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How Do I Choose the Best Herbal Treatment for Alopecia?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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Choosing the best herbal treatment for alopecia is often a matter of personal preference, although potential side effects and medication interactions should be considered as well. Some of the most frequently used herbs for the treatment of hair loss include saw palmetto, aloe vera, and nettle root. Additional options in the herbal treatment for alopecia may include red pepper, ginkgo biloba, or olive oil. A doctor should be consulted before beginning an herbal treatment for alopecia in order to determine safety in an individual situation.

Saw palmetto is a popular herbal treatment for alopecia and is thought to be most effective for men who are experiencing male pattern baldness. This supplement is thought to slow the rate of hair loss and may also promote new hair growth. Possible saw palmetto side effects include stomach upset, dizziness, and reduced blood-clotting abilities.

Aloe vera is frequently used for the herbal treatment for alopecia and can be used alone or as an ingredient in commercial products. In addition to stimulating new hair growth, this herb is believed to increase hair thickness. Another benefit of aloe vera is that it acts as a natural hair conditioner and helps to improve overall hair health. Negative side effects are rare, although some people may experience mild skin irritation at the application site.

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Nettle root and red pepper are often incorporated into a program designed to treat alopecia. Typically used in combination with saw palmetto, nettle root is thought to slow the effect of male pattern baldness. When taken internally, nettle root may cause high blood pressure or increase blood sugar levels. The flesh from a red pepper can be gently rubbed directly on the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles. This method of treatment should be used with extreme caution, as a burning sensation, skin irritation, or allergic reactions may occur.

Ginkgo biloba and olive oil may be used to treat hair loss associated with alopecia. Believed to increase blood circulation to the scalp, ginkgo biloba may be used alone to promote hair growth, although it is usually combined with other hair loss herbs. Headache, muscle weakness, and visual disturbances are possible when taking oral ginkgo biloba supplements. Olive oil conditions the hair and nourishes the scalp, thus aiding in the promotion of new hair growth. This natural oil is considered safe for people of all ages when used topically, although mild skin irritation may occur in some cases.

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