What is Dandruff?

Dandruff, also known as a scaly scalp, is a common scalp condition that results in the shedding of small, white, or grayish flakes of dead skin from the scalp. These flakes may be noticeable on the hair and shoulders, causing discomfort and embarrassment. Dandruff can occur due to various factors, including dry skin, fungal infections, or excessive oil production on the scalp. It often leads to itching and irritation of the scalp.

How Does TCM View Dandruff?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a unique perspective on dandruff by considering it as a manifestation of underlying imbalances in the body's energy systems. In TCM, it is believed that symptoms like dandruff can be caused by different patterns of disharmony, emphasizing the importance of identifying the specific pattern for effective treatment.

Causes of Dandruff According to TCM

TCM identifies Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency as a key pattern contributing to dandruff. It is a pattern where the Liver's role in ensuring proper Blood nourishment is compromised, leading to scalp dryness and flaking. Emotional stress and tension can aggravate this pattern, causing or worsening dandruff.

Wind, another pathogenic factor, disrupts the scalp's equilibrium, resulting in dryness and flakiness. These patterns can often coexist and vary from person to person.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Dandruff

In TCM, treating dandruff involves addressing the underlying patterns of disharmony. Formulas that tonify Blood are commonly recommended to nourish the scalp and address Liver Blood Deficiency. Bu Gan Tang, containing Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) as a key herb, is used to treat Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally, and the associated symptoms, including dandruff. This formula helps nourish the Liver Blood, promoting scalp health and reducing flakiness.

See more details below about Bu Gan Tang, a herbal formula used to address dandruff.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that tonify blood

Acupoints for Dandruff

TCM practitioners often recommend specific acupoints to address dandruff. These acupoints help balance the body's energy and target the root causes of dandruff. Xinhui DU-22, located on the head's midline, is effective in expelling Wind and benefiting the head and nose, contributing to dandruff relief.

By considering the specific TCM patterns and applying appropriate herbal remedies and acupoint stimulation, individuals can address dandruff from a holistic and personalized perspective, targeting patterns such as Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency.

See more details below about Xinhui DU-22, an acupoint used to address dandruff.

  • By Meridian
  • Governing Vessel
Xinhui DU-22

Xinhui DU-22

On the head midline, 3 cun anterior to Baihui DU-20, 2 cun posterior to the front hairline.

TCM Herbs for Dandruff

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address dandruff, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency

"Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency" recommended for dandruff

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) Bu Gan Tang
White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) Bu Gan Tang