Combat Thinning Hair By Adding This Ingredient To Your Smoothie Recipes

Plus four other natural herbs that transform fresh and healthy drinks into elixirs for better skin and locks.

October 21, 2015
man making smoothie
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PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES WOODSON/GETTY

As your healthy living sensibilities have matured, so have your smoothies and juices—ingredients have evolved from basic (the usual fruit and yogurt) to badass (kale and beets). Now take it a step further by adding in a naturally derived beauty benefit to your daily drink. 

Things like pearl powder and ho shou wu might not sound like they belong in your blender, but these powerful add-ins, based on the principles of Eastern medicine and natural remedies, can help make your hair thicker and your skin brighter, says Kelly Sibley, founder of the cold-pressed juice company Bamboo Juices. Here are five of her favorite herbs to try at home in her smoothie recipes.

ho shou wu
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Ho Shou Wu

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SUPER FOODS FOR SUPER HEALTH

What It Is: The roots of the Chinese knotweed vine are usually available dried in powder form. 

What It Does: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners, ho shou wu is thought to stimulate hair growth and make your hair thicker. “My husband started putting it in his smoothie, and it has helped with his hair growth,” Sibley says. 

Where To Get It: You can buy 32 ounces for $18 at moonjuiceshop.com.

How To Use It: Add powdered ho shou wo (check the package label for dosing instructions) to unsweetened almond milk or directly to your favorite juice or smoothie.

burdock root
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Burdock Root

PHOTOGRAPH BY LEW ROBERTSON/GETTY

What It Is: The thick, brown root of the burdock plant is available fresh, but the dried, powdered form is easier to add to drinks. 

What It Does: Burdock root has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that might help restore balance to skin that’s itchy and dry or oily and acne-prone. “I’ve always suffered from breakouts, and burdock is one of the best things you can do for it,” says Sibley.

Where To Get It: It's available at mountainroseherbs.com at $5.25 for 4 ounces.

How To Use It: Steep burdock root powder (check the package label for dosing instructions) in 1 ½ cups water overnight to make a tea. “You can drink the tea straight, or use it as the liquid in your favorite juice or smoothie,” Sibley says.

turmeric
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Turmeric

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN KELLY/GETTY

What It Is: Turmeric is an earthy yellow root that’s available fresh, like ginger, or dried in powder form. 

We Like This: Organic Turmeric Extract

What It Does: Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for centuries to treat skin diseases in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine. “It’s the ultimate for inflammation caused by acne,” Sibley says. 

Where To Get It: Check out iherb.com, where you can get 2.6 ounces for $3.79.

How To Use It: Stir 1 tablespoon of dried turmeric into a few ounces of warm water for a turmeric shot or add it directly to your juice or smoothie. Just be careful not to get it on your clothes—turmeric makes a fierce stain.

pearl
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Pearl Powder

PHOTOGRAPH BY MOMOKO TAKEDA/GETTY

What It Is: A creamy, talc-like powder, this anti-aging agent is actually made from crushed pearls. You can find it online at Amazon. 

What It Does: It’s rich in amino acids and enzymes that help promote healthy cell growth so your skin looks younger, smoother, and more vibrant, says Sibley.

Where To Get It: Hit up moonjuiceshop.com. They sell 2.5 ounces for $35.

How To Use It: Add pearl powder directly to your juice or smoothie or stir it into a glass of unsweetened almond milk (check the package label for dosing instructions). 

rose water
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Rose Water

PHOTOGRAPH BY MUSTAFABILGESATKIN/GETTY

What It Is: This rose-scented liquid is made from the steam of distilled rose petals. 

What It Does: “Rose water is rich in antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight blotchiness and improve your skin’s tone and color,” Sibley says. “It’s awesome for vibrancy and an overall healthy glow,” she says. 

Where To Get It: Amazon.com carries it at $7.67 for 2 ounces.

How To Use It: Add 1 teaspoon of rose water to a glass of water (it’s especially nice in sparkling water) or directly to your juice or smoothie.

green juice
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Kelley Sibley’s Smoothie Recipe

PHOTOGRAPH BY SEBINA WILSON/GETTY

You can experiment with different herb-and-smoothie combinations to find the flavor profiles that you like best. Try turmeric with carrot and ginger or pearl powder with frozen cherries. But this easy, energizing base recipe works with everything.

1 medium avocado, pitted
1 apple, cored and chopped
2 cups leafy greens, like spinach or kale
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk or herb-infused tea, like burdock root tea
Powdered herbs, use amounts directed by package label

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

2. Drink immediately. 

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