People have been using medicinal herbs as herbal remedies for hair loss treatment for hundreds of years.
In Western medicine, alopecia is the medical term for hair loss and occurs in two forms:
- Androgenetic Alopecia, (AGA) is linked to heredity factors and the male sex hormone.
- Alopecia Areata (AA) is considered as an autoimmune disease with unknown causes.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, alopecia (“khalitya”) is caused by nutritional deficiency, bacterial infection, fungal growth and/or hormonal disturbances from excessive intake of incompatible foods to the persons’ physical body type.
In male pattern baldness, the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts male hormone testosterone into hair-unfriendly Di-hydrotestosterone. DHT causes a gradual, progressive shrinkage in the length and size of genetically programmed hair follicles.
The common thread through Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western uses for medicinal herbs for hair loss is in addressing the problem of disinfecting the scalp, suppress hormonal activity, provide specific nutrients and increase blood circulation to the hair root.
Commonly Prescribed Herbs for Hair Loss (Alopecia)
Astragalus (Astragalus Membranaceous)
Also known as yellow emperor and is considered one of the most important herbs in the world. Known for its adaptogen properties; it detoxifies the body, supports T-cell functions and the immune system. This herbal hair loss treatment is rich in polysaccharides, the main nutrients that feed our bodies.
Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa)
The root of this herb is used as a blood tonic in Oriental medicine to treat Yin deficiency. The Yin element cools the fluids of the body which nourish the internal organs, tendons, skin, hair, and nails. Early symptoms of Yin deficiency are dry hair, scaly scalp, dandruff, and hair loss. As an herb for hair loss, it is rich in amino acids, vitamins A, C and B complex. It has astringent, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
This herb is also known as shavegrass, it helps to rejuvenate the hair, nails, and skin by increasing calcium absorption and helping to rebuild connective tissue. As an herbal hair loss treatment, it contains the highest amount of silicon (silica) of any herb, preventing hair loss by strengthening the hair follicles. In addition, it contains selenium, potassium, and flavonoids.
Saw Palmetto (Seranoa repens)
Works in a two-fold approach; first as an effective anti-androgen, lowering the levels of DHT in the body by blocking the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase and second saw palmetto acts to block the cell membrane receptors required to absorb DHT. It is this property that makes this herb for hair loss valuable in the herbal treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP).
Fleece Flower Root (Radix polygoni multiflori)
Also known as “He Shou Wu” and is used for its detoxifying and nourishing power as a blood tonic. This herbal hair loss treatment has the ability to stimulate hair growth and is used to treat premature graying of the hair.
Green Tea (Camellia sinesis)
Catechins are the flavonoids phytochemical compounds that are found in grapes, red wine, and chocolate with the largest amount, approximately 27 percent of the dry weight of in green tea. Green tea catechins belong to the flavan-3-ol class of flavonoids. In research studies, catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has demonstrated potent antioxidant properties with the ability to inhibit the production of DHT. It protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation and has anti-microbial properties. This herb for hair loss can be used orally or topically.
Other natural herbs that have been used for hair loss.
- Rosemary – (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Stinging nettle – (Urtica galeopsifolia)
- Lavender – (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Nasturtium – (Tropaeolum majus)
- Avocado – (Persea americana)