The Institute of Taiwan has bought the world a number of patented products addressing issues from snoring to dandruff. Now they have hair loss in their sights.
The Institute Of Taiwan
The Institute of Taiwan is a veritable hothouse for the development of medicines based on Chinese herbal traditions. They are certainly not shy of making bold claims about the efficacy of their range of products. It would appear these claims are made on the basis of very small scale trials, involving less than 10 patients, conducted by the Brion Research Institute which is also affiliated to the Institute.
A variety of patents have been applied for and won, based on combinations of recognised chinese herbs, that address a range of conditions. These conditions seem to have a theme, they are widespread issues for which there is no reliable cure available. Snoring is a good example, dandruff maybe slightly less so but we suspect that if you can put caffeine in shampoo and call it a hair loss cure then there is probably enough pseudo science wrapped around their dandruff cure for it to win some fans.
It was a press release from Primal Hair in Los Angeles that drew our attention to the Institute for Taiwan. They are distributing the product in the USA as a solution for promoting hair growth and stopping hair loss... The press release makes a play of the importance of the patent - much better than patent pending they tell us. Shame then that if you read the small print at the bottom of the page they confess that none of their claims have been verified by the US Food & Drug Administration... just that research institute in Taiwan has done any study and their results are not considered any sort of proof by the FDA.
The American launch does at at least allow us a good look at the components parts of their product:
Ligustrum: Better know as Chinese privet it has a reputation as an immune booster.
Eclipta: Used for liver health and pain relief as well as for alopecia areata.
Astragalus: A potent medicine used for a range of conditions from the common cold to HIV. It is also used for fatigue or a lack of appetite... so has found it's way into the medicine cabinet of people going through chemotherapy for example.
Rehmannia: According to Chinese tradition this is used to reduce heat in the blood, promote the production of body fluid and nourish yin. Modern herbologists will tell you it is good for diabetes, anaemia and osteoporosis.
Asian Ginseng: As well as it's well-known reputation for helping with sexual dysfunction it has a reputation for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar as well as promoting relaxation.
It is certainly a potent sounding mix of well-known herbs and there can be no doubting the efficacy of many ancient Chinese herbal medicines, indeed many modern medicines owe their existence to research performed on some of them. Before we declare it snake-oil or cure we would prefer to wait until it has been properly tested - but that might be some time off.
HIS Hair Clinic
We suspect there is no harm and probably some general good to be done by the regular application of the medicine - but that is not the same thing as slowing down hair loss, and certainly nothing to do with regrowing hair from dead follicles. It comes down to whether you want to pay $70 a bottle for your salve once you have sampled it... of course the initial commitment is for months because that is how long it takes to see any positive outcome from any hair loss medicine, including the FDA approved ones.
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