Bhringraj oil and hair growth are almost synonymous in Ayurveda. It is one of the widely used hair oils to to promote hair growth, to improve hair quality, to relieve split hairs, grey hairs etc. Let us learn today a simple way of preparing Bhringaraj hair oil.
Before you start –
I have derived this formula on my own. You are free to add or delete any ingredient. If you want my help in deciding your formula, I will be glad to guide you.
I have given the quantities in ml. I also have given the quantities in parts. If you are not familiar with ml then just calculate the quantities in parts. You can consider 1 part = 1 ounce.
Table of Contents
Coconut oil – 500 ml (10 parts) – Usually hair oils are also prepared with sesame oil base. But coconut oil is the preferred choice.
Cow milk – 250 ml (5 parts) – cow milk comes with nutrition and we want to add that nutrition value into our hair oil. Remember that for all Ayurveda medicine preparation, whenever milk is told, pre-boiled milk only should be taken.
Grated coconut – 200 grams
Amla – Indian gooseberry – powder – 50 grams (1 part) – rich in anti oxidants and must have in all hair oils.
Bhringaraja – Eclipta alba – another must have in all hair oils. – 50 grams (1 part)
Yashtimadhu – licorice powder – 50 grams (1 part)
Triphala powder – promotes natural hair colour. Also useful to relieve skin diseases of the scalp and to relieve dandruff – 50 grams (1 part)
Aloe Vera – pieces of leaf – 25 – 50 grams (1/2 – 1 part)
Hibiscus flower paste –25 – 50 grams (1/2 – 1 part)
Bhringraj hair oil video
Method of preparation
How to make?
It involves 2 parts.
Part 1 – Kashayam preparation
- Kashayam is the water extract of the herbs.
- Take all the herb powders – Amla, Bhringaraja, Licorice, Triphala, Aloe vera – in a wide mouthed vessel. (total – 250 grams – 5 parts) While adding herbs, keep around 10 grams (1/5th part) of each of these herbs separately. Add the remaining part of the herbs to the vessel.
- Add 1 litre of water to it (20 parts).
- Boil this powder water mix till you get around 500 ml (10 parts).
- Stir it continuously while boiling. Boil over mild fire. Taking a wide mouthed big vessel helps avoid spilling of boiling Kashayam.
- After getting 500 ml (10 parts), filter the Kashayam.
Part 2 – Bhringaraja Tail (oil) preparation
- Take 500 ml (10 parts) of coconut oil in a big wide mouthed vessel.
- Add 500 ml (10 parts) of Kashayam to it.
- Add 250 ml (5 parts) of milk to it.
- Put grated coconut powder into a mixer / grinder, add a little water, and grind it. Add the ground coconut along with liquid to the vessel.
- Add chopped hibiscus flower pieces into the vessel.
- Start heating the whole mixture over mild fire. Stir continuously.
- The mixture now contains 500 ml (10 parts) of coconut oil and all other powders and water. The goal is to evaporate all the water content from the mixture and get only the oil. So, at the end you will get around 450 – 500 ml (9 – 10 parts) of the oil.
- In the initial phase of boiling the oil, there will be larger bubbles. These bubbles indicate water being evaporated.
- In the initial phase, the whole mass looks dirty. But as the process progresses, the liquid becomes clearer.
- At the end stage, The vessel will start emitting aroma, the powders turn into a paste, which you can roll into the form of a wick, there will be profuse frothing. Big bubbles disappear.
- If you take the powder paste to fire, it will not produce sound. It indicates that there is no moisture in the oil and the Bhringraj oil is ready.
- Stop heating at this precise point and filter it when it is hot.
If you store in air tight container, this oil is good to use for upto one and half years.
Preservatives required – None.
Where to get the herbs?
Within India, they are easily available in any Ayurveda store. In USA, they are available in Amazon website.
How to use?
It can be applied at night and head bath can be taken on the next day morning . But for some people, applying coconut oil at night may cause worsening of sinusitis. For such people, it can be applied half an hour before bath. For more on this read here – How to apply hair oil
If you apply only a few drops of this oil, you can leave it on the hair for 2 – 3 days, even without washing the hair. If you use large quantities of hair oil, then it is good to wash the hair, at least after a day.
Are there any other combinations?
Read here – How to prepare amla hair oil
Freshly grated coconut and dried hibiscus leaves can be used in this formula.
Aparajita paste, Jatamamsi, Nila (wild Indigo) and manjishta can be added to this formula.
