Bhringraj benefits are attributed to its unique characteristics that help to increase hair growth, improve liver functions and detoxify the skin. It has hair growth promoting action. It also has hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory, antihypertensive, antibacterial, antiviral, ovicidal, antifungal and anticancer properties.

It is a wonderful plant used in Ayurveda. Its health benefits include its use in blood pressure, hair problems, skin problems, ulcers and eye disorders, liver disorders, etc. The whole plant (all parts of the plant) is used as medicine in Ayurveda.

The botanical name of Bhringraj is Eclipta Alba. It is a creeping herb, which is commonly known as ‘False daisy’ in English and Bhangra in Hindi. It belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is found throughout India in the marshy places. The plant is erect, the stem is cylindrical with small white flowers, opposite and sessile leaves and brown colored seeds. The therapeutic benefits are attributed to its alkaloid content including Ecliptine and Nicotine. It also contains flavonoids and isoflavonoids. The plant is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin D and E. In South India, its leaves are cooked with vegetables, fried with onions and mixed with pulses. It can also be taken for boosting the immune system and preventing liver diseases.

Bhringraj for Hair Care

hair care

 

Bhringraj is commonly used to treat hair problems. The oil made with Bhringraj acts as a hair tonic and considered as a miracle plant for hair problems. It is used to treat hair loss, split ends, dandruff, baldness, premature greying, etc. It is the perfect oil needed for healthy hair as it strengthens the roots and stimulates hair growth.  For centuries, this plant has been used to make Ayurvedic Hair Oil in combination with other plants. Due to its powerful medicinal value for hair, it is also known as “Keshraj”.

Bhringraj for Dandruff and Dry Scalp

 Dandruff

The oil made from Bhringraj leaves penetrates deep into the scalp skin and moisturizes the scalp deeply. Rubbing the oil on the scalp in a circular motion and leaving it overnight can help to treat dry and rough hair. Massaging the scalp with lukewarm oil for 5 to 10 minutes helps to prevent scalp itching and get rid of dandruff. Regular massage with this oil improves blood circulation in the scalp.

Bhringraj for Premature Greying

The leaves of this plant can be boiled in a carrier oil such as coconut oil and sesame oil and can be used in head massage. It stops graying of hair. Bhringraj powder can also be mixed with a carrier oil and can be used as a hair mask. It helps in controlling premature greying. By prolonged usage of Bhringraj oil, the natural color of the hair can be protected.

Scientists have also reported that it improves hair growth and restores the color. Growth promoting activity is also reported by Daniel et al., 2006. This plant is also used to make a black dye that is used for coloring hair.

Bhringraj for Promoting Hair Growth

Hair Fall

In a study on albino rats, it was found that extracts of E. Alba can be used to promote hair growth in albino rats and thus can be used to treat alopecia in humans. In this study, petroleum ether extract and ethanol extract of Bhringraj were tested.

In a similar study on Wistar albino rats carried out by Throat et al., 2009, an herbal formulation was used that consisted of E. alba, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Nardostachys Jatamansi to see the hair growth activity. It was found that treating the Wistar albino rats with this formulation resulted in an increase in the number of hair follicles during the anagen phase.

Datta et al, 2009 tested the methanol extract of Bhringraj on pigmented C57/BL6 mice to see the efficacy of the extract on hair growth promotion. This test was carried out in the telogen phase of the hair growth. In this study, different doses of extract were used. The transition was observed from the telogen phase to the anagen phase with hair growth promotion. This study confirmed the role of E. alba as a hair growth promoter.

Dixit et al, 2001 found that a mixture of Eclipta alba, Citrullus colocynthis and Tridax procumbens can promote hair growth.

Bhringraj for Alopecia

Bhringraj oil is also used to treat hair loss (Alopecia). It improves the blood circulation, thereby promoting hair growth and treats baldness. The phytochemicals responsible for hair growth activity are beta-sitosterol and wedelolactone.

The internal (oral) intake of its powder is also helpful for all these Bhringraj benefits for hair.

How to Make Bhringraj Powder

Bhringraj powder can be made at home by taking the whole Bhringraj plant.

  1. Wash bhringraj plant under water.
  2. Dry it in the sun.
  3. After drying, make its dry powder using a grinder.
  4. Store bhringraj powder in the airtight

Bhringraj Hair Mask

Bhringraj powder1 Part
Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Powder1 Part
Fenugreek Powder1 Part
CurdQ.S.

Bhringraj powder can be mixed with amla powder and fenugreek powder and used with curd to make a thick paste. This paste can be applied on the scalp as a hair pack. Hair can be washed after 15 minutes. This hair pack is effective against baldness and can be used once or twice a week.

The fresh leaves of Bhringraj can also be used for such preparations and are more effective than the dried form.

How to make Bhringraj Oil at Home?

Bhringraj oil can be made at home with fresh leaves or dried powder.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of bhringraj powder or handful of fresh leaves in 1 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Heat this mixture in a thick pan at low flame.
  3. Once the oil is about to boil, switch off the flame and let the oil cool.
  4. Then, strain the oil and store in a bottle.

