Commonly known as Bhringraja in India, it is given the name Eclipta alba in botanical terms. The plant is given the name False Daisy in English. The plant can be found growing in warm temperate to tropical areas, majorly distributed in India, China, Thailand, Brazil and Nepal.
The Bhringraja herb can be found growing as a creeper and reaches to a height of 3m. The plant has cylindrical grey roots and small white flowers.
The ancient Indian Ayurvedic text Raj Nighantu mentions three types of Bhringraja:
- Neel bhringraj (blue)
- Peet bhringraj (yellow)
- Shwet bhringraj (white)
Bhringraja Uses and Properties
Bhringraja though popular in India as the main ingredient of hair growth oils is used in different parts of the world differently. Brazil and China often use this herb as an anti-venom in case of snake bites. Ayurveda considers Bhringraja as one of the most important herbs accredited for longevity and rejuvenation.
The medicinal properties of Bhringraja are:
- Anti hepatotoxic
- Anti flatulent
- Anti helminthic
- Digestive stimulant
- Mild Antihypertensive
- Mild anodyne
- Mild diuretic
- Mild febrifuge
Ayurvedic Properties or Gunadharma of Bhringraja
- Physical property (Guna) – light and dry
- Taste (Rasa) – pungent and bitter
- Potency (Veerya) – ushna or hot
- Conversion after digestion (Vipaka) – pungent after digestion
- Effect on doshas – balances Kapha and Vata
Charaka Samhita calls Bhringraja as:
- Raktpitta – a herb that is used in bleeding disorders
- Keshya – a herb beneficial for hair
Bhringraja in different forms can prove to be helpful in the following conditions:
- Hair fall
- Hair thinning
- Premature greying of hair
- Scalp itching
- Mild Hypertension
- Productive cough
- Abdominal pain
- Intestinal worms
- Cysts and abscesses
- Loss of appetite
- Fatty liver
Wonderful For Hair
Who doesn’t wish for shiny, long and thick hair? However, rising stress levels, pollution and improper food habits are showing their effects on our hair. It is often suggested to apply oil on your hair regularly to keep the majority of the hair problems at bay. However, it is also important to apply the correct oil according to your problem. Bhringraja oil is one such oil which is considered as an all in one remedy for all hair problems.
Hair Growth And Baldness
Bhringraja oil can help cure baldness as it promotes circulation of blood to the head region and also helps in activating the hair follicles. As the roots of the hair get more nutrients, hair growth is not only faster, but the quality of hair also shows significant improvement.
Dry scalp is the most common cause behind dandruff. Lack of regular oiling and too much use of chemical-laden shampoos result in a head full of dandruff. Bhringraja oil is considered as one of the best remedies to treat excessive dandruff. The oil has a high specific gravity, which means it is denser and penetrates the scalp easily and helps in the treatment of dry scalp. For best results, apply bhringraj oil and wrap a steamed towel on your head for greater absorption.
No More Premature Greying Of Hair
Bhringraja has the property of preventing premature greying of hair. Its active constituents are Jatamansi and Haritaki, which give Bringraja this property. Bringraja leaves are also used to prepare a dye to colour the hair.
Suggested Remedy: In case one is suffering from greying of hair, one must apply a mixture of Bhringraja oil and amla oil. Leave it overnight and wash your hair the next day. Repeat this process regularly.
Reduces Hair Fall
Bhringraja oil is known for its ability to cool the scalp and reducing the stress levels. The major reason behind hair fall is the rising level of stress we experience on day to day life as well as poor absorption of minerals and nutrients by the hair roots. Bhringraj oil, therefore, works as a one-stop solution as it ensures greater absorption of nutrients by hair follicles and a significant reduction in stress level by reducing the Vata and Kapha doshas.
Treatment Of Scalp Infections
Bhringraja has anti-bacterial property which makes it efficient in fighting against numerous types of scalp infections. The most common disorder is folliculitis which is caused due to Staphylococcus aureus. In folliculitis, the hair follicles become inflamed which can lead to balding. Bhringraja oil works wonders in such cases and prevents damage.
Bhringraja And Skin Health
Bhringraja leaves have antimicrobial properties. Therefore it is quite a beneficial remedy in case one is suffering from any kind of skin infection. It can even treat diseases like eczema if applied on the skin regularly. Bhringraja juice if applied on cracked skin and allergic areas, can cure them in no time. It can also be applied to cuts and wounds.
To prepare bhringraj juice:
- Pluck fresh leaves of Bhringraja plant and make a fine paste out of them with the help of a mortar and pestle.
- Using a strainer, strain the paste for the juice.
- Apply the juice on affected areas.
Note: Bhringraj juice is also easily available in the market nowadays.
Effect On Liver
The liver is considered one of the most important organs of the body as it helps in removing toxins from the body. The malfunctioning liver can lead to many fatal conditions and even death. Bhringraja contains compounds like Demethyl-wedelolactone and wedelolactone which have anti-toxin properties. They help in protecting the liver from substances which can cause damage to it. They also help in regenerating the liver cells.
