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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sage - a Versatile Medicinal Herb Used in Traditional Hair Treatments

Author: Christiana Roberts

Sage, also known under its botanical names Salvia officinalis or Salvia salvatrix, is a universal flavouring and medicinal herb, a native of the Northern Mediterranean coast and the American continent. For many centuries, it has been used as a powerful folk medicine to treat a number of health and cosmetic conditions, including hair loss and greying hair. A stimulant and an anti-bacterial plant, it has been traditionally applied to treat indigestion, ulcers, dandruff, bleeding gums, sore throat, fever, and a number of nervous diseases. Traditional Chinese medicine values sage as an herb able to combat liver, kidney, lung, blood, and stomach diseases. Sage infusions are known to cure joint pains, wounds, nervous headaches, excessive perspiration, lethargy, and even measles!

Long ago, miraculous healing qualities of sage were noticed by ancient Greeks, Romans, Native Americans, Arabs, and Asians. Sage was believed to have healing, strengthening, and purifying qualities. Spiritual ceremonies of American aboriginals still include burning sage to “clean” the spirit before it enters supernatural realms. Ancient Arabs praised sage for its curative powers, as a general tonic, and as a medicine for snakebites; Arab women used it extensively to keep their hair dark, thick, and healthy. Smoking sage was believed to cure coughs, chest colds, and asthma. In the Middle Ages, sage was even considered a “cure-all”.

In many cultures, sage has gained a reputation of a miraculous hair medicine. Sage applications were considered the most effective natural therapies to reverse baldness and restore the dark colour of greying hair. In “The Book of Natural Remedies for Ancient Ills” by classical English physician Nicolas Culpepper, we can read that sage preparations were extensively used in antiquity to combat the fall of hair.

Ancient Greek doctor and botanist Pedanius Dioscorides in his famous book “De Materia Medica” mentioned that drinking sage tea could make greying hair restore its black colour, while topical applications of fresh sage juice were able to treat baldness.

According to the book “Sage: The Genus Salvia” by Anthony C. Dweck, common sage is a great hair-toning aid. In order to prepare a toning hair infusion, fresh sage leaves should be brewed in water and then applied to the scalp and hair. To treat alopecia, Anthony C. Dweck recommends to use freshly-made sage infusions as a hair lotion, massaging the brew into the scalp three times a week. These treatments are also said to promote the health of hair and ensure its shiny glow.

The Dweck’s book mentions that sage preparations are particularly good to strengthen the hair roots, stimulate hair growth, and deepen the rich colour of naturally black hair. Historically, elderly African Americans used to make sage tonics for hair applications to maintain their hair strong, black ,and shiny, he writes.

Naturally-occurring volatile oil in sage is, probably, the main ingredient that does miracles to support the strength of hair.

Sage preparations work especially good when combined with rosemary - another traditional hair remedy. A very beneficial hair lotion can be made from equal parts of sage and rosemary leaves slowly simmered in water for several minutes and then steeped, covered, for a few hours. The brew should be rubbed into the scalp and hair every night as a wonderful strengthening medicine to fight hair loss, rejuvenate the hair follicles, maintain the colour, and ensure the growth of thick, healthy locks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been around for a very long time, since about the 1800's, but has recently found its way into many hair products. It is one of the most beneficial ingredients used in hair care today. This extract is a derivative of the melaleuca tree in Australia. It is superb for cleaning out the hair follicle and promoting hair growth, more so than many of the other products on the market today. Occasionally people have an irritated scalp caused by bacteria or other irritants and this product can assist with healing the effects of harmful bacteria or hair products.

In terms of hair product tea tree oil can prevent and help with bacterial and fungal infections to the scalp. This has a direct benefit to hair, especially ethnic hair since many harmful products may have been previously applied. A solution to this is to apply the tea tree product which is perfect for restoring dry or damaged hair. Tea tree mixed with a combination of other oils can prevent scalp infection and dandruff as well. One must think of the extract like medicine. There are different concentrations of this chemical found in various products.

What you generally see in industry are hair products that contain approximately two percent concentration tea tree oil. It is particularly useful in shampoo form and since it can be applied to hair on a regular basis for healthy hair. It generally makes ethnic hair more durable, thicker and robust. The product "Proclaim Tea Tree Shampoo" also has great effect on someone who is losing their hair. In general scalp irritation will be reduced, the follicles cleansed and the hair will be strengthened and become more durable. This function of relieving scalp irritation greatly helps with ethnic hair because often times harsh products can be used that may damage hair.

However, if this oil product is used it will maintain healthy hair. By nature, it is a potent antiseptic. It is also good to note that it is not irritating to the skin like chemicals found in other products. It is also known for cleaning out the sebaceous glands on the scalp. This is desirable to most people. The net result is healthy hair, irritation free, and can be more easily worked with. And when you are styling ethnic hair, it certainly helps. Other hair products that contain tea tree oil are root stimulator, conditioner, shampoo, wax, and oils, as well as other ethnic hair products. All of which contribute to overall ethnic beauty. In summary through the usage of the tea tree oil in the right proportion you can achieve superb hair results and maintain the overall health of your hair.

Hair products containing tea tree oil are generally not too much more expensive than that of the normal variety. Only about forty percent more cost, but the benefit to your hair is fantastic. When you invest in these products and apply it to your hair it is an investment that is well worth it.