The Wonder of Herbs to Treat – Alopecia

 

Pooja Jaunjal, Parimal Katolkar

Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Kamla Nehru College of Pharmacy, Nagpur, India.

*Corresponding Author E-mail: poojapj1212@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT:

Herbal cosmetics have growing demand on the earth market and are a precious gift of nature. Herbal formulations continuously have attracted gigantic concentration on the grounds that of their good endeavor and comparatively lesser or nil side effect with synthetic medications. Hair loss problem is of great significance to both men and women. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss or baldness. It is a health condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp. Hair loss can be caused due to different reasons, such as genetics, environmental triggers, exposure to chemicals, medicines, nutritional deficiency, extreme stress or long illness etc. This hindrance could be solved by the use of natural medicines obtained from herbs. Various herbs are being used to preclude the hair loss and remorse of hairs. Herbs are starting material for any medicine research. Approximately about 80% residents recommended herbal drugs for their beneficial effects along with fewer side effects as compared synthetic drugs.

 

KEYWORDS: Hair growth activity, Hair cycle, Alopecia areta, Pathogenesis, Herbal treatment.

 

 


INTRODUCTION:

Hair is one of the vital parts of the body derived from ectoderm of the skin, and is protective appendages on the body.[1] There are accessory structure of the integument along with sebaceous glands and nails. Hairs are of two types vellus hair and terminal hair. Vellus hairs are fine, light colored and straight, and terminal hairs are thicker, dark and may be curly. In the neonate terminal hair are level of testosterone increase in plasma, the formation of ambisexual and sexual hair occurs. The circulating testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT)by 5α reductase. This DHT act on the hair follicles and is responsible for the growth of ambisexual and sexual hair.1,2,3

 

Cause of hair fall:

1.   Trauma, prolonged exposure to radiation therapy, burns and surgery.

2.   A variety of prescription drugs have also been found to trigger excessive shedding. These include ulcer drugs, anti-coagulants, anti-depressants, beta blockers, blood thinners and Parkinson medications.

3.   Poor diet also plays a large contributing role in hair loss. A diet low in vitamins A, C, E and B12 has been known to result in brittle, unhealthy hair that is prone to breakage and falling out.

4. Due to societal pressures, women are especially vulnerable to the social discomfort and even emotional trauma associated with early hair loss.4

 

OBJECTIVE:

Each hair grows in three cyclic phases:

Anagen (Growth phase)–The anagen phase can be short as 2 years to as long as 8 years. Approximately 80% of hair is usually in anagen phase.

 

Catagen (Involution)–In the catagen phase, the growth activity increases and hair moves to the next phase, catagen phase is between 10-14 days.

Telogen (Resting phase)–The telogen phase is a state at which the hairs move into resting state. This phase lasts for 90-100 days. In general, 50-100 hair at random is shed every day. An increase of more than 100 hair per 6-constituents a state of hair loss or alopecia. 5,6

 

Figure 1: Three cyclic phases of hair

 

Types of alopecia:

Alopecia Areata (primary stage)- Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that results in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere. It usually starts with one or more small, round, non-scarring smooth patches. Mild Transient Alopecia Areata- Patient with repeated transient alopecia areata but never converts into alopecia totalis or universalis.

 

Transient Alopecia Areata- Patient with Alopecia areata in progressive phase and some of them converts into Alopecia totalis/Alopecia universalis.

 

Ophiasis Alopecia Areata- Ophiasis type of alopecia areata shows a band like hair loss. It occurs mostly in the temporal or the occipital regions of the scalp, and therefore it is more difficult to treat, as most medicines have a delayed action on these areas.

Alopecia Totalis- Loss of hair from entire Scalp.

 

Alopecia Universalis- Loss of hair from entire body including eyebrows and eyelashes Scarring Alopecia Any inflammatory process (burns, bacterial infections, ringworm, injury) sufficient tocause permanent loss of follicles, affected area known asscarring alopecia.

 

Tricotilomania- This type of hair loss is known as compulsive pulling or repetitive self pulling by a patient himself/herself.

Traction Alopecia- Hair style that tie hairs so tight can causes much traction at the root of hairs, and can develop traction alopecia Chemotherapy and hair loss- Chemotherapy is exclusive treatment for cancer patients but it affects normal cells and hair follicles too. This causes hair loss and known as anagen effluvium type of alopecia.

 

Diffuse Alopeica- Excessive Loss of hair all over the scalp without creating a patch. Hair loss due to side effect of the beauty treatments- Any beauty treatments like hair colors, dye, straightening, softening, rebounding, perming etc. which contains harsh chemicals can trigger hair loss for some individuals.

