Use of Garlic as a Dandruff Treatment
Garlic is touted as an excellent natural, herbal remedy for dandruff. Herbalists who recommend the use of garlic as a dandruff treatment point out that crushed garlic provides a highly concentrated source of allicin, a natural anti-fungal and anti-candida compound. Although the precise cause of dandruff is still not known, many experts believe that dandruff is caused by overgrowth of Pityrosporum ovale (P. ovale), a small fungus that lives on the scalp. Others believe that also overgrowth of candida yeast could play a role in the development of stubborn dandruff.
In addition to crushed and chopped garlic, other members of the Allium family of plants — such as onions and shallots — produce allicin which can be used as a natural treatment for dandruff due to the fungus and candida fighting properties of this compound.
Garlic – an Oral and Topical Treatment for Dandruff
Garlic can be used both as an oral and topical treatment for dandruff To reap the dandruff-fighting effects of garlic, crush raw garlic with a garlic press and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before using it. This gives your garlic enough time to form plenty of dandruff fighting allicin. After allicin has formed, you can use the crushed garlic to spice up your favorite savory dishes, or you can use it as an ingredient in a topical dandruff treatment. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to dilute garlic or garlic juice before applying it directly on the scalp or skin.
Recipe: DIY Topical Garlic & Honey Remedy
To make a simple topical garlic remedy for dandruff at home, follow these instructions:
- Mash about six garlic cloves using a garlic press. Place the crushed garlic in a small bowl, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Next, add about seven tablespoons of organic honey to the bowl and mix well. Also honey is known to have anti-fungal and anti-candida activity.
- Apply your garlic and honey anti-dandruff mask on your hair and scalp, and rub it in thoroughly.
- Leave the mask on for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse.
- Finally, wash your scalp and hair with your favorite anti-dandruff shampoo to get rid of the garlic smell.
Potential Side Effects
Garlic is considered safe for most adults when consumed as part of a healthy diet. However, depending on the amount of garlic you eat, you may experience some mild side effects including heartburn (especially in pregnant women who eat large amounts of garlic), vomiting, excessive sweating, 'garlicky' body odor, dizziness, upset stomach, as well as a burning sensation in the mouth after ingestion of raw garlic. Furthermore, if you are planning to use garlic topically to treat dandruff, you should know that topical application of garlic on the skin or scalp may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. These and other side effects of garlic are usually worse if you use raw garlic instead of processed or cooked garlic.
Also allergic reactions to garlic have been reported; however, they appear to be relatively uncommon. If you are intolerant or allergic to garlic, you may experience mouth and throat ulcerations, skin rash, or even respiratory problems (such as a runny nose, wheezing, or sneezing). If you experience an allergic reaction after using garlic as a dandruff treatment, stop using it.
Due to the ability of garlic to make blood thinner, people with a bleeding disorder should also avoid garlic. For the same reason, people who use anti-coagulant or antiplatelet drugs should avoid or at least consult with their doctor before using garlic.