Nutrition is indispensable for the optimal function of your body. Lacking a single nutrient can lead to devastating consequences. Hair loss is a very common dermatological complaint and condition that is extremely prevalent. According to statistics, androgenetic alopecia (AA) affects nearly 80 million people in the United States. While most people think that balding is an exclusive case for men, reports state that 30 million women in the US suffer from alopecia.
In reality, many cases of hair loss stem from poor nutrition and the absence of building blocks necessary for the anagen and catagen phases. Fortunately, we have the solution for this issue. In this article, we will cover some evidence-based nutrition to uncover the indispensable substances your hair needs to grow. Note that all the ingredients covered below are natural without any chemical processing.
What nutrients aid with hair loss?
This herbal mushroom has a wide list of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, boosting your immune system, improving cholesterol level, decreasing anxiety, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Moreover, the Reishi fungus has been shown to be beneficial to the skin, preventing hair loss and premature hair loss. Reishi mushrooms have effects on our hair as it has an anti-inflammatory benefit, in combination with being packed in antioxidants.
This antioxidant does not only enhance the circulation of blood and increase blood flow but also enables more oxygen, nutrients, and minerals to enter the scalp and encourages healthy hair development as hair breakage and loss can be due to different health concerns, one cause of poor hair growth is caused by inadequate of blood circulation in the scalp.
Reishi mushroom also prevents the buildup of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), lowering the risk of androgenetic alopecia (as known as female and male pattern hair loss and baldness). This mushroom has a lot to offer!
2. Fructus Ligustri Lucidi
Fructus ligustri lucidi has a great reputation in Chinese culture. Inspecting the science behind this herb revealed the following benefits:
- Protects the liver from damage
- Exerts anticancer activity
- Eradicates free radicals
- Regulates the immune function
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Regulates blood flow
While scientists are not certain of how this herb helps with hair loss, it’s believed that improved blood flow to the scalp may be the primary mechanism.
3. Herba Eclipatae
Herba eclipatae is rich in phytochemicals that have protective properties for the hair follicle. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to tonify the kidneys and liver, which are essential for the body's vital fluids (Lin et al.2010). It has been also used to cure and treat skin conditions and diseases (Tewtrakul et al. 2011) EP has been shown to have anti-inflammatory (Ryu et al. 2013; Kim et al. 2017; Morel et al. 2017), antioxidative (Kim et al. 2008; Lee et al. 2009) , and anti-hyperlipidaemic properties (Ryu et al.2013; Kim et al.2017; Morel et al.2017) (Kumari et al.2006; Dhandapani2007).
According to the results of this study, Eclipta prostrata is believed to be a harmless and safe anti-hair loss substance and scalp condition enhancer, and it is regarded to have significant potential as a cosmetic with an anti-hair loss function.
Studies repeatedly confirmed the action of this herb on hair growth. For hair follicles to grow, they undergo several cycles: Anagen phase, Catagen phase, and Exogen phase. Once the third phase ends (i.e., the exogen phase), the hair follicles fall, giving chance for new ones to grow and restart the cycle.
Every day, around 40 hairs reach the exogen phase. This translates to losing around 40 hair follicles per day in women – men can actually lose up to 78 hairs.
4. Fo-ti (Radix Ploygoni Multiflora Preparate)
Fo-ti is an ancient Chinese ingredient with a long history in hair growth promotion and is used to blacken the hair and prevent age-related deteriorations.
In several scientific studies, researchers found that RPMP is useful in preventing hair loss and aiding with blackening the hair. This can be very beneficial for patients with alopecia.
5. Radix Angelicae Sinensis
Herbal medications are made from the roots of various Angelica species. Radix Angelicae sinensis or as known as female ginseng is well-known for its beneficial properties and healing capabilities.
The National Institutes of Health stated that A. sinensis root is used in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily for women’s health purposes is highly effective for preventing hair loss and boosting hair growth since it includes all of the vital nutrients including vitamin B, zinc, minerals, iron, and Ginsenosides. Ginsenosides are the major constituents of ginseng that enter the hair fiber directly and help to prevent hair concerns including thinning, greying, hair loss, and baldness
In a 2014 study, scientists inspected the role of Angelicae sinensis in promoting hair growth. The study was conducted on mice and revealed that A. sinensis can actually prevent apoptosis in hair follicles.
6. Boschniakia Rossica
Oxidative stress caused by the excessive accumulation of free radicals is one of the hallmarks of alopecia. For this reason, most hair loss products contain antioxidants that combat the action of free radicals.
Interestingly, Boschniakia rossica showed impressive potency in dampening oxidative stress. Although most studies in this regard were conducted on mice, the evidence is just too compelling.
7. Malaytea Scurf Pea Fruit
By eliminating the risk of fungal propagation or inflammatory processes on the scalp, Psoralea seeds remove growth obstacles from the way of hair follicles.
Growing evidence supports the use of this natural plant in hair loss products. However, further research remains indispensable to specify the dosage and frequency of taking this substance.
8. Semen Cuscutae
Elevated levels of dihydrotestosterone are the primary culprit of androgenic alopecia (AA). This condition affects men more often. However, women are still susceptible to AA, especially when they have polycystic ovarian disease.
Semen cuscutae is an under-discussed ingredient that can lower the levels of DHT significantly.
9. Szechwan Lovage Rhizome
This herbal medicine is helpful in relieving itchiness and enhancing blood circulation. Szechuan Lovage Root has also been shown to be beneficial in combating hair issues.
It does not only improve blood circulation and increases nutrient absorption by our hair follicles but it will also optimize hair development and prevent fragile or premature greying of hair with healthier hair follicles.
A number of studies on mice and in-vitro confirmed the positive effects of Szechwan lovage rhizome on hair growth.
Sadly, no one seems to be talking about this amazing herb.
10. Rehmanniae Radix Praeparata
Similar to the drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this herb works by blocking the action of 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for transforming testosterone into DHT.
Consequently, Rehmanniae Radix preparata can promote hair growth. But most importantly, it prevents hair loss. Scientists managed to find these results in-vitro and in-vivo. Differently put, laboratory experiments and studies on real subjects both revealed positive results.
12. Fructus Lycii
Unlike the other herbs on this list, researchers studied Fructus lycii as part of a Chinese herbal blend. Albeit, the blend showed impressive effects on hair follicle length and width. It also accelerated the rate of hair follicle growth.
Unfortunately, the other ingredients included in this blend made the results vague and impractical. We hope that further research will get conducted on this specific herb.
13. Poria Cocos
Last year, researchers found that Poria cocos can aid with hair loss in a variety of ways.
- Lowering the levels of free testosterone and DHT
- Reducing the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines
- Inhibiting the metabolic pathways of several steroid hormones
The combination of these actions can prevent irreversible hair loss, especially if it’s the scarring type. You see, once the scar sets in, we can no longer grow hair in that particular area. This is why it’s crucial to intervene early on in the process.
14. Achyranthes Bidentata
Similar to Fructus lycii, this herb was part of a large study that inspected the effects of Chinese herbs on alopecia.
Supplying your body with the right nutrients can be the missing piece of the hair loss puzzle. If you're exhausted and frustrated of the same old hair care treatments that don't work or have no results, try giving these Chinese herbs ingredients for your hair loss problems a try.
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- Zhang, T., Cao, S., Yuan, H., & Park, S. (2021). Alleviation of Androgenetic Alopecia with Aqueous Paeonia lactiflora and Poria cocos Extract Intake through Suppressing the Steroid Hormone and Inflammatory Pathway. Pharmaceuticals, 14(11), 1128.