All About Hair - And The Food We Need To Keep It!
by Patty Liston
There have been more than a few comments about how much more grey hair President Obama has than he did just a year ago. Does stress really play a part in the graying process? We know that our good health is attributed to the good foods we take into our body. However, doctors and research scientists have long held that our level of stress, whether due to work, or emotional situations, as well as engaging in unhealthy lifestyles, also play a large role in our over-all physical and emotional health.
So, what to do to keep our luscious locks the right color, texture, and growing in abundance? Read on for some recommendations given by Dr. Mao, along with some recipes to help you along.
Eat for hair health. The Chinese have long discovered that black sesame seeds, black beans, and walnuts reverse graying. For healthy and shiny hair, eat foods everyday that are rich in essential fatty acids and omega-rich nutrients: flaxseed oil, sesame oil, olive oil, virgin coconut oil, avocado, beans, nuts and seeds.
Chinese herbs for graying hair. "Shou wu" (also called "fo-ti" or polygonum root) is a hair nurture supplement, used to restore hair growth and reverse graying. Rich in vitamin E and the B-complex vitamins, Shou wu has many other health benefits: It supports healthy estrogen profiles in women, stimulates red blood cell production, builds your immune system, maintains healthy cholesterol levels, and improves intestinal regularity.
Avocado & Walnut Salad
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red raspberry jam
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup walnut oil or olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
Toast walnuts in a small saute pan until lightly browned and fragrant.
In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, walnuts, cranberries, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and red onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together jam, vinegar, walnut oil, pepper, and salt. Pour over the salad just before serving.
Download this recipe.
Hair growth is affected by the hormonal system, in particular the androgenic hormones, which include testosterone and a derivative of testosterone called DHT. It is normal to lose around 100 hairs each day, which are replaced within days. However, as we age, our hormone levels fluctuate and start to decline.
This reduces the stimulus to the hair follicles and results in hair loss. In Chinese medicine, hair loss is thought to be caused by activities that deplete your vital essence: stress, physical and emotional strain, an unhealthy lifestyle, and alcohol--all of which hasten your hormonal decline.
Here are some hair replenishing remedies:
Ginger juice helps hair loss. Massage your scalp with fresh ginger juice. Squeeze a 1-inch chunk of ginger root in a garlic press to yield juice. Rub the fresh ginger juice into affected part of scalp. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse it out--or leave it on overnight to stimulate the hair follicles.
Stimulate blood flow. Try this Massage exercise. This local stimulation can help invigorate blood circulation. Sit comfortably on a chair. Using the tips of all 10 fingers, gently tap the head all over, stimulating the scalp for about one minute. Begin with light force and gently increase to moderate strength. Then massage the scalp with both hands for 2 minutes, gently at first and then more vigorously taking care not to pull out hair. Straighten the fingers of your right hand, and with the palm side of fingers gently tap all over the scalp 36 times. Repeat with your left hand, another 36 times. To get the best results, do this exercise twice a day.
It's normal to have some degree of dandruff. Your scalp undergoes regular regeneration and dead skin is shed to allow new skin to grow. This flaking can become worse when hormonal imbalances, stress, and improper diet come into play. Dandruff is at its worst during winter and fall, when the air tends to be dry.
Remedies for scalp issues:
Apply aloe gel. Squeeze aloe juice directly from the stem of the plant and massage into the scalp once a day, preferably before bedtime, for an entire month. You can get better results by leaving the aloe on overnight and rinsing it out in your morning shower.
A baking soda head scrub. In the shower, wet your hands and scrub baking soda vigorously into your scalp. After rinsing it out, massage Tonic Oil- containing the oils of wintergreen, eucalyptus, and menthol-into your scalp. Leave this on for 10 minutes before shampooing.
Soak your scalp in green tea. Prepare a mild green tea, and soak your scalp in it for 10 minutes, shampooing out with olive oil, avocado oil, or hypoallergenic shampoo.
TIPS FOR SHINY, HEALTHY HAIR
Whatever your hair issues, these will boost your overall hair and head health:
Nourish your hair. For shiny hair, mash a ripe avocado, massage it into your hair and scalp, and leave it on for 1 to 2 hours once a week.
Brush bad hair days away. Be like a renowned Chinese empress who had a full head of beautiful hair at the end of her long life, the result of a daily 500-stroke hair brushing. Using a natural-bristle brush, spread your hair's natural oils with full strokes from the scalp down the to tips, 100 strokes every evening. Studies show steady massage and brushing over time stems hair loss, promotes hair growth, and generally improves hair quality.
Less stress. For all hair and scalp problems, a daily program of stress reduction exercises and meditation can help regulate your energy and strengthen your essence.
Go natural. Eliminate hair care products that contain harsh chemicals, which can damage hair roots and strip vital nutrients from the follicles. Use only products with natural ingredients.
Contribute to the Cook'n Club!
DVO would love to publish your article, prose, photography and art as well as your cooking, kitchen and nutrition tips, tricks and secrets. Visit the Newsletter Submission / Win Win for All section in our Forum for more information and details.