Chinese herbs to stop hair loss & eliminate gray hair

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Chinese herbs to stop hair loss & eliminate gray hair
To herbalists, a healthy head of hair is an indication of a healthy body. (woman brushing hair image by forca from Fotolia.com)

For thousands of years, Chinese herbalists looked upon the condition of their patients' hair as a sign of inner health and vitality. A healthy head of hair indicated that the whole person was in balance. "Good hair" was not an end in itself but a result of good health. To that end, herbalists developed natural formulas to treat the body's circulatory, hormonal and digestive systems.

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He Shou Wu or Fo Ti

The herbalist first seeks to improve nourishment to the head and scalp. Remedies include the herbs "fo-ti'', also known as "he shou Wu,'' which translates to l "the man with dark hair.". This herb is famous as the "longevity herb." It is credited with building up the blood, strengthening hair roots and helping restore the hair's natural colour. (Ref. 2)

Reishi Mushroom

Traditional Chinese herbalists call reishi "the mushroom of immortality." It is favoured to build a strong immune system, which helps to balance all other systems. Used for more than 2,000 years, reishi is more highly prized in Asia than ginseng. It favours the whole body and is one of the ingredients in many Chinese hair treatments. (Ref. 4)

Chinese herbs to stop hair loss & eliminate gray hair
The Chinese tradition includes thousands of herbs, some favouring healthy hair. (Herbs image by Tomasz Cebo from Fotolia.com)

Schizandra

Chinese and other herbalists consider schizandra to be the best herb to preserve youthfulness and as an aid to the circulatory and nervous systems. That's why it is common in their hair formulas. In one study where it was used with other herbs, researchers reported "cures for alopecia (hair loss)'' for 117 patients out of 146. (Ref. 4)

Swertia

The "Oriental Materia Medica" refers to the herb swertia as being "80 per cent effective in treating all cases of hair loss." Researchers believe it enhances the circulation of the area where it is applied topically. You can obtain it in the United States as the tonic Gentax. (Ref. 1)

Rehmannia or Shu Di Huang

As a key ingredient in anti-ageing formulas, rehmannia is a strong blood tonic that is thought to boost hair regeneration along with sexual strength. It strengthens the kidney and adrenal functions, and that contributes to overall vitality including the scalp and hair. (Ref. 4)

Dang Gui or Dong Quai

Herbalists consider this herb among the best for freeing blood to circulate more freely and helping to restore hormonal balance. That in turn may stop and reverse hair loss, herbalists say. (Ref. 4)

Salvia

Salvia is said to vitalise circulation, aiding free flow. Modern research in China and Japan gives some support to herbalists, who believe this herb improves the cardiovascular system and thus increases the flow of nutrients to the scalp and hair. (Ref. 1)

Chinese herbs to stop hair loss & eliminate gray hair
(red salvia image by Michelle Reimers from Fotolia.com)

Formula Erzhi Wan

Erzhi Wan is a blend of two herbs, eclipta alba and ligustrum lucidum (Nu-Zhen-Zi). The Institute of Traditional Medicine considers it to be the simplest yet most effective formula for hair loss and colouration. Used internally, eclipta alba is a tonic to the liver, kidney and blood. Externally, it darkens the hair and stimulates the scalp. Ligustrum lucidum is a similar tonic and traditionally has been used for premature greying of the hair. Herbalists recommend it by itself or as part of a formula. (Ref. 3)

Chinese herbs to stop hair loss & eliminate gray hair
Chinese herbs can keep your hair young, herbalists say. (messed hair image by Cherry-Merry from Fotolia.com)

Formulas Zhangguang 101 and Fabao 101

These formulas are available in many Chinese shops in the United States. They contains "ginger, ginseng, astragalus, tang-kuei, cnidium, persica, carthamus, salvia" and a few other unlisted ingredients. In a study involving 8,300 patients over a three-month period, 62 to 91 per cent of the participants showed positive results depending on their particular type of alopecia. Both brands are essentially the same. (Ref. 5)

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