Herbs hold an obvious appeal for many people because they support the body's natural healing mechanisms to target the cause of the problem, as opposed to merely tackling the symptoms. It would be wrong to present herbal hair loss remedies as a miracle solution for all sufferers - there is however growing evidence to support the view that some herbal remedies offer real hope to many people.
Let's examine the case for some of the more popular remedies to determine if they're worth trying.
Ginkyo biloba - this popular herb is thought to improve blood circulation to the brain and skin. Herbalists believe that the increased flow of blood to the brain area delivers more nutrients to the hair follicle thus promoting hair regrowth. The recommended dose is 120-160mg of dry extract each day spread over three doses.
Green tea (Camellia sinesis) - it is thought that catechins found in green tea may inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone into hair-unfriendly DHT. It is therefore believed to be effective in preventing and treating male pattern type baldness. You should drink several cups of green tea each day or take it in capsule form as instructed by the manufacturer.
He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum) - also known as Fo-Ti, this Chinese herb has traditionally been used to reduce hair loss. It is found in many commercial preparations, or in tea and capsule form.
Pygeum (Pygeum africanum) - derived from the bark of an evergreen, it works in a similar way to green tea. It is widely used to treat prostate problems and male pattern baldness. Users should take 60-500mg per day in pill or capsule form.
Saw palmetto (Seranoa repens) - this is the current treatment of choice for many men due to its ability to protect the prostate, slow hair loss and encourage hair regrowth. It forms the core element of many commercially prepared hair loss treatments but can easily be obtained in its pure form. The recommended dose is a 160mg capsule twice each day, but make sure the ingredients are made from the berry extract not the dried berries themselves.
Stinging nettle (Urtica diocia) - this has long been favored as a means of preventing hair loss due to its ability to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. It can be taken in pill or capsule form with an optimum dose of 50-100mg per day. It is particularly effective when combined with pygeum and saw palmetto.