If your hair is thinning for no apparent reason, Chinese herbs can help! For centuries, Chinese herbs have been used to grow hair, thicken hair, and prevent (and in some cases) reverse premature greying. Common situations that contribute to the type of hair loss and thinning are: pregnancy and childbirth, menopause/aging, chronic illness, prolonged high stress, any history of severe blood loss, and being female in general. While men can be affected by this kind of hair loss, women are particularly prone as we age. Why? Because women’s physiology is highly bound with Yin, Jing, and Blood because of the menstruation cycles, childbirth, breastfeeding, and often tinkered with by hormonal birth control.
In Chinese medical theory, hair is viewed as a flowering of the body. It is the state of the internal body that determines your hair, and you grow from within. The cause of hair loss and thinning in many cases is a lack of what I like to call “the essential goo” of the body. In Chinese Medical terms, this “goo” is called Yin, Blood, and Jing.
The good news is there are herbs that actually help nourish your Yin, Blood, and Jing and grow hair on the head. They do not cause hair to grow where you don’t want it to. They are truly effective with regular use.
In particular, I have found 5 herbs taken together are a rockstar combination to grow hair by nourishing your Yin, Blood, and Jing. You can combine these herbs by themselves, or they can be added into a personalized herbal formula to better treat the underlying factors causing thinning hair and/or other symptoms you may have (it’s often all related!) For example, some people may need to also boost the upward energy of the body, the Yang, to help the “goo” rise to the head to grow hair. With regular and continued use (at least 1-2 months), you can start to see hair growth and thickening. (But, if you have dandruff, itching, and hair loss, these herbs may not help and you may need an herbal consultation and other combinations of herbs for that type of hair loss and thinning.)
These 5 herbs can prevent or reverse early greying, if caught in the earlier stages, or if greying is mainly caused by stress and overwork. I am 53 years old, do not color treat my hair and I have been taking these herbs for 2 years now. My hair has never been thinker nor been in better condition, and it is even less grey. Besides my own experience, I have been treating hair loss and related issues for years at my acupuncture and herbal clinic. What I find over and over is these herbs work. (Interested in a more thorough herbal consultation? Click HERE for a telemedicine or in-office visit.)
He Shou Wu (radix polygoni multifori), also known as Fo-Ti, is the most famous of all the hair herbs in Chinese medicine. In Chinese medical terms He Shou Wu nourishes Yin, Blood, and Jing. According to Chinese Medical theory, He Shou Wu helps grow hair and “darken hair”. This means that in addition to fostering hair growth, it can bring out whatever your natural pre-grey color is. In China, most people have dark black hair, so in all the textbooks, and in many marketing materials about this famous herb, it talks about darkening hair. In American society, where people have many shades of hair color, this can be confusing. It will not darken blond or red hair, for example, and it will not affect the color or color-treated hair. Besides helping hair, He Shou Wu is known as a powerful adaptogen, and beneficial for longevity.
Gou Qi Zi (fructus lycii), more commonly known as Goji berries, is a famous Chinese herb known to Tonify Yin, Blood, and Jing. It is a popular food, and in higher concentrations, can be used as medicine in combination with other herbs. Goji berries can be used much like a raisin, either eaten alone or added to other dishes. Gou Qi Zi is best known for its properties to help eye-sight and eye problems associated with aging.
Nu Zhen Zi (fructus ligustri lucidi), is known to prevent, slow, or reverse premature greyiing by nourishing Yin. Like Gou Qi Zi, it is also known to “brighten the eyes” and improve vision.
Shu Di Huang (radix rehmanniae preparata) is a very commonly used medicinal herb for many conditions where a person needs Yin, Blood, and Jing. It is a strong tonifying herb that helps grow hair. It is known to be “cloying”, which means you should not take too much at once, or it may cause gas and bloating or digestive discomfort. It is also known to “fill the marrow” which means it is good for brain health as well.
Sang Shen (fructus mori), more commonly known as mulberry fruit, strongly tonifies the Blood and enriches Yin. It is also known to generate fluids and creates suppleness in the body, helping both hair and skin. Also a food, you can often find dried mulberry fruit for sale in grocery stores and online.
If you'd like to learn more if these herbs are right for you, schedule an Herbal Consultation with Dr. Kim Drolet HERE for a telemedicine or in-office visit.