Herbal hair wash powder can be made with reetha, triphala and bhringaraja – all equal parts. This can be useful to wash off the hair oil.
Here is another combination tried by Ms. Catherine –
Amla, bhringraj, bramhi, fenugreek, hibiscus, neem, jatamansi, licorice, curry leaves, black sesame seeds, coconut, cow’s milk and a base of castor oil.
A reader has made this combination – Neem, Hibiscus, Amla, Curry Leaf, Tulsi, Almond, Bhringraj, black sesame seed and Triphala
Cuscuta Reflexa (Amar Bel), Eclipta alba (bhringraj), Citrullus Colocynthis (indrayan) in the combination ratio of 3:2:1
Coconut milk can be used in place of powder
Goat milk can be used in place of cow milk.
Methi – In the above oil formula, you can include methi (fenugreek) powder – one part, equal to the amount of other herbs. (Or you can even delete a herb from the above list, to add methi (fenugreek).
This would also help to increase hair volume.
Copper vs iron vessel to prepare hair oils:
Copper is cleansing, de-nourishing and weight reducing (opposite to the quality of this oil, which is nourishing and strength promoting). Iron is nourishing and strength promoting. Some people even dip rusted iron nails in the hair oil to improve the iron content in the oil. Hence, better to use iron / steel vessel.
Sesame oil vs coconut oil:
Sesame oil is slightly hot. Coconut oil is cold.
People living in cold climate can use sesame oil as the base oil.
People living in hot climate conditions can use the coconut oil.
People living in mixed climatic conditions can use both sesame oil and coconut oil in equal proportions.
The base oil can also be castor oil or a mix of 2 oils.
Mustard oil for hair, is not recommended due to its hot and Pitta increasing properties.
If you have prepared it with coconut oil base and if you have doubt if it causes any cold or sinusitis, then you can test with keeping the oil on head whole night. If you do not develop cold or heaviness of head, then you continue doing so.
You can add a few drops of jasmine essential oil or lavender essential oil
How to know oil has got spoilt / turned rancid?
Foul smell, frothing, change of color.
When there is slight moisture left, nearing to the end, the herb powders form a wick when rubbed in hand. If that stage is missed, if it is over burnt, then they will lose all moisture and the herbal powders will just scatter in the oil.
Solid suspending herbal particles make the oil cloudy.
You might have stopped heating the oil before the total water content got completely evaporated, this will make the oil rancid.
You will have to observe the ending signs that I have explained very carefully. It will come with experience. Try and try more!
Question on boiling and phytonutrient loss:
this is the standard method of preparing oils as per Ayurveda. Most of the nutrients in the herbs are not volatile, hence are not lost by boiling. Watch related video here – (99) Does boiling of Amla or gooseberry cause loss of its phytonutrients? – YouTube
Hair fall problem:
If the problem is hair fall is chronic or if there is underlying other causes such as hypothyroidism, PCOS etc., then oral medicines will be required.
If someone is already bald, then a promise on this oil cannot be made.
Specific foods for hair growth – Eat more of dry grapes, dates, milk, cashew, sesame, almonds, flax seed, green leafy vegetables, spinach, soyabean.
Salmon, Tuna, Cod liver oil, Fish, fortified cereals, oysters, fortified soy products, ham, dairy products, egg, mushroom.
If the oil is properly made and not burnt, this oil itself can be orally consumed – 10 drops a day, in the morning, with a cup of hot water for enhanced benefits.
For all practical purposes, whenever milk is mentioned, cow’s milk is to be considered as per Ayurvedic principles. Hence, not ideal to use human milk.
Shelf life: 12 – 18 months.
The traditional ratio:
The regular ratio is 1:4:16 = paste:oil:decoction
Please wait till I cover the topic of rules of herbal oil / ghee making.
In my present formula, I have over-ruled the dravadravya ratio and have used my own ratio based on my experience, considering ease of manufacturing for common public.
Pasteurized milk can be used in preparing herbal oils.
You can use microwave or incubator ovens. But the point is, there is should be room for water evaporation. Once after it starts boiling, the temperature should not exceed 100 – 105 degree Celsius. Or else, the oil will get burnt.
You can use any good brand of sesame oil available in the market. Since it is used for external application, the quality of the oil might not make big difference. If the oil is decent enough, it is good to go.
If you are making 1 liter of oil (~34 ounce), it might take 3 – 4 hours. from start to end.
Reason for making Kashayam first:
Making the Kashayam will help in including the water soluble phyto-chemicals of the herbs into the oil.