Eclipta prostrata/Karisalankanni Health Benefits
The herb Bhringraj or Eclipta prostrata (also called Eclipta alba) is a plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. There are four varieties of the herb bhringraj, based on its colour – yellow, white, blue and red. The white and yellow ones play an important role in ancient medicine. The white variety is more commonly available, as it grows wildly in moist places, as a weed. The latin name for the yellow variety is is Wedelia chinensis and is not as easily available as the white one. It can be easily propagated. Buy fresh herbs from the market, and when still fresh, select a few with a couple of nodes. Plant the cutting and water well. The plant will form roots within a fortnight and will be ready to be plucked in about three months. You get the most health benefits from it when eaten raw. It can also be dried in shade and powdered.
Home remedy for Jaundice
Eclipta prostrata (EP) is considered a very powerful liver tonic. Studies show that the white and yellow herb is very effective against liver injury and inflammation. The herb sets right the liver and cures jaundice, fatty liver, hemorrhoids, and indigestion. It is a known fact that Phyllanthus Niruri is effective in curing jaundice. Eclipta prostrata is also a very specific remedy for jaundice and when taken along with Phullanthus niruri, is very effective. Grind about 10 gm of Eclipta prostrata leaves along with 2 gm of pepper to a fine paste. Dissolve this paste in buttermilk and consume twice a day as a remedy for jaundice. Regular intake of the herb also strengthens the inner organs. Eclipta prostrata has many medicinal benefits.
Home remedy for Urinary infections
In the case of urinary infections, about 1/4 to 1/2 a glass of the juice is to be had twice daily. The juice is extracted by adding a little water to the leaves, grinding it in a blender and then straining it. This decoction is also used in uterine haemorrage and menorrhagia.
Natural Hair tonic
The white variety is said to be very good for the hair, as it prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth. It acts as a conditioner for the hair. The bhringraj leaf powder is mixed with coconut oil and heated. It is then cooled and bottled. It should be applied on the scalp, for healthy hair. The juice of the herb contains an oil soluble black dye and hence it has the ability to darken the hair. Another remedy is to make a powder of 100g of full green gram and add 25 gms of the dried powder of either the white or yellow herb to it. Take a handful of powder and mix it with water or fresh cow’s milk and then apply it on the head. Let it keep for around 10 minutes and then wash. Do this once in 3 days. If the leaves are fresh then grind the leaves with the powder of green gram dal and follow the same procedure. More natural home remedies for hair fall.
Health benefits for Cough and lung infection
It is also good for throat and lung infection. This formula works well for coughs. Take equal quantities of the juice of the yellow Eclipta alba and sesame oil. Boil over a low flame till the water evaporates. Strain and drink about half to one spoonful of the liquid morning and night. Gargling using the juice of the leaves strengthens teeth and gums and clears coating of the tongue.
Effective natural remedy for eyes
The herb is said to protect against night blindness and other eye diseases probably because of its high carotene content. This may be one of the reasons why traditionally kohl (kajal) was made by using the juice of these leaves. When the leaves are fried in ghee (clarified butter) and consumed regularly, the vision improves.
Home remedies with Eclipta prostrata
- Gargling, using the juice of the leaves strengthens teeth and gums and clears coating of the tongue.
- Eating five fresh leaves in the morning cures constipation.
- Our ancestors believed that this plant prevented aging.
- It induces appetite and aids digestion. It helps expel fecal matter from the large intestines.
- It heals ulcers, cleans the liver and and encourages secretion of bile.
- One ounce of the juice (15 ml) of eclipta alba and cows milk 20 ml boiled and then cooled, when mixed and taken first thing in the morning is said to regulate the blood pressure.
Cooking with Eclipta prostrata/Bhringraj
The herb with its excellent health benefits, can also be cooked and eaten as an accompaniment with rice. In the South of India, it is cooked along with lentils. It is called karisalankanni kootu.
- Take a bunch of the leaves of the herb, after discarding the stems. Wash, clean the leaves, and cut into small pieces.
- Pressure cook about 50 gm of red gram dal and dehusked green gram, along with the leaves.
- Heat oil and add seasoning to it.(mustard, cumin, red chillies, and asafoetida). Add onions and tomatoes and cook till mashed. Add salt and seasoning to the dal and mix well.
How to make Kohl (kajal) with Eclipta Prostrata
How to make kohl with Eclipta prostrata(Bhringraj)
Kohl (kajal) can be made from the juice of the leaves of the Eclipta prostrata (Bhringraj) herb. The process is as follows: Take a handful of the herb of the white variety. Wash thoroughly in water. Crush between the palms of your hand, so that a black juice drips out.
Take a small piece of clean thin white cloth, (about two inches by 2 inches) and soak the cloth in the juice. Dry in the shade on a clean plate away from dust. Once it is dry, cut into strips and shape as a wick.
Fill a lamp made of mud or sandstone with pure castor or gingelly oil, place the wick and light it.
Take a copper vessel or mud pot and smear the thick juice of the herb at the bottom. (You can also use sandalwood paste for the same, instead of the bhringraj juice. The sandalwood paste must be made at home).
Arrange three stones around the lamp and place the copper vessel or mud pot on it so that sufficient soot is deposited. This may take about two hours.
When the soot has collected at the bottom, gently scrape it off the vessel and mix with ghee made at home from cow’s milk.
Do not add too much ghee as the kohl will tend to smear. A drop or two should do.