Can Wasabi be a natural treatment for hair loss? According to a recent article on MSN.com, it can. Unfortunately, the referenced scientific article has nothing to do with hair loss. The article referenced refers to a study that showed isosaponarin isolated from wasabi leaf caused an increase in collagen type I, a component of skin and scar tissue. A further search of pubmed.gov did not show any other scientific articles that showed any part of the wisabi plant to be a natural hair loss treatment.
What if you want a natural hair loss treatment? For people suffering from androgenic alopecia, there are a couple of herbs that have been shown to help.
He Shou Wu and Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto and He Shou Wu have shown benefit in hair loss. He Shou Wu refers to the Chinese plant Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. The active component is 2,3,5,4′-Tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-D-glucoside (THSG). Scientific studies have shown THSG has biologic activity in treating atherosclerosis, lipid metabolism, vascular and cardiac remodeling, vascular fibrosis, cardiac-cerebral ischemia, learning and memory disorders, neuroinflammation, Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases, diabetic complications, and hair growth problems according to a 2016 review article.
Saw Palmetto is the common name of the plant Serenoa repens. The extract of the plant has been studied. It appears to have a similar activity to the drug finasteride to block the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. In a head to head study of saw palmetto and finasteride, results showed while finasteride was more effective than saw palmetto, saw palmetto did show improved hair density for patients with male pattern baldness.
Herbs should always be treated just like a drug. Every herb has side effects and can interact with prescription medications. Be sure to discuss the effects of all herbs with your doctor before starting any new herbal supplement.