An Herbal Extract Combination (Biochanin A, Acetyl tetrapeptide-3, and Ginseng Extracts) versus 3% Minoxidil Solution for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia: A 24-week, Prospective, Randomized, Triple-blind, Controlled Trial

J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2020 Oct;13(10):32-37. Epub 2020 Oct 1.


OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of an herbal extract combination comprising biochanin A, acetyl tetrapeptide-3, and ginseng extracts, and compare this to 3% minoxidil solution for the treatment of andogenetic alopecia (AGA). METHODS: A 24-week, triple-blinded, randomized controlled study was conducted in male and female subjects (N=32) with mild to moderate AGA. All were randomized to receive twice-daily, 1mL applications of the herbal extract combination or 3% minoxidil solution. Clinical efficacy from photographic assessment and adverse reactions were evaluated. RESULTS: There were thirty-two subjects (16 male, mean age 41.3±13.8 years), with AGA onset and duration of 35.5±13.6 and 6.5±5.1 years, respectively. The herbal extract combination demonstrated a comparable efficacy to 3% minoxidil solution. Expert panel photographic assessment observed a response to both treatments in most patients at 24 weeks, with no statistically significant difference in an increase of terminal hair counts (8.3% [P=0.009] and 8.7% [P=0.002] at 24 weeks in the herbal extract combinations and the 3% minoxidil solution groups, respectively). No local adverse reactions from the herbal extract combination were observed, but one subject developed scalp eczema after using the 3% minoxidil solution. CONCLUSION: The non-significant difference in clinical efficacy and safety to 3% minoxidil solution suggests that the herbal extract combination evaluated here could potentially be an alternative treatment with for AGA. Further studies with larger groups and longer follow-up periods are recommended to verify our results.

Keywords: Androgenetic alopecia; acetyl tetrapeptide-3; biochanin A; drug therapy; herbal medicine; minoxidil; panax ginseng.