Borage and Silica

Silica Content in Borage

Borage, Borago officinalis, or Bugloss,  is the next best thing to Comfrey for its wondrous healing properties.

Borage, like Comfrey, has an especially high silica content. Silica helps hair, nails, teeth and bone to grow. So drinking a daily cup of weak borage tea, or adding the odd leaf or flowers to your salad will provide extra silicic acid to aid the growth of your hair and nails, and help keep your teeth and bones strong.

Borage Tea Hair Rinse

Borage tea can be used as a hair rinse after shampooing to aid hair growth and give a shine to the hair.  Using borage as a rinse means that your hair roots will benefit immediately from the silica and other minerals in borage: once the rinse is applied to the scalp, the minerals in the tea are absorbed readily into the pores of the scalp where they nourish the hair  and vitalise the blood stream.

For Inflammation Of Internal Organs

Borage tea hs a therapeutic function on the  liver, uterus, lungs, stomach and bowels. It helps form healthy tissue on mucous membranes. It has been used to treat  inflammation resulting from pleurisy, peritonitis, and as a calmative for the nerves. It is also helpful in treating conditions of the bowel such as colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. For these conditions you would take a therapeutic dose for a period of up to three days only. See dose at bottom of page under ‘Childbirth’.

For Varicose Veins

Borage can be used as a poultice to help  varicose veins. Simply pour boiling water over borage leaves. Use enough water  in a saucepan to cover a cupful of leaves. Simmer for three minutes.  Stand aside until cool, then lightly squeeze the borage leaves and pat out into a shape which will cover the sore area on the legs. Put a piece of plastic over the poultice and lightly bind with a bandage. Leave on for half an hour with the legs raised level with the buttocks.

Borage  tea will help with the problem of haemorrhoids, which are a type of swollen vein. The tea helps reduce inflammation when taken internally. Borage ointment can be applied externally to ease pain and reduce swelling on veins and haemorrhoids.

Recipe For Borage Ointment

To make a Borage ointment for this purpose, use half a cup of tightly packed, chopped borage leaves. Put 100 mls of glycerine into a small heat-proof bowl, put over a small saucepan of boiling water and steam for half an hour. Let cool, then strain. Store in a small corked bottle, or one which has a good screw top lid. Use as an ointment when needed.

Skin Tonic For The Bath

Borage leaves and barley, one cup of each, can be simmered together for an hour. Cool the liquid and add to the bathwater for a soothing, silica-rich soak.  This improves the skin.

For Childbirth and To Increase Milk Flow

Borage tea helps to reduce the pain of childbirth in much the same way as raspberry tea does. Borage tea made from leaves and flowers helps to stimulate the milk flow in nursing mothers. For either of these specific requirements, you would normally take a stronger tea for a three day period.

The dose: One teaspoon of dried flowers and one teaspoon of dried leaves infused in a cupful of boiling water taken twice daily for three days. Stop if milk flow has begun. For childbirth, begin the borage treatment as soon as you think labor has begun. Borage taken during labor will help with milk flow after baby is born.

Note: Do not continue with this dose of borage for longer than three days. Long term use of borage on a daily basis is not advised.

Best Vitamins For Hair Growth

Vitamin B complex, Biotin,Vitamin C, Zinc and Iodine are the best vitamins and minerals to encourage hair growth. Of course, you also need a nutritious diet with plenty of alkaline foods such as green vegetables, and adequate protein.  If you are on a budget, then the first things to consider buying would  be things like  eggs, fish, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, greens and fruits, and IODINE . However, there are many more Vitamins and Minerals which are necessary for good health and for the growing of new hair. There are also a variety of conditions which can lead to hair loss, and so we will look at those things in this article too.

IMG_6820Photo taken by Merrilyn 25th December 2012, Dunedin.

In this article we will discuss the possible causes of hair loss, the range of foods which may be helpful as sources of essential elements, and also the additional best vitamins for hair growth.

There are several main issues to consider in treating hair loss.

If you have a physical condition such as diabetes, or a thyroid disorder, then you might suffer hair loss. These conditions, of course, must be treated by a doctor, and any vitamin therapy you might consider should be discussed with your doctor if you have a medical problem of any kind, especially if you are taking medication.

