Bhringraj or False daisy (Eclipta alba), the main ingredient of bhringraj hair oil is very popular for its various health and therapeutic benefits. Bhringraj oil is found to be effective in treating many kinds of hair related problems. Bhringraj is one of the most important medicinal herbs used in the Ayurvedic medicine system. The extract prepared from the Bhringraj plant is rich in a type of alkaloid known as ecliptine and the leaves contain high amount of protein. Eclipta Alba is not a very well-known plant and its abilities are often overlooked. But if you understand its various benefits and use it correctly, it can prove to be one of the most effective natural remedies for a wide range of health problems.
Why should you use Bhringraj?
Bhringraj is known for its anti-cancer, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-leprotic, anti-myotoxic, anti-haemorrhagic, analgesic, antihepatotoxic, hypotensive, spasmogenic, and ovicidal properties. The following are some the benefits offered by False daisy:
Bhringraj benefits for hair
The name Bhringraj means “Ruler of the hair”. In Ayurveda, it has been long used for various hair problems including hair loss, graying, dandruff and other. Regular use of eclipta alba hair oil on hair can promote its growth. Today, bhringraj for hair growth – is widely known fact. Don’t be surprised to find Bhringraj capsules for hair growth available in market.
Benefits of Bhringraj oil for hair growth – The oil made from bhringraj offers several amazing benefits for your hair. It is helpful in preventing hair related issues such as hair fall, premature graying, split ends and baldness. It also helps in strengthening your hair roots and in stimulating hair growth. Initial studies have confirmed activity of Eclipta alba in promoting hair growth. How to make bhringraj hair oil? This pure bhringraj oil can be made by making a paste of the bhringraj leaves and then heating it in coconut oil. For best results, massage this oil well into your scalp. Leave it on for half an hour and then wash it off. Bhringraj hair oil can be also made by mixing bhringraj leaves powder with sesame oil or coconut oil and storing it for 4-5 days. How to use bhringraj oil for hair growth? Apply bhringraj oil to your hair and scalp while going to sleep. Leave it overnight. Next day you can wash your hair; preferably with herbal reetha shampoo. Today various combinations of herbal bhringraj oil are available – amla bhringraj oil or bhringaraj shikakai oil. Read this research to understand mechanism in which bhringraj affects hair growth.
Bhringraj powder for hair growth: The application of bhringraj powder mixed with yogurt on to the scalp is a great way to prevent baldness. Similarly paste made by grinding fresh bhringraj leaves can also be applied to scalp. It is also effective in promoting hair growth and in getting rid of dandruff.
Bhringraj leaves for hair: Bhringraj leaves are used to extract a natural black dye that can be used for coloring hair and also for creating tattoos. These days due to pollution, stress, irregular lifestyle and overuse of hair products premature graying of hair is common in men and women. Regular use of Bhringaraj oil or Bhringaraj leaves paste can help nourish hair and reduce discoloration. These leaves stimulate growth of hair.
Bhringraj Oil for massaging scalp: Massaging the scalp with Bhringaraj oil has been found to be helpful in reducing several mental problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. For people suffering from sleeplessness, bhringraj is very beneficial as it is effective in inducing sleep. The powerful healing agents such as terpenoids, wedelolactone and ecliptasaponin found in bhringraj increases memory, concentration, and cognitive functions.
Bhringraj for headache: Make a paste of Bhringraj powder along with some coconut oil and apply to forehead. This helps in offering relief from headache.
Bhringraj shampoo: Mix equal quantities of bhringraj powder along with dried amla powder, shikakai powder and reetha powder. Add them to some water and allow them to soak overnight. Add some more water and allow this mixture to boil. Strain the mixture, the liquid can be used as natural herbal shampoo. Some commercial herbal shampoo contain bhringraj extract added. Use of this shampoo is good way to enjoy benefits of bhringraj for hair.
Other benefits of eclipta alba for hair: Eclipta Alba oil helps in improving hair texture. It makes hair smooth and prevent them from drying. Alopecia is a skin disorder resulting hair loss. Studies have shown that extracts of bhringraj helps initiate hair growth in Alopecia.
