There have been many theories on the Kalpavruksha tree, that can grant any wish a man desires. Some state that it was planted in one of Indra’s five paradises while other stories state that it was removed from the face of the earth, away from the greed of human beings. There are again other confusions of which is the Kalpavruksha tree. But one such tree that is close to the description of a Kalpavruksha tree is the coconut tree. Spreading her hands in all directions, heaven and earth alike, she stands tall yet slightly bent towards the earth due to the weight of her earthly needs but still away from a man’s greed. Coconut is said to be the purest offering to god and any ritual without coconut is said to be incomplete. The symmetry of even breaking of the coconut has a tale of its own to tell. It is considered pure because its nectar is drawn from the very base of the tree to the top, untouched by human hands. The outer shell of the coconut depicts the greed, selfishness, lust, jealousy, and other vises of man. Thus, a man has to break through this barrier in order to reach the nectar within.
Every part of the coconut tree is useful, and thus the name, Kalpavruksha. The water and flesh are used as food and in skincare, the oil is used in cooking, skin, and haircare, the shell can be used to make spoons and utensils, the husks are used in making ropes, mats, bags, the trunk is used as poles and firewood alike, the flowers are used in medicine, while the leaves are used in thatching and decoration purposes. It’s a tree that ancestors leave behind along with their will. I’d say that you can easily identify a south Indian by the presence of this majestic tree in their front yard and shiny coconut oil-drenched heads. Every Saturday has a session of oil massage in a south Indian household and a steamy head bath the following day. Coconut oil has a lot on its own to offer. But did you know that people have elevated the Kalpavruksha oil to make it a one-stop solution for all hair problems? Let’s get into the details, shall we?
The homemade oil is made from boiling coconut oil with many ingredients that enhance its haircare properties, with each ingredient having a role of its own.
- Coconut oil- 250g
- Manjishta ( Rubia cordifolia)- 2-3 branches with leaves
- Bringraj ( Eclipta prostrata) – 2-3 stems with leaves
- Aloevera – 1 whole leaf
- Small onions – 2-3
- Red hibiscus flowers- 3-4 flowers
- Garike ( Cynadon dactylon) – A handful
- Fenugreek seeds– 2 tablespoons
- Curry leaves– 8-9 leaves
- Start with roasting the fenugreek seeds and crushing them.
- Keep the coconut oil in a low flame and add the garke leaves, bringraj leaves and manjishta leaves, before the oil starts to boil.
- Stir it in and then add the red hibiscus flowers and the small red onions that are crushed.
- Let it boil for a few minutes and when the leaves have turned crisp, add aloevera to it.
- Now add curry leaves and let it boil for a couple of minutes. It will have a nice aroma at this point.
- Turn off the flame and add the roasted and crushed fenugreek seeds. It needn’t cook anymore since its already roasted.
- The key point in this is to make sure that it is done in a low flame and that the ingredients don’t burn. Following the same sequence of the ingredients in advisable.
- Let the oil cool down and then strain in into an air tightened container. Message it into the scalp and throughout the lengths of the hair atleast twice a week, a day before bathing.
- The oil has a shelf life of 6-8 months. Adding aloevera and the small onions tends to decrease the shelf life of the oil.
Benefits of using the Homemade hair oil
- Coconut oil alone has no much nutritional value. But it provides an excellent insulation on the scalp and protects the scalp from drying and heat strokes. It nourishes and keeps the hair well moisturized and avoids breakage.
- The use of Manjistha helps to improve hair growth and strengthen the hair. It has additional health benefits and is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory in nature.
- The use of the small red onions helps to lengthen the hair, strengthens it from the roots, reduces hairfall and hair breakage. Do remeber that adding onion and aloevera can reduce the shelflife of the oil.
- Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of iron and protein — two essential nutrients for hair growth. It has a cooling effect on the head and can treat insomnia and headache. It also blackens the hair.
- Bringraj is a miracle plant and is also known as ‘ Rasayana’, which has anti-ageing and rejuvenating properties. It has numerous health benefits like reduces hair fall, dandruff, premature graying, and also strengthen hair. It is also good for the eyes, reduces headache and improves sleeping pattern.
- Garke or Bermuda grass has numerous health benefits, and also has a lot of cultural significance. It treats insomnia and reduces head ache.
- Aloevera nourishes and smoothens the hair. It also keeps the scalp moisturized.
- Curry leaves are mainly used to blacken the hair. They reduce greying and also repairs damaged hair.
- Hibiscus serves as an excellent shampoo as well as a hair oil. It deeply conditions the hair and prevents the accumulation of dirt on hair. Application of hibiscus leaves and flowers on the scalp improves eyesight, earing and is good for the throat.
- The best results can be seen if oiled twice a week, along with homemade shampoos. Avoid oiling your hair daily unless you work directly under the sun. It provides an excellent insulation but can also dry your hair.