Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
In your book Secrets of Longevity, on page 208 (“Longevity for your hair”), you mention the Chinese herb “arborvita” to apply to your hair. I have searched the web attempting to track down this herb, but cannot find it. Is there another name for this herb and where can I find it?
A: Thank you for purchasing my book; I am confident it will serve you well. The herbs mentioned are the Chinese Arborvitae family herbs and their seeds. The herb botanical name is Platycladus orientalis and the pharmaceutical name is Cacumen platycladi and Semen platyCladi.
Other herbs that have shown efficacy in treating hair loss include Herba Artemisiae and Natrii Sulfas. The mixture of these two can be applied to the scalp in affected areas.
I suggest you contact a licensed Chinese herbalist who will prescribe a specific formulation for your needs.
You may also find the specially formulated Traditions of Tao herbal supplements “Hair Nurture” and “Hair Tonic” to be helpful. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.