Dr. med. Annette Müller-Leisgang (D)

Dr. med. Annette Müller-Leisgang (D)

General practitioner and Ayurveda physician
Since 1998, Dr. med. Annette Müller-Leisgang has been working with her own practice for Ayurveda and nutritional medicine in Munich. In addition, she specializes in travel and occupational medicine. She has more than 30 years of experience in Ayurveda and heads the Ayurveda Institute Munich.

Hair and nails as a Mala from Asthi »

Year: 2022

The ancient scholars of Ayurveda in their writings defined the body in three basic terms - Dosha, Dhātu and Mala. These three entities maintain the structure and function of the body.
They form the basis of physiology and pathology in Ayurveda.

All seven tissues are formed and maintained with the digested food.
Jathar Agni, the central digestive fire (in the stomach and small intestine), and the five Bhutagnis, which are localized in the liver, resolve the different tissue elements. Thus, the stomach, liver and small intestine are the main organs involved in the formation of the tissues.
When the Jathar Agni is strong, all the other Agnis will be equally strong and the body tissues can develop healthily from the previous ones.
However, if the Jathar Agni is weak (manda), the Dhātu Agnis are equally sluggish, and this results in the formation of deficient body tissues.
This explains the importance of proper nutrition as well as the need for strong agnis for our well-being.

Asthi Dhātu is like a core of the whole body as it provides its structure, form and support. Asthi Dhātu is formed when refined Medas Dhātu flows into the intermediate tissue (Purisha Dhara Kala) and is digested by Asthyagni. In addition to bones and cartilage, teeth are also built by this process. They are the Upadhātu (secondary tissue) of Asthi.
The waste products (malas) of this metabolic process are (head) hair and nails.
Just as Dhātus can be disturbed by the doshas, so can Asthi Dhātu be built up well or badly by influence of the doshas.
Not to forget the fact that Vata has one of its main seats in the bones - and increased Vata can already therefore particularly disturb the structure of the bone tissue. When Vata increases over a lifetime, the bone tissue becomes less, the teeth fall out, the hair becomes thinner, the nails no longer grow as quickly.

The health of the Asthi Dhātus cannot be assessed directly (except by X-ray). Ayurveda assesses its quality through the Upadhātus and the production of its malas. By examining hair, nails and teeth, we can infer the condition of the Asthi Dhātus.

With strong Asthi Dhātu, the hair is thick and full. In addition, the nails are thick and the teeth are large, straight and white. These are the signs of high Kapha Dosha in the Asthi Dhātu.When the Asthi Dhātu is deficient, the hair becomes sparse. Hair loss may affect the entire scalp or be distributed in patches.
In addition, the nails become brittle and thin. Teeth appear crooked or become darker (grayer) than usual.

Traumatic musculo-skeletal injuries resulting in bone loss (bhagna) may also affect the production of the Upadhātus and malas.

Asthi Dhātu is more than just the structural fabric of the body. On a psychological level, it is what enables people to stand up for themselves in the world. A person's stature is not just a function of size, but of quality. When Asthi Dhātu is weak, the ability to stand firm in the face of adversity is also diminished. The ability to be steadfast in one's convictions, to have a healthy confidence in one's ideas, decisions and beliefs, is also a function of Asthi Dhātu.
When the Asthi Dhātu increases and becomes excessive, the qualities of the earth element increase and a person becomes excessively clingy, obstructive and stubborn. It becomes difficult for them to move or change direction.

So when problems with hair and nails arise, it is important to take a closer look at Asthi Dhātu.

Those who have more of a Vata constitution naturally tend to have less Asthi Dhātu and are most prone to diseases of the teeth, hair and nails.

For people with a Pitta nature, it is important to reduce the quality of the fire element so as not to "burn" the Dhātus and in the process also reduce the malas. This is why Ayurveda recommends that they eat a rather cool diet without hot spices and cooked oils. Cooling foods that also nourish the asthi dhātu, such as whole milk, wheat and other grains, and beans (provided they are well digested and do not form flatulence) are then recommended.

Exercise increases asthi agni and supports the formation of quality bone tissue. A properly designed yoga practice can appropriately load all the joints of the body and strengthen the Asthi Dhātu, while providing the added benefits of deep relaxation and mindfulness.

