Scalp Hair food-Natural Alternatives for Hair Loss
Hair plays an important role in mammals not only for thermal insulation but also social and sexually communication and dispersing scents via skin glands. Humans, however, are relatively hairless compared to other mammals and human hair has no know significance for survival. It is however, an important cosmetic asset. Hair loss though not debilitating or life threatening it can lead to emotional stress and be a traumatic experience for those who suffer from premature or excessive loss. In previous articles I have discussed some of the surgical and non surgical treatment options such Neo Graft follicular unit extraction (aka Hair transplant) as well as pharmaceutical topical hair solutions such as finasteride/minoxidil/biotin/progesterone combo. Click here to find out more about Thinning Hair.
This newsletter I will discuss some of the more natural plant based topical that help prevent loss and encourage growth. Several of which I have included in our new Scalp Hair Food. Before we used drugs we used plants and especially in Ayurvedic medicine there is an abundance of data that support the use of plant for the treatment of hair loss as well as improved quality and in fact pigment. This is not an all encompassing list but a few I have selected to include in the Scalp Food.
Aamla (Indian gooseberry)-a deciduous tree used to promote the growth of hair. It is reported to improve to improve iron metabolism. Iron is important for the oxygenation of the body’s red blood cells and is essential for normal hair growth and healthy hair. Iron deficiency leads to hair loss because of oxygen deficiency. Aamla stimulate proliferation in the dermal papilla cell in hair growth promotion.
Ginseng – this has been used since ancient times to improve general weakness in health, improve vitality, reduce sensitivity to cold. It hair growth promoting activity is credited to the saponin content in ginseng. Studies have shown that ginseng act as a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor in androgen is alopecia which effects men as well as women.
Fenugreek – the leaves of tis aromatic herb have been used internally and externally for swelling, burns and hair loss and increased lengthening and there is a synergistic effect with other plant such as hibiscus and amla demonstrating significant increase in hair growth activity.
Hibiscus – leaves and flowers of this shrub promote hair growth and also aid in the healing of ulcers. It increase hair length by increasing the anagen (growth phase) of follicles and increases the follicle size. Once again many of these actions or enhanced with synergistic activity of other herbs.
Saw Palmetto – is an alternative remedy used to treat hair loss. It’s a plant with small berries that has been used by Native Americans as medicine and food for hundreds of years. There’s evidence that this herbal remedy may treat an enlarged prostate, bladder infections and decreased libido. Research on the extract of saw palmetto berries suggest it may block 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is the molecule responsible for hair loss and also is involved in the enlargement of the prostate.
Rosemary – is a common denser, evergreen , aromatic shrub. Historically, rosemary was used as a medicinal agent for renal colic and painful menses, relief of respiratory disorder and you guessed it…hair growth. Interestingly the effects of rosemary are through the skin as would be expected but also the olfactory system (inhalation) but the topical preparation will in fact stimulate the hair follicles.
Green Tea – made solely from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, green tea is a popular beverage. It’s potential beneficial effects such as anti-cancer, anti-oxidant are thought to be medicated via epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major polyphenol. It hair loss effect is thought to be a result from the anti-inflammatory and stress inhibitory effects of these natural substances. EGCG can also stimulate growth via its proliferative and antiapoptotic effects on dermal papilla cells.
Aloe Vera – Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its healing properties. Some claim it has another application besides its skin benefits: It can actually strengthen your hair and make your scalp healthier. Studies have show aloe vera can treat seborrheic dermatitis (aka dandruff) through its ani-inflammatory properties. It can clean the hair shaft naturally and safely buy removing excess sebum but not strip it of nutrients. Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, and E. All three of these vitamins contribute to cell turnover, promoting healthy cell growth and shiny hair. Vitamin B12 and folic acid are also contained in aloe vera gel. Both of these components can keep your hair from falling out.
Patel S, Sharma V, Chauhan NS, Thakur M, Dixit VK. Hair Growth: Focus on Herbal Therapeutic Agent. Curr Drug Discov Technol. 2015;12(1):21-42. doi: 10.2174/1570163812666150610115055. PMID: 26058803.
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