If hair loss is a hereditary condition, then growing new hair might be difficult to achieve, especally for men; however, it is certainly worth a shot to give your diet an overhaul and to use vitamin and mineral supplements over a period of 4-6 months, even if hair loss is hereditary:  You might be able to stave off the condition of hair loss with massage, supplements, a few drops of iodine applied to the scalp several times a week, and optimum nutrition.

Many women suffer hair loss after childbirth, or because of deficiencies which arise because of heavy menstruation. This type of hair loss responds well to good nutrition, rest, and added supplements.

A traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one, or major surgery,or chemotherapy can cause hair to fall rapidly and effect a general decline in health. The hair loss which can result from trauma also responds well to good nutrition, and supplements, when combined with a good amount of rest.

However,exposure to excessive amounts of radiation can mean a slower recovery to health, which affects hair growth. Even radiation from power lines, transformers, and close proximity to electrical wires and appliances in the living, working, or sleeping environment can cause hair loss. If this is the main reason your hair is falling out, then you need to correct the environmental causes: Vitamins and minerals and diet will help, but the problem cannot be cured if your environment is toxic in any way. A poison-free, radiation-free environment is a prerequisite for any healing, including encouraging hair growth.

Poor nutrition,which includes  a diet deficient in protein, green vegetables and fruits, or a diet which is generally lacking in the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for good health, can cause hair loss. Not enough protein, oils and fats in the diet causes a slowing of hair growth, and a dry scalp which causes hair to fall.

Sudden crash diets can cause hair loss. Studies of people who suddenly reduced their calorie intake to 800 calories per day, or less, showed that these crash dieters experienced dramatic hair loss.

Some medications cause hair loss. Warfarin and heparin, both of which are blood thinners, cause hair loss in 50% of the people who take them. The contraceptive pill  depletes vitamin and mineral content in the body which can lead to hair loss. Some other drugs which are known to interfere with vitamin absorption and which produce hair loss are: amphetamines, propranolol which is used as a blood pressure medecine, and oral gold which is prescribed for arthritis.

Using hair dyes cause hair loss. Many dyes contain p-phenylenediamin, which not only thins your hair out, but can cause  heart problems and cancer.

Generally, vitamins and minerals which help sugar metabolism, thyroid function, and kidney function have a beneficial effect on the hair. Symptoms of these conditions or weaknesses are often displayed by thin, falling hair. All those trace elements which help to regulate blood sugar levels should be included in the list of “Best Vitamins For Hair Growth”. Hypoglycemia, or rocketing blood sugar level, is a chief cause in most people’s condition of hair loss. If good nutritional food is eaten, sugar is minimized in the diet, and the correct supplements given to help correct hypoglycemia, then you will find the hair begins to grow again.

Vitamin and mineral supplements really can make a difference to the condition of your hair and, in many cases, encourage new growth. You really need the whole range of vitamins and minerals in your diet for maximum health benefits from the food you eat: Vitamins and minerals are often activated, or assisted in their efficacy, by another vitamin or mineral. Some of the best vitamins for hair growth, assuming your diet includes a range of vegetables, fruits, proteins and whole grains, are:

VITAMIN A, or RETINOL, helps to prevent a dry scalp and dandruff. It is conducive towards general good health and for growing healthy hair. While deficiencies of Vitamin A/Retinol can lead to hair loss in combination with other deficiencies, an excess of this Vitamin can also result in excessive hair loss. Vitamin A is thought to be commonly deficient in about 33% of American and Australian/New Zealand children, and also deficient in about 20% of adults in these countries. Carrots, pumpkin, apricots, rockmelon, mango, in fact any yellow/orange fruit or vegetable will provide you with enough Vitamin A if some of these foods are eaten on a daily basis.

Too little Vitamin A will deplete your body of some of your Vitamin C intake.

VITAMIN C, which is a good, general all-rounder, helps all functions of the body, including the absorption of some vitamins and minerals,and the regrowth of bones, teeth and hair and nails. It also is effective in the counteracting of toxins and in the elimination of waste products from the body. Ester C, or Calcium Ascorbate, or some other non-acidic form of Vitamin C is the best one to go for: the non-acidic type is gentle on the stomach.

VITAMIN  C when taken with IRON helps to cure anemia, which can be a cause of hair loss. Prevention of anemia is assisted by adequate intakes of zinc.

