I was looking on ebay and found a herbal product called BIOXCIN which claims to reduce 5 alpha reductase. This product has some clinical tests (114 men) and has been researched by Istanbul University.
At first I thought same old same and dismissed it until I did some quick research into its ingredients. One of the main ingredient is "myricetin". Initially I thought this is new to me as a 5 alpha reductase inhibiter. I was very surprised to find that myricetin is sourced from the bark of the Bayberry. Then I realised I had read about Bayberry before. A Doctor did some research into bayberry extract and found it was 80.7% effective at inhibiting 5 alpha reductase. At that time a product could not be made with the information because bayberry bark was too dark and had a strong smell.
It looks like somebody has now isolated the active ingredient of bayberry bark and made a hairloss product out of it....very interesting !!
Below is the original research into bayberry conducted by Dr. Matsuda
1) Bayberry Study by Dr. Matsuda et al.
Date: 02 Apr 2001
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Anti-androgenic Activity of Miricae Cortex---Isolation of Active Constituents from Bark of Myrica rubra (Biol. Pham. Bull. 24(3), March 2001) by Hideaki Matsuda et. al. consists of roghly three parts.
First, they carries out screening of 20 herbs on inhibition rate of testosterone 5 alpha reductase activity, though they don't seperate type one and type two. Top five of inhibition rate of activity in vitro by 50% ethanol extracts are
Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc (so called bayberry ) : 80.7%
Rosa rugosa Thunb. var. plena Regel (so called Ramanas rose, naturalized in several places in Britain) : 79.0%
Mucuna birdwoodiana Tutcher : 58.4% Polygonum bistorta L. (so called BISTORT, SNAKEWEED, EASTER LEDGES) : 58.2%
Polygonum multiforum Thunb. (so called He Shou Wu, Fo-Ti) : 57.4%
Next, they pay attention to the top two plants and study the tesosterone-stimulated growth suppression of Hamster Flank Organs in terms of pigment macule areas(mm2). Their comparison standard is oxendolone.
Testosterone + 50% ethanol (control) left(untreatd) 7.2 right(treated) 19.4 inhibition rate 0%
Testosterone + bayberry extract 0.5mg 7.1 11.8 39%
Testosterone + Rosa rugosa 0.5mg 6.1 10.1 48%
Testosterone + oxendolone 0.33micor mol 4.8 12.8 34%
In short, bayberry extract inhibits the growth of right flank organ stimulated by testosterone by 39% locally, while oxendolone inhibits it by 34% and partially syemicaly(left organ is also suppressed).
Though Rosa rugosa inhibits the growth by as large as 48%, it works a bit systemically( see the figure 6.1 < 7.2).
Third, they study the recovery scores of topical applications of stuffs from testosterone deppressed hair of mouse in shaved area. Score 1: less than 20% growth of hair, 20%<=score 2<40%, 40%<=score 3<60%, 60%