Indigenous Chinese Herb Regrows Hair By Halting Cell Suicide
An herb indigenous to China, widely used for gynecological ailments while also treating both men and women for fatigue, inflammation, anemia, and high blood pressure, has now been shown to regrow hair by halting apoptosis (suicide) of cells.
Also known as Chinese Angelica, the herb belongs to the same plant family as celery, parsely, carrots, and poison hemlock. Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, has conducted studies on the herb to find that “Hair loss is accompanied by keratinocyte apoptosis-regression during catagen and prolonged telogen. Angelica sinensis was reported to promote hair growth in vitro.”
Their findings were published as “Angelica sinensis Induces Hair Regrowth via the Inhibition of Apoptosis Signaling” in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
A Kyung Hee University research representative stated:
“Based on previous studies, we explored the hair growth effect and the mechanism of A. sinensis related to keratinocyte apoptosis-regression during catagen in mice. The 70% Ethanol extract of A. sinensis was applied topically at doses of 1 and 100 mg/mL to the dorsa of C57BL/6 mice for 2 weeks. The A. sinensis-treated group showed noticeable hair regrowth. Treatment with A. sinensis restored the lengths of hair shafts and size of hair follicles.
In addition, mice treated with A. sinensis showed notably decreased apoptotic cells, along with a significant change in the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and the ratio of a pair of apoptosis-associated proteins: Bcl-2 and Bax. Also, A. sinensis inhibited the nuclear translocation of NF-kappa B, the phosphorylation of I kappa B-alpha, the phosphorylation of three mitogen-activated protein MAP kinases, and the activation of c-Jun with decreased TNF-alpha.”
The researchers findings suggest that hair regrowth is possible and hair loss can be reversed by reducing apoptosis regression during catagen. This is great news for those looking a little thin on top.
In addition to potentially utilizing dong quai, there are of course a number of other natural solutions for hair loss and thinning hair. Increasing protein intake, taking B-complex vitamins, and consuming more omega-3 fats can encourage healthy hair growth. Admittedly, you may have trouble finding a true solution to balding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slow the process and make the best of what you’ve been given.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.