Ashwagandha is a small, woody plant used in Ayurveda, a traditional Indian medicine practice, for over 3,000 years. Its dried roots treat various disorders, including stress, memory problems, and sleep issues. But did you know that Ashwagandha can also benefit your hair and promote overall health?
What is Ashwagandha?
Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwagandha, Indian Ginseng, or Wild Cherry, has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for treating various health problems. Ashwagandha is native to the Mediterranean, Africa, and India. Its health benefits are reducing stress, improving sleep, and boosting immunity. In recent years, Ashwagandha has also gained popularity as a natural ingredient for hair care, with many people using it to promote hair growth and improve overall hair health. It is known for its powerful antioxidant properties, which can help improve memory and reduce stress. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can effectively fight depression due to its effects on brain cells and the central nervous system. An analysis of 101 healthy men showed improvements in hemoglobin, red blood cells, and hair melanin after taking Ashwagandha daily for a year.
How Ashwagandha can benefit hair health
Some evidence suggests that Ashwagandha can benefit hair health in several ways. One of the main benefits is its ability to promote hair growth and thickness. Ashwagandha is believed to stimulate keratin production, a protein essential for healthy hair growth. It may also help to increase blood flow to the scalp, which can help to nourish the hair follicles and promote healthy growth.
Ashwagandha may also be helpful for people experiencing hair loss or baldness. This herb is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can reduce inflammation in the scalp and prevent further hair loss. Some studies have also found that Ashwagandha may help to improve hair density and thickness in people with alopecia, a type of hair loss disorder.
In addition to promoting hair growth, Ashwagandha may also be beneficial for reducing inflammation and dandruff. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe the scalp and reduce dandruff, while its ability to nourish the hair can help to improve overall hair health.
The science behind Ashwagandha
Due to its valuable properties, Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, a group of botanicals that, when taken regularly, promote homeostasis, stability, and a greater capacity to withstand and recover from stress. Recent research has shown that heightened stress and cortisol levels play a crucial role in the development of hair loss. Ashwagandha contains various biochemical constituents, including steroidal lactones (withanolides), sitoindosides, and other alkaloids. Withanolides interact with different signaling pathways, transcription factors like NFK-b, and heat shock proteins interacting with steroid receptors. The anti-stress properties of withanolides are attributed to their ability to mimic certain corticosteroids, interact with steroid receptors, and regulate and reduce cortisol levels, thereby modulating the stress response.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients with a history of chronic stress who received daily supplementation of standardized Ashwagandha containing 10% withanolides experienced a significant decrease in stress levels and a reduction in elevated serum cortisol levels compared to the control group. Withanolides also enhance the production of endogenous antioxidants, reduce inflammation, modulate the immune response, and help prevent carcinogenesis. Ashwagandha boosts cell-mediated immunity by increasing macrophage nitric oxide levels, thereby enhancing their phagocytic capability. Moreover, the standardized withanolides have shown positive effects in promoting the production of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, improving blood flow, and potentially increasing oxygenation and nutrient delivery to hair follicles.
Other natural ingredients that can benefit hair health
In addition to Ashwagandha, other natural ingredients can benefit hair health. Some popular options include:
- Coconut oil: A natural conditioner that can help to moisturize and nourish the hair, improving its overall health and appearance
- Argan oil: Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, which can help to nourish and repair damaged hair
- Rosemary oil: Contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can help to stimulate hair growth and reduce dandruff
- Biotin: Also known as vitamin B7, biotin promotes healthy hair growth and can strengthen and thicken hair
How to get Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is available in various forms, including powder, capsules, liquid, and dried roots. It can be a supplement to support overall health and promote healthy hair growth. Ashwagandha has been shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol by up to 30.5%. High-stress levels are a common cause of hair loss, so reducing stress can help promote growth and strong, healthy hair.
Best hair supplements with Ashwagandha
For optimal results, you should look for hair regrowth supplements that target the root cause of your hair loss. MDhair's Regrowth Supplements contain Ashwagandha active plant extracts that block the effects of DHT on the hair follicles to stop hair loss and encourage thicker, healthier hair regrowth. Formulated with DHT-blocking saw palmetto, nettle leaf extract, and Reishi and Maitake mushroom extracts, these supplements can block the effects of excessive DHT on your hair roots for more robust, thicker hair. Biotin, along with vitamins B6, B9, and D, folate, zinc, and copper, provide the essential nutrients for healthy, natural hair growth.
In conclusion, Ashwagandha is a natural herb with numerous health benefits, including reducing stress, improving memory, and promoting healthy hair growth. If you want to support your overall health and maintain strong, healthy hair, consider adding Ashwagandha to your diet.
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