Bao Shi Herbs:
Botanical Name: Polygonum Multiflorum
Ho shou wu is widely used in China for the traditional purpose of restoring hair and other signs of youth. The treatment of alopecia has been investigated. The treatments often contain ho- shou-wu. According to the English-Chinese Encyclopedia of Practical Traditional Chinese Medicine, "alopecia is mostly caused by deficiency of liver and kidney with subsequent failure of [blood to go up and nourish] the hair. The hair pores are open when the hair is poorly nourished, and wind invades the pores on the occasion. Therefore, deficient blood with wind [invasion] leads to hair loss. However, stagnation of liver qi and impaired qi mechanism will also result in hair loss because of the malnutrition of hair due to stagnation of qi and stasis of blood."
Botanical Name: Eclipta Prostrata syn.: eclipta alba This Ayurvedic herb is found throughout India as well as the southwestern part of the United States. This is the main herb for the hair and cirrhosis in Ayurvedic medicine. It is believed to prevent aging, maintain and rejuvenate hair, teeth, bones, memory, sight, and hearing. It is a rejuvenative for pitta, kidneys, and liver. The root powder is used in Ayurvedic medicine for hepatitis, enlarged spleen, and skin disorders.
Examples of tonic preparations containing ho-shou-wu and eclipta claimed useful for alopecia: 1) Shengfa Wan (literally, pill to generate hair) was reported in the Sichuan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (1987). Treatment time was 1-3 months, with an effective rate reported to be 62%1; 2) A similar formula Shengfa Yin in the Hubei Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (1988) was reported to cure 30 of 36 persons affected by alopecia areata, with 4 others improved2.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study of an anti-aging mixture containing ho-shou-wu was conducted with 507 persons and reported in the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine (1986). A number of symptoms and signs associated with aging were monitored. The herb treatment group had nearly 77% of patients showing improvements, including a reduction in alopecia during a 3 month trial3. The Hospital of Prevention (713 study), results over 6 months reported over 90% of patient's had noticeable re-growth to varying degree's and approx. 95% of patient's tested, of all ages, experienced excessive hair loss stoppage.
Botanical Name: Poria Cocos A widely used and important herb in Chinese pharmacopoeia. This herb has been used in TCM for lowering blood sugar and controlling stomach acids. Poria has anti-emetic activity, anti- carcinogenesis, anti-edema effect, and prevents toxicity. These medicinal activities may be related to its immune modulating function. The polysaccharides are responsible for this modulating function.
Botanical Name: Hydrocotyle Asiatica syn.: centella asiatica According to pharmacological studies, one outcome of gotu kola’s complex actions is a balanced effect on cells and tissues participating in the process of healing, particularly connective tissues. One of its constituents, asiaticoside, works to stimulate skin repair and strengthen skin, hair, nails and connective tissue (Kartnig, 1988)4. Recent studies show that the herb has positive effects on the circulatory system. It seems to improve the flow of blood throughout the body by strengthening the veins and capillaries. In a study, its effects on metabolism in the connective tissue of the vascular wall and on the microcirculation are presented and discussed. The compound, TTFCA, found in centella asiatica. is effective in venous insufficiency, reducing ankle edema, foot swelling, capillary filtration rate and byimproving microcirculatory parameters. The compound was well tolerated and no unwanted effects were observed5.
1. Jiang Haiyan, Treatment of 21 cases of alopecia with Shengfa Wan, Sichuan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1987; 5(4): 47-48.
2. Lan Ke and Chen Huiren, Treatment of 36 cases of alopecia areata with Shengfa Yin, Hubei Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1988; 6: 19.
3. Du Xin, et al., Anti-aging effect of Huolisu-A controlled, double-blind study of 507 subjects of middle and old age, Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine 1986; 6(5): 271-274.
4. Kartnig T. (1988), Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L) Urb. Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany, Horticulture, and Pharmacology, vol. 3., ed. LE Craker, JE Simon. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1986, 145–73.
5. Cesarone MR, Laurora G, De Sanctis MT, Incandela L, Grimaldi R, Marelli C, Belcaro G. The microcirculatory activity of Centella asiatica in venous insufficiency. A double-blind study. Minerva Cardioangiol. 1994 Jun; 42(6): 299-304. Pathak S. (1999), Tonics. Br J Gen Pract. 1999 Jun; 49(443): 486.
Incandela L, Belcaro G, De Sanctis MT, Cesarone MR, Griffin M, Ippolito E, Bucci M, Cacchio M.
Total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica in the treatment of venous hypertension: a clinical, prospective, randomized trial using a combined microcirculatory model. Angiology. 2001 Oct; 52 Suppl 2:S61-7.
Brinkhaus B, Linder M, Schuppan D, Hahn EG. (2000), Chemical, pharmacological and clinical profile of the East Asian medical plant Centella asiatica. Phytomed.; 7(5): 427-448.
