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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 517901, 10 pages
Research Article

Hair Growth Promotion Activity and Its Mechanism of Polygonum multiflorum

Yunnan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Kunming, Yunnan 650500, China

Received 17 May 2015; Accepted 14 July 2015

Academic Editor: Jairo Kennup Bastos

Copyright © 2015 Yunfei Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polygonum multiflorum Radix (PMR) has long history in hair growth promotion and hair coloring in clinical applications. However, several crucial problems in its clinic usage and mechanisms are still unsolved or lack scientific evidences. In this research, C57BL/6J mice were used to investigate hair growth promotion activity and possible mechanism of PMR and Polygonum multiflorum Radix Preparata (PMRP). Hair growth promotion activities were investigated by hair length, hair covered skin ratio, the number of follicles, and hair color. Regulation effects of several cytokines involved in the hair growth procedure were tested, such as fibroblast growth factor (FGF-7), Sonic Hedgehog (SHH), β-catenin, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Oral PMR groups had higher hair covered skin ratio (100 ± 0.00%) than oral PMRP groups (48%~88%). However, topical usage of PMRP had about 90% hair covered skin ratio. Both oral administration of PMR and topically given PMRP showed hair growth promotion activities. PMR was considered to be more suitable for oral administration, while PMRP showed greater effects in external use. The hair growth promotion effect of oral PMR was most probably mediated by the expression of FGF-7, while topical PMRP promoted hair growth by the stimulation of SHH expression.