The herb Bhringraj 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 Wedelia chinensis and is not as easily available as the white one.
The beneficial properties of Bhringraj include eye health, digestion, skin diseases, removal of toxins, reduces inflammation and is anti ageing. It is extremely beneficial for the hair.
- Botanical Name – Eclipta prostrata or Eclipta alba
- Hindi – Bhangra, Bhangaraiya
- Tamil – Karisalankanni
- Common – False Daisy
- Sanskrit – Bhringraja
Health benefits for the liver
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 Phyllanthus niruri, is very effective. It also helps improve metabolism.
- Grind about 10 gm of Bhringraj leaves along with 2 gm of pepper to a fine paste. Dissolve this paste in buttermilk and consume it twice a day as a remedy for jaundice. Regular intake of the herb also strengthens the inner organs.
- Mix about 1/2 tsp of bhringraj powder in water and consume it after meals. Take this twice a day.
Home remedy for Urinary infections
Bhringraj is a diuretic which helps to manage urinary complications by increasing the production of urine.
- For urinary infections, make a juice from the leaves of the herb, by grinding it in a blender with little water. Strain it to get the juice. This juice can be consumed twice daily in the amount of a quarter or half a cup. This remedy is also used in uterine haemorrage and menorrhagia.
Natural Hair tonic
The white variety of Bhringraj 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. Bhringraj is one of the very effective herbs used in Ayurveda to prevent hait fall. It also helps those with the problem of thinning of hair and baldness.
How to use Bhringraj powder for hair
You can make Bhringraj powder at home very easily if you have access to the leaves. Just wash and then dry the leaves till they are crisp and then grind them in a dry grinder. You can use Bhringraj powder both internally and externally to help hair growth. Mix 1/2 a tsp of Bhringraj powder with honey and have twice a day.
Bhringraj Hair Packs for hair health
For grey hair
Take some Bhringraj powder and mix it in water. Apply this directly on your hair. Keep for an hour and rinse with lukewarm water. You can also grind the fresh leaves into a paste and apply on your hair.
For hair growth
Mix equal quantities of amla and Bhringraj powder in yogurt. It should have a paste consistency. Apply it evenly on the roots of the hair as well as on the hair. Keep for an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo. You can use this pack once a week for best results.
Mix equal quantities of Bhringraj powder and Brahmi powder, in water or aloe gel. Apply this hair pack on your scalp and hair. Leave it on for 45 minutes and then wash off with a mild shampoo.
Homemade Bhringraj Oil
Bhringraj oil is a ayurvedic hair tonic that is extremely beneficial for hair fall, grey hair and dandruff. The oil is also used as a massage oil to increase memory, and to improve blood circulation on the scalp. The Ayurvedic preparation involves and lot of herbs. But we can make a simple hair oil with Bhringraj at home which strenthens the hair, treats dandruff, grey hair and hair loss. It also stimulates hair growth. To make the oil
- Take 1 cup of fresh Bhringraj leaves and grind it coarsely with out adding water.
- Pour a cup of water in a pan and add the ground leaves to it and mix well.
- Switch on the heat and let it cook on very slow heat.
- Heat the oil till all the moisture evaporates and the oil stops sizzling.
- Switch off the stove and let the oil cool.
- Filter the oil and store.
This oil can be applied on the scalp. Massage it in and then wash with a mild shampoo. you can even apply the oil and keep it overnight and wash your hair in the morning. You can also mix Bhringraj oil with castor oil and apply to the scalp.
Always perform a patch test by applying a drop of oil on the skin to check if you are allergic to it.
Health benefits for Cough and lung infection
Bhringaraj has powerful anti-microbial properties and hence helps to ward off infections, especially respiratory ailments like cough and cold symptoms, bronchitis, and asthma. The anti-inflammatory properties in Bhringraj help to reduce the inflammation of the bronchi’s. It is also good for throat and lung infections.
Bhringaraj For Skin
Bhringraj is very effective in treating skin infections because of its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It helps to detoxify the blood and also helps in wound healing. The paste or juice of the leaves of Bhringraj, when applied topically, soothes inflamed skin, and treats eczema, boils, pimples, and makes the skin healthy and radiant.
- To treat skin infections, make a paste of Bhringraj powder and apply on the affected area twice a day. You can use fresh leaves paste too.
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 (15ml) of Bhringraj 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.
Bhringaraj For Gastro-Intestinal System
Bhringaraj is very beneficial for improving the functioning of the gastrointestinal system. It has digestive and carminative properties which helps in digestion, absorption, assimilation, and excretion of wastes. Bhringraj also helps to prevent gastric ulcers, and abdominal pain.
- Take 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of Bhringraj powder and mix in water. Drink this twice a day after food.
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.
How to make kohl (Kajal)with 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.
Health benefits of Bhringraj powder
Bhringraj leaf powder is effective in the management of high cholesterol and liver toxicity due to its hepatoprotective activity. It also said to prevent seizures and improves cardiovascular health by reducing arterial pressure.
Bhringraj powder has diuretic property which helps to manage urinary complications by increasing the production of urine.
Bhringraj helps to manage skin diseases due to its antioxidant property by preventing cell damage caused by free radicals.
Bhringraj powder as aforementioned is very beneficial to prevent hair fall and prevent dandruff and baldness.
Bhringraj powder helps in good digestion and to improve appetite. It also helps to prevent constipation.
How to propogate Bhringraj
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.
Side Effects of Bhringraj
Bhringraj has no proven side effects, but it is always better to consult with your doctor for any harmful herb interactions with the medicines you are already taking.
Very rarely, higher doses of Bhringraj may lead to heartburn and stomach related problems.