Without adequate iron, the body inhibits hair growth as a self-preservation measure, and will only allow hair to grow again when the iron is restored to the body. Anemia can arise because of heavy menstrual periods or after childbirth. Iron is needed to cure anemia, but it is important that enough Vitamin C is taken in order for the iron to be assimilated into the body. 50 milligrams of iron taken with 100 milligrams of Vitamin C is a good remedial measure: you would take this until your iron levels are normal, which should be only a matter of weeks if your diet is nutritionally sound: Check with your doctor for advice on when to start and when to stop.

NOTE: Lack of zinc can contribute to an anemic condition. If your zinc intake is adequate, and your diet is good with a variety of foods eaten which cover the range of vitamins and minerals, then you should not develop anemia. Taking iron supplements can make you constipated. Talk to your naturopath or doctor about what is best for you.

IMPORTANT: It is best when taking IRON supplements that you get medical advice. Some people can build up an excess of iron in the blood. If you are not anaemic, then do not take an iron supplement: It is a safer practice to follow an iron-rich diet without taking an iron supplement, as this way you will not exceed a healthy iron level.

Foods which are high in iron are egg yolk, red meats, green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach and silver beet should be included in the daily diet for people who have iron deficiency because of childbirth or menstruation. If you take a large glass of orange juice ,which is high in Vitamin C, you will maximize the iron intake from these vegetables.

VITAMIN B COMPLEX is essential in treating hair loss. This vitamin helps to alleviate stress and is functional in processing your carbohydrates, both of which help to keep your hair on. The B complex components which are helpful in growing healthy hair may be broken down into the following specifics, however DO NOT OVERDO any one of the Vitamin B complex over a long period. It is good to take a B complex tablet with any extra Vitamin B component so that you do not get an imbalance of any one of the complex. Best to get your health practitioner’s advice on what combinations to take.

VITAMIN B1, or THIAMINE: This is very helpful in keeping your brain and nerves healthy so that you can allow those new hair follicles to grow. Deficiencies can cause depression and constipation. It helps you manage stress and imparts a general feeling of well-being.

Some good sources of Thiamine are milk, orange juice, peanuts, wholemeal flour, green peas, sweet corn and wheat germ. Brewer’s yeast is especially high.

VITAMIN B2, or RIBOFLAVIN: This is important as a vehicle to take blood sugar to the muscles, brain, and eyes. Cataracts can form with a deficiency of Riboflavin, and serious hair loss can result  when levels remain low. Milk is a great source of Riboflavin, so if you do not have a problem with the digestion of milk, then this is an affordable option to increase your Riboflavin. Baking soda, and baking powder can destroy Riboflavin, so baked products using these ingredients may not give you your requirement of this vitamin. Sunlight also affects Riboflavin adversely.

Riboflavin is thought to be one of the most deficient B Vitamin in people’s diets. It is added to many foods in America to help prevent deficiencies.If you are taking the contraceptive pill, then this vitamin could be deficient, along with B6, B12 and Folic Acid.

Some good sources of Riboflavin are: milk, eggs, avocado, brussels sprouts, broccoli and mushrooms.

FOLIC ACID is another B Vitamin which is necessary for healthy hair. Inadequate folic acid can cause extreme anxiety, poor mental health, and premature greying of the hair: the greying of the hair can, in many cases, be restored with treatment of this B component, and mental/emotional factors relieved. Folic acid also helps prevent anaemia, which can be a cause of hair loss. Folic acid is necessary for healthy blood, hair, eyes, and a healthy brain.

Folic acid is found in orange juice, eggs, milk, brewer’s yeast, oatmeal porridge, wholemeal flour, peanuts, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, silver beet, sweet corn, cauliflower, peas and tomatoes.

INOSITOL is another important B vitamin which helps hair grow. Excessive hair loss can result with insufficient inositol in the diet. It is important because it helps with the digestion of foods, and helps to produce lecithin in the body. It is important not just for the hair, but for the health of eyes, bone marrow, intestines, arteries, liver, kidneys and heart.

Inositol is found in orange juice, milk, peanuts, brown rice, wholemeal flour, beef, baked beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, sweet corn, raw tomatoes, lettuce, liver and wheat germ.

