The use of natural herbal remedies for the treatment of hair loss has become increasingly popular over the years. Claims of success have been made, but none of these treatments has had the benefit of undergoing a scientifically controlled study. Often these remedies are taken in conjunction with medications such as finasteride or minoxidil, making it difficult, if not impossible, to determine which part of the treatment may actually be beneficial. For your awareness, let’s take a look at some of these natural treatments that are garnering attention. Saw palmetto is sold as a natural remedy for prostate enlargement, and its benefits for this condition are supported by scientifically controlled studies. Because of its successful use for enlarge prostate, some have speculated that it may reduce DHT levels, much like finasteride.
However, this has not been proven. In addition, there have been no studies showing saw palmettos beneficial effects on hair on hair growth, only anecdotal reports by individuals calming success. Other natural remedies that have been touted for their impact on hair loss include L-lysine, green tea, zinc, and grape seed extract. It has been establish that a deficiency of L-lysine, an amino acid, will cause hair loss. Those who sell this product as a dietary supplement advertise this fact, hoping that it will cause consumer to infer that adding L-lysine to their diet will prevent or reserve hair loss. However, they only ones who would benefit from this treatment are those whose hair loss is specifically caused by an L-lysine deficiency, which is very rare.
Green tea, another so called natural treatment for hair loss, contains catechins, a substance that has exhibited antiandrogenic properties. However, no studies have been done to examine the effectiveness of catechins in reversing hair loss. Studies have also indicated that high doses of zinc can inhibit the action of 5 alpha reductase, thus reducing levels of DHT. However, these studies were performed on laboratory animals, not human subjects. Grape seed extract contains an active ingredient that has been shown to prevent cellular damage, but offers little evidence that it an, in fact grow hair. Although these natural products may provide substances your body can utilize, or in some limited way, block the formation of DHT, their effectiveness in growing hair or preventing hair loss has never proven in scientifically controlled studies. The choice to try these remedies is yours. However, don’t be surprised if your expectations are not realized. If you do decide to try them, we strongly recommend discussing their use for any other natural treatment with your physician first.