Bhringraj: Benefits for Hair, Side Effects & How to Apply

by SABU VARGHESE March 10, 2021 0 Comments

BHRINGRAJ BENEFITS

Hair fall and graying strands are problems that plague many. Some people are directly affected by this that their mental health ends up being jeopardized. 

While some medications and formulations help address these, they usually come with unpleasant side effects. They're also rather expensive, which can be a boon if you only have a limited budget.

That being said, more and more people are looking for natural and affordable ways to grow hair – and darken the discolored ones. One of the more famous options is Eclipta Alba, which has been used in India to promote hair health for hundreds of years. 

What is Bhringraj?

Eclipta Alba (Eclipta prostrata) is called Bhringraj in the countries of India and Bangladesh. Known in English as False Daisy, it has flower heads that measure 6-8 mm in diameter. The plant is often found in elevations of over 600 feet, with its blooms usually sprouting after the rainy season. 

Utilized in the traditional medicinal systems of Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha, Bhringraj literally translates to ‘King of Hair’. Its Sanskrit name is not surprising, given the many benefits that Eclipta alba has for your mane. 


What are the Benefits of Bhringraj?

While Bhringraj is widely popular for its beneficial effects on the hair, it may also help in the management of the following conditions:

  • Liver problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Respiratory conditions such as Asthma
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Fever
  • Malaria
  • Skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, or dermatitis
  • Wounds and cuts

How Bhringraj Helps Boost Hair Growth

Several studies have documented Eclipta alba’s ability to promote hair health.

In a study of shaved albino rats, Bhringraj extract was able to cut hair growth time in half. They also had more hair follicles in the active growing phase or anagen. At the same time, Eclipta alba was able to facilitate the transition of the hairs from the telogen or resting phase to anagen. 

Additional results showed that hair growth is widely dependent on the plant’s dose.  87.5% of the subjects that received 3.2 mg of Bhringraj have their follicles in anagen, compared to the mere 50% that received 1.6 mg of the extract.


Eclipta alba is said to work even