Hair loss is a common concern that affects both men and women, often causing distress and a loss of confidence. While several factors contribute to hair loss, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, and lifestyle choices, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a holistic approach to promoting hair health and regrowth. Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to address various health conditions, including hair loss. In this blog, we will explore some powerful Chinese herbs that can help nourish your strands and promote natural hair growth.
He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)
He Shou Wu, also known as Fo-Ti, is one of the most revered Chinese herbs for hair loss. It is believed to nourish the liver and kidneys, which are considered vital for healthy hair growth according to TCM principles. He Shou Wu has traditionally been used to strengthen hair follicles, promote hair regrowth, and slow the graying process. It is available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and teas. However, there are reports of liver toxicity with use of He Shou Wu. Quality and proper dosage can best be determined by a licensed acupuncturist.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
Ginseng is a well-known adaptogenic herb with a wide range of health benefits. In the context of hair loss, ginseng helps improve blood circulation and provides nourishment to the hair follicles. It also strengthens the immune system, which can indirectly support healthy hair growth.
Studies have shown that Korean Red Ginseng, a product made by the primary processing of fresh ginseng, has been shown to increase thickness and density of human hair. In addition, it was found that the combination of topical minoxidil and oral Korean Red Ginseng is more effective than topical minoxidil treatment alone for promoting hair growth. Ginseng can be consumed as tea, in capsule form, or applied topically in hair care products.
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)
Dong Quai is often the “female ginseng” due to its balancing effects on hormones. In TCM, it is believed that hair loss can be caused by blood deficiency or poor blood circulation. Dong Quai helps promote blood flow to the scalp, nourishing the hair follicles and stimulating hair growth. Additionally, it can help regulate hormonal imbalances such as during menopause, which may contribute to hair loss in some individuals.
Sang Shen (Morus alba)
Sang Shen is the mulberry plant that is valued in TCM for its ability to nourish the blood and yin (vital fluids). It is often used to address hair loss caused by blood deficiency and premature graying. Sang Shen Zi provides essential nutrients to the hair follicles, strengthens hair roots, and promotes healthy hair growth. The benefits do not stop there. The therapeutic effects of the extract of Sang Shen extend to conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and osteoarthritis. It has an anti-oxidant effect.
Hei Zhi Ma (Semen Sesami Nigrum)
Hei Zhi Ma, better known as black sesame seed, is a well-known anti-aging food in Chinese medicine. Similar to He Shou Wu, the black color is thought to nourish the liver and kidneys, slowing down the aging process. The anti-aging and anti-oxidant effects of Hei Zhi Ma may be the reason that it can help to delay graying of the hair and nourish the hair. Black sesame seed contain a high nutritional content and studies have shown benefit in cardiovascular function, cancer, and osteoporosis. It can be found in health food stores and added to rice, salads, or smoothies.
Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra chinensis)
Wu Wei Zi is a tart berry used to nourish and tonify the kidneys and promotes the generation of fluid. Whereas, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wu Wei Zi was not specifically used for hair growth, it has been widely used in the cosmetic and hair industry. A similar species, Schisandra nigra, has been studied to increase hair growth when applied topically. Wu Wei Zi has not been studied for this purpose.
Nu Shen Zi (Fructus Ligustri Lucidi)
Nu Shen Zi, also known as Chinese privet fruit, is a popular herb in TCM for promoting hair growth. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support overall hair health. Nu Shen Zi is believed to nourish the liver and kidneys, tonify the blood, and invigorate hair follicles. It can be taken as a decoction or used as an ingredient in hair oils and shampoos.
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a holistic approach to hair loss, focusing on restoring balance within the body. Chinese herbs such as Panax ginseng or Korean red ginseng, He Shou Wu, Angelica sinensis, Hei Zhi Ma, Sang Shen, Wu Wei Zi, and Nu Shen Zi can help nourish the hair follicles, improve blood circulation, strengthen and grow hair, and even prevent graying. Traditional Chinese Medicine can give you the confidence to let your hair down!
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