Skin benefits of Bhringaraj
Skin, the largest organ in our body also benefits from the usage of bhringraj. According to medical experts, skin diseases are mainly caused by the accumulation of impurities in your blood. Ayurvedic medicine suggests the use of bhringraj powder for purifying the blood and thus curing as well as preventing many skin diseases. Bhringraj powder is also believed to improve the appearance of the skin, making it look healthy and young. The extract obtained from bhringraj contains an essential flavonoid known as luteolin, which penetrates deep into the skin easily and lowers inflammation. It also helps in speeding up the wound healing process as well as in protecting the skin from damage caused by harmful free radicals. Because of its numerous skin benefiting properties, bhringraj is used in cosmetics and many skin care products.
Did you know? Bhringraj in tamil is karisalankanni, In hindi also known as Balari, , Bhengra, Bhangra, Mochkand, Babri and it is known as Han Lian Cao in mandarin
Eclipta alba benefits for the health of kidneys, liver and heart
Bhringraj powder can also improve the health of other organs, such as the liver, kidneys and heart. It detoxifies, cleanses and rejuvenates the kidneys and liver. Bhringraj is often used in the treatment of liver disorders like hepatitis and cirrhosis. It also improves blood circulation to the heart, lowers cholesterol, improves triglyceride levels and regulates blood pressure levels. Bhringraj may also prevent digestive problems like indigestion by improving the health of the digestive system. In traditional Ayurveda, bhringaraj powder along with black pepper powder and sugar is considered as liver tonic. Initial studies with rats have confirmed hepatoprotective function of bhringraj extract.
Bhringraj as an anti-inflammatory agent
Bhringraj has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that help in reducing pain and inflammation. Powdered bhringraj is found to be effective in relieving pain and reducing fever. This powder can be made into a paste by combining with water or oil and applied on to the affected area to get relief from pain and inflammation. Due to its amazing properties, bhringraj can be also be used to treat migraines and headaches.
Bhringaraj is considered effective in treating sinus infection, cold and cough. Decoction made from paste of bhringraj leaves along with honey is considered home remedy for cold and cough. Similarly tea made by boiling paste of bhringraj leaves / dried bhringraj powder boiled along with turmeric is used to treat sinus problem.
Benefits of bhringraj as an anti-aging herb
Bhringaraj offers cleansing of the liver and kidneys, and helps in detoxifying the entire body. Stress is a major factor that contributes to premature aging. Bhringraj helps in relieving stress, thus preventing the appearance of signs associated with aging. It also has the ability to rejuvenate the body, thus helping you to have a younger and healthier look. Read this study confirming antioxidant properties in Bhringraj extract.
Bhringraj has anti-cancer properties
False daisy has also been used for the treatment of various types of cancers. According to a study published in the 2011 issue of the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology”, an alcoholic extraction of this plant was found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It also has the ability to kill the cancer cells. From the results of this study, it can be concluded that bhringraj has anti-cancer effects and is effective in inhibiting the spread of cancer by preventing the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.
Antimicrobial properties of bhringraj
Extracts obtained from bhringraj has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment for various infections. According to a research that studied the antimicrobial effects of bhringraj on secondary infections of individuals being given anti-cancer treatment, bhringraj was found to be an effective antimicrobial agent against microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus epidermis.
Bhringraj enhances immunity
Bhringraj improves the immune system by increasing the number and activity of the white blood cells, which plays a major role in destroying the microbes that invade your body. It also has powerful antioxidant properties that strengthens your immune system and enhances the ability of your body to fight against infections. Consumption of bhringraj churna or bhringraj powder is considered as health tonic in Ayurveda. Recent studies with extract of bhringraj have confirmed similar findings.
Bhringraj for diabetics
Studies conducted on diabetic patients shows that bhringraj has glucose lowering properties, which makes it important for people suffering diabetes.
Bhringraj as an insecticide
A study published in “Parasitology Research” (July 2011 issue) that looked into the insecticide effects of bhringraj to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes suggested that this plant exhibited moderate larvicidal effects against third instar larvae after being exposed for 24 hours. From the study, it was concluded that bhringraj can be used as a natural, safe and eco friendly substitute to insecticides that contain toxic chemicals.
Bhringraj fights off Urinary Tract Infections
The antimicrobial properties of bhringraj works well in healing urinary tract infections. Drinking fresh bhringraj juice regularly is helpful in preventing infections of the urinary tract.
Ayurveda recommends Bhringraj for the rejuvenation of the body and to improve longevity. It is an amazing herb that has been used for several centuries throughout India. Although it is best known for its many hair benefits, it is also found to help in curing several ailments and diseases. Because of its healing properties without any side effects, bhringraj is nowadays used in many medicinal products.Image Credits: Flickr - Nelindah, Flickr - Dr. Sudhindra Sharma