PANTOTHENIC ACID  is another important B vitamin. It aids digestion, helps protect against radiation and is a good anti-stress vitamin, thus it is helpful for hair growth. Baking soda can destroy this vitamin. It is manufactured in the body, but is also found in eggs, milk, avocado, peanuts, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and brown rice.

BIOTIN, or Vitamin H, is a recommended vitamin for hair growth. This encourages the hair to grow, it thickens and strengthens the hair strands, and reduces shedding of the hair. Biotin is manufactured in the intestines, so the production of biotin can be halted if you have taken antibiotics, or are on medication which inhibits the biotin manufacture. Some biotin is drawn from the foods we eat.

Eggs, peanuts, liver and brewer’s yeast are good sources of biotin.

IODINE  is especially important for healthy hair. It is best to simply apply this to the scalp several times a week, just a few drops at each application, and massage into the scalp. Iodine is absorbed readily through the pores of the skin and scalp, so there is no need to take this orally.

Iodine nourishes the thyroid gland. It helps in the maintaining of energy levels and regulates cholesterol in the blood. It aids heart function and blood circulation. Applied to the scalp, it is absorbed easily into the tissues where hair is formed, helping it to grow.

MANGANESE  is important in helping to regulate blood sugar levels, so this makes it a necessary component in your diet if you are treating a condition of hair loss. It is found in milk, banana, orange juice, peanuts, baked beans, silverbeet and tomatoes, dolomite powder, molasses and treacle.Fish and avocado are also good sources.

ZINC is especially important in building a strong body, improving immune function and in increasing  hair growth. Zinc helps prevent anaemia, which can cause hair loss. It helps the conversion of carbohydrates to energy in the body and is important in keeping the blood sugar stable. If the blood sugar begins to fluctuate, then hyperglycaemia can result, which leads to thinning hair.

See also

Merrilyn’s new book is out on Amazon:  See The No Cancer And Good Health Notebook

No Cancer Notebook(1)

Iodine Scalp And Hair Remedy

Iodine Tonic For The Health of the Hair:

Iodine is a wonderful, natural, relatively inexpensive item for restoring hair growth and improving the scalp tissue.

Note: However, you should visit your doctor or natural health practitioner for advice on whether you should use iodine or any other natural remedy or technique, for that matter.  No responsibility is taken by this author should the treatment not work, or makes you feel worse or the condition is made worse by following any suggestions made here.  Commonsense should prevail, and so should caution.  Alas, as some comments to my website show, some people lack these components to their make-up, so I must advise a visit to the health professional as a generality for all concerned.

If you apply iodine on a regular basis to the head, you not only nourish the scalp but the whole body as well, as iodine is absorbed gradually through the tissues of the scalp and into the body where it is utilized to help immune function, the improving of which helps to stave off diseases like cancer and arthritis and makes minimal the effects of flu, colds and other infections.

Generally speaking, if you are healthy, then you should have a good head of hair. Generally speaking, if your hair is thinning or falling out rapidly due to sickness, or a shock, or old age, then you should look first to iodine to help restore the hair and the general health simultaneously.

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In the 1950’s, when I was growing up, iodine was commonly used by our mothers so that we would not become iodine deficient and become sick. Our mum would paint the soles of our feet once a week or two, or we would get dosed with iodine via the cut on a hand or leg, where my mother would douse the iodine.

At some stage, common salt became iodised so that we would get enough iodine in our diets. If you do not use salt, then I would say that you are possibly iodine deficient, in which case the Iodine Scalp-Hair Remedy will be an ideal way for you to take extra iodine into your body and nourish your hair and scalp at the same time.

If you continue to use the Iodine scalp remedy, then you should expect to see favourable results after several months, when new hair should be starting to grow. I myself have found the iodine scalp-hair treatment to be very effective.

Of course, you can overdose on iodine – sensitive people or people who have low blood pressure or who exercise too little need less iodine on the skin in order to absorb what is necessary for hair maintenance and healthy immune function. People who exercise a great deal, or swim regularly, can take more iodine on the skin, as much of what is applied will be sweated off in exercise or in the water.

