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Alfred001

Safe, non-toxic essential oils?

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Are there any essential oils that are known to be perfectly safe for topical (or oral) application by humans?

I am looking for a topical anti-microbial to use in a hair loss regimen. Tea tree oil has been used effectively in a study I read, but I'm concerned about toxicity, so I'm looking for an alternative. I'm looking for something that could safely be applied to the scalp.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might look into as a possibility?

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16 hours ago, Alfred001 said:

Are there any essential oils that are known to be perfectly safe for topical (or oral) application by humans?

No.

Everything is toxic; it's a matter of dose.

Also why is your text in pale grey on white?

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I have a browser extension that makes background black and text bright to make things easier on the eyes, so I didn't even notice my post was in white font. Dunno why that happened.

Can you think of any cheap, natural substance with broad antibiotic properties that I might use for this purpose? Something that can safely be applied topically to the scalp?

I've been thinking about honey, but I can't tell from the papers I've been reading whether it merely INHIBITS colonization by bacteria or whether it actually KILLS bacteria that is there.

When a paper says that honey INHIBITS bacteria, are they making a distinction there between inhibiting and killing or can I take "inhibits" to mean it kills bacteria?

 

I can't edit the original post, so here's a repost in non-magical ink:

Are there any essential oils that are known to be perfectly safe for topical (or oral) application by humans?

I am looking for a topical anti-microbial to use in a hair loss regimen. Tea tree oil has been used effectively in a study I read, but I'm concerned about toxicity, so I'm looking for an alternative. I'm looking for something that could safely be applied to the scalp.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might look into as a possibility?

Edited by Alfred001

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5 hours ago, Alfred001 said:

When a paper says that honey INHIBITS bacteria, are they making a distinction there between inhibiting and killing or can I take "inhibits" to mean it kills bacteria?

Inhibit generally means that no growth is observed. That being said, I do not think that antibacterial properties are related to hair loss, except in rare circumstances, which should be properly diagnosed. Inflammatory causes for hair loss are more commonly caused by fungi. While there are studies with essential oils, mostly targeted at stimulating hair follicles, but the effects were often minor and not very reproducible. As such, effectiveness of such treatments to slow hair loss, specifically androgenic alopecia. 

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Honey is an expensive way to buy sugar.
High concentrations of sugar will stop many or most bacteria- because there isn't enough water for them to thrive.
However, that's not going to work well as a hair product- it's too sticky.

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Why don't you see a doctor who will either prescribe the right stuff or put you in touch with a knowledgeable professional? Do you know for sure it's caused by a microorganism?

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11 hours ago, Alfred001 said:

I've been thinking about honey,

Honey would attract insects and flies instead...

 

Edited by Sensei

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Manuka honey has been shown to have inhibitory effects against various pathogens. However, the presence and amount of active constituents is extremely dependant on where the honey is from. Manuka oil has very similar antimicrobial properties and has the benefit of not being a sticky mess like honey, but suffers from the same inconsistencies (and the smell isn’t overly pleasant). As others have suggested, you are best served by seeking professional medical help to figure out a cause and possible solution.

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Manuka honey is a very very expensive way to buy sugar containing variable traces of nothing-special antimicrobials.

Why not just go to the local supermarket or pharmacist where they stock a wide range of antibacterial products that are known to work reliably?

 

Some are even perfumed with essential oils.

21 hours ago, Alfred001 said:

Can you think of any cheap, natural substance with broad antibiotic properties that I might use for this purpose?

Why specify "natural".

Natural does not mean "good" or "safe".

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14 hours ago, StringJunky said:

Why don't you see a doctor who will either prescribe the right stuff or put you in touch with a knowledgeable professional?

There are only 3 FDA approved treatments for hair loss, so you know what the dr is gonna give you. There are big forums and communities around hair loss, as you can imagine, and people do a lot of research so they know what's out there and how effective it is.

In most cases, if you want to have significant success fighting hair loss, you have to go beyond what the typical dr will give you and look into emerging treatments or stuff that's appeared in the literature more recently and is likely not known to your average dermatologist.

14 hours ago, StringJunky said:

Do you know for sure it's caused by a microorganism?

No, the exact cause of male pattern baldness is not exactly known and it is believed that it might be multifactorial. Microorganisms and inflammation have been implicated and there's one study I read (albeit with a small sample size) where they were able to outperform one of the typical treatments (Minoxidil) by combining it with tea tree oil and an anti-inflammatory. The presumed mechanism was that TTO was killing whatever microbes were there and the anti-inflammatory was reducing the inflammation and that yielded results.

 

12 hours ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

Manuka honey has been shown to have inhibitory effects against various pathogens. However, the presence and amount of active constituents is extremely dependant on where the honey is from.

Yep, Manuka is a good one and I've thought about it, but it's a little on the expensive side and possibly too expensive for what is, really, a speculative treatment that could go nowhere.

