At least 75 percent of all new drugs introduced to the public in the last few decades were derived from plants. Specifically, plants have given us medications like morphine, aspirin, and ephedrine — in other words, they’re the reason why most people make it through Monday mornings. Plants also play an indispensable role in the energy industry, already accounting for between 14-18 percent of global renewable energy in the form of biofuel. Oh, and who can forget their irreplaceable service in inhaling the toxic gases we continue to emit into the atmosphere?
You get the point. Plants are and always have served us humans incredibly well. But did you know that their natural Midas touch extends to hair care as well? Below are two of the most beneficial of these plant ingredients.
Aloe, can you hear me?
The aloe plant is a fleshy shrub found in arid regions of the world. It’s packed with proteolytic enzymes which actually help repair the cells on the top of your head.
It can do this because it is made up of many of the components found in keratin (hair). These include: amino acids, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur. That means that aloe nourishes hair with its own ingredients.
Aloe also acts against itching, dandruff and all sorts of other embarrassing hair conditions that would cause you to not be invited on a second date. A 1998 study found that the plant did this by reducing scalp inflammation that leads to the white flakes known among scientists as seborrheic dermatitis — this process is further aided by the fatty acids that abound in aloe vera.
Effective cleaning power is another of aloe’s benefits. Unlike some harsher chemicals, it doesn’t damage your hair follicles as it strips oil from the strands. What’s more, it contains vitamins A,C and E. Is it a coincidence that that spells ace, which is the highest card in the deck? I think not.
Going soap nuts
With the exception of a lawmaker and judge whose name is literally “Lord Judge”, there is nothing that has been more appropriately named than the soap nut… because, you know, it cleans, like soap. Used in India longer than most nation states have existed, the soap nut is a cheap, eco-friendly agent that simply does a great job of removing dirt.
When combined with water it forms mild suds that resemble soap, they’re responsible for the cleansing action. Also, beyond being anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, the nut bestow a healthy shine on your hair as a bonus.
Notably, the benefits of the soap nut are not restricted to hair. The pebble-like nuts have natural conditional properties that make them function as a moisturizer too. Many users also enjoy the essential oils contained in them which get rid of pimples and help to even out one’s skin tone.
That’s not it though. One study found that soap nuts are effective in treating the nasty symptoms associated with eczema and other skin conditions.
Unlike the opaque cosmetics industry, nature had nothing but pure intentions when producing these two substances. Both aloe vera and the soap nut have been used safely for many generations. There’s every reason to think they’ll work for you too.