The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.
Typically baldness is a male problem due to genetic predisposition, although
women can also suffer from genetic hair loss. Hair loss can result from aging,
and with overdoses of Vitamin A, and with some chemotherapy agents. It
is also common following pregnancy and severe febrile illnesses. Other
diseases which can cause hair loss include lupus, fungal conditions and
syphilis. Burn and trauma can destroy hair follicles. Normally 80-90% of
hair is a growing phase, the remainder in a resting phase. Hair loss that
follows pregnancy or illness has a greater percentage of hair in the resting
phase. Massage of the scalp with oil can help to increase circulation and
Saw Palmetto- This
herb is effective at blocking the formation of dihydrotestosterone and
thus can help with hair follicle loss.
Saw palmetto may assist with the type of hair loss called male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss results from the destruction of hair follicles by the androgen hormone, dihydrotestosterone. While male pattern baldness is usually found in men, it can also occur in women. The fatty acids in Saw Palmetto help to block the formation of dihydrotestosterone and thus may help to prevent this type of hair loss in both men and women. The dosage of fatty acids from Saw Palmetto is 270-300 mg daily. This can be obtained from 320 mg of a standardized extract or 3 grams of dried Saw Palmetto berry. These doses have been found to be safe in many studies. However, Saw Palmetto is contraindicated in women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive due to its effects on hormones.
It is important to determine the cause of your hair loss. Since male pattern baldness is not common in women, you will want to make sure there is not another cause. Low thyroid, low pituitary hormones, excess vitamin A, some medications, fever, severe illness, lupus, and fungal infections can all cause hair loss. Even the process of normal aging can result in thinning and increased fineness of the hair. The hair loss resulting from any of these won't be helped by Saw Palmetto. Rather the condition itself should be treated and hair will regrow.
Standardized extract (85-95% fatty acid content)- 160 mg twice a day
Burdock seed oil- can be helpful for hair loss due to stress.
Apply a cupful into the scalp, cover with a hot wet towel for an hour and
then shampoo. Repeat each week.
Nettle- take internally
and use as a hair rinse to help supply nutrients for thicker hair.
Liquid extract- 1/2 teaspoon 2 times a day
Dry herb in capsules- 300-500 mg 2 times a day
* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate.
It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.