What is Ginseng?
Ginseng or Panax ginseng is a popular Chinese herb known for its remarkable medicinal properties since ancient times. Besides its popularity as an energy stimulant, ginseng is also well-known for its uses to hair.
Ginseng uses for hair growth
Ginseng can increase hair density and thickness
Studies conducted to know the efficacy of ginseng to treat androgenic alopecia (Baldness) had proven that ginseng is effective in increasing hair density and thickness.
The study confirmed the effectiveness of ginseng for treating androgenic alopecia by evaluating patients who took Korean red ginseng extract (3000mg/day) for 24 weeks (1).
It may prevent Stress related hair loss
Stress is one of the main causes of hair fall. Overstress can sometimes lead to conditions like Telogen effluvium, where a large number of hair follicles are sent to resting phase leading to hair loss.
Although stress-related hair loss is reversible in many situations, it is better to avoid stress.
Ginseng is one of the important herbs to fight against stress and may help you to prevent stress-related hair loss.
Promotes hair regeneration
Animal studies had concluded that topical application of Fructus Panax ginseng extract might regenerate the hair for treating hair loss.
The Fructus Panax ginseng extract tested on mice to promote hair regeneration had proven that ginseng extract significantly increased the proliferation of dermal papilla cells, which are essential for regularization of hair growth and also to increase the Anagen(regeneration) phase of the hair (2).
It can prevent apoptosis in hair follicles
In several studies ginseng shown a property of preventing apoptosis (Programmed cell death) in hair follicles which may help to prevent hair loss.
At the same time, studies have proven that ginseng increased the cell count of medullary cells of the hair (3,4).
Ginseng – Types and difference
The name ginseng is not confined to a single plant but to a family of plants. Of then the most common are Asian and American ginseng.
Asian ginseng (also called Korean ginseng, Chinese ginseng) normally refers to Panax ginseng.
American ginseng normally refers to Panax quinquefolius.
There are also several other types of ginsengs like Panax notoginseng (Tienchi Ginseng), Panax pseudoginseng (Himalayan or Nepal Ginseng) and Panax vietnamensis (Vietnam Ginseng).
All these ginsengs are closely related and are normally characterized by the presence of compounds like ginsenosides and gintonin.
There are several other plants that are referred to as ginsengs like Withania somnifera(Indian ginseng), Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng). however, they don’t contain any ginsenosides.