Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Stop Hair Fall and Increase Hair Growth

Worried about your falling hair? Don't be. There are quite a few simple steps that you can take to stop hair fall. Have some doubts? Well, it is quite obvious. You probably have already tried so many shampoos and so many hair loss products that you just don't think there is anything you can do to stop losing your crowning glory.

Well, take a look at these tips and you are surely not going to be disappointed.

Find out the cause of the hair fall

Ask yourself this question. Why is your hair falling? Often, an underlying disease or medication can be the cause. So, ask yourself, do you have any diseases? Any medications you are taking? Do you tie up your hair way too tightly? Are you using a shampoo that is too strong or unsuitable for your hair? Is it genetic, that is, is your father bald? Once you get the answer, you get the cause of your hair fall.

Take steps depending on the cause

Now what you need to do is take steps depending on the cause of hair fall. If you are using a shampoo that made your hair fall, then stop using it. Use a mild shampoo suitable for your hair.

Get a health checkup done. If your hair has suddenly begun to fall, maybe you have a health condition you are not aware of. Once you take care of the health condition, your hair will soon become healthier.

If it is genetic and your parents began to lose their hair at the age you are now, time to use some hair regrowth products. These products will need to be used consistently for a few months to get results. Sorry, there is no way you can stop your hair fall quickly in this case. You will need to have patience and continue with your hair treatment regime for quite a few months.

Take a look at your diet 

Are you eating well? This means a healthy and balanced diet. Nutrients such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B complex are necessary for your hair. If you are not taking dairy products, fish, healthy oils, fruits and vegetables, your hair will continue to fall. Just change your diet and you will be able to stop hair fall quickly.

Click the link below to take a look at a few healthy foods for your hair

Top 10 Healthy Foods for your Hair

If you think this will take way too much time, consider taking a supplement for hair loss. These strengthen the body from inside and provide your hair the necessary nutrients for it to grow thicker and longer and shinier. Who doesn't love that, right?

Click the link below to find out about a few vitamins that you may want to take for your hair

The Best Vitamins for Hair Loss

Try some natural home remedies

If you haven't been trying out some wonderful healthy natural home remedies for your hair fall, you are missing out on something. Things such as coconut oil, mustard oil, henna, fenugreek seeds, honey, and cinnamon are well-known for quickly stopping hair fall.

For example, boil henna leaves in mustard oil and then store it in an airtight container. Massage your hair and scalp with this and just notice the difference. There are hundreds of home remedies to stop hair loss. You just need to search for the right one for you.

Just be careful though. If you have a known allergy to any of the kitchen ingredients, don't use it.

Click the link below to find out about a few wonderful natural home remedies for hair

Try yoga to stop hair fall

If you are surprised by this one, don't be. There are quite a few yoga poses that can prevent hair loss and help in regrowing lost hair. These yoga asanas encourage blood flow to the scalp and give you healthy and shiny hair. Keep in mind that a good digestion, a strong immune system, and low stress and anxiety are necessary for healthy, thick and long hair. Yoga also stops hair fall by reducing stress, improving digestion, and boosting your immune system.

Practice yoga poses such as the Sarvangasana (shoulder head stand), Sirsasana (head stand), Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog), and Uttanasana (standing forward bend) daily. You are sure going to notice a difference in your hair growth.

Don't forget to do Kapalabhati after your yoga poses. This cleansing breath is quite helpful in cleansing the lungs and improving blood flow to all parts of the body, including the head.

So, now that you know how to stop hair fall, make sure to get started today itself. Always remember that healthy hair is a sign of a healthy body and mind. If you are mentally and physically healthy, you are going to have gorgeous hair.

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© Copyright Roohi Khan, 2014


Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Powerful Health Benefits of Astragalus Root

Leading Herb in Chinese Traditional Medicine

Used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is one herb that you just can't ignore. From improving energy levels to promoting heart health, this root offers benefits for almost every health-conscious individual. So, what is so wonderful about this herb?

Let's find out the answer to this question by learning about the many health benefits of astragalus root. But before we do that let's take a look at what exactly is astragalus root.

What is Astragalus Root?

Astragalus belongs to the legume family, Fabaceae, and there are over 3,000 species of this plant. However, not all of the species of this plant are used for medicinal purposes. The plant is mostly found in China.

According to the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a part of the US National Institute of Health (NIH), there are certain species of this plant which can be toxic for humans. For example, the locoweed species found in the US has been found to cause poisoning in animals. It contains the neurotoxin, swainsonine, which makes it dangerous for humans.

Astragalus membranaceus is the main species of the plant which is used for health and medicinal purposes. It is commonly referred as milk vetch. The Western world acknowledged the benefits of this century-old Chinese herb only in the 1980s. Since then, the root can be found in the form of supplements in almost every known herbal store and has benefited millions of people around the world with its immunity-boosting properties.

The Chinese name of the herb, "huang qi" means "yellow leader". The herb gets its name from the fact that the root is yellow in color and astragalus is one of the leading herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The root of the plant is used to make the medicine. Chinese herbal medicine practitioners used to boil the root to make a decoction. The root is then discarded and the decoction is given to the patient. Herbs such as ginseng are often combined with astragalus to help enhance its potency for the treatment or prevention of various illnesses and chronic diseases.

So, why is astragalus considered to be such a potent medicinal herb? Let's take a look at a few of the health benefits of astragalus now and why it may be the perfect daily herbal supplement for you too.
What are the Health Benefits of Astragalus?

Traditional Chinese medicine considers astragalus to be a sweet and warming herb. It is considered to have beneficial effects on many organs of the body. It is also a fantastic restorative tonic.

