Pygeum Africanum as a Natural Hair Loss Treatment
Pygeum africanum is an evergreen tree growing in the higher elevations of Africa. The extract from its bark is rich in derivatives of natural fatty acids and is used in herbal medications to relieve urinary symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although the mechanism of its action is unknown, it is assumed that it could inhibit conversion of the male hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT happens to be the main cause of BPH (or prostate enlargement) and is also considered the main culprit in causing male as well as female pattern baldness. Pygeum africanum is less studied than another assumed natural DHT blocker - saw palmetto. In one small study, the effects of pygeum africanum on BPH were examined in conjunction with nettle root extract and it was concluded that combining these two substances increases the effectiveness of each herb. Pygeum appears to be the stronger component in treating BPH than nettle root.
The assumed ability of pygeum africanum to block conversion of testosterone to DHT has lead to its many applications in natural and herbal hair loss remedies. However, pygeum africanum has never been the focus of any clinical hair loss study. In addition to the lack of scientific evidence supporting its use as a hair loss remedy, there is also no empirical evidence available, as no relevant consumer reports exist of it being beneficial in promoting hair growth. However, this lack of clinical and scientific evidence does not automatically imply that it is ineffective in treating hair loss. Due to its low health risk profile, it can be used safely by those patients who are, for whatever reason, seeking an alternative to the medicinal DHT inhibitors, such as finasteride, or as an experimental supplement to your existing hair regrowth regimen. Pygeum may not be used by pregnant and breast-feeding women or by children.