Shukla A, Rasik AM, Dhawan BN. (1999), Asiaticoside-induced elevation of antioxidant levels in healing wounds. Phytother Res.; 13(1): 50-54.
Zhang, L., J. Wan, et al. (1998). A study of effect of TCH on cerebral blood flow. Xi'an Yike Daxue Xuebao 19(4): 543-544, 624. Dep. Traditional Chinese Med., First Clin. Med. Coll., Xi'an Med. Univ., Xi'an 710061, China
Han Y, Xia C, Cheng X, Xiang R, Liu H, Yan Q, Xu D. Preliminary studies on chemical constituents and pharmacological action of Eclipta prostrata L.] Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1998 Nov; 23(11): 680-2, 703.
Bone K. (1996), Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Warwick, Australia: Phytotherapy Press, 49–51.
Cesarone MR, Laurora G, et al. The microcirculatory activity of Centella asiatica in venous insufficiency. A double-blind study. Minerva Cardioangiol. 1994; 42(6): 299-304.
Mahajani SS, Oberai C, Jerajani H, Parikh KM. (1994), Study of venodynamic effect of an Ayurvedic formulation of Centella asiatica using venous occlusion plethysmography (VOP) and laser- Doppler velocimetry (LVD). Can J Physiol Pharmacol; 72(suppl 1): 180.
Chen K, Li C. (1993), Recent advances in studies on traditional Chinese anti-aging materia medica. J Tradit Chin Med. September, 1993; 13(3): 223-6.
Xiao PG, Xing ST, Wang LW. (1993), Immunological aspects of Chinese medicinal plants as anti- aging drugs. Journal of Ethnopharmacology; 38: 167-175.
Lien EJ, et al. (1992), Longevity-promoting agents: A Survey, International Journal of Oriental Medicine; 17(4): 177-186.
Nailini, K., et al. (1992), Effect of Centella asiatica Fresh Leaf Aqueous Extract on Learning and Memory and Biogenic Amine Turnover in Albino Rats. Fitoterapia, 63 (3): 232-237.
Chen JY, Lin CC, Namba T. (1992), Development of natural crude drug resources from Taiwan (X). Pharmacognostical studies on the Chinese crude drug "han-lian-cao". Am J Chin Med.; 20(1): 51-64.
Belcaro, G. V., R. Grimaldi, et al. (1990). Improvement of capillary permeability in patients with venous hypertension after treatment with TTFCA. Angiology 41(7): 533-540.
Kubo, M., H. Matsuda, et al. (1988). Development studies of cuticle drugs from natural resources: I. Effects of crude drug extracts on hair growth in mice. Yakugaku Zasshi 108(10): 971-978.
Tang Bingguang (1987), Treatment of alopecia areata mainly with Chinese herbs, Hunan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine; 3(3): 55, 61.
Lu Jingbin (1987), Treatment of 146 cases of hair loss with Tuofa Zaisheng San and Shengfa Shui, Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine; 7(7): 438-439.
Chen Keji and Zhang Wenpeng (1987), Advances on anti-aging herbal medicines in China, Abstracts of Chinese Medicine; 1(2): 309-330.
Morisset R, Cote NG, Panisset JC, et al. (1987), Evaluation of the healing activity of hydrocotyle tincture in the treatment of wounds. Phytother Res; 1:117–21.
Ukiya M, Akihisa T, Tokuda H, Hirano M, Oshikubo M, Nobukuni Y, Kimura Y, Tai T, Kondo S, Nishino H. Inhibition of tumor-promoting effects by poricoic acids G and H and other lanostane-type triterpenes and cytotoxic activity of poricoic acids A and G from Poria cocos. J Nat Prod. 2002 Apr;65(4):462-5.
Yasukawa K, Kaminaga T, Kitanaka S, Tai T, Nunoura Y, Natori S, Takido M. 3 beta-p- hydroxybenzoyldehydrotumulosic acid from Poria cocos, and its anti -inflammatory effect. Phytochemistry. 1998 Aug;48(8):1357-60.
Cuellar MJ, Giner RM, Recio MC, Just MJ, Manez S, Rios JL. Effect of the basidiomycete Poria cocos on experimental dermatitis and other inflammatory conditions. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1997 Mar;45(3):492-4.
Yu, S.J. and Tseng, J. "Fu-Ling, a Chinese herbal drug, modulates cytokine secretion by human peripheral blood monocytes." Int J. Immunopharmacol 1996 Jan; 18 (1); 37-44
Epidemiological evidence on hair dyes and the risk of cancer in humans.
La Vecchia C, Tavani A. Epidemiological evidence on hair dyes and the risk of cancer in humans. Eur J Cancer Prev. 1995 Feb;4(1):31-43. Instituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy.