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One of the most powerful herbs in India, based upon the Ayurvedic medicine system, is ashwagandha. It has been a very well-known herb around the country for thousands and thousands of years.
Some people also refer to it as “Indian winter cherry” or “Indian ginseng” due to its countless health benefits.
Ashwagandha has been hypothesized to be good for managing and treating hair loss because of its anti-inflammatory action and stress-relieving properties. (1)
Since stress is one of the most common factors for hair loss, (2) ashwagandha, being an adaptogen, helps mitigate stress and thus prevents or slows down hair loss. It also fights inflammation, which makes it even better for maintaining hair health.
Although ashwagandha has a rich history of use, there are not many research studies on its effects on hair loss. (1)
However, expert reviews and anecdotal evidence are enough to support the use of ashwagandha for hair loss. Continue to learn more about this amazing herb.
Ashwagandha helps manage and discourage hair loss through a simple mechanism – stress amelioration.
Stress -> Hair loss -> Ashwagandha lowers stress -> Hair loss prevented
You may have experienced heavy hair loss and shedding during times of high stress in your life. While there are detectable reasons for hair loss in other cases, with stress, it can be hard for the patient and the doctor to find any underlying cause that contributes to hair shedding.
However, researchers have found that stress triggers various pathways in the nervous system that are responsible for inhibiting hair growth. This response can occur due to any kind of stressor, from psychological stress to social issues. (3)
When your body is experiencing stress, it releases chemicals called cytokines, which are responsible for activating inflammatory reactions. If stress is present for a limited time, it is not much of an issue.
However, prolonged stress can lead to a lot of inflammatory symptoms that contribute to the death of skin cells, which eventually leads to premature hair loss and stopping of hair growth. (3)
So, if your hair loss has no known cause, it might be the stress causing you to lose your locks.
But don’t worry; this is where ashwagandha comes into the picture as a savior!
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This means this herb possesses the ability to lower stress and promote mental wellness. It has been used as an anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) drug for years.
This herb, because of its amazing antistress activity, can be a solution to hair loss by decreasing hair fall that occurs mainly due to stress hormones and inflammatory reactions.
In a study, the researchers found that a patient with a specific type of adrenal hyperplasia experienced a noticeable reduction in hair loss after 6 months of self-treatment with ashwagandha. (5)
This means that ashwagandha can help treat hair loss that arises from a hormonal imbalance that leads to adrenal cortex disorders such as adrenal hyperplasia. (5)
Another study concluded that the use of nutraceuticals containing ashwagandha daily for 6 months led to amazing improvement in: (6)
- Hair growth
- Hair coverage
- Hair density
- Hair volume
Scientists have put ashwagandha on the list of nutraceuticals that can successfully treat alopecia-related hair loss. This is because of the compounds called steroidal lactones in ashwagandha that regulate cortisol levels and prevent hair loss. (7)
Here are a few simple ways of using ashwagandha for hair loss treatment:
- Take ashwagandha supplements, which are available in capsule form. You can follow the dose written on the box or you can refer to a professional.
- You can buy ashwagandha powder and mix it in water or milk to make yourself a quick drink to help manage hair loss.
- Some oils come infused with ashwagandha that you can use to massage your scalp.
Is ashwagandha safe for everyone?
Yes, generally ashwagandha is considered safe for everyone, but if you have your doubts, it is best you go to a doctor.
How long can it take for ashwagandha to improve hair loss?
According to many experts and research evidence, it can take a good 6 months for ashwagandha to help manage hair loss.
Can ashwagandha completely cure hair loss?
While ashwagandha can be helpful in treating and managing hair loss, it is not a 100% cure.
Experts have given their approval to try ashwagandha for hair loss and have deemed it good for everyone. However, it is particularly good for those who have stress-related hair loss.
It is highly recommended to talk to a doctor before taking ashwagandha supplements for hair loss to identify the underlying cause of hair loss.