Hair loss is an issue in a wide range of age groups. Although many think that hair loss is just for the elderly, this simply isn’t true. In fact hair loss can affect some even at high school ages where embarrassment can reach at its peak.
In Chinese Medicine the hair is connected with the Kidney. Also since the hair is often considered a ‘sprouting of abundance’, if you will, the hair has a strong connection to the Chinese Medicine reflection of blood and the abundance of blood in the body. These two characteristics are important in choosing internal medicinals that are helpful in treating hair loss.
Having a look at the Chinese Herbal Materia Medica you can find herbs that are good for supplementing the kidneys and herbs that have a positive impact on blood building. Herbs that have both of these qualities are known for good effects with hair growth and keeping a full head of hair. Here are a few examples:
He Shou Wu / Polygala Vine: He Shou Wu, sometimes called Fo-Ti, is an internal herb excellent at both benefiting the kidneys and building blood. It is a good herb for longevity and long term use. In this case He Shou Wu is an excellent choice in aiding in a good head of hair.
Sang Ji Sheng / Taxillus: Sang Ji Sheng is actually found in categories of dispelling wind damp or in bone and tendon strengthening. However the mechanism of either is still by supplementing Liver (blood relationship) and Kidney, therefore making it seem just as similar as other supplementing herbs. I really like to use Sang Ji Sheng in many formulas and I am always pleased with its results.
On the other end of the spectrum we have herbs that just have traditional uses for thwarting hair loss. These herbs in modern times have shown that the essential oils and other chemicals in them are indeed helpful. In the case of these medicinals they are mostly used externally to the area. These are a few herbs that have been helping hair loss in women for thousands of years, and I still see some of it stay a little mainstream in China. Here is a couple for you:
Huo Ma Ren / Hemp Seed: The oils of the hemp seed are used for many purposes in Chinese Medicine and they prove to be very reliable. Huo Ma Ren can be pounded or ground and applied directly to the scalp and left for a while and then washed away.
Ce Bai Ye / Platycladus: Ce Bai Ye -has volatile oils in it that are known to be healthy to scalp health, and we know is healthy to skin. Ce Bai Ye can be made into a tincture or cooked like a decoction and applied to the scalp daily. Ce Bai Ye is effective for hair loss and itchy scalp, so it has a bit of a dual purpose!
Feel free to try some of these suggestions and herbs and see how it works out for you. Know that you are dealing with an issue that will need time to repair or keep at bay, so you will need to be consistent and give it time. You may want to look at herbal shampoos or something that someone already makes so you can use it every day with ease.
Naturally Darkening Your Hair and Removing Grey with Herbs
It seems as long as there has been people with grey hair there has been ways to get rid of the grey. In modern times most people utilize hair dye and chemicals including bleach. Obviously these havn’t been around as long (and some choose to take the route of not using chemicals) instead herbs have been used and believe it or not it is internal medicine instead of external application that has dominated this game.
The most famous, and dated, use of herbs has been the long use of for the Emperor of china. With long flowing black hair and status to maintain they used herbs internally to keep the hair black and herbs externally for keeping the skin light. As mentioned in a previous article herbs that are used to treat the Kidney in Chinese Medicine are used for hair as the Kidney ‘rules’ the hair on your head. Also keep in mind that these herbs will also be dark to darken the hair. Lets have a few examples:
He Shou Wu / Polygala: He Shou Wu is often referred to as Fo-Ti as well. He Shou Wu utilizes all the acts of ‘longevity’ by strengthening the Kidney. He Shou Wu is used for hair growth, hair darkening, and blood building. All of these attributes are linked to the long life you are able to have with taking Fo-Ti.
Shu Di Huang / Prepared Rhemania / Foxglove Root: Di Huang comes in prepared (Shu) and non-prepared (Sheng) forms. I prefer the prepared version of this herb to use as more of a tonic for darkening the hair and eliminating grey.
You can also add these herbs along with herbs like Bu Gu Zhi and Tu Si Zi to a tincture and apply a small amount externally with shampoo daily. These herbs are never able to single out one function so they are also useful for hair loss as well. Side effects will also include moistened skin, better sleep, improved vision, and more energy. So, why not give it a try?