Miraculous Health Benefits of Eclipta Prostrata (Bhringraj): The King of Hair
Medicinal Properties of Eclipta Prostrata
Bhringraj/false daisy (scientific name: Eclipta Prostrata/Eclipta Alba) is a plant of the Asteraceae (sunflower) family that holds a significant place in Ayurveda as a Rasayana (improves longevity) and is also known as keshya, keshraaj (the king of hair) for its ability to promote hair growth, varnya for enhancing skin complexion and vishghana for its anti-toxic properties. The herb is known to possess very high anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, analgesic, anti-cancer, and anti-hepatotoxic properties to boost immunity, enhance physical and mental energy, and increase lifespan.
Eclipta Prostrata contains biologically active compounds, including flavonoid, phytosterol, β-amyrin, and alkaloids to make it effective in reducing cholesterol levels, fever, inhibiting cancerous cells and respiratory tract disorders (including asthma). The presence of various phytoconstituents, including wedelolactone for its anti-hepatotoxic nature, oleanolic acid, luteolin, eclalbasaponins, and apigenin, makes it very effective for treatment against gastrointestinal problems, hair greying and loss, liver disorders, skin conditions, spleen enlargement, and wounds. In addition, the herb contains minerals and vitamins, including magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin D and E, making it effective against headaches, migraines, alleviating mood and strengthening hair and promoting their growth.
Eclipta Prostrata Plant and Its Varieties
The herb has lance-shaped long leaves with pointed edges and exists in four varieties with white flowers (E. alba), yellow flowers (W. calendulacea), blue flowers and red flowers. It has a flat stem and cylinder-shaped roots that are greyish in color. The herb is pungent and bitter in taste and generally reaches up to 3 meters of height. Eclipta Prostrata is generally found in the moist areas near water bodies, including drains, ponds or rivers in Southeast Asia, including India, Africa, America, and Australia.
Balances the Tridoshas in Ayurveda
Eclipta Prostrata herb possesses extraordinary medicinal properties to cure various physical or mental disorders, including hair fall or alopecia, migraine, jaundice and scorpion bite, existing in the body. According to Ayurveda, the herb is tridoshic in nature and can balance the vatta, pitta and kapha doshas* in the body due to its pungent and bitter taste, and hot and dry nature.
For Hair Growth
The herb prevents premature greying and promotes hair growth by activating the three growth phases (tellogen, catagen, and anagen phases) of the hair follicles and strengthening them. The leaves of the herb contain juice extract that first leaves a greenish color and then soon turns to black on exposure to air. One of the best ways to use it is by preparing its oil and applying it on our scalp. For preparing Eclipta Prostrata oil, take 50 gm leaves of the herb (or its powder), wash them and cut into small pieces. Take ¼ liter of coconut oil or sesame oil in a pan. Add the herb slices along with gooseberry, Acacia Concinna (shikakai) and soapnut (ritha) in the pan and heat the mixture for 10-15 minutes. Keep the mixture intact for 5-6 hours and then filter it and collect it in a bottle. Apply the oil on the scalp or a regular basis for strong and healthy hair.
For Eye/Ear and Sinusitis Problems
For low hearing or pus in the ear or other ear problems, inserting 4 drops of herb’s juice into the ear for a few days will provide relief. The herb is also effective for eye-related problems, such as redness in the eye, and for increasing eyesight. Apply 2-3 drops of its fresh juice on both the eyes. Similarly, inserting 4-5 drops in the nose provides relief from sinusitis or migraine.
The herb can also cure toothache. Put 4-5 drops of its juice in the right ear, if you are having toothache in the left jaw and 4-5 drops in the left ear in case the toothache is in the right jaw.
For Healing Swelling, Pain and Wound
Regular intake of the herb’s juice and applying it on the affected area helps in healing the wound. The herb has very strong healing power and is effective even against deteriorating wounds, such as gangrene. Apply it on the wound with a piece of cotton on a regular basis.
Against Poisonous Bites
Eclipta Prostrata Extract has strong inhibitive power against venom and its regular oral intake along with application on the affected area can cure venomous bites, such as scorpion stings or snakebites.
For Treating Digestive Problems and Piles
The herb also provides relief in case of acidity or stomach pain. If suffering from dreaded diseases, such as fistula or piles, spread a thick paste of herb’s extract on a cotton bandage and apply it on the infectious anus on the piles. This helps in healing the piles fast and provides instant relief.
For Treating Jaundice
Grind 10 gm dry and clean leaves of Eclipta Prostrata with 2 gm black peppers and make a paste of the mixture. Take the mixture on empty stomach with curd or buttermilk on a regular basis in the morning and 2-3 times a day for an entire week. It is a powerful remedy against jaundice.
As a Blood Purifier
Eclipta Prostrata has the power to reverse the effects of aging and if taken on a regular basis on empty stomach, it purifies the blood.
A note of caution: The leaf extract of the herb is found to be effective in preventing bleeding, thus undermining the effects of blood-thinning drugs. Hence, people with bleeding disorders should consult their physician before consuming the herb.
For Preventing Miscarriage
Regular intake of 2-3 tablespoons of Eclipta Prostrata juice with sugar and water should be taken till the pregnancy for preventing miscarriage.
As a Liver Cleanser
Regular intake of Eclipta Prostrata extracts taken orally three times a day eliminates toxic substances and impurities (Ama doshas) from the body and strengthens the liver. The herb improves the overall functionality of the liver and is a great remedy for various liver disorders.
For Healthy Heart
Eclipta Prostrata contains strong antioxidants and regular intake of its leaf extract with honey in a 2:1 ratio twice a day helps in strengthening the heart muscles. It reduces the cholesterol level in blood vessels and regulates blood pressure, thus leading to healthy heart functionality.
For Treating Elephantiasis
The herb is also effective in treating elephantiasis. Make a paste of herb’s powder with mustard oil or sesame oil. Apply the paste on the swollen part for 1 month. In addition, take 10 gm of the mixture orally and avoid fried food or spices.
For Boosting Memory and Immunity
The herb contains a high quantity of phenolics and flavonoids that help to reduce oxidative stress on the brain, thus, protecting against Alzheimer's disease. Take 1 gm powder of the herb with 2 gm honey, 1 gm cow’s ghee, and 1 gm sugar regularly on empty stomach to improve memory and immunity.
*To know about the tridoshas - vatta, pitta and kapha - please refer to my article on ginger.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Mahesh Chandra Gaur