What is Pygeum?
The African cherry tree, pygeum africanum, is an evergreen found at higher elevations across Africa and it’s been used for medicinal purposes since the 1700s. When used in combination with Saw Palmetto, this duo has been shown to drastically reduce levels of DHT which is a major cause of hair loss.
The extract from Pygeum bark is used in herbal medications to relieve symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate enlargement. Although the mechanism of its action is unknown, it is assumed that Pygeum could inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the main cause of BPH and is also believed to be the primary factor responsible for male and female pattern baldness. In one clinical study, the effects of Pygeum africanum on BPH were examined in conjunction with nettle root extract (another DHT blocking agent) and it was concluded that combining these two herbs increased their effectiveness.
Pygeum bark has been used in herbal medicine in Europe since the 1700s. Traditionally, the bark of the tree was gathered and powdered and made into a tea which was taken for genito-urinary complaints. Pygeum has also shown promise in preventing or reducing the symptoms of prostate cancer and chronic prostatis.
Some additional traditional uses of Pygeum include use as an aphrodisiac, and as a remedy for fever, impotence, kidney disease, malaria, partial bladder outlet obstruction, urinary tract infections, inflammation, malaria, prostatic adenoma, and psychosis.
One of the key active compounds in Pygeum, oleanolic acid, may also stimulate an immune response that can prevent development of malignancy in those with benign prostate enlargement. (http://wwwsupremehealth.com/hair-loss-treatments/pygeum-africanum-and-hair-loss/)
What is DHT?
DHT, which stands for Dihydrotestosterone, is a male sex hormone that increases in our bodies as we age. As DHT levels rise in the blood they effect the most important part of the hair follicle, the dermal papilla, which is responsible for the hair’s growth. The dermal papilla is fed by the skin’s blood capillaries, getting all of its essential nutrients for proper hair growth. DHT binds to receptors on the dermal papilla, blocking proper blood flow and starving the hair, ruining it’s overall integrity and even resulting in hair loss. Scientists have concluded that by lowering DHT in our bloodstreams we can fight hair loss from the inside out. (http://beautysupply.about.com/od/hairtreatments/fl/Block-DHT-Stop-Hair-Loss.htm)
The American Hair Loss Association, the only national, nonprofit 501(c)3 charity devoted to hair loss, states that when DHT is suppressed, hair follicles will continue to produce healthy hair. In the book, “Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Strategies for Clinical and Cosmetic Practice,” Jean Krutmann, professor of dermatology and environmental medicine at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf, Germany, states that pygeum is believed to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, which will limit the production of DHT. This gives some credence to the idea that pygeum may help with hair loss, it is often contained in herbal hair loss treatments. (http://www.livestrong.com/article/546657-pygeum-and-hair-loss/)
Ingesting these DHT blockers won’t cure hair loss overnight, but there’s more and more evidence every day about just how effective this type of oral treatment can be. Along with any vitamin therapy, the trick is to keep taking your supplements. Consistency is key. Along with taking DHT blockers, there are many other supplements that can feed and support healthy hair. Biotin, Vitamin B12, Niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Zinc, MSM and Iron can all be added to help thicken the hair, and even make it grow faster.(http://beautysupply.about.com/od/hairtreatments/fl/Block-DHT-Stop-Hair-Loss.htm) NouriTress Hair Vitamins Plus has these natural DHT blockers as well as the vitamins listed and taking them on a regular basis will help you grow longer thicker hair! http://www.nouritress.com
~Growing Hair Since 1998~