5 Chinese Herbs That May Help In Treating Hair Loss

Get the long, flowing mane of your dreams with the help of some amazing plants!

By Anjali Sayee

You can use Chinese herbs for hair growth if you have hair loss. Research shows that Chinese herbs can induce hair growth (1), (2). These are great for helping treat hair loss, treat discoloration of hair, and restore its natural pigmentation (3). Here we have compiled a list of five Chinese herbs that may aid prevent hair loss. Take a peek around.

Note: Before using any herbs, please be sure to consult with your doctor.

Chinese Herbal Remedies For Hair Loss You May Try

1. Fo-ti

Fo-ti herb to reduce hair loss


Fo-ti is the most commonly used Chinese herb. It is also known as he-shou-wu. Fo-ti has been used for ages to treat hair loss and baldness (4). It can also help restore the natural pigmentation of hair and increase blood circulation.

StyleCraze Trivia
Traditionally, fo-ti was prepared by boiling the root in black bean juice and was consumed as an oral tonic. In modern times, fo-ti is available as tea, supplement, or in the formulations of topical hair and beauty products.

2. Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom to help manage hair loss


The reishi mushroom is often used in hair tonics. It is also called lingzhi. It has antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties (5), (6). It has anti-aging and anti-pigmentation properties that may help keep hair healthy (6). It can also protect hair from photodamage (6).

A mice study shows that that reishi mushroom exhibits hair growth activity and can be used to treat alopecia (7).

Another study shows that reishi mushroom contains 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (8). 5-alpha-reductase is an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). An increase in the levels of  5-alpha-reductase will increase the levels of DHT, leading to hair loss. Reishi mushroom can help prevent this.

3. Nu Zhen Zi

Nu Zhen Zi to alleviate hair loss


This herb promotes the growth of black hair (9). It also has antiviral properties, which may help in promoting scalp health and cleanliness. It also helps flush out toxins from the body and strengthens the immune system. Nu-Shen-Zi increases blood circulation to the scalp.

Did You Know?
Nu Zhen Zi is a wild harvested bitter-sweet fruit that looks glossy and grows on the privet bush, native to China. In English, Nu Zhen Zi is referred to as the “glossy privet fruit”.

4. Wu Wei Zin

Wu Wei Zin to help reduce hair loss


This herb is popular as a beauty enhancer. It also serves as a tonic that helps purify the blood. Wu wei zin showed hair growth-promoting factors in a study conducted on rats (10). It can also help reduce hair loss and prevent photoaging (11).

5. Morus Albus

Morus Albus to manage hair loss


A study conducted in 2008 showed that morus alba stimulated hair growth in mice (12). Although there is not much human research done, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that this herb helps prevent hair loss and premature graying of hair.

These Chinese herbs can be regularly used as a home remedy. The good thing about them is that they can be grown in your kitchen garden or as window sill plants.

The Chinese method of hair care follows the ancient principles of yin and yang to address the problem at its root. These herbs may be found in any local Chinese markets in the city. Also, these are not very expensive and are generally sold in easy-to-use forms.

If you are experiencing hair loss and want to go for something natural, you can use Chinese herbs for hair growth and restore your hair’s natural pigmentation. You can try using reishi mushrooms, morus albus, wu wei zin, or fo-ti to increase blood circulation and promote scalp health. Studies suggest that these Chinese herbs possess antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can protect your hair from photodamage, slow down premature graying hair, and prevent hair loss. You can easily grow these Chinese herbs in your garden or you can visit your nearest local Chinese markets for these wonderful herbs.


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  1. Lee, Chien‑Ying, et al. “Hair growth effect of traditional Chinese medicine BeauTop on androgenetic alopecia patients: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Experimental and therapeutic medicine 13.1 (2017): 194-202.
  2. Shaoqiong, Xie. “Three Typical Dermatological Cases Treated by Dr. Li Yueping.” Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2005.
  3. Leem, Jungtae et al. “Exploring the combination and modular characteristics of herbs for alopecia treatment in traditional Chinese medicine: an association rule mining and network analysis study.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 18,1 204.
  4. Patil, SM, et al. “Herbal Medicines as an Effective Therapy in Hair Loss – A Review.” Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences.
  5. Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9.
  6. Wu, Yuanzheng, et al. “Mushroom cosmetics: the present and future.” Cosmetics 3.3 (2016): 22.
  7. Ju, Bong Hyun, et al. “Effects of Ganoderma Lucidum extract ethanol extract and microneedle therapy system on hair growth in an alopecia model of C57BL/6N Mice.” The Journal of Pediatrics of Korean Medicine 28.2 (2014): 72-87.
  8. Liu, Jie et al. “Structure-activity relationship for inhibition of 5alpha-reductase by triterpenoids isolated from Ganoderma lucidum.” Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry vol. 14,24 (2006): 8654-60.
  9. Pang, Zunting, et al. “The advances in research on the pharmacological effects of Fructus Ligustri Lucidi.” BioMed research international 2015 (2015).
  10. Kang, Jung-Il et al. “Promotion effect of Schisandra nigra on the growth of hair.” European journal of dermatology : EJD vol. 19,2 (2009): 119-25.
  11. Lee, Hee Jung, et al. “Effects of Schisandra chinensis Turcz. fruit on contact dermatitis induced by dinitrofluorobenzene in mice.” Molecular medicine reports 12.2 (2015): 2135-2139.
  12. Jung, Juyoung, Jaeyoung Park, and Hyeonsook Cheong. “Effect of Morus alba extract for hair growth promotion in C57BL/6 mouse.” Journal of the Chosun Natural Science 1.1 (2008): 19-23.

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Anjali specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. Her philosophy... more