AsianScientist (Dec. 16, 2014) – Propolis, a substance from honeybee hives, has been shown to encourage hair growth in mice. The study documenting these findings has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Propolis is a resin-like material that honeybees use to seal small gaps in their hives. Not only does it work as a physical barrier, but it also contains active compounds that fight fungal and bacterial invasions.
People from ancient times had noticed propolis’ special properties and used it to treat tumors, inflammation and wounds. More recently, research has shown that the substance promotes the growth of certain cells involved in hair growth though no one had yet tested whether that in turn would result in new locks.
Led by Professor Ken Kobayashi from Hokkaido University, a team of researchers tested propolis on mice that had been shaved or waxed. They found that the mice which received propolis treatment regrew their fur faster than those that didn’t. The scientists also noticed that after topical application, the number of special cells involved in the process of growing hair increased.
Although they tried the material on mice that could grow fur rather than balding mice, the researchers note that hair loss conditions often result from abnormal inflammation. Propolis contains anti-inflammatory compounds, so they expect it could help treat balding conditions. They add that further testing is needed to see if the beehive material affects human hair follicles.
Source: American Chemical Society; Photo: Orangeaurochs/Flickr/CC.
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