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Close-up Look at Ingredients in Herbal Gray Hair Cures

March 15th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Herbs have been used in the traditional folk medicine of many nations for thousands of years to treat premature aging conditions such as premature graying hair. Admittedly, traditional medicines have not always been effective in treating gray hair and to this day no herbal or medicinal treatment for genetically-determined and age-related gray hair conditions exists. Nonetheless, herbal remedies have experienced a great revival in popularity recently and now account for more than 50% of all hair care products sold. Their attractiveness stems mainly from the widespread belief that they are free from negative side effects and can stimulate natural healing processes in the body and thus reverse medical conditions naturally.
By far the most popular herbal cure for reversing gray hair today is Fo-Ti root. It can be found as a principal active ingredient in almost any existing natural gray hair product. Fo-Ti (polygonum multiflorum), is a climbing plant native to China and now widely grown also in Taiwan and Japan. In traditional Chinese medicine it has been used for ages as a popular longevity tonic because of its assumed ability to counteract the body’s aging processes. In China it is well known under the name He shou wu, which stands for “black haired Mr. He”. The legend has it that an old villager, Mr. He, who lived in the 9th century A.D. took Fo-Ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and vitality and fathered children at the ripe age of 60. He lived to 130, maintaining his black hair. In addition to influencing the aging processes, Fo-Ti is believed to possess many other health-giving properties highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine. Among other things, it is also thought to extend hair growth cycles and thus it can be frequently found in many commercial hair loss products. As is so often the case with herbal remedies, Fo-Ti has never been clinically studied as a potential gray hair treatment. There is no scientific or recent empirical evidence that it can help reverse graying hair.

PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) and folic acid are two vitamins from the group of B vitamins credited with the ability to reverse graying of the hair. Their presence in the human body is essential to maintaining one’s original hair color and it is possible that a shortage of any of these two vitamins might lead to hair turning gray. Their extra intake can be beneficial in gray hair conditions caused by vitamin B deficiency but will not restore original hair color in conditions caused by hereditary factors or old age. Nonetheless, these two vitamins are used in almost any commercial gray hair remedy you can buy.

There are numerous other herbal ingredients such as Asian ginseng, eleuthero root, gotu kola, ginkgo biloba, green tea, rosemary, chamomile, horsetail, etc. that you can find in natural gray hair products (for more info read: http://www.greyhairloss.com/herbal-hair-loss-remedies.html), having mostly supplementary functions, such as promoting a healthy scalp environment or providing additional nutrients to your hair follicles. Some other herbs, such as sage, are used to add color to your hair, working as a natural hair colorant while also giving your hair more shine, which gives the impression of there being less gray hair. One traditional method of reversing graying hair, which may sound anecdotal, is rubbing your fingernails against each other to help circulation (as nerve endings are located under the finger nails), thereby reducing the amount of gray hair.

It can be concluded that no scientific evidence exists that any known exercise or herb, vitamin, mineral or nutrient contained in the natural remedies can reverse premature or age-related graying of hair. If you decide to try any commercial herbal oral treatment for gray hair, keep in mind that besides there being no guarantee of its effectiveness, no daily dosage has been established and side effects might occur, despite the widespread belief that herbal remedies are safe and free from them.

Dody Gasparik

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