Also, I should point out, I need something that has bactericidal, not just inhibitory effects. It needs to kill whatever is already there. But, I THINK, Manuka has that ability for a wide range of microbes.

12 hours ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

Manuka oil has very similar antimicrobial properties and has the benefit of not being a sticky mess like honey, but suffers from the same inconsistencies (and the smell isn’t overly pleasant).

Yeah, a lot of essential oils are potent antibiotics, but, from what I've read, they're very dangerous and I'm a little afraid of using them.

If anyone knows any safe one (I doubt such exsists) or can assuage my fears and knows for sure how they can be used safely topically on the scalp, you could help me out a lot.

4 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

Why not just go to the local supermarket or pharmacist where they stock a wide range of antibacterial products that are known to work reliably?

I'm open to this and maybe that would be the best option.

It would have to be:

- fairly cheap
- come in some form that can be applied topically to the scalp (I'm not sure, but I believe that any substance applied to the scalp will find it's way to the blood through the hair follicles)
- be free of any serious side effects

If anyone can suggest something that meets those criteria, I'd be very grateful to you.

4 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

Why specify "natural".

Natural does not mean "good" or "safe".

Yeah, you're right about that, I just kind of assume that something natural is more likely to be something cheap and possibly have fewer side effect or toxicity concerns, but quite possibly none of that is true.

 

 

So, just to update you all on where I stand with this, because my thinking has evolved since the original post.

The point of this is that microbes and inflammation have been implicated as factors in hair loss and I'm looking for a way to fight them. I read a study where they achieved some good results through doing that, but I'm inclined to not use what they used in the study (tea tree oil and diclofenac), because of toxicity concerns and because I assume (haven't looked into it yet) that diclofenac is pricey.

So, if anyone can recommend an anti-inflammatory and an anti-microbial that kills a broad spectrum of microbes (kills, not just inhibits), you could save me a lot of time, stress and aggravation. Both would have to be:

- affordable

- free of serious side effects

- in a form that can be applied topically

- safe for application to scalp (I'm not sure, but I believe anything applied to the scalp gets into the blood through the hair follicles)

I looked into essential oils for anti-microbial, but got turned off them because of safety concerns. Lots of people ending up in comas and dead cats from essential oils. They can probably be used safely if properly diluted, but it would take a lot of research time (which I don't have) and I'm hesitant to take risks with them. If someone is knowledgable on this and can give me reliable instructions or point me to a resource where I might find them, I would still consider essential oils.

Someone suggested hydrosols as an alternative and they seem to be perfectly safe, but I'm having trouble finding papers testifying to their bactericidal properties, only bafcteristatic (meaning, they inhibit). These are still an option as well, I need some evidence they can kill germs.

So then I got onto honey, because it can both kill germs AND has anti-inflammatory properties. But honey has some problems which I won't get into, because this post is too long already.

An alternative candidate I'm looking at now (tho honey is still in play) is olive oil, which, likewise, has both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and is, obviously, a food, so should be safe for topical application. If anyone knows anything on olive oil and can advise me on this, I'd appreciate it, because I wasted whole of yesterday on reading papers about the anti-microbial properties of various honeys and I'd very much like to not repeat that, as I have a life to get back to :)

Beyond that, if you have any suggestions for an anti-bacterial and an anti-inflammatory, I'd love to hear them.

Edited by Alfred001

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4 hours ago, Alfred001 said:

There are only 3 FDA approved treatments for hair loss, so you know what the dr is gonna give you.

There is a reason for that. They actually require data indicating efficacy, whereas in a forum you will have a collection of anecdotes. Folks may think they have found a way, but more likely than not it is not the case. There is a huge industry and if someone came up with something that worked more effectively, they would make a killing. The fact that it is not there is more of an indication that these homemade remedies are not generally effective in the broader population.

 

4 hours ago, Alfred001 said:

The point of this is that microbes and inflammation have been implicated as factors in hair loss and I'm looking for a way to fight them.

As mentioned, there are only few cases where microbes play a role, and specifically fungi are more common in those cases, which are not bacteria. It would require antifungal activity, of which there are quite a few brands already in use. However, the most common form of hair loss in men is not fungal or bacterial in nature. However, a medical professional can diagnose what kind type of hair loss you got.

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If I had discovered a substance like the requested one in the OP, would I a) Patent it and become a billionaire, or 

b) Post it for all to see for free in an internet chat forum. 

It's a tricky choice. I need to think about it. :confused:

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On 11/11/2019 at 10:21 AM, Alfred001 said:

 

Likely deliberate on the part of your genes in most cases.

Historically if you have survived that long, you will have proven yourself capable and are likely well set up to provide for any offspring.

 

Replacement is probably the best route to look at. Most alternative methods are not especially successful. Amount to trying to do something external to impact something internal.

