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Hanging on to Your Hair

Dawn, age 36, is a busy mother of two whose hair has been thinning since the birth of her second child three years ago. Visiting my clinic, she expresses dismay that others can see her scalp when she wears her hair pulled back.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), hair quality associates with the quality of “Blood,” a TCM concept broader than Western scientific definitions of blood. Overwork, poor diet, and lack of rest lead to deficiency of this Blood principle. Deficiency of “Qi” energy, promoted by digestive weakness and excessive worry, may also contribute to the loss, thinning, and premature greying of hair.

To protect Qi and Blood, practise healthy lifestyle habits. Make an effort to cook and eat at home and be sure to get adequate sleep and time for personal regeneration.

Kitchen Aid

A daily tablespoon of blackstrap molasses may be a helpful kitchen remedy for thinning hair. Other helpful foods include leafy green vegetables; green superfoods such as spirulina, barley grass, and chlorella; dark berries; and black sesame seeds sprinkled on salads and in stir-fries. 本文来自织梦

Small, regular amounts of organic, pasture-raised meats and meat stocks can help hair regenerate. Choose unrefined dietary oils for maximum nutritional benefit.

Nettle leaf tea may help keep hair from falling out if used daily over several months. Pour four cups of boiling water over two tablespoons of loose organic nettle leaf, steep 15 minutes, and drink throughout the day.

Excess refined salt in the diet may also contribute to unnecessary hair loss. Food is best salted at the end of cooking rather than at the table. Including moderate amounts of hijiki, kelp, or other seaweeds in the diet is another excellent idea for those with thinning hair.

Helping Hands

Tapping the scalp with the fingertips or a massage tool for 20 minutes daily may help stimulate hair growth. In Healing with the Herbs of Life (Crossing Press, 2003), Lesley Tierra recommends plant extracts rubbed into the scalp to assist those with thinning hair. Try a few drops of lavender and rosemary essential oils in unrefined sesame oil, massage into the head, and leave several hours before washing hair.

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A variety of other herbs and herbal formulas may be helpful in stimulating hair regrowth; such herbs are best selected and blended by a qualified herbalist who can assess each individual’s particular needs.

Six months have passed, and Dawn walks into my office. “Look!” she says, showing me the new growth appearing at her hairline. In addition to using two customized herbal formulations and massaging her scalp with essential oils, she has made an effort to eat more nutrient-dense foods and get more rest - and Dawn is indeed seeing results. dedecms.com

Nadine Ijaz, BArtsSc, RNCP, RST, is a registered nutritional consultant, clinical herbalist, and registered shiatsu therapist. She directs the Whole Living Clinic in Vancouver, BC, wholelivingclinic.net.

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