Categorized | Hair Care

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Adaptogens Restore Hair Naturally

At 30 years of age I began to lose my hair. At first I noticed the clumps of hair in the brush, then my hairline receded, followed by the obvious thinning. Concerned, I began using over-the-counter topical solutions to try to stop my hair loss. When that didn’t work, I went for the expensive shampoos and leave-in rinses. In their defense these products did seem to slow the hair loss down, but it didn’t stop the problem like the products claimed they would.

In the meantime, I was in Traditional Chinese Medical College. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a holistic approach to health and wholeness. It incorporates every aspect of our lives. There are several therapies or modalities under the TCM umbrella that are used to heal the body and mind. Herbalism and acupuncture are the most well-known.

Early on in school, I became highly interested in herbs — not just any herbs, but tonic herbs. These are commonly known in Western medicine as adaptogens. I was looking for something that could give me extra energy, and help with personal growth.

Adaptogens help the body to “adapt” to all kinds of stressors, whether mental, emotional, physical, or environmental. They do so by restoring the adrenals, the body’s primary mechanism for dealing with stressors. Since the adrenals are the primary mechanism for regulating our energy, which in turn affects personal growth, I started using these herbs.

After using them for a short while, I noticed that less hair was falling out when I showered. And, my hairline was returning! At first, I didn’t realize it was the herbs. I figured it was the result of using the shampoos and other topical formulas. Until one day while studying for an herbal exam, I ran across a story about one of the herbs I was using. Depending on the version of the story, it varies a bit. As many stories, this one was most likely a myth more than actual truth, a myth designed to convey a hidden truth.

The story is about an old man named He (pronounced Huh). One day while walking in the woods Old Man He got lost. He wasn’t a strong man, in fact, he was known as the runt of the litter. Feeble and slumped, Mr. He had a very gray beard and thinning, white hair. While searching for a way back home, he stumbles onto two trees with their vines intertwined together. Being hungry, he dug up the roots and prepared them for food.

Some time passed until one day he found his way back home. Upon entering his village, all of those who knew him before were astounded by what they saw. His countenance was that of a much younger man. His white, thinning hair, and gray beard turned thick and black. After they heard him tell his tale, they all figured that his youthful change had do to the herb that sustained him while he was lost in the forest. Therefore, they named this herb, He Shou Wu, which translates to He’s black hair.

Coincidentally, this herb was one of the main ingredients in my homemade formula. I knew it had powerful restorative and energy effects, but I had no idea that its chief function was to stop hair loss and restore hair growth.

He Shou Wu is actually the Polygonum Multiflorum plant. The Chinese commonly refer to it as Fo Ti. There are trace minerals in Fo Ti that play a significant role in the prevention of graying hair. Fo Ti is rich in the necessary trace minerals, calcium, manganese, and iron, which keep the hair strong and maintain its normal color. Fo Ti is also an adaptogen. Like other adaptogens, it restores the adrenals — the storage place for our sex hormones. As we get older, these hormones become depleted through stress.

Western science is beginning to understand what the Chinese Physicians have known for thousands of years regarding these hormones — they are responsible for keeping us youthful and help us maintain our vitality. This means they are also responsible for a healthy head of hair!

Intrigued, I did a more in-depth research of the herbs and found that many more of these adaptogenic herbs existed! I began adding them to my formula. Ten years later the results speak for themselves! I have a healthy head of hair. In all actuality, I don’t take the herbs for hair loss; I take them for their overall restorative effects. But, if I can keep a full, healthy head of hair as a result, then I am all for it!

Here are some things to consider when looking for adaptogens or adaptogenic supplements:

1. Make sure of the quality; know your sources and the manufacturing process. Many manufacturers denature the herbs in order to mass-produce them.

2. Also, know how much of the product is actually adaptogens and not fillers or other ingredients. Some products say they have many adaptogens in their products, and they do; but, the real question is what is the quantity of the herbs? Check for the milligram dosage to know for sure.

3. Look to see how much of the total product the adaptogens account for in relation to the other ingredients? The ratio may show that though there are adaptogenic herbs in the product, there are more of other ingredients, which means the herbs are like condiments in the product–just a dash.

If you truly are interested in more information regarding adaptogens. Visit ShenTrition online.

Here’s to your healthy mane.

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