Those with male pattern baldness may increase hair growth by taking a preparation containing saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and beta-sitosterol (a compound found in many edible plants), according to a new study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2002;8:143;52).
Here’s a LINK to a good article on this research into Saw Palmetto.
Here are some beneficial herbs that are said to benefit hair growth:
Ginkyo biloba – this popular herb is thought to improve blood circulation to the brain and skin. Herbalists believe that the increased flow of blood to the brain area delivers more nutrients to the hair follicle thus promoting hair re-growth. The recommended dose is 120-160mg of dry extract each day spread over three doses.
Green tea (Camellia sinesis) – it is thought that catechins found in green tea may inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone into hair-unfriendly DHT. It is therefore believed to be effective in preventing and treating male pattern type baldness. You should drink several cups of green tea each day or take it in capsule form as instructed by the manufacturer.
He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum) – also known as Fo-Ti, this Chinese herb has traditionally been used to reduce hair loss. It is found in many commercial preparations, or in tea and capsule form.
Pygeum (Pygeum africanum) – derived from the bark of an evergreen, it works in a similar way to green tea. It is widely used to treat prostate problems and male pattern baldness. Users should take 60-500mg per day in pill or capsule form.
Saw palmetto (Seranoa repens) – this is the current treatment of choice for many men due to its ability to protect the prostate, slow hair loss and encourage hair re-growth. It forms the core element of many commercially prepared hair loss treatments but can easily be obtained in its pure form. The recommended dose is a 160mg capsule twice each day, but make sure the ingredients are made from the berry extract not the dried berries themselves.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica diocia) – this has long been favored as a means of preventing hair loss due to its ability to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. It can be taken in pill or capsule form with an optimum dose of 50-100mg per day. It is particularly effective when combined with pygeum and saw palmetto.
And, in his book, “The Green Pharmacy,” James A. Duke, Ph.D., a leading authority on healing herbs, lists several other herbs that might help prevent hair loss:
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), which also prevents conversion of testosterone to DHT. Dr. Duke suggests adding licorice to your shampoo.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), which may encourage hair growth by stimulating circulation when mixed with an oil and rubbed into the scalp. Dr. Duke noted that naturopaths often suggest nightly scalp massage with one part rosemary oil and two parts almond oil.
Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) and sage (Salvia officinalis), which Dr. Duke says have the reputation of preventing hair loss and retaining hair color. He suggests adding a few teaspoons of sage tincture to your shampoo.