Post-natal Hair Loss the TCM perspective
In TCM, hair is the manifestation of an excess of blood. When there is deficient blood in the system, hair will fall out. Therefore, the predominant belief in TCM that it is due to the inability for the blood to nourish the scalp, therefore resulting in hair being unable to grow and leading to hair loss
Let's address the different causes for hair loss according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
1. Heatiness in the blood , resulting in the formation of internal wind and depletion of fluid of the scalp area, and this will not be able to nourish the hair and result in alopecia
2. Blood stagnation in the system, usually due to emotional stress, thereby resulting in the inability of flow of blood to nourish hair, resulting in hair loss
3. Deficiency of qi and blood, resulting in inability of the blood to flow upwards to the scalp to support hair growth, resulting in alopecia
4. Deficient of the kidney and liver meridian. This is usually due to increase in age, causing an internal weakness o the system, resulting in a reduced ability of the formation of blood and qi, thereby causing alopecia.
In TCM, it is believed that the delivery of a baby will considerably deplete the mother's system of her blood and qi. That is why in TCM it is always believed that a mother who has just given birth must be sufficiently nourished, otherwise hair will fall out from lack of qi and blood deficiency.
On this aspect, herbs that will help post natal hair loss will be predominantly those that tonify blood and qi. These herbs include:
4. Chinese Yam
6. Rehmannia Root
7. Fleece flower Root
The function of these herbs is to improve the qi (first four herbs) and to nourish the blood (the last three)
To help to reduce hair loss, it will be best for the mother to reduce strenuous activity and rest well (this will help to preserve the qi in the body), and also to take in nourishing food to improve the blood. Some of the common post natal food that is always given includes brown sugar, red dates and longan, which helps to nourish blood.
The above article was contributed by Dr Swee Yong Peng, a TCM physician and consultant for Beijing 101 Hair Consultants