Medicinal Herbs Affecting Gray Hair in Iranian Traditional Medicine

Abstract

BACKGROUND The presence of hair plays an important role in people's overall physical appearance and self-perception. As a result of increased life expectancy, the desire to look youthful plays a bigger role than ever.The use of medicinal plants is as old as mankind and the market will face many new products containing natural oils and herbs in coming years. In traditional Iranian medicine, many plants and herbal formulations are reported for hair growth as well as the improvement in hair quality. The aim of this article is to introduce effective medicinal plants in traditional Iranian medicine to prevent gray hair and advocate them as the new products. METHODS The present investigation is an overview study and has been codified by library search in the main sources of traditional Iranian medicine. RESULTS In traditional Iranian medicine, three types of formulations are proposed to prevent gray hair, namely (i) treatment compounds, (ii) preventive compounds, and (iii) hair dyes to color gray hairs. Our search showed that the main parts of a plant that is used in the treatment and preventive compounds are seeds and fruits. These are primarily in the form of topical oil or oral compound (electuary). The majority of plant parts used in hair dyes is from the fruit and/or leaves. CONCLUSION Natural products are highly popular and the use of plant extracts in formulations is on the rise. This is because synthetic based product may cause health hazards with several side effects. Considering the increased popularity of herbal drugs in hair care, it is worthwhile to conduct systemic investigation on the production and efficacy of these drugs. We trust that our investigation would encourage the use of traditional Iranian medicine in future hair care products.

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