Alternatively, one can also use Ayurvedic Bhringraj Oil or Mahabhringraj Oil, which are more effective than this simple homemade bhringraj oil.

Bhringraj for Skin Care

This miracle plant works amazingly on our skin too. It is used to treated skin diseases due to its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and anti-oxidant properties. The bhringraj extract obtained from the leaves is used to treat minor skin allergies, skin aging, eczema, etc. In Kerala, Bhringraj oil is used for head and foot massage.

Bhringraj for Eczema

In Ayurveda, its powder is also used to treat eczema. A study showed that an Ayurvedic formulation of Bhringraj can reduce the symptoms of eczema. It is also helpful for preventing recurrence of eczema in about 89.5% of patients.

Bhringraj for Skin Diseases

In the Unani system of medicine, the juice of leaves of Bhringraj is used to treat skin diseases.

  • Bhringraj root powder can be mixed with Curcuma longa and applied locally on the affected
  • The fresh leaf extract and paste of Bhringraj can be applied on the affected skin such as wounds and swellings for few days.
  • It also gives relief in leukoderma. It heals the skin faster.
  • It is also known to improve the impurities from the blood, acting as a natural blood purifier thereby eliminating skin problems.
  • It makes the skin look healthy, soft and glowing. Leaf extract of E. alba is also used to treat ectoparasites in dogs in Trinidad and Tobago.

How to make Bhringraj Fresh Juice for Skin Care at Home?

For making fresh leaf juice of Bhringraj, follow the steps mentioned underneath:

  1. Wash the bhringraj
  2. Grind in a mortar with pestle.
  3. Squeeze the paste to extract juice.
  4. Strain the mixture through a strainer and collect the extract as juice.

This juice can be applied on the affected skin with a cotton ball.

Other Uses of Bhringraj

Bhringraj is a miracle plant known traditionally to treat various diseases. It is used to boost the immune system, to improve eyesight, to fight against cancer, to treat urinary disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. It also maintains the health of the liver, kidney, ears and eyes. It has a calming effect on the body and mind. It improves memory and learning. These days, Bhringraj is used to make various hair oil, hair dyes, balms and cosmetics.

Bhringraj is traditionally used as herbal medicine and folk medicine in India and subcontinents but now has a global recognition. Scientific evidence has proved the medicinal properties of Bhringraj as a potent hair tonic and skin tonic. Some scientific reports also prove that the phytochemicals extracted from the Bhringraj plant to be used as next-generation drugs to fight various diseases.

Internal Use (Oral Intake)

For internal use, bhringraj powder, bhringraj extract capsules and fresh juice of bhringraj are used.

  1. The Bhringraj powder or fresh juice can be consumed along with water.
  2. The water extract of Bhringraj is also available in capsule form. It should also be taken with water.

The dosage can be different in different individuals depending on the health condition of the patient. You should consult an ayurvedic doctor for the best recommendation.

The side effects of this plant are not known but overconsumption should be avoided. Follow instructions of your doctor.

References

  1. Datta, A. T. Singh, A. Mukherjee, B. Bhat, B. Ramesh, and A. C. Burman, “Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 124, no. 3, pp. 450–456, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.05.023
  2. Pal, S. and Narasimham, N. (1943). The alkaloid in Eclipta alba (Hassk). journal of Indian Chemical Society. 20, 181.
  3. Roy, R.K., Thakur, M. & Dixit, V.K., Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats, Arch Dermatol Res (2008) 300: 357. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-008-0860-3.
  4. M. Thorat, V. M. Jadhav, and V. J. Kadam, “Development and evaluation of polyherbal formulations for hair growth-promoting activity,” International Journal of PharmTech Research, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 1251–1254, 2009 (http://sphinxsai.com/PTVOL4/pdf_vol4/PT=46%20(1251-1254).pdf)
  5. Dixit, V.K., Adhiranjan, N. and Gowri, C. Development and evaluation of herbal formulation for hair growth. Indian Drugs. 38(11): 559-563 (2001).
  6. Kaur and H. M. Chandola, “Role of rasayana in cure and prevention of recurrence of vicharchika (eczema),” Ayu, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 33–39, 2010. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.68207 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215319/)
  7. Lans, T. Harper, K. Georges, and E. Bridgewater, “Medicinal plants used for dogs in Trinidad and Tobago,” Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vol. 45, no. 3-4, pp. 201–220, 2000. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-5877(00)00123-9
  8. Daniel, M. Medicinal Plants Chemistry and Properties, Oxford and IBH Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2006: 227.
  9. Khare, C.P., Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants, (Springer-verlag Berlin Heidelberg, New York, 2004), 197-198.
  10. Chan C.-F., Huang W.-Y., Guo H.-Y., Wang B. R. Potent antioxidative and UVB protective effect of water extract of Eclipta prostrata The Scientific World Journal. 2014; 2014:8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/759039.759039
  11. Jahan, R., AL-Nahain A, Majumder S, Rahmatullah M. Ethnopharmacological Significance of Eclipta alba (L.) Haask. (Asteraceae). International Scholarly Research Notices. 2014; 2014:385969. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/385969