Ce Bai Ye, also known as oriental arborvitae leaf, is one of common herbs for hair growth. It can be found in many natural remedies or products for baldness, in man or in women. So the question comes, does it really works? If you are going to give it a try, here is the information that you shouldn’t miss.
What is Ce Bai Ye?
It refers to the tender twigs and leaves of platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco. Medicinally most of them are with multiple branches, tiny but in various lengths, and in scaly shape. The color is red brown. Leave are opposite. Texture is crisp and fragile. And it has a slightly sweet smell and bitter and astringent taste. By the way, the biota seed (Bai Zi Ren) can be used for medicinal purpose as well.
From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this herb is bitter, astringent, and cold in nature. And it covers meridians of heart, liver, and large intestine. Main functions are to cool blood, stop bleeding, promote hair growth, clear wind-damp, prevent gray hair and hair loss, and disperse pyogenic infections. Main uses and indications are spitting out blood, nosebleed, hematuria, bloody flux, hematochezia, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, arthralgia due to wind-dampness, bacillary dysentery, hypertension, cough, erysipelas, mumps, scalding, alopecia areata caused by blood heat, and premature greying, etc. Usual dosage is 6 to 15 grams in decoctions, tea pills, and powder. Externally, it can be also applied by brew, mash, or powder.
Herbal remedies for hair loss
In terms of supplements and herbs for hair growth, there are many popular ones out there, such as aloe vera, ayurvedic herbs, horsetail, catnip, B vitamins such as B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid, rosemary oil, green Tea, Fo Ti (He Shou Wu), and omega3, etc. In comparison, Ce Bai Ye seems less popular, and certainly the most overlooked.
Modern pharmacology study showed that this herb contains essential oil, mainly including fenchone, camphor, bornyl acetate, terpene alcohol, juniperic acid, quercetin, myricetin, Kaempferol, hinokiflavone, waxiness, and multiple minerals. Its decoction, thanks to the active ingredients of quercetin and tannin, is able to reduce the bleeding volume and shorten the bleeding time dramatically. Besides, in-vitro studies showed that it can also markedly inhibit the growth of staphylococcus aureus, micrococcus catarrhalis, salmonella typhi, and corynebacterium diphtheriae, etc.
Theory behind hair growth in TCM
TCM believes that it is the extended part and outward manifestation of the blood. Hence, hair thinning, growth, loss, and gloss are closely related to the condition of kidney essence and the nourishment of liver blood. During adolescence both of them are so plentiful that it grows fast and healthily. On the contrary, during senility both of them decline so rapidly that it turns grey and even falls out. This is the objective law of metabolism, which cannot be defied. But prematurely graying and thinning is another story, which is mainly caused by deficiency of essence and blood in liver and kidney. So, proper hair care methods can turn it back.
To be specific, the main causes for hair loss are deficiency of kidney energy, blood heat, and physical dysfunction. And Ce Bai Ye has favorable effects on stopping bleeding, remove damp-heat, regulate blood circulation, and clear blood heat, which is the exact area this herb comes in.
Related Chinese herbal formulas
(1). Soak fresh leaves into 60 percent alcohol and filter the lotion with a linen cloth 7 days later. Apply the lotion on infected part, three times a day;
(2). Combine the dried leaves with Jiao Mu (zanthoxylum seed) and Ban Xia (Pinellia Rhizome). Brew them for a while. After done, mix them with a little bit fresh ginger juice and apply them to the affected part, twice a day;
(3). Combine the leaves with Fei Zi (Chinese Torreya) and Hu Tao Ren (Walnut Nut). Mash and soak them with snow water. Comb with this water;
(4). Grind the dried leaves into fine powder and soak them with spring oils. Comb with it and then wash the hair with decoction of pig’s bile after new one grows.
Other herbal remedies
(1). Bai Ye Tang, from Jin Gui Yao Lue (Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Coffer), is design mainly for persistent vomiting with blood. Other herbs are Gan Jiang (Dried Ginger Root), Ai Ye (Mugwort Leaf), and Ma Tong Zhi (Juice of fresh horse stool);
(2). Shao Yao Tang, from Sheng Ji Zong Lu (Complete Record of Holy Benevolence), is used for menostaxis in women. The other herb is Bai Shao (White Peony);
(3). According to Ben Cao Tu Jing (Illustrated Canon of Herbology), along with Mu Tong (Akebia Caulis), Dang Gui (Dong Quai), Hong Hua (Safflower Flower), Qiang Huo (Notopterygium Root), and Fang Feng (Ledebouriella Root), it treats wind-dampness and severe migratory arthralgia.
Potential side effects and contraindications
It contains thujene and thujone, which are poisonous and may harm systems of digestive, respiratory, nervous, reproductive, circulatory, and urinary. Toxic reactions in overdose include dizziness and nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sweating, unclear vision, and numbness of limbs. So, extreme care should be taken when using it for hair growth or for any other purposes.