Many people are deeply concerned about the condition of their hair, and will do almost anything to prevent further hair loss or to re-grow hair. There are a variety of pharmaceutical products that claim to promote hair growth and prevent thinning hair; however, they can cause dangerous side effects and often don’t work. Herbal treatments have been used for centuries to treat the scalp and hair, and many are effective in the prevention of baldness and even in restoring hair pigment to its original color.
Much hair loss and baldness is related to genetics; however, other factors may play a role such as hormonal problems, poor nutrition, medication, chemotherapy and thyroid disease. Try some of these alternatives to help restore your hair and slow down the hair loss problem.
Rich in antioxidants, Ginkgo provides increased blood flow to the hair follicles in the scalp, strengthening and stimulating the hair shaft.
Also known as Fo-ti or He shou wu, Polygonum multiflorum is a Chinese herb used for centuries to slow hair loss, promote new hair growth, restore hair to its original color and to slow the aging process. The seemingly miraculous herb is often mixed in with other herbs to create a tonic that stimulates the scalp and hair growth. It’s available from Asian markets and apothecaries that will mix formulas based on one’s individual needs. Caution is advised because Polygonum multiflorum may cause liver problems in some sensitive people. If you develop symptoms, stop using it and contact your health professional for further guidelines.
Topical aromatherapy applications
Using aromatherapy mixtures topically on the scalp may help regrow hair in some cases. A mixture of essential oils including rosemary, cedarwood, lavender and thyme can be applied to the scalp to stimulate blood flow and hair growth. Never apply the essential oils directly to the skin; rather, first mix three to six drops of each oil in a base such as almond, jojoba or olive oil. Apply the oil mixture nightly to encourage an increase in blood flow and strengthen the existing hair shafts.
Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma lucidum is another well-known Chinese herb with many health benefits. It’s referred to as the mushroom of mortality and is reputed to slow the aging process and strengthen the immune system. Reishi mushroom is often combined in hair tonics along with Fo-ti and other Chinese herbs to promote hair growth and prevent balding. Find it at Chinese herbal shops where you would also buy Fo-ti.
Certain herbal products like Ginkgo biloba can cause bleeding due to its ability to thin the blood. If you take blood thinners, speak to your health practitioner before using Ginkgo. In addition, check medications you may be using to see if hair loss is one of the side effects. If so, request that your physician change your medicine. Examine your diet to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Good nutrition is necessary for healthy hair.
“The Aromatherapy Bible: The Definitive Guide to Using Essential Oils”; Gill Farrer-Halls; 2005
University of Maryland Medical Center: Alopecia
Vitaminsdiary.com: Information on Fo-Ti — Polygonum Multiflorum
University of Maryland Medical Center: Hair Disorders
Ageless Herbs: Natural Hair Loss Remedy
Alabama Corporate Extension System — Metro News: A Reishi Mushroom a Day May Keep the Doctor Away
(Photo credit: Public domain)
Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.