Edited by Endy0816

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On 11/11/2019 at 3:21 PM, Alfred001 said:

 

Are there any essential oils that are known to be perfectly safe for topical (or oral) application by humans?

I am looking for a topical anti-microbial to use in a hair loss regimen. Tea tree oil has been used effectively in a study I read, but I'm concerned about toxicity, so I'm looking for an alternative. I'm looking for something that could safely be applied to the scalp.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might look into as a possibility?

Sorry, but I think your just going to have to accept your going bald. Hair transplants work but aren't cheap. Wayne Rooney :-

IMG_2533.JPG.7a5e230dace6ed063bbd98175f166496.JPG

Of course there are other methods :-

IMG_2534.JPG.bf81b1dd22b2c347078c74c184ad3f6d.JPG

Im starting to thin a little myself (down the middle). I'll just cut it short it when it gets too thin. Can't you just do the same? it's really no big deal you know. Sometimes trying to fix it makes it worse (see above). But if it's really bothering you, you should speak to a dermatologist, but again, it won't be cheap.

Like mistermack says, if you can find something that works and is cheap, you'll have so much money you won't give a crap about hair loss.

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17 hours ago, CharonY said:

There is a reason for that. They actually require data indicating efficacy, whereas in a forum you will have a collection of anecdotes. Folks may think they have found a way, but more likely than not it is not the case. There is a huge industry and if someone came up with something that worked more effectively, they would make a killing. The fact that it is not there is more of an indication that these homemade remedies are not generally effective in the broader population.

I'm not just looking at forums, but studies, including things that are in trials.

Furthermore, even the stuff that is FDA approved works wonders for people and does squat for others, so it's not like the only possible scenario is you hit on a cure that works 100% for 100% of people and you're a billionaire. There are many different remedies that have small effects, many of them are natural and available for cheap in supermarkets so you can't make a killing off them.

17 hours ago, CharonY said:

As mentioned, there are only few cases where microbes play a role, and specifically fungi are more common in those cases, which are not bacteria. It would require antifungal activity, of which there are quite a few brands already in use. However, the most common form of hair loss in men is not fungal or bacterial in nature. However, a medical professional can diagnose what kind type of hair loss you got.

The studies I read and that got results aimed at killing bacteria. It's possible that their anti-bacterial also had anti-fungal effects, but fungi were never mentioned.

You seem to be knowledgeable on this topic. Are you a dermatologist or have you studied this?

9 hours ago, mistermack said:

If I had discovered a substance like the requested one in the OP, would I a) Patent it and become a billionaire, or 

b) Post it for all to see for free in an internet chat forum. 

It's a tricky choice. I need to think about it. 

??? I've already mentioned two natural substances that have those properties

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4 minutes ago, Alfred001 said:

It's possible that their anti-bacterial also had anti-fungal effects,

Possible, but you can’t know without testing. Fungi and bacteria are quite different. 

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On 11/14/2019 at 3:32 AM, Alfred001 said:

Furthermore, even the stuff that is FDA approved works wonders for people and does squat for others, so it's not like the only possible scenario is you hit on a cure that works 100% for 100%

Of course not. But it means that there is actually evidence of efficacy, even if only for select folks. 

Quote

I'm not just looking at forums, but studies, including things that are in trials.

And it is those trials were efficacy is actually being tested. I.e. if they show that they work (even if only for a subset) it becomes something worthwhile to pursue. 

 

On 11/14/2019 at 3:32 AM, Alfred001 said:

You seem to be knowledgeable on this topic. Are you a dermatologist or have you studied this?

I have a professional background in microbiology (with a current focus on infectious diseases) though I have been branching out in aspects of public health . However, I am not a medical professional (such as a dermatologist). But as a whole I am aware that hair loss related to infections is rarer than androgenic alopecia. And within the realm of infections, fungi are more common than bacterial infections. Ketoconazole, as well as other anti-dandruff components can address fungal infections, and have demonstrated relief from hair loss. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly ketoconzole was also shown to be somewhat effective for addressing androgenic hair loss, though only in a subset of people (there are also mice studies, but I am not sure whether it is clear why precisely it works, I have not followed up on that) .

But ultimately, the important bit is that there are quite a range of different mechanisms of hair loss and with associated diagnosis (though some can be related). Dermatitis related hair loss requires a different treatment than androgenic hair loss. Both again are different from certain forms of diffuse hair loss, such as telogen effluvium. To have a targeted treatment, proper diagnosis should come first.

Edit: I should add that in some studies related to androgenic alopecia folks also often found an increase in certain fungi and it has been suggested that treatment with with antifungal in addition to finasteride or minoxidil (the two components mentioned to treat androgenic hair loss) can be more effective in some patients. However, is not clear what the cause and what the effect is.

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