Research shows that both Chinese and Western herbs can help people suffering from hair loss, also known as alopecia. If you suffer from hair loss, you are not alone. Losing your hair can be a highly emotional experience that damages your self-esteem. As a result, you would probably do just about anything to re-grow your hair, right?
However, the method you use to treat your alopecia (the fancy name given to hair loss by the science world) depends on what is causing you to lose hair in the first place!
For men, the most common cause of hair loss is something called androgenic alopecia. In these cases, a male hormone called DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, and as a result, they can’t grow any more hair. Most men have a pattern of hair loss. It tends to happen in circles, with the back and sides of the head being the last to lose hair.
In women, though, hair loss is more accurately described as hair thinning. They typically do not have bald patches like men do. Instead, their hair gets incredibly thin. In many cases, this is caused by a change in hormones (like what happens during menopause) and thyroid problems.
Whether you are a man or a woman, stress, illness, exposure to certain chemicals, and even vitamin deficiencies can cause your hair to fall out. Even the drugs you use to treat an illness can do it!
OK, so how do you treat it?
Right now, several Chinese and Western herbs are being used to treat hair loss. In fact, natural herbal alopecia treatments have some well-documented results! And, scientists are studying various combinations of herbs to see if they can have a positive effect on hair growth, hair quality, and overall scalp health.
In Chinese medicine, hair loss is not just seen as a problem with the scalp. Instead, they believe that alopecia is the result of imbalance in the body. As a result, traditional Chinese medical practitioners work to improve the quality of the blood, along with boosting the function of the kidneys and the liver. Fallopia multiflora (Polygonum) root is the most common herb they use to accomplish all three things, but there are others that can produce the same results.
Herbs like Stinging Nettle, Saw Palmetto, Gingko Biloba, Horsetail and Panax Ginseng are also used to treat hair loss. According to research, these can either prevent testosterone from turning into DHT or create more DHT inhibitors. Some herbal treatments simply improve blood flow so that the scalp gets more nourishment.
Keep existing hair healthy
Other herbal treatments help improve the quality of the hair that is still there, instead of re-growing new hair. By making the hair thicker and shinier, they can protect against thinning hair. Plus, keeping the existing hair as healthy as possible is a good way to keep you from losing it!
So, no matter what kind of hair issue you suffer from, odds are there is an herbal treatment out there that can fix it!
Katherine West is a health freak and freelance writer who in 2003 studied for a Diploma of Nutrition. She is also into yoga and pilates.