Scientists in Thailand claim to have found an extract from mangrove trees that can cure baldness.
The extract halts hair loss and promotes hair growth, according to researchers from Chulalongkorn University.
The substance, called Avicennia Marin, contains the key chemical Avicequinon-C that is thought to reverse hair loss by interfering with enzymes which lead to elevated hormone levels that cause baldness.
The Thai researchers, who have been studying Avicequinon-C for years and recently won an award from the National Research Council of Thailand, tested the extract on 50 male and female participants suffering from androgenic alopecia — the most common form of baldness.
They applied the substances on their scalp every day and photographed the progress regularly and saw universal visible improvements.
Professor Wanchai Deeknamkul, from the faculty of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, said that aside from preventing hair loss, the substance also promotes hair growth.
“We found out it had many benefits. First, it stops the enzymes from producing hair loss hormones and second, it could also help produce the protein that stimulates hair growth,’” he said.
Professor Wanchai added, “The mangrove extract will be tested on more volunteers before it can be officially approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.”
“We screened more than 50 herbal extracts and more than 20 pure substances and found that Avicennia Marin extract contains the active ingredient avicequinone C, which inhibits the enzyme that produces hair loss hormones.
“Also, Avicennia Marin extract helps to build proteins that can promote hair growth as well. Thus helping to solve the problem of hair loss completely.
“Several cosmeceutical products claiming to treat hair loss mostly consist of chemically synthesized drugs. Which may cause unwanted side effects especially allergic reactions and skin inflammation and affect the body’s system.
“Besides, almost all of them have not been scientifically proven or researched to determine the mechanism of action of the substances used. In the past, we’ve imported synthetic drugs from foreign countries both topical and oral medication but those only showed results at 30 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.
“Furthermore, the side effects were also much more. Therefore, extracts from the Avicennia Marin plants found in Thai mangrove forests will reduce the import of those synthetic drugs. It may also be an export product that creates market value for the country as well.”