Diverse herbs and plants have been proven to reduce DHT levels considerably.
The extracts of some of these natural “medicines” seem to regularly appear in hair loss product labels.
Hence it is important for us to acquaint ourselves with some of the more popular ones.
SAW PALMETTO (Serenoa repens):
Hands down the most popular and the natural DHT blocker with the highest peer approval in the world today is Saw Palmetto and is derived from the fruit of the Dwarf Saw Palm, native to the West Indies & Florida.
The key ingredient is beta-sitosterol which is anti-DHT in nature.
According to a study, 38% men with androgenetic alopecia who took this medication experienced good air growth as compared to 68% of those on Finasteride.
This extract through natural also has side effects somewhat similar to Finasteride and should be taken in consultation with a doctor.
It often is packaged in a mixture where it is the chief ingredient along with pumpkin seed oil; moringa oil; baobab oil; blackberry seed oil; flaxseed oil; rosemary oil; peppermint essential oil; cedarwood essential oil; and oregano oil.
At the risk of sounding like a barefoot doctor, I would still take a risk and underline the fact that when the regular medical field In the West discusses herbs, we in India shy away and in fact are derisive about natural products used for hair care in Ayurveda since as far back as 2500 years ago. And which Indian has not heard about them but we turn a blind eye.
It is no wonder that the hymns of Guru Nanak are replete with references to nature, environment, trees, vegetation, plants and animal life.
So when we talk of natural hair loss medications, we should first start with plants, herbs, and fruits that have been used by our ancestors for 1000s of years in India and have proven to be so effective that they were worthy of mention in our holy books.
Sikhism attaches a premium to long hair and necessitates its followers to not cut hair as ordained by nature.
Our culture and religions have stayed very close to them and over 50 Sikh temples are named after indigenous trees.
I mention here names of the temples with trees known for products with hair regrowth properties.
1. Reetha sahib
2. Kalpavriksha sahib
3. Neem Saheb
So Indians have since centuries prayed to nature and this is a part of our proud heritage we should stay close to especially when the Covid Pandemic reminds us of how impermanent, unpredictable, and mortal is our existence on this planet.
This enforced lockdown is the right period to renew our age-old bonds with nature and discuss what benefits and bounties nature has in store for us especially for hair loss.
So we shall start with Indian natural hair loss products and then discuss those used in the rest of the world.
1. Bhringraj (False Daisy)
2. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
3. Reetha (Indian Soap Nut)
4. Shikakai (Acacia concina)
5. Brahmi (Waterhyssop)
BHRINGRAJ (False Daisy) :
Bhringraj oil increases vasodilation though opening up capillary channels around hair follicles as happens in topical Minoxidil. Massage the oil in a circulatory motion for 10 minutes and leave it on for at least an hour.
Often used in a mixture with coconut oil, amla and shikakai.
SHIKAKAI (acacia concina tree):
This is an age-old treatment for healthy hair and prevention of dandruff and is making a comeback with new packaging and new-world marketing. It contains vitamin C and D, along with other properties that provide a healthy environment for hair in a clean scalp much like Nizoral does have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and keeps the scalp free from dandruff and also prevents hair loss due to its stimulant action on hair follicles.
AMLA (Indian Gooseberry)
Other lesser known natural DHT Blockers are-
2. Stinging Nettle
3. Pumpkin Seed Oil
To conclude I would mention that natural DHT blockers have only a modest effect which many people would like to think is mere conjecture and may be true in a world where we rely on evidence-based medicine where we seek scientific data like serum hormonal levels.
Though some people would still take natural DHT blockers, they are far less effective than pharmaceutical-grade DHT blockers.
But I would say, taking these along with compliment and accentuate the effect of regular modern-day synthetic DHT blockers and will keep us in touch with Mother Nature.