How Chinese Medicine Addresses Hair Loss-Thinning-Graying
Chinese medicine is effective at treating hair loss by addressing the underlying imbalances and deficiencies that cause hair loss. Many Chinese herbs have a record of promoting hair growth that spans thousands of years as highly revered tonic herbs; he shu wu, or fo ti, being one of the most recognized. The herbs work to build Blood, balance hormones, restore Kidney Energy, and direct nourishing Blood to the scalp.
Kidney-Liver Imbalances and Hair Loss Chinese Herbs
In Chinese medicine, hair is a direct reflection of the Kidney energy, Liver energy, and Blood: a lack of circulation or insufficient amounts of Blood can result in the loss of hair. The Kidney and Liver energetic organ systems influence the hormones strongly according to TCM, and hair loss is often attributed to hormonal imbalances. The conditions of the hair follicles can also be impacted by the toxicity of the blood; the Liver and Kidney are important organs of elimination of toxins. A substance called Jing or Essence is generally related to our familial patterns, or genetics, and maintaining Kidney Essence is pivotal in maintaining a healthy head of hair. It is no surprise that fo ti is one of only a handful of tonic herbs classified for hundreds of years to tonify Essence.
Stress Induced Hair Loss and Chinese Herbs
Hair loss and thinning hair can result from many causes including stress, poor nutrition (especially a Vitamin B and micro-mineral deficiency), hormonal imbalance, certain prescription drugs, thyroid disease, cancer (and more specifically cancer treatment), and genetics. All of these hair loss conditions can occur in both men and women. Much like heart disease prevention and strategies for those with a genetic pre-disposition to heart disease, hair loss based in genetics can be countered with restorative and preventative methods such as tonic herbs. Whether caused by genetics or poor lifestyle habits, Return to Spring herb formula is most appropriate for those with indications of Kidney Deficiency.
Ancestral Qi (or Genetic Pattern) Baldness and Chinese Herbs
Genetic pattern baldness is often attributed to the chemical DHT (5-alpha Di-HydroTestosterone). It has been found that increasing levels of DHT in hair follicles cause a reaction that reduces blood flow to the follicle and the impairs the growth cycle of hair. These results in follicle shrinkage and finer and shorter hairs, eventually the follicle dies and stops producing hair. Areas that are 'shiny bald' no longer have live follicles and herbal therapy is unlikely to have an impact at this stage. Areas with shorter, fuzzy, fine hairs still have live follicles that can respond to herbal therapy.
Premature Graying of the Hair and Chinese Herbs
The first step in treating hair loss naturally is to improve Qi and Blood circulation to the head/scalp, as well as improve the quality of the Blood. Early intervention is the key to limiting hair loss and promoting hair re-growth; in other words, if you just began to notice hair loss last week a course of herbal therapy is not going to last as long as someone who has been slowly losing hair for years. Herbal tonic treatment can last 6 months or longer depending on the severity of the condition and the length of time that the condition has existed. Kidney Essence may have to be re-enforced throughout a lifetime for those who have genetic dispositions towards Kidney Deficiency.
Premature graying of the hair is also a key indication of Kidney Deficiency and tonic herbs such as fo-ti have long been utilized for graying of the hair. Many people are alarmed at losing hair or about graying prematurely and the impact on their outward appearance, but in traditional Chinese medicine the whole body must thrive in order to have luscious strong healthy hair. Chinese medical theory dictates that beauty comes from inner wellness and it is not enough to simply apply lovely creams and conditioners to the hair; one must strengthen the organ systems that insure blood circulation and nutrient delivery to the hair for lasting improvement. While Chinese herbs are no quick fix to hair loss, it is reassuring that addressing hair loss through TCM works towards true wellness, and is not just an attempt to gloss over what is likely a symptom of greater health imbalances.
Hair Loss in Aging and Chinese Herbs
Aging and decline is seen as a natural part of the life cycle, but many centuries of application of tonic herbs have proven their value in curbing impact of aging so that we can progress in to middle age and old age enjoying an increased quality of life. Wellness is not just the absence of disease in Chinese medicine; it is represented by a vibrant energy, free flowing mobility, and a sound peaceful mind. Someone who is truly well can sleep through the night, have calm energy through the day, be flexible, be free of pain, and have radiant skin and hair. Along with proper living habits such as good sleeping patterns, exercise such as walking, tai-qi or yoga, and organic whole foods; natural Chinese tonic herb remedies play an important role in healthy hair maintenance and restoration.