Garlic has long been recognised for its medicinal properties and more. Here we offer our guide to what makes it an important adjunct to any hair and scalp care regime, and why it might just be a valuable ally in the fight against thinning hair.
Garlic – A History
Originally native to central Asia and northeastern Iran, it is a testament to the high value our species give to garlic that, as we have travelled the globe, garlic was taken with us wherever we went. It has served as both food, seasoning, and medicine for thousands of years. Ancient writers like Pliny the Elder and Galen wrote of it, Galen calling it the “rustics theriac (cure-all)” while Pliny offered a list of scenarios where garlic was considered of use.
So from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, garlic was much respected for a multitude of reasons. In 16th Century England it was applied to confluent smallpox. As recently as World War 1, and just before the advent of antibiotics, garlic was used as an antiseptic.
Of course, there is a lot of folklore around garlic, you are probably familiar with its ability to ward off vampires. But did you know that the Korean myth of origin saw a bear turn into a woman, by eating only 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of the local mugwort every day for 100 days. The Buddhists treat it with deference, believing its pungency to be an earthly pleasure, one that drives sexual appetite and aggression. Monks and nuns are forbidden to eat it.
Garlic V Hair Loss
So is there any truth in the rumour that garlic can help fight off thinning hair? We should start with a look at the ingredient list. Garlic is rich in a number of nutrients. 100g of raw garlic pretty much takes care of your days’ requirement for vitamin B6, along with a healthy portion of a range of other B vitamins. It also contains 40% of your vitamin C. Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc and Calcium are all there in respectable portions.
A few health benefits have been noted in regard to eating garlic, primary among them would be studies that have demonstrated an inverse link between some cancers and eating garlic.
With regards to hair loss, in particular, we are more interested in a couple of specific minerals. The sulphur-containing compounds make for a great, natural antibiotic scalp cleanser. Also, if you buy garlic grown in soils rich in selenium the garlic itself will be a good way to ingest. The benefit is improved blood circulation, with that improvement delivering more nutrients to the follicles of the affected area.
DIY Garlic Scalp-Care
It really could not be simpler to create your own scalp-cleanser. Crush a few cloves and boil in a little water. Once they are soft crush the mixture into a paste, allow to cool and then apply to the scalp. Leave it there for a quarter of an hour before washing out with a mild shampoo.
Hair Loss For Women
This all comes with a health warning. Due to the potency of garlic, it is important you patch test your skin and check for an adverse reaction before going the whole hog and applying it to your entire scalp. As long as you patch test OK you should be fine to add this simple routine to your existing one.
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