By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD
Among the hair tonics most appreciated ayurvedic herb is Bhringaraja. Most of the Ayurvedic hair oils and oral medicines for hair contain this as an essential ingredient.
Eclipta alba Hask is the botanical name of this plant and it belongs to compositae family. This is well known as Maka in Hindi and False Daisy in English.
The plant is distributed throughout India and grows more during rainy season. It is mainly available in three colors namely white, yellow and blue. Yellow variety is more commonly grown as a decorative herb. The white and blue flowered vareities are used as Bhringaraj, for medicinal use.
Ecliptin is the master constituent which makes the drug unique to apply in hair care as well in liver disorders and skin diseases.
The herb is bitter and pungent in nature and is hot in potency. It balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.
The main chemical constituents of the plant are wedololactone, demethylwedelolactone; the other constituents are ecliptal, ß-amyrin, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, hentriacontanol, heptacosanol, and stigmasterol.
Read related: Bhringraj – Eclipta Alba – Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects
The herb is used for both external and internal purpose in health care.
Bhringaraja taila, Bhringarajasava, Bhringavaleha, Markava taila, Shadbindu taila, Bhringarajadi choorna, Bhringaraja ghrita, Bhringamalaka taila, Neelibhringaraja taila etc are the few important formulations of this herb. Even though the leaves and stem are rich in medicinal principles whole plant can be used for medicinal purpose.
Few simple and effective home remedies of Bhringaraja re explained here below-
1. Bhringaraja fine powder with honey for throat irritation:
Dried bhringaraja is taken and fine powder is made and stored. 2-3 gram of this powder is mixed with honey and licked. This is effective in the treatment of cold, cough, throat irritation, anaemia, asthma etc.
2. Fresh juice of leaves for liver disorders:
Whole plant is crushed to obtain fresh juice. This is taken early in the morning preferably in the empty stomach, in a dose of 10 – 15 ml. As per the need Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus indica) or Jeeraka (Cumin seeds) can be added to this remedy.
Regular practice for 7-12 days helps significantly in the treatment of liver disorders and obstructive jaundice.
3. Seeds soaked in water for sexual virility:
The seeds are collected and store immediately after the flowering, when it dries up, 2-3 pinch of this seed in soaked in sugar water and taken daily in the morning and evening. This helps to improve the sexual vigour and promotes the sperm count.
Chronic skin diseases
4. Bhringaraja (dry) decoction in chronic skin diseases:
The dry plant or coarse powder is taken and decoction is made. Daily this decoction is consumed in the dose of 20-40 ml twice daily. This has good benefit over the steroid resistant skin diseases and in psoriasis.
General method of decoction preparation is –
1 tablespoon (10 grams) fo coarse powder of the herb is added with 2 cups of water. Boiled in open air till the total content is reduced to 1 cup. This is filtered and used.
Read related: How To Make Bhringraj Oil For Hair Growth [Video]
5. Bhringaraja traditional oil for hair care:
25 gram of Bhringaraja Kalka(paste), 100 ml of sesame or coconut oil and 400 ml Bhringaraja decoction or 200 ml of fresh juice are taken and oil is cooked. This is effective in dandruff, hair fall, premature greyness of hair, split hair etc.