Thuja Orientalis is a naturally occurring cone-bearing shrub (conifer). Experimental studies in animals have found that an extract of the shrub can improve hair count when applied topically.
The big question is, how do these study results play out in real life when it comes to hair growth outcomes? This article will summarize the findings from this study to show how effective this all-natural product is and how it can help.
At the end of the article, I will also show you how you can make your own shampoo that includes Thuja so that you can stop hair loss as quickly as possible. Or, check out the video below if you want a video version of this article:
What is Thuja Orientalis?
Thuja Orientalis is an evergreen shrub or tree that belongs to the cypress family (Cupressaceae). It changes colors, from deep green in the summer to a reddish burgundy hue in the winter months.
It can grow up to 1.8 meters in height and is native to Korea and parts of China. Nowadays, however, people cultivate it all over the world. Other popular names for the plant are Morgan and Franky Boy (named after certain varieties).
The seeds and leaves of the plant can produce essential oils. As a result, the plant has a long history in traditional and complementary medicine. In areas of East Asia, extracts of Thuja Orientalis have been used for centuries as a treatment for hair loss.
The roots of the plant are distilled to produce a potent treatment against premature hair loss, and with very limited side effects. The users of Thuja also take the plant for various other conditions, including common colds, sores, arthritis, and various infections.
You can easily grow and cultivate the Thuja Orientalis plant from seeds in your home or garden. You can find the seeds easily, either online or through a brick-and-mortar store.
Thuja Orientalis Tested Results to Address Hair Loss
There are numerous potential uses for the extracts and essential oils of the Thuja Orientalis plant. These include supporting the health of the scalp along with the potential for promoting hair growth. Following is a summary of the studies on Thuja Orientalis and its reputed benefits to hair growth.
The T. Orientalis Topical Test
One of the most significant studies on Thuja Orientalis was carried out on lab mice (1). The researchers wanted to examine the potential of the plant to promote hair growth. To this end, they shaved a group of test mice and separated them into three groups.
The first group received a topical solution that contained T. Orientalis hot water extract, in other words, a preparation that had been extracted from the plant in hot water. The second group received a topical 1% minoxidil daily solution and the rest of the mice formed the control group.
After 14 days, the researchers carefully measured the hair growth of each group of mice. The results were impressive. The mice that had the T. Orientalis treatment had regrown more hair than either the 1% minoxidil or the control group.
After 17 days, the T. Orientalis group had regained their full coat of hair, while the control group had only about 50% regrowth (See Fig. 1)
T. Orientalis achieved this improved hair growth by inducing the anagen growth phase in the mice. The anagen phase is the stage of the hair growth cycle where the hair follicle is actually growing hair, while the telogen represents the period of follicle rest. Essentially, T. Orientalis “kickstarts” active hair production.
Changes In Density & Size
Furthermore, researchers documenting the study noticed an increase in hair follicle size and density per square inch in the T. Orientalis group. Laboratory analyses also detected earlier induction of certain proteins essential to hair growth: Shh and β-catenin.
The final conclusions reported by these researchers were these:
Taken together, these results suggest that T. orientalis extract promotes hair growth by inducing the anagen phase of hair follicles and might therefore be a potential hair promoting agent.
According to Advances in Life Sciences, Thuja Orientalis preparations can also be used as anti-inflammatory agents and has anti-microbial characteristics as well (2). Irritated and inflamed scalps are a common cause of hair loss and thinning hair, as well as bacterial infections. Thuja extracts have also been used to successfully treat eczema, fungal infections of the skin, as well as warts.
The potential for topical solutions utilizing Thuja Orientalis to promote and maintain a healthy scalp make this an interesting option for scalp care.
As the hair follicle derives nutrients from the skin and underlying capillaries, it is important to ensure the health of the scalp. As long as you have no specific allergies to this species of plant, there is limited downside to the regular application of a topical solution with Thuja Orientalis.
Potential Side Effects of Thuja Orientalis
Though Thuja Orientalis is relatively safe, there is always the risk for side effects. These will generally be mild, except for the event you are allergic to the plant. Some allergic reactions may be severe.
Unfortunately, we have very limited information on this plant’s safety. General symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to a supplement include:
- skin rash
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
Women who are pregnant or are expecting to become pregnant should avoid products derived from this plant, especially if they have never used them before.
Anyone considering the use of Thuja Orientalis should consult with a medical professional to ensure the safe use of the product.
Practical Use Thuja Orientalis For Hair Growth
At this point, we do not yet have any research on the plant’s usefulness when taken orally (systemically).
The topically applied hot water extract proved useful for increasing hair count, even when compared to minoxidil (and the control.) So, probably the safest bet is to use Thuja topically and particularly in a homemade shampoo.
- Liquid castile soap
- Thuja Orientalis liquid extract (you can purchase this online, e.g. from Amazon)
- Rosemary essential oil
- Castor oil
Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a plastic bottle of your choice. Lather the mixture onto wet hair and massage it into the scalp for 5-10 minutes before rinsing out.
An easier alternative to a homemade shampoo is simply to purchase Thuja Orientals essential oil. You can dilute this on its own with a carrier oil, or create your own blend with other essential oils that promote hair growth. You can see more information on selecting and preparing essential oils in the video below.
Thuja Orientalis can be cultivated in a variety of climates, is a hearty plant that is easy to manage, and can be easily utilized as a complementary or alternative treatment for a variety of issues including hair loss, thinning, and receding hairlines.
The numerous positive benefits of Thuja Orientalis offer promise for promoting overall scalp health, addressing many of the underlying causes of hair loss and thinning hair, and may even have the potential to promote hair growth.
We recommend you seek help from a qualified medical professional when starting a new hair loss treatment. Be especially careful when using the plant for the first time, as there is always the risk of allergic reactions.
Also, make sure to do your homework before selecting a brand. These products are not regulated by the FDA, and there will be differences in quality, strength, and consistency between them.