Chinese date oil enhances hair growth
The oil from seeds of the Chinese date – full name Zizyphus jujuba – enhances hair growth. Rub the oil into the skin on your head, and your hair will get thicker. At least that's what happened with the mice that researchers at Daegu University, Korea, did experiments on. The researchers published the results of their study in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Asian herbalists have been using extracts of Zizyphus jujuba for centuries. Extracts of the fruit increase sensitivity to insulin, bark extracts prevent pregnancy, and oil from the seeds is found more and more often in Asian supplements, functional foods and cosmetics. The active ingredients in these products are probably the jujubosides, the structural formula of which is shown above. According to the animal experiments done by the Korean Jung In Yoon, the oil found in the seeds of Zizyphus jujuba works as a hair growth enhancer. The researchers say nothing about the mechanism involved.
Jung in Yoon shaved the backs of his lab mice bald [A] and rubbed in 10 microlitres of oil each day for the first week. In one group of test animals the oil contained the growth inhibitor hydrocortisone [HC]; in the three other groups of mice it consisted for 0.1, 1.0 or 10 percent of jujuba oil [ZJ-EO]. The control group mice were given nothing. The photos below show how the shaven skin looked after 21 days.
On day 21 the researchers measured the thickness of the hairs that had grown back, and noticed that the Zizyphus jujuba oil treatment had made the hairs thicker. Point 2: middle part of the hair; point 3: tips of the hair.
When the researchers shaved off all the hairs on a 1 square centimetre patch, they noticed that the mice that had had 1 percent Zizyphus jujuba oil rubbed in had slightly more hair. That effect was not statistically significant however.
Manufacturers of hair growth enhancers will prick up their ears at the researchers' conclusion. "The essential oil from seeds of Zizyphus jujuba possesses hair growth promoting activity and it is suggested that essential oil from seeds of Zizyphus jujuba could be included as a constituent in the hair growth promoting agent originated from a natural resource."
Don't feel like waiting until there's a Zizyphus jujuba hair growth enhancer in the shops? Zizyphus jujuba oil is available from wholesalers.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Mar 3. [Epub ahead of print].