.   It cleans out the liver, gall bladder, and intestines.  It has the ability to draw out poisons from other parts of the body, including the site of tumours.  However, to do this treatment, you need professional advice and much preparation and determination.  The Gerson Castor Oil Therapy is very hard work, but it has saved the lives of many people.

Castor oil is an integral part of the treatment which Dr Gerson used.  Other essential aspects of the regime were: daily enemas; porridge for breakfast, eaten with one raw, grated apple;  High Vitamin C intake: fresh vegetable and fruit juices every hour; salads at every meal.  Extra Vitamin C was given, and vitamin C was also combined with 2 aspirin for a ‘natural’  pain relief.

Castor Oil And Ginger For Weight Loss

Ayurvedic Treatment for Hair Loss

Professional Ayurvedic Treatment for Hair Loss  is recommended if you have an ongoing problem with hair falling out.  However, there are several good ayurvedic treatments for hair loss which you can use as a preventative, and to help nourish your whole physical being, including your hair, bones, teeth and nails.

Hair loss, in Ayurvedic Medicine, is regarded as a Pitta condition.  This means that  more cooling foods should be eaten, and that heating foods should be restricted.

The Pitta idea is interesting, I think, because, in my experience, radiation from electromagnetic sources such as cell phone towers and the like, have caused hair loss whenever I have lived for a period of three months or so near electromagnetic disturbances. Electromagnetic energy  definitely has a heating influence on the body. This is something you need to examine if you have ongoing bad health, your hair is growing thin, and you cannot fathom what the cause is.

Ayurvedic Diet for Hair Loss:  Hair needs a good supply of calcium, zinc and magnesium for a start, so it is a good idea to eat more foods which supply these minerals if you want to maintain a good head of hair.

One of these such Aurvedic remedies which is high in calcium is Coconut. For  treating hair loss,  Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, and the flesh of the coconut itself can all be used.   Coconut is a very rich source of calcium, protein and fats, all of which benefit your hair growth. 

Coconuts are  a valued part of the daily diet in the South Pacific Islands, where people have marvellous heads of hair.  Coconut milk is widely used in the Pacifica region as a protein and flavour enhancer for many dishes.  It is also used as a baby food and as an invalid food.  The oil of the coconut is used externally as a skin oil, and as a hair oil, to nourish the hair and the scalp.

Ayurvedic Medicine texts commonly recommend the use of coconut milk and flesh for helping restore hair growth: 

  • One source recommends the inner milk of the young coconut to be drunk each day,  half a cupful each day.  (if you have high cholesterol, you should check with your doctor, or health professional before using cocnut milk in the diet)
  • Make up a coconut milk at home by blending together 1/2  cup grated coconut; 6 soaked almonds; 1 tablespoon sesame seeds; 1 cup warm water.  This milk is good to drink. You can put it on your oatmeal porridge, which is also high in calcium, silica and other goodies which nourish the hair.  You can massage some of this milk into the scalp at night.  Leave the milk on the hair and wash out in the morning. This is a wonderful tonic for the hair:  it helps regrowth and puts a great natural shine to the hair.
  • You can rub coconut oil into the scalp and into the soles of the feet.  Leave on overnight.  You absorb nutrients from the coconut oil through the soles of your feet, and these will find their way, via your bloodstream,  to feed the roots of your hair.  Remember to wear some old cotton or woolen socks to bed when you treat the soles of the feet with coconut oil.
  • Castor Oil is used in Ayurvedic Medicine to treat a variety of conditions, one of which is hair loss.  Castor oil can be massaged into the scalp to help hair regrow.  It is a good remedy to promote hair growth in babies and young children. 
  • Castor oil can be rubbed onto the soles of the feet at night to improve the health of the hair.  Put on those old socks so that your sheets do not get marked.  Wash off the oil in the morning with soap.
  • Castor oil can also be taken internally to improve the condition of the hair. Taking 2 tablespoonsful in the morning on an empty stomach, twice weekly, will help your hair to regrow.  This treatment will also improve your digestion, as taking castor oil internally reduces the toxins in the liver, and helps to flush out the gall bladder and the bowels.

Dairy, or Soy Milk Tonic

  • Drink 1 cup of your favorite milk which has been blended with 1 tsp ghee, 1 tsp sesame seeds, and 4 almonds.  This is recommended for the health of the hair.  You take this mixture each morning, as soon as you get up, and before you eat anything else.