 

Telogen effluvium (TE) and chronic telogen effluvium- (CTE) Dietary deficiencies, Crash dieting High grade fever, Anemia, Blood loss, Hormonal imbalance and pregnancy etc, can cause telogen effluvium type of hair loss telogen word is known for resting phase of the hair and effluvium means letting loose. 7

 


 

Pathogenesis:

 

Figure 2: The pathogenesis of alopecia areata and treatment strategies. environmental factors such as viral infections and bacterial superantigens may induce ifn-𝛾 and cxcl10 expressions in the hair bulbs. subsequently, autoreactive th1 and tc1 cells (blue circles) accumulate in and around hair bulbs—the so-called “swarm of bees.” anagen-associated hair follicle (hf) autoantigens (orange circles) are recognized by th1 and tc1 cells, which lead to a secondary autoimmune phenomenon and resultant hair loss. 8


Herbal Treatment:

1. Ginkgo biloba {maidenhair tree}:

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Ginkgoaceae

Extract

Flavonol,

flavone glycosides, lactone derivatives (ginkgolides), bilobalide, ascorbic acid,

China,

Asia.

 

Anti hairfall

 

 

Mechanism of action: The drug is extracted in coconut oil and is massaged for at least 2 minutes. It is known to improves cerebral microcirculation and hence increases oxygen supply. 9

 

2. Allium cepa {onion}:

Family

Part Used

Phyto-constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Amaryllidaceae

Whole

plant

Volatile and non volatile oil,

Amino acids,

zinc

Asia,

Egypt,

Africa

 

 

Anti hairfall,

Anti inflammatory.

Anti septic,

Anti spasmodic

 

 

Mechanism of action: Onion has also been found beneficial in patchy baldness. The affected part should be rubbed with onion juice morning and evening till it is red. It should be rubbed with honey afterwards. Zinc helps to secrete the scalp with much needed oil and avoid dandruff that may cause hair loss. Iron is involved in the oxygenation of your body’s red blood cells. It is essential for normal hair growth and maintaining healthy hair. 10,11

 

3. Rosmarinus officinalis {rosemary}:

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Lamiaceae

Leaf,

Oil

 

Rosamarinic acid,

Caffeic acid,

Ursolic acid,

Betulinic acid

 

India,

Pakistan,

Europe,

Greek,

 

 

 

Anti hairfall

Anti inflammatory,

Wound healing

 

 

Mechanism of action:- The essential oils enter your system through the olfactory system (inhalation) and/or through your skin and reach your circulatory system (the blood) where they bind to receptors and change the chemical composition. Topical herbal therapy stimulates hair follicles and it is proved as safest way to cope up with different type of hair loss (alopecia). 12

 

4. Juglansregia{walnut}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Fabaceae

Juglandaceae

Oil,

Fruit

Oleoresin, Clorechinic, Kaurenoic, kolavenic acid, linoleic acid (50.58 - 66.60%)

South America,

Bolivia,

Brazil,

peru

 

Anti hairfall,

Anti fungal,

Anti bacterial,

Anti astringent

 

 

Mechanism of action: The fruit contains essential minerals which are helpful in the growth of healthy hair. Iron increases blood circulation and oxygen supply as stated earlier. Zinc helps to secrete the scalp with much needed oil and avoid dandruff that may cause hair loss. In case of Copper, study shows that these tripeptide complexes may actually be able to regrow hair, even in patients with total hair loss due to alopecia. Healthy tissue concentrations of copper lies between 1.7 and 3.5 milligrams. 13

 

5. Capsicum annum {chilli}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Solanaceae

Fruit

 

Capsiacin and Isoflavones

Mexico,

Central America,

West indies

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

 

Mechanism of action:- Nerve stimulation and production of IGF-I. 14,15

 

6. Ocimum gratissum {holy basil}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Lamiaceae

Whole plant,

Leaves

Eugenol, Carvacrol,

Nerol,

Eugenol,

Methyl ether

India,

Asia

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

 

Mechanism of action:- The efficacy of the leaf essential oil of (Ocimum oil) in promoting hair growth in cyclophoshamide-induced hair loss and concluded that ocimum oil may be capable of enhanced normal hair growth and promoting follicular proliferation in cyclophosphamide-induced hair loss. [16]

 

7. Sophora flavescens {shrubby sophora}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Fabaceae

 

Root

 

Alkaloids: Oxymatrine, Matrine, Losmatrine, Sophoranol, Sophocarpine

Asia,

Pacific island

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

 

Mechanism of action:- Its extract induced mRNA levels of growth factors such as IGF- 1 and KGF in dermal papilla cells, suggesting that the effect of Sophora flavescens extract on hair growth may be mediated through the regulation of growth factors in dermal papilla cells. In addition the Sophoraflavescens extract revealed to possess potent inhibitory effect on the type II 5 Y-reductase activity. 17

 

8. Eclipta alba {bhringraj}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Asteraceae

 

Whole plant

Flavonoids,

Isoflavonoids: Wedelolactone, Desmethyl wedelolactone

Bangladesh,

India

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:-5-reductase inhibiton contributes in treatment of androgenic alopecia. 18,19

 

