Progressive hair loss has a cosmetic and social impact. Hair undergoes three stages of hair cycle: the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. Through cyclical loss and new-hair growth, the number of hairs remains relatively constant. A variety of factors, such as hormones, nutritional status, and exposure to radiations, environmental toxicants, and medications may affect hair growth. According to numerous studies, using ginseng has shown impressive results in helping to combat hair loss and thus increase hair growth.
What is ginseng?
Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
This slow-growing, short plant with fleshy roots can be classified three ways, depending on how long it is grown: fresh, white or red.
Fresh ginseng is harvested before four years, while white ginseng is harvested between four to six years and red ginseng is harvested after six or more years.
There are many types of this herb, but the most popular are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng.
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In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, hair-growth potential of Ginseng was investigated.
The study noted: “Although a number of therapies, such as finasteride and minoxidil, are approved medications, and a few others are in progress, a wide variety of structurally diverse classes of phytochemicals, including those present in ginseng, have demonstrated hair growth-promoting effects in a large number of preclinical studies.
“Ginseng is an ancient herbal remedy that was recorded in The Herbal Classic of the Divine Plowman, the oldest comprehensive Materia Medica, which was scripted approximately 2000 years ago.
“Contemporary science has revealed that ginseng contains a wide variety of bioactive constituents, especially a group of saponin compounds collectively known as ginsenosides, which are accredited with diverse biological activities, including the hair-growth potential of ginseng.”
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In another study, red Ginseng extract in promoting hair growth in cultured human hair follicles was analysed.
The study said: “Ginseng has been shown to promote hair growth in several recent studies.
“We examined the ability of red ginseng and ginsenosides to protect hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation against dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-induced suppression and their effects on the expression of androgen receptors.
“Murine experiments revealed that the subcutaneous injection of three percent red ginseng resulted in more rapid hair growth than the negative control.
“In conclusion, red ginseng and its ginsenosides may enhance proliferation, activate ERK and AKT signalling pathways, upregulate hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation, and inhibit the DHT-induced androgen receptor transcription.
“These results suggest that red ginseng may promote hair growth in humans.”
If a person’s hair loss is being triggered by alopecia areata, ginseng could help combat this, according to Dr Deborah Lee, Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.
Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) has been studied as a possible treatment for alopecia areata.
The extract, derived from the plant native to Asia, has shown promising results in treating this hair condition.
As Dr Lee reported, in one study, human subjects were treated either with steroid injections for their alopecia, or with a steroid injection plus the addition of KRG.
Ginseng may promote hair growth and reduce hair loss.
Korean red ginseng is also believed to increase the number of dermal papilla cells in the scalp by preventing their natural cell death.
Ginseng may also stimulate the scalp, encouraging hair growth.
Studies show that ginseng also reduces stress when ingested, and reduced stress can help prevent or slow hair loss.
Ginseng is also found in shampoos and conditioners because of its stimulating benefits.