Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Hair Loss
TCM practitioner believes that hair growth is closely related to the health of the blood, both amount and circulation. People often lose hair due to physical or pathogenic conditions where they lose much blood, such as long-term illness, big operations and chemotherapy.
Some believe that Traditional Chinese Medicine can be effective when treating hair loss and the underlying conditions which cause hair loss. Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for hair loss focuses on creating balance and harmony in the body by strengthening the blood, balancing hormones, restoring qi and directing blood to the scalp. That is to say, you should care about the quality of your blood and its circulation if you want to have healthy hair.
Causes of Hair Loss
Traditional Chinese Medicine knowledge suggests the liver stores blood and circulates blood to the sides and top of the head. If the liver is stressed or under pressure, it will dysfunction and decrease blood flow to the head, causing hair thinning and greyness in these regions.
Kidneys dominate the growth and development of the body including hair. If someone has a strong kidney essence, hair is shiny, thick, strong, healthy, and they will have fewer grey hairs when they are old. TCM practitioners recommend dietary plan that is rich in essential fatty acids, proteins and minerals. Supplements may be recommended. Herbal therapy may also be used such as Dong Quai, Ginseng, He Shou Wu, Luei Gong Gen, Wu Wei Zin and Xun Ma.
Chinese Herbs for Hair Growth
1) He Shou Wu is also called Fo-Ti or Polygala Vine. Its botanical name is Polygoni multiflori. TCM practitioners believe this herb has a restorative property essential to the kidney and blood. He Shou Wu is classified as a tonic and is taken in Traditional Chinese Medicine to slow the signs of aging especially premature graying of the hair and hair loss. It is confirmed to stimulate hair growth as well as restore the color and sheen of the hair. He Shou Wu is known to promote the growth of terminal hair rather than the baby-like vellus hair growth stimulated by drugs such as Minoxidil.
Where to buy: He Shou Wu Extract Powder
How to use: He Shou Wu is available in the market in many forms, such as tea, extract, powder, capsules, juice, oil, pills, shampoo, supplements and tincture.
2) Ginseng is the classic Chinese herb and is now widely known in the West. It is believed to stimulate blood circulation and promote cell metabolism. This means that it can increase blood supply to hair follicle cells. Not only will these cells be well nourished, ginseng also improves their efficiency leading to new hair growth and regenerates damaged hair roots.
Where to buy: Ginseng Oil
How to use: Natural oils infused with ginseng in massaging the hair and scalp. You can also take ginseng supplements promoting healthy blood flow all over the body.
3) Luei Gong Gen (Gotu Kola) is one of the most successful Chinese herbs used in treating hair loss. Gotu Kola improves blood circulation while reducing blood pressure. It also provides relief from anxiety and insomnia and can even improve memory. This herb is used for promoting hair regrowth especially in people experiencing male pattern baldness or alopecia caused by the onset of old age.
Where to buy: Gotu Kola Extract
How to use: Gotu Kola can be used in the forms of oil, extract, powder and capsules.
4) Xun Ma (Stinging Nettle), is also known as Nettle Leaf, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae. It is effective in treating male and female pattern baldness. Extract can be taken from the leaf or roots of the plant.
Where to buy: Stinging Nettle Root Extract
How to use: Stinging Nettle can be used in the forms of tea, extract, supplements, powder and capsules.
5) Wu Wei Zin is also called Schizandra or Five Flavored Berry, is known to cure baldness. It helps in hair growth and gives you soft and silky hair. It enhances the quality of the skin on the scalp and improves blood flow in microvessels.
Where to buy: Schizandra Fruit
How to use: Wu Wei Zin can be used in the forms of tea, extract, supplements, powder and capsules.
Acupuncture Treatment for Hair Loss
Acupuncture can increase blood circulation to the scalp which stimulate the hair follicles, deliver essential nutrients and encourage hair growth. TCM practitioners often offer acupuncture treatment combined with herbal formula. Some studies have shown acupuncture to encourage hair growth. Some claim that acupuncture can only treat hair loss due to alopecia areata.
Some of the acupuncture points which help to stimulate hair follicles are located on the head. If you want to give Chinese medicine a try, but have a bit of hesitation about having needles inserted into your head, you can try to use only Chinese herbal formula first. Also, you can try stimulating acupressure points for hair loss on your own.