Long before I become addicted to growing my chin length Bob hairstyle to my hips I was acquainted with hair vegetables.
I was first introduced to hair vegetables back in St. Louis in 1982 by my late husband, Michael Thayer, who graduated from St. Louis' Logan College of Chiropractic.
During his time at Logan, he studied acupuncture and became a fan of all things related to Chinese healing.
Description of Hair Vegetables
At one point when I was discussing my goals to maximize my hair's natural growth cycle Michael researched hair vegetables for me.
Hair vegetables are also known as dragon's mustache Fat Choy, faat choy, fa cai, black moss, hair moss or hair weed. Hair vegetable are not the same as Bok choy, the Japanese radish.
Hair vegetables were named due to the fact that this wild vegetable grows on the ground and looks a lot like tangled hair.
Fat choy grows on the ground in the Gobi Desert and the Qinghai Plateau. The wild vegetables are often used in Chinese and Vietnamese dishes as an alternative to noodles.
Authentic fat choy is dark green in color, while fat choy which has been altered appears black.
Traditional Wild Hair Vegetables Have Become Scarce
Due to over-harvesting of hair vegetable on the Mongolian steppes, the popular Chinese wild vegetable has become scarce. Fat choy harvesting has been restricted by the Chinese government due to a variety of challenges including accelerating erosion and desertification of the hair vegetable growth areas.
Of course as wild hair vegetables became rare, prices have skyrocketed.
As a result, the traditional wild occurring hair vegetables, which are still available commercially, have been modified with a variety of additives.
Artificial hair vegetables have been found to contain strands of a non-cellular starchy material. It has also been found to contain an array of dyes and other food/chemical additives.
Are Hair Vegetables A Secret Hair Growth Miracle?
Are hair vegetables a secret or magical ingredient which will instantly grow you hair from your chin to your hips overnight?
Michael's conclusion? Hair vegetables might help enhance my hair's natural growth cycles if my body needed foods to help eliminate toxic heat.
My long time acupuncturist, the late Stuart Mauro, discussed the pros and cons of consuming hair vegetables with me on more than one clinic visit.
He agreed with Michael that hair vegetables might only be helpful for hair growth if there was a need for cooling foods. Anyone not requiring cooling foods might see no benefit at all.
Stuart also explained to me about the connection between hair growth and the lungs and liver.
Regulating Foods For Excess Diseases
In Chinese medicine the regulating foods for excess diseases caused by toxic heat are either cool or cold in nature.
Hair vegetables, also known as dragon's mustache vegetables, sometimes prescribed in Chinese medicine, may or may not be helpful for triggering hair growth if the body has a need for regulating foods or has excess disease.
What Conditions Do Hair Vegetables Address?
Hair vegetables, according to Chinese Natural Cures by Henry C. Lu "reduces internal heat, eliminate congestion, softens hard spots, removes phlegm and purges the intestines." In addition hair vegetables can be used to treat "malnutrition and anemia".
Other foods which address toxic heat include, but are not limited to Adzuki Beans, aloe vera, burdock, figs, grapefruit, honey, squash and sweet basil.
There are many more foods which are thought to successful neutralize toxic heat, which I have not included.
Ironically, many of the foods I listed, I have specifically eaten during my hair growth dietary testing.
Personally I have always experienced excellent overall results with Adzuki Beans, honey and sweet basil.
Do Chinese Hair Vegetables Grow Instant Hair?
There is no known scientific studies I have been able to find which conclusively prove that hair vegetables will instantly grow hair.
While they might help with natural hair growth cycles and the encourage of healthier hair, that may only be the case if the person consuming the hair vegetables were in need of a cooling food for regulating heat in their bodies.
Some other person who was not in need of cooling foods might not benefit whatsoever from adding hair vegetables, which can be challenging to find in some parts of the world, to their daily diet.
Are Hair Vegetables Safe To Consume?
There is some controversy surrounding the consumption of hair vegetables.
A research team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong published study results which claimed Fat choy has no nutritional value. The study also highlighted the fact that hair vegetables contain Beta-methylamino L-alanine (BMAA) which is considered a toxic amino acid.
According to Professor Chan King-ming who was part of the research team, eating Fat choy might lead to degenerative diseases including Alzheimer's Parkinson's and dementia.
Other studies have challenged these findings and have concluded there is no difference between lab rats fed the Fat choy and those that were not.
Summary - Hair Vegetables
Is Fat choy safe to consume? It may depend upon a variety of factors. When in doubt, always consult with your primary health physician.
Does the consumption of hair vegetables help to trigger accelerated hair growth? Again, it might for some people, but again, it might have no benefits whatsoever to others.
When it comes to growing long strong hair at the fastest possible rate, there are a myriad or factors which are unique to every individual and have to be weighed appropriately.