Clinical Experience Introduction of External Application of Ce Bai Ye and Zao Jia for Relieving Hair Loss

Ce Bai Ye (platycladusorientalis), also known as Bianbai (flat cypress) and Huangxinbai (yellow heart cypress) in China, is an evergreen conifer. Its shoots, leaves and fruits can be used as herbs. It is bitter and astringent in taste, slightly cold in nature, and enters the lung, liver and large intestine meridians. Although it can cool blood, stop bleeding, stimulate hair growth, and relieve coughs and asthma, it is mainly used for hemorrhagic diseases caused by blood heat. It is also effective for stop coughs, clearing phlegm, controlling blood pressure, and preventing hair loss.

Zao Jia (gleditsia sinensis), also known asZao Jiao Shu (Chinese honey locust), is one of the endemic species of the genus Gleditsia in the family Fabaceae. It grows vigorously, is dioecious, and the female tree has a strong ability to produce Zao Jia (Chinese honeylocust fruits), which is a natural raw material for pharmaceutical food, health products, cosmetics and detergents.

According to ancient Chinese medical records, Zao Jia has the following three health benefits:

1. Dispelling phlegm.Zao Jiao can stimulate the gastric mucosa and reflexively promote the secretion of respiratory mucus to flush phlegm out of the airways. In ancient times, it was one of the important ingredients for phlegm-dispelling formulas.

2. Inhibiting bacteria. Zao Jia is a natural, safe and powerful antiseptic plant for removing a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi on the scalp. It exerts an excellent inhibitory effect on Malassezia (a genus of fungi), which is the main cause of dandruff and itchy scalp. Most anti-dandruff shampoos contain this ingredient.

3. Zao Jia promotes blood circulation in the scalp and nourishes hair follicles, and thus can be effective for stimulating healthy hair growth and preventing hair loss.

If patient has an itchy scalp, hair loss, poor blood circulation or a fungal bacterial infection, try washing his hair with Zao Jia or Ce Bai Ye (Platycladusorientalis leaves).

Ce Bai Ye for hair loss:

Ce Bai Ye for hair loss has long been recorded in literatures. For example, in the book of “Rihuazi Materia Medica”, it said that scribbling the decoction of Ce Bai Ye to head, it darkens and moistens mustache and hair". In the book of “Meishi Formula Collection”, it said:"Ce Bai Ye is effective for treating hair loss". In the book of “Taiping Holy Prescriptions for Universal Relief (“Tai Ping Sheng Hui Fang”), it said: "Ce Bai Ye to be used externally can relieve yellow or red hair of malnutrition”.

In clinical practice, we use fresh Ce Bai Ye to be soaked in 60% alcohol for 7 days, filter the liquid and rubbed it on the hair loss part three times a day. We have observed 13 cases that have hair loss in the forehead, top, or back of the head, but not alopecia areata. We found that hair loss parts where Ce Bai Ye were applied, all has hair grew. If patient can use the formula continuously and increase its concentration gradually, the hair became denser and less likely to lose again.

Please notice that: For promoting hair grows, we must use the fresh Ce Bai Ye and externally. Fried Ce Bai Ye and taken internally is for other health problems.

For external application, to soak the hair with the decoction of raw Ce Bai Ye 60g and Zao Jia 60g for 20 minutes, shampoo or conditioner can be used at the same time. It also can put the dressing of the concentrated decoction on the hair loss part.  

If the hair is oily, add dried He Ye 30g and Jue Ming Zi 30g to above formulae. If the hair is dry, add Dang Gui 30g and Zhi Shou Wu 30g to above formulae, 3 days for treatment. However, external application can only treat the manifestation, together with oral administration for general regulation treats its root.

Chinese medicine believes the causes of hair loss are various, so the treatment should be alternated accordingly. The below are the different types of hair loss in TCM and the treatment.

Heart blood deficiency:The main symptoms include sudden hair loss in round or oval shape with mild scalp itching, palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue and spontaneous sweating, pale complexion, light and tender tongue, weak or intermittent pulse.

The treatment principle is to nourish blood and calm spirit.

Prescription: modified Si Wu Tang, with Zi He Che, E ’jiao, Yuan Zhi and Zao Ren, or modified Gui Pi Tang.

Liver blood deficiency:The main symptoms include sudden coin size hair loss, hair is dry, forked and lusterless, with dull complexion, dizziness, tinnitus, dry eyes, blurred vision or night blindness, hands and feet numbness and spasms, dry nails; female patient may have scanty menstrual, amenorrhea, pale tongue and string pulse.

The treatment principle is to tonify liver and nourish blood.

Prescription: modified Bu Gan Tang with E’jiao and He Shou Wu.

Liver-qi stagnation:The symptoms include thin hair and hair loss, depression, frequent sighing, fullness and distending migraine pain on the chest and hypochondrium; globus hystericus; female patient may have irregular menstruation, with thin and white coat, string and tight pulse.

The treatment principle: Relieving Qi stagnation, soothing liver.

Prescription: Modified Chai Hu Shu Gan San. If has Qi stagnation and blood stasis, Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang or modified Shi Xiao San is proposed to activate blood circulation, remove blood stasis.

Liver and kidney deficiency:The symptoms include hair loss, loose teeth, weight loss, lusterless complexion, lumbago and fatigue; heel pain; dizziness; tinnitus and deafness; spermatorrhea and night sweating, or hyper-sexuality, vexing heat in chest, palms and soles, red tongue with fewer coat, thin pulse.

The treatment principle is to nourish the liver and kidney.

Prescription: Modified Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui Wan.

Spleen & stomach damp-heat:The symptoms include oily greasy hair as if rubbed with heavy hair oil; some patients may have scorched and lusterless hair, with pale yellow scales that hard to come off or fly over white scales, itchy scalp, poor appetite, bitter taste in the mouth, dark urine and loose stools, pale tongue with yellow and greasy coat; slippery and rapid pulse. The treatment principle is to strengthen the spleen, clear heat and dampness, drain the dampness,

Prescription: Modified version of `Chu Shi Wei Ling Tang.