Thousands of years ago remedies were discovered largely by chance. There were no placebo controlled double- blind studies by which to evaluate efficacy. It was largely a process of trial and error that stretched over many millennia. What scientific evidence that does exist evaluating the efficacy of “ancient” cures has largely been supportive.

      Traditional Chinese (TCM) and Indian,(Ayurvedic) medicine are classic examples-many studies have been done on herbs and other healing techniques used in both, and the vast majority have shown therapeutic effects for a variety of health conditions.

      What follows is a limited compilation of hair loss cures from the traditional, ancient, medicinal systems of India, China, Mexico, South America, Russia, Scandinavia, and Australia.

      Although there is little formalized evidence to validate their effects, it is likely, that due to the extensive trial and error process involved in their discoveries, that there might be something something to them.

Do In- a self massage system used by Chinese Monks. A self administered tapping, stretching touching, acupressure used daily that invigorated the body and increased circulation body-wide.

Directions: Twice a day, tense the hands and fingertips as if you are holding a ball, then use your finger tips to tap the scalp until it tingles. This, they maintain, helps hair growth and sharpens cognition.

In Ayurvedic Medicine, rosemary is used as a rinse after washing hair.

Directions: Boil a pint of water, add a handful of rosemary, steep for 15 minutes. Use as a post shampoo rinse.

Rosemarinic acid, an extract of Rosemary has been shown to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Aztecs considered hot chili consumption to be a curative for hair loss and many other disorders.

Directions: Dissolve ¾ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper in water and consume daily.

      A study demonstrated the profound hair growth effects of consuming a Soy/Cayenne combo in this amount. Other studies on Cayenne’s mechanisms bode well for hair growth.

      Dioscorides, an Ancient Greek physician, wrote that onion applied directly to the scalp, halts baldness.

Directions: Mash with honey and apply to scalp before retiring, wash out in the morning.

      One study showed topical onion juice to be a curative for Alopecia Areata.

      In traditional Indian Medicine, tumeric,(Curcumin, a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine) is considered to be hair growth stimulant when consumed in large quantities.

Directions: Since Curcumin in its’ whole, natural state is poorly absorbed, take one Super Bio-Curcumin capsule a day.

      There are several studies evaluating hormones and inflammation in the medical literature, and ample data in the patent registries showing that Curcumin, used both topically and systemically is a potent hair growth stimulant.

      In Ancient Egypt a topically applied oil was made from the seeds of the castor oil plant, while the Copts(early Christians who were their direct descendants) employed the root of the plant. This treatment was used by others from the far east and often combined with Olive Oil and/or Aloe Vera.

Directions: Apply the Castor/Aloe/Olive Oil blend to the scalp before retiring, rinse out in the morning.

      There is no available evidence by which to evaluate this claim.

      Both Taoist and Tibetan monks strongly maintain that excessive loss of male sexual energy (semen) could result in the genetic expression of male pattern baldness in those genetically predisposed, and that prevention of this loss through specific methods would prevent hair loss.

      There are a few studies in the medical literature with regards to elevated DHT and prolactin levels that lend credence to this position.

In India, topically applied Coconut Oil, by itself, or used with various herbs, is considered a cure for dandruff, and a hair growth stimulant. It also is supposed to help with the graying of hair.

Directions: Apply throughout the scalp and hair at night before retiring, wash out in the morning.

      Available data suggest it systemically has an effect on prostate function equivocal to Saw Palmetto. It would likely have some local anti-androgenic effects if topically applied.

      In Aboriginal medicine, (Australia), topically applied Emu Oil has myriad uses, one of which is the prevention and treatment of hair loss.

Directions: Apply to thinning areas of scalp nightly, apply again upon arising and wait at least 20 minutes before washing. Can be used in conjunction with Coconut Oil if applied at least 5 minutes to scalp prior to applying the Coconut Oil.

      Available evidence in both the medical literature, patent registries, and pilot studies strongly suggest Emu Oil fuctions as a hair growth stimulant.

      To control hair loss, cure dandruff, and soften hair, Siberians of old used Agrimony root remedies.

Directions: Boil roots until soft, strain out the roots, and add a shot of cognac and a little onion juice. Rinse your hair daily with this mixture after washing.

      There is no available evidence by which to evaluate this claim.

      In the Arctic regions of Russia and Scandinavia, the indigenous peoples used “Artic Root” or Rhodiola as a treatment for stress induced hair loss.

Directions: Take two Rhodiola capsules a day in the AM on an empty stomach.

      Ample evidence suggest that Rhodiola has profound adaptogenic properties, enabling one to adapt to stressors such as sleep deprivation and chronic multi-tasking. It lowers cortisol, the “stress hormone.” Stress can cause or exacerbate hair loss through a process known as neurogenic inflammation.

Comment: No evidence or little evidence does not necessarily translate into ineffectiveness. Often it more directly translates into lack of commercial incentives for extensive study. It is unlikely that any treatment that cannot be patented by a pharmaceutical or biotech company will ever see a significant degree of costly analysis via controlled studies. The financial incentives just aren’t there. The herbs used in TCM and Ayurvedic medicine, have, over time, accumulated a significant degree of scientific support.