Several herbs are helpful in the treatment of bone weakness (osteoporosis) and support the healing of bone fractures. These conditions are usually due to Vata disturbance. Comfrey, oat straw and amalaki are excellent for building bone. Comfrey has long been used to support fractures. It is cooling and moisturizing and balances vata and pitta dosha. Oat straw is a cool tonic that also balances vata and pitta and has been shown to stimulate bone growth. Amalaki is also traditionally used to support bone development. Bhringaraj is an important herb that can be used to both tone bones and purify them. It is especially beneficial for the pitta dosha. Guggul and kutki are two herbs that are specific for purifying the bones and best for treating kapha dosha in the Asthi-Dhātu.

Recommended herbs for good hair growth and shiny nails are: Coconut in any form, Curcuma, Bringaraja, Guduci, Amalaki and Methi.
Sesame oil and coconut oil, medicated with these plant decoctions, are long-tested effective means for beautiful hair in India.

"Those who regularly treat their head with sesame oil do not suffer from headaches, hair loss and premature graying of hair. The head and forehead are strengthened. The hair is black, long, with deep roots. The sensory organs function well, the complexion is radiant. By massaging sesame oil on the head, one promotes healthy sleep and happiness."
Charaka Samhita, Sutra 5, 81-83

Dealing with Covid-19 in companies from the point of view of a medical officer

Year: 2021
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Crises as triggers for anxiety and mental disorders - challenges for Ayurveda therapists

Year: 2021
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» Ayurveda and nutrition for stress

Year: 2020

Only 40 percent of the population currently state that they do not feel stressed or only rarely. What makes people feel stressed?

Objective stressors

  • cold, heat
  • Hunger, thirst
  • Noise
  • strong sunlight
  • toxic substances (cigarette smoke)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sensory overload
  • monotonous task
  • Failure to meet essential needs

Psychosocial stress factors = subjective stressors

Expectations and fears 

  • Lack of time
  • Lack of money
  • missing design possibilities
  • enormous responsibility
  • Mobbing in the workplace
  • shift work (causes a disturbance of the sleep-wake rhythm)
  • constant concentration on the work (e.g. assembly line work)
  • Fear (not enough)
  • social isolation, contempt and neglect
  • Illnesses and pain, own and those of relatives
  • psychological problems, subliminal conflicts
  • serious events (e.g. a break-in, an operation, an examination, death of a relative)
  • also (unbalanced) underchallenge, boredom

The factors that are considered objective stressors are all factors that increase Vata except for strong sunlight.

According to Vagbhata, Vata is increased by

  • Hunger, thirst
  • Noise, cold, bright light
  • Pain
  • strong heat, dryness
  • raw food, uncomfortable food
  • fast locomotion
  • much speak
  • Time pressure
  • Suppression of natural needs

Vata is reduced by

  • Eating fatty, sweet food
  • Milk and dairy products
  • sweet, sour and salty food
  • Silence
  • Heat
  • Oil
  • Regularity

Nutrition can therefore play a major role in reducing stress. Primary foods are fats and carbohydrates, but protein intake can also reduce Vata.

Vata-reducing foods

Sweet fruits

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Soft fruit
  • Cherries
  • Coconut
  • (fresh) figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Melons (sweet)
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • soaked dried fruits

cooked vegetables

  • Fennel
  • Cucumber
  • green beans
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Okra (cooked)
  • Parsnips
  • Parsley root
  • beetroot
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Sweet potato
  • Courgette

Made to measure with fat:

  • leaf green
  • Salad
  • Spinach
  • Rungs


  • Mung beans
  • black lenses
  • red lentils

  • wheat, spelt, kamut
  • Emmer, Einkorn
  • Whole rice
  • Basmati rice
  • Amaranth, Quinoa
  • Oats cooked

Animal products

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey (white meat)
  • Eggs (fried or scrambled)
  • Seafood

Dairy products

  • all recommended in moderation

all oils are recommended


  • all nuts in small quantities except cashew


  • all seeds in small quantities


  • all but white sugar


  • Aniseed
  • Ajwain
  • Asafoetida (Hing)
  • Fennel
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Rock salt
  • Black pepper

Avoid chili and very hot spices like wasabi!

Dr. med. Annette Müller-Leisgang
General practitioner, nutritional medicine, Ayurveda


Adiposity - Treating Sthaulya with Ayurveda

Year: 2018
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