Strengthens The Immune System (Immunomodulatory)
Bhringraja improves the defence mechanism of the body against harmful pathogens. So there is no need to gulp n number of medicines when affected with seasonal flu as bhringraj helps in increasing the capacity of the body to fight such infections and ensures it remains protected against future infections.
Bhringraja has a cooling effect on the eyes and helps in curing numerous eye problems. The speciality about bhringraj is that it is used in the preparation of all-natural kajal which is not just a makeup product but medicine for your eyes too.
How to make kajal using bhringraja?
- Extract fresh juice out of Bhringraja leaves.
- Spread this juice on a brass plate.
- Put this plate over a lamp containing sesame oil.
- Once the soot is obtained, the plate can be removed.
- Mix this soot with ghee and your natural kajal is all ready!
Suggested Remedy: To improve eyesight, give a combination of bhringraja leaf powder (3 grams), honey (10 grams) and cow’s ghee (5 grams) to the patient. Continue to give the combination to the patient for 40 days twice a day.
Acharya Balakrishna suggests that in case someone is suffering from eye problems, they can directly use Bhringraja leaves juice as eye drops for relief.
Effect On Pains
Bhringraj has anti-inflammation properties. The juice extract obtained of the Bhringraja leaves proves to be effective in curing numerous types of pains.
Suggested Remedy: Bhringraja can be used to cure migraine pains too. Extract juice out of bhringraja leaves. Take a part of it and mix black pepper. Apply this mixture on your forehead. Another part of the juice can be taken and boiled with an equal quantity of goat’s milk. This mixture’s few drops should be put inside the nose for quick relief.
According to Acharya Balakrishna, for people suffering from pain in their gums should extract the juice of the bhringraja leaves and use them as ear drops. The drops should be put in the ear opposite to the gum region where there is pain.
Bites And Stings
Bhringraja can help in inhibiting the spreading of venom if someone is stung by a snake or a scorpion.
Suggested Remedy: In case one is stung by a scorpion, apply a paste of bhringraja leaves on the affected region.
Treatment Of Different Diseases
Bhringraja’s anti-bacterial properties make it useful in the treatment of diseases like dysentery, cholera and jaundice. It helps in easing the symptoms and lets to a quicker cure.
Suggested Remedy: For the treatment of Jaundice- Create a paste of fresh leaves of Bhringaraja and black peppercorns. Give the paste to the patient along with buttermilk or sour curd every morning on an empty stomach.
For the treatment of cholera – extract fresh juice out of bhringraja leaves. Give it to the patient in combination with rock salt thrice a day.
Bhringraja For Ulcers
The ulcers can be internal or external, Bhringraja helps treat them all. Apply the juice of Bhringraja leaves on any external boils and ulcers for fast relief. In the case of gastric ulcers, the patient is recommended to drink the juice of Bhringraja leaves regularly. Chewing fresh leaves can help in the treatment of mouth ulcers.
Treatment Of Piles And Other Problems
Piles is a very painful disease. Bhringraja is one of the herbs which can help provide relief from the excruciating pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Suggested Remedy: Acharya Balakrishna suggests an effective remedy for piles. Pluck around 50 grams of fresh leaves and stems of Bhringraja and let them dry in the sun. After they have dried, mix 20gram black pepper and create a fine powder of the mixture. The powder should then be turned into round tablets and should be consumed every morning and evening by the patient.
Treatment Of Respiratory Disorders
Bhringraja has proven to be helpful in the treatment of respiratory disorders like bronchitis. These disorders are a result of inflammation of the respiratory tract which causes symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. The anti-inflammatory properties of Bhringraja help in subsiding the inflammation of the respiratory tract, thus providing relief from these conditions.
Helps In The Management Of Blood Sugar Levels
Bhringraja brings good news for diabetes patients too as it helps in the release of insulin. It can be mixed with other herbs like liquorice weed to manage blood sugar levels.
Bhringraj: How to use and Dosage
Bhringraja is administered in three forms: Leaf juice, leaf powder and aqueous extract.
Dosage of Bhringraja powder
250 to 1000 mg
1 to 3 g
The maximum permissible dosage of powder is 9 grams per day. Consume it before meals, 2 to 3 times a day with lukewarm water.
Dosage of Bhringraja Juice
1 to 3 ml
3 to 10 ml
Maximum permissible dosage in a day is 30 ml. Consume it 2 to 3 times a day before meals.
Dosage of Bhringraja Aqueous Extract
125 to 250 mg
250 to 500 mg
Maximum permissible dosage of extract is 1500 mg in a day. Take it 2-3 times a day before meals, preferably with lukewarm water.
Side Effects and Precautions
There are no known side effects of Bhringraja when consumed in the prescribed dosage. However, consumption in large quantities can cause cold, burning sensation and swellings. Also, if a person is already on allopathic medication, they must definitely consult their doctor as there might be certain interactions. Pregnant and lactating women must also consider consulting a doctor.