Aloe Vera Juice

  • Taking a cup of aloe vera juice two or three times a day is another Ayurvedic remedy for hair loss.  This is to be continued for 3 months.
  • Aloe Vera Juice can also be used externally, to massage into the hair and scalp.  Leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing out.

Eat Pumpkin Seeds and Alfalfa Sprouts for Zinc nourishment.  Eat a handful of sesame seeds each morning, unless you prefer to make up one of the above milk recipes with sesame.  A handful of sesame seeds contains about 1200 mg of calcium.  Eat plenty of the brassica family: these are cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale – all these contain high amounts of calcium and magnesium.  Eat carrots daily to provide you with Vitamin A.

You can supplement these home ayurvedic remedies with professionally applied shirobasti, which is an effective remedy for hair loss. See your ayurvedic professional about this.

A qualified ayurvedic professional can also apply nasya, which involves the application of special medicated oils into the nostrils.

Herbs for Hair Growth

Herbs for Hair Growth

Apple Cider Vinegar

IMG_6820Photo taken by Merrilyn on Holly’s camera, 25th December, 2012.


Herbs which have a high silica content are extremely beneficial for the hair, skin, teeth, bones and nails.
Silica-rich herbs can be taken internally as a tea, which will help your general health.  They can also be applied directly to the scalp to good effect, as minerals from these tea solutions are absorbed into the hair tissues so that your hair roots will benefit.
Silica-rich herbs also have the effect of making the hair shiny when used as a final rinse after shampooing. This is because a fine layer of silica is imparted to the hair which thus evenly covers the scalp and all hair strands. The effect of having this silica remaining on the hair and head is very strengthening, not only to the hair, but to the cells of the whole physical body and also to the auric body.

Silica-rich herbs for hair growth are:





Oat Straw


Other herbs which are good for the re-growth of hair are:  calendula or marigold, juniper, lavender, maidenhair, nasturtium, onion, sage, soapwort, sweet flag, watercress, white birch, and white willow.

Oat- Straw Tea.
This is one of the highest herbal sources of silica, which means it is very beneficial to the health of your hair, bones, teeth, skin and nails. It will also put a shine to your hair. The tea is very palatable, and soothing to the nervous system.
To make oat straw tea: Boil up a heaped tablespoon of oat straw in a pint of water for ten minutes. Apply the  cold tea  to the scalp and hair after washing, and drink some oat straw tea every day for good health.
Keep the tea in the fridge for up to two days, and then make some fresh brew up.

Nettle, Urtica dioica, or stinging nettle.
Nettles used to grow naturally in New Zealand. You would often find patches of nettle in the bush, and they were always to be found growing around the edges of a chicken coup.They are great at finding nutritious, lime-rich soil to make a home in, which is why their calcium/silica content is exceptionally high. Unfortunately, nettles are rare these days, and this is because we are too keen as a nation to spray out, with toxic chemicals, anything which looks like a weed. Also, the small allotments of land which allowed people to keep chickens and grow vegetables have almost become a thing of the past: Land is nowadays very expensive to buy, or rent, and if you are lucky enough to have a plot of land, it is likely the local council will prohibit you from the keeping of farmyard animals if you live in or near a town. So bang- there goes your manure-rich, enhanced soil where your nettles might have grown.
Nettles have been regarded simply as weeds by most people, and their true medicinal and nutritive value has been largely ignored. Nettles, like oat straw, rank very high in their silica content, iron and other minerals.

To make a nourishing hair and scalp rinse:

This recipe uses apple cider vinegar, which is a good tonic to use on its own to aid hair-growth. Here, it is combined with nettles, which gives a highly nutritious result. It is very beneficial for the hair:

Boil 4 oz of nettle leaves in 2 cups each of cider vinegar and water for ten minutes. Leave the leaves in the liquid for 24 hours. Bottle and keep in the fridge. Use after washing the hair. Rub some into the scalp each day, massaging well into the roots. Don’t wash it off, but leave on so that your scalp can absorb the nutrients. This tonic will put a shine to your hair.

See merrilyn’s other posts on hair health entitled Regrow Hair; Best Vitamins for Hair Growth; Iodine Scalp Remedy