The best thing is to use moderation in using Iodine as a scalp-hair remedy:  too little is better than too much. Too much iodine absorbed through the skin can give you heart palpitations, hot flushes and anxiety if you are at all sensitive to chemicals. However, remember that iodine is a NECESSARY  component for good health, so do use it, but use it carefully.

METHOD for using Iodine as a scalp-hair remedy: After washing the hair, you can apply a little iodine. Just three or four dabs of the finger to the bottle is enough. Each time you dab, put the iodine on a fresh part of the scalp. Then, once you have applied your three or four dabs to the area you are treating, massage with the fingertips all over the scalp. With the massage, you actually transfer small amounts of iodine to the whole head of hair. The massage serves to increase circulation to the hair follicles, which also helps hair growth, and stimulates the kidneys and other organs simultaneously.

Always use the Iodine scalp-hair applications AFTER washing the hair, as if you wash the hair soon afterwards, much of the iodine will be washed away. Try to leave the iodine on the hair without washing it for a couple of days or so to give the iodine a chance to be absorbed into the scalp and into the body.

Two or three dabs of Iodine could be applied to the scalp twice a week, no matter what your body size or condition. After the next wash, dab the iodine to another part of the scalp. In this way, you ensure that all parts of the scalp eventually get treated.

NOTE:  Eucalyptus oil and Apple Cider Vinegar are also good to encourage hair growth and nourish the scalp, but do not use these on the same days as you use the Iodine on the hair.

The reason you do not combine these treatments is that if either one of these items is mixed with iodine, unpleasant and slightly toxic fumes are emitted which can have the effect of making you dizzy. Then you will feel compelled to rush off and wash everything, iodine, eucalyptus, cider vinegar, the lot, which would render your treatment useless.

If you use cider vinegar after washing your hair to neutralize the alkaline effect of soap or shampoo, then wait until the following day before you apply any iodine, or at least 8 hours, I would say.

The Iodine scalp-hair emedy is also very effective in keeping head lice and other lurgies at bay. There again – if the hair and scalp are healthy, then head lice are not likely to be  drawn to it.

Iodine has the effect of acting as an insecticide as well as helping to improve the general state of health of body and hair. The other important thing in treating head lice, though, is to use apple cider vinegar after using soap or shampoo on the hair. Head lice love scalps which are alkaline, either from using alkaline products like soap or shampoo, or from using too many acid-forming foods in the diet. If your child or yourself have succumbed to head lice, then DO use apple cider vinegar after each wash. In this case, you will apply the iodine to the scalp the following day or 8 hours later.

POSTSCRIPT; Last night, within about an hour of publishing this article, I received a bit of spam from somebody trying my intelligence. The question went something like: ‘I have spilt either iodine or hair dye on my white floor. How do I get this terrible stain out?’ ….. In case this questioner is serious….. Try baking soda, slightly dampened with a lot of elbow grease…..but more importantly, you should not be using hair dye whilst you are applying the iodine remedy to the hair, as hair dye most surely will react with iodine. I should imagine the result could be LOSS of hair. If you seriously want to rejuvenate your hair growth, then you won’t be using commercial hair dyes AT ALL.  Powdered henna is natural and should be OK

See also:

Regrow Hair

Natural Ways To Improve Hair Growth and Condition



Iodine Hair Growth

Iodine Can Help To Restore Hair Growth

It is important to consult your doctor or health practitioner first of all, before using any iodine on the hair.  Some people do not manage to follow instructions very well, and I have had several people claiming that the iodine treatment made their hair fall out. No responsibility can be taken on my part if hair continues to fall, or if you use the iodine treatment unwisely.

If these people had followed instructions faithfully, and only used no more than two finger dabs of pharmaceutical liquid iodine to put on the hair, then no problem should have arisen.

But do ask your health practitioner first, before using any iodine on the hair.

This is how I use iodine on the hair:

After each wash, dry the hair well, then apply just two finger dabs of liquid iodine onto the scalp. Do this while the hair is still damp.  Then massage the hair thoroughly to distribute traces of iodine over the scalp.

A trace of iodine is all that is needed to encourage hair growth. Your hair follicles will absorb small amounts of iodine into the scalp, which will nourish the hair roots.


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See also Merrilyn’s posts posts entitled  Regrow Hair; and Iodine scalp/Hair Remedy have more ideas for improving hair growth.