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Rob (PHH)

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Ashwagandha also known as Withania somnifera or Indian ginseng is a plant native to India that has been used alone or in combination with other treatments for around 3000 years. Some studies have shown that ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels in stressed individuals and reduce levels of steroid precursors. Certain companies use ashwagandha in their supplements or hair loss treatments amongst other ingredients.

Key insights:

  • There does not appear to be any in vitro/ex vivo (in cells or isolated hair follicle/tissue samples) evidence published.
  • The in vivo (rat) evidence shows that topical application of Ashwagandha twice daily for 30 days (on skin that had been removed of hair) did appear to increase the speed at which hair grew back, however this was not measured quantitatively.
  • There is evidence that Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol in stressed individuals. As cortisol is implicated in some forms of hair loss, it’s possible that hair loss can be improved in this way, however this has not yet been shown in human studies.
  • The clinical evidence shows that oral ingestion of 400mg of Ashwagandha twice daily may reduce hair shedding, however this was a case study completed in a single patient with adrenal hyperplasia and so may not be representative of the wider population. Furthermore, there were no quantitative measures to show the efficacy of Ashwagandha in reducing hair shedding and instead relied on patient reporting, which may be prone to bias/placebo effect.
  • Our experience tracking members: Ashwagandha by itself is not enough to improve hair loss outcomes.
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