9. Hibiscus rosasinensis {gudhal Flower}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Malvaceae

Flower

Leaves

 

citric,

malic,

tartaric acids allohydroxycitric acid lactone

China,

India

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:- Follicular enlargement and prolongation of Anagen phase. 20,21

 

10. Nardostachys jatamansi {jatamansi}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Caprifoliaceae

Rhizomes

Bornylacetate, valeranone, jonon, menthylthymyl-ether,

1,8-cineol

Nepal,

India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Southeast China

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:-Follicular enlargement and prolongation of Anagen phase. 22

 

11. Citrullus colocynthis {bitter apple}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Cucurbitaceae

Ripe fruit

 

Colocynthin and Colocynthitin

Asia,

Africa,

Europe,

Syria,

Eygpt

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:-Citrullus colocynthis promotes the growth of hairs. Also found least hair growth initiation and completion time, maximum number of hair follicles in anagenic phase. 5-Reductase has been implicated as one of the major causes of hair loss. 23,24

 

12. Asiasari radix {panax ginseng}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Aristolochiaceae

Root

Rhizomes

Safrole(18.4%), Methyleugenol(18%), methoxytoluenes,

3-benzodioxole derivaties.

Korea,

China

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

 

Mechanism of action:-Its extract has hair growth promoting potential, and this effect may be due to its regulatory effects on both cell growth factor gene expressions. 25

13. Zanthoxylon rhetsa {indian prickly ash}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Rutaceae

 

Root

Bark

 

Alkaloids

 

Senegal east,

Cameroon

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:-Cape Yellowwood Seeds Zanthoxylin, vol. oils Enhances microcirculation in scalp. 25

 

14. Camellia sinensis {green tea}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Theaceae

Leaves

Buds

epigallocatechin-3-gallate,

epigallocatechin,

epicatechin-3-gallate, epicatechin (EC), Polyphenon-60

China,

East asia

 

Anti hairfall

Anti inflammatory, Anti-oxidant, Antimicrobial,

 

Mechanism of action:-Leaf Catechins Inhibit 5-α-reductase enzyme. 26

 

15. Equisetum {horsetail}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Equisetaceae

Rhizome,

Root,

Shoot

 

Silicicacids, silicates, flavonoids, alkaloids,

Phytosterols

Asia,

Eeurope,

North America

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:- It contains the silica which promotes hair growth and improve the quality and condition of the hair. 26

 

16. Primula vulagaris {prime rose}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Primulaceae

Flowers,

Leaves

Flavonoids

 

China

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:- Leaves and flower Act as irritant and increase the blood. 26

 

 

17. Urtica dioica {nettle root}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Urticaceae

Leaves

 

Oleanol acid,

Polyphenols,

 

Europe,

Asia,

North Africa,

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action :- It blocks the action of two enzyme 5-alpha reductase and aromatase. [26,27]

 

18. Angelica sinesis { dong guai}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Umbelliferae

Root

 

Ferulic acid,

Polysaccharides

 

China,

Korea,

Japan

 

 

Anti hairfall,

Anti inflammatory

 

Mechanism of action:- Root Valeric acid, angelic acid, saferol and angelicitin Decrease the production of DHT. 26

 

19. Cuscutta reflexa { amar Bail}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Convolvulaceae

Bail

 

Resin

Cuscutin, cuscutalin,  luteolinkaempferol

Poland,

Russia,

 

 

Anti hairfall

 

Mechanism of action:- Inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. 26,28

 

20. Murraya koenigii {Curry Leaves}:-

Family

Part

Used

Phyto-

constituents

Geographical sources

Picture

Properties

Rutaceae

leaves

Beta-carotene, Calcium,

Phosphorus,

Vitamin,

 Fibre

India,

Pakistan,

Sri Lanka,

China

 

Anti hairfall

 

 

Mechanism of action:- A decent amount of vitamin A is present in curry leaves (beta-carotene is 12,600 IU/100gm), calcium (810 mg/100gm), phosphorus (600mg/100gm), iron (3.1 mg/100gm), vitamin C (4mg/100gm) and fibre (6.1%). It has high oxalate levels (1.35 percent) as well. Since they are high in beta-carotene and protein content, which are critical for hair loss prevention and hair thinning, prevents premature greying of hair. because hair is made of protein, are also important for hair development.29,30

 


CONCLUSION:

The condition of hair has been the centre of attention of human civilization since ancient times. So with the help of this review article, we conclude that there are many herbal drugs having potency for curing alopecia with no sides effect. These herbal extracts having multiple phytoconstituents can treat alopecia either by providing nutritional supplements or by acting as DHT and 5-α-Reductase blockers. There are also few natural treasures having volatile oil active constituents which can be used as aromatherapy for treating alopecia by improving scalp blood circulation.

 

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Received on 28.08.2021         Modified on 07.01.2022

Accepted on 17.03.2022   ©Asian Pharma Press All Right Reserved

Asian J. Pharm. Tech. 2022; 12(2):151-158.

DOI: 10.52711/2231-5713.2022.00026