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Herbs and Acupuncture May Reverse Hair Loss
by April Maguire
If you’re suffering from hair loss, then you’re far from alone. According to current statistics, more than 35 million men and 20 million women in the United States report thinning or loss of hair.
Of these 55 million people, around 6 million can attribute their hair loss to a condition known as alopecia areata, in which hair falls out in small round patches in random areas throughout the body. Recently, a team of researchers tested to see if this specialized type of hair loss could be cured through the use of traditional Chinese medicine, including herbs and acupuncture.
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system mistakenly begins to attack hair follicles, causing patches of baldness. Most people who suffer from the disease only lose hair in a few places. For some sufferers, however, the hair loss is more extensive, and in rare cases alopecia areata can lead to a total loss of hair on the scalp or the entire body.
A Traditional Cure for Hair Loss
Researchers chose to examine the effects of herbs and acupuncture on alopecia areata due to their common use in traditional medicine. But even though herbs and acupuncture may sound like an odd way to treat hair loss, the underlying science behind the treatment is relatively sound.
Both acupuncture and certain herbs have been proven to stimulate blood flow. When it comes to the hair on our bodies, this increased blood flow means an increase in vital nutrients that follicles need to grow new hair. Therefore, it stands to reason that herbs and acupuncture could help to reverse hair loss.
According to a recent study, researchers concluded that a combination of acupuncture and an herbal treatment of Huoxue Shengfa was a safe and effective means of regrowing hair. During the study, roughly 90% of the subjects suffering from alopecia areata experienced new hair growth as a result of the treatment. Additionally, patients only reported minor adverse reactions to the acupuncture and herbal mix.
Although these results are promising, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt. The study only had a sample size of around 60 patients, meaning that more research will be needed to draw any broad conclusions. Moreover, the study was singularly focused on people suffering from alopecia areata, so the efficacy of acupuncture and herbs on other types of hair loss is still unknown.
Still, despite these caveats the study’s results are very encouraging. And we may be well on our way to having a viable, natural treatment for hair loss.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!