Astragalus contains a specific chemical that slows down the aging process inside the cells of the body.Dr. Mehmet Oz reports that it does this by stimulating an enzyme called telomerase (hTERT). Telomerase is responsible for lengthening telomeres, which protects the DNA of your cells, thereby increasing its lifespan. Aging has a damaging effect on the length of your telomeres, thus, increasing your susceptibility to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and even cancer.

When you regularly consume astragalus supplements, it stimulates the production of telomerase. This in turn maintains or lengthens telomeres, thus, slowing down the effects of the aging process on the cells of your body. The herb may, therefore, protect you from various diseases such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, strokes, diabetes, and cancer.

The herb's antioxidant properties may also offer further benefits for people looking for better cardiovascular health by balancing cholesterol levels.

A 2011 study reported in the Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine found that astragalus improves heart functioning and the quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure at moderate doses. While further research is required, it can definitely be said that the herb offers potentially strong benefits in improving heart health.

Astragalus is also an adaptogen, that is, it improves your resistance to physical, mental and emotional stress. Regular use of this herb will boost your immune system and prevent diseases as well as reduce the damaging effects of daily stress.

Besides being a potent immunity booster, this natural supplement has antibacterial and antiviral properties. This is why it is commonly used as part of various herbal combinations for preventing as well as treating colds, flu, and other upper respiratory disorders. It may also help relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Its ability to lower blood sugar may be useful for people suffering from type 2 diabetes

A study conducted on mice published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2013 found that when combined with rubus coreanus, astragalus membranaceus may help in the prevention and treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis.

Astragalus is used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of hepatitis in combination with other potent herbs. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that extracts taken from the astragalus membranaceus and salvia miltiorhiza together suppress the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma in rats, the most common form of liver cancer.

The herb may also improve blood counts in people with aplastic anemia. Aplastic anemia is a condition in which the body's bone marrow does not make enough new blood cells.

The herb has been found to offer protection from cancer. It also reduces the side-effects of cancer treatment. A study published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules in 2013 found that astragalus membranaceus polysaccharides showed anti-tumor activity and improved immune response in rats with liver cancer.

University of Maryland Medical Center reports that US researchers have been studying astragalus as a potential herb for improving the immune systems of cancer patients going through chemotherapy or radiation treatment. It has been found that the root may help in reducing the side-effects of cancer treatment and it may help in decreasing fatigue and promoting appetite. In short, astragalus may help cancer patients recover faster and may also improve their lifespan.

This potent Chinese herb has also been found to protect the kidneys and helps treat kidney disease. It is also considered to stimulate the spleen, lungs, urinary bladder and the liver. Astragalus may help in detoxification and cleansing of the body as well as help in the treatment of bladder infections. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help in conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.
Are There Any Side-Effects of Astragalus Supplements?

The benefits of astragalus have ensured that it is becoming an increasingly popular herb used in various herbal formulations. If you stick to recommended daily dosages of the herb, the chances of any side-effects are almost zero.

However, like any other herb, a little bit of care must be taken if you are planning to take this supplement on a regular basis. This is especially important if you are planning on taking other herbs and medications along with astragalus.

According to the NCCAM, astragalus may interact with medications such as cyclophosphamide, which suppress the immune system. So, avoid taking this herb with immuno-suppressing medications. The herb may also interact with corticosteroids.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that the root prevents the easy elimination of lithium from the body. This may lead to highly dangerous levels of the drug causing potentially serious side-effects. So, avoid taking astragalus supplements if you are taking lithium on a continuing basis.

Besides this, pregnant and lactating women should avoid using this herb since it may affect the health of the fetus. You should also avoid giving this herb to children since research has not established it efficacy and safety with kids. Make sure to consult your health practitioner if you are taking regular medications for any chronic disease to rule out possible interactions with any drugs.

What is the Recommended Dosage of Astragalus?

Generally safe for adults, astragalus is easily available online or in health food stores. You can buy the herb in the form of the root, extract, tablets or capsules, or tincture. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a dosage of 250-500 mg in powdered form or as an extract.

You can also purchase the dried root and prepare your own decoction to get the above-mentioned astragalus benefits. About 3-6 g of dried root is boiled in 12 oz water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove the root and drink the decoction for treating colds and other respiratory infections and enjoying other health benefits. You can also buy Astragalus Tea from Amazon.

So, now that you know about the potential astragalus health benefits, what are you waiting for? Check out some products and buy the one that you think suits best for you. You may also want to try out an herbal formulation that contains astragalus along with other medicinal herbs such as ginseng. Just stick to the right dosage and avoid taking it with other medications and you are surely going to notice its benefits for your health in a few weeks.

Try a few other herbs too:


US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Astragalus Fact Sheet

Dr. Mehmet Oz, Astragalus Root: Is This Right for You?

Yang QY, Lu S, Sun HR. Clinical effect of Astragalus granule of different
dosages on quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure. Chin J Integr
Med. 2011 Feb;17(2):146-9.

Jung Koo H, Sohn EH, Kim YJ, Jang SA, Namkoong S, Chan Kang S. Effect of the
combinatory mixture of Rubus coreanus Miquel and Astragalus membranaceus Bunge
extracts on ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis in mice and anti-RANK signaling
effect. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Dec 12.

Hu X, Rui W, Wu C, He S, Jiang J, Zhang X, Yang Y. Compound Astragalus and
Salvia miltiorrhiza extracts suppress hepatocarcinogenesis by modulating
TGF-β/Smad signaling. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Dec 12.

Yang B, Xiao B, Sun T. Antitumor and immunomodulatory activity of Astragalus
membranaceus polysaccharides in H22 tumor-bearing mice. Int J Biol Macromol. 2013

University of Maryland Medical Center, Astragalus

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© Copyright Roohi Khan, 2013. All rights reserved.