What is Ginseng? Benefits of Ginseng for Hair and Scalp
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Ginseng is a root plant with herbal properties. There are several forms of ginseng with different origins, ex. Korean ginseng, South China ginseng, and American ginseng. Chinese and Korean ginseng are essentially the same, but their difference lies in how they are prepared in cuisine and the way they are harvested and processed. American ginseng on the other hand differs by being a milder form of herb that is less “spicy” to the taste, scent, and touch. As for the benefits of ginseng for hair and scalp, both variations have the same properties.
As a highly valuable herb, it finds use in many forms, ranging from an extract that can be consumed, to a form of oil that can be applied to the body. One note to make about ginseng is that it has a very strong scent and flavor of sweet licorice and earthy root with a bitter aftertaste. It can be consumed raw or sliced and boiled for herbal teas, soups, and medicines, much like its similar counterpart, ginger.
Ginseng is highly valuable because it is composed of a natural product steroid glycosides and triterpene saponins, which are called Ginsenosides. The benefits of ginseng for hair and scalp essentially rely on this unique property. These naturally occurring components only found in ginseng serve many pharmaceutical purposes, which translates to: ginseng has many unique medicinal properties, and these properties can benefit your hair and scalp.
RKT Hair Care uses Ginseng as a primary ingredient in their RKT Shampoo. Here are five benefits of ginseng for hair and scalp.
Ginsenosides affect keratinocytes and dermal papilla growth(hair-producing cells and hair follicle growth) because it has antioxidant properties that boost the growth cycles of hair. Antioxidants maintain the collagen and connective tissues of hair follicles, which also protects the scalp cells, and in turn the blood vessels helping with hair growth.
As mentioned above, antioxidants are helpful to the cells that maintain your hair, but they also act as reversing agents to UV-ray exposure that causes hair weakening and loss. Essentially, they are an anti-aging properties because they are slowing down the deterioration of collagen! Ginseng also increases the natural production of hyaluronic acid, and hyaluronic acid helps skin stretch and flex. This reduces skin wrinkles and lines, which is good for healthy hair follicles on your scalp.
Ginseng is a gentle cleanser that leaves behind a natural, refreshing herbal scent. Without other harsh cleaning chemicals, it improves your scalp’s moisture levels by boosting healthy oil production without removing the existing natural oils in your hair. Another thing that comes with ginseng’s special ginsenosides, is the reduction of inflammation. As an antioxidant, it also soothes the immune system, unlike most cleaning properties.
Ginseng has saponin in it, an anti-bacterial compound that can be used to clean one’s scalp of bacteria clumping around your hair follicles and dandruff off the surface of your scalp cells. Ginseng is efficient at removing flakes in your hair while preventing you from losing all the natural moisturizing oils in your scalp’s skin cells. Thus, it prevents you from generating more flaky dandruff, much like niacinamide can help retain moisture. (Learn more about niacinamide here)
As a plant, ginseng has an interesting nutritional element called phytosterol, which is a plant sterol, aka plant compound with a similar chemical structure and biological functions as cholesterol found in humans. Phytoserol however can contribute to the maintenance of a healthy scalp because it acts as natural oil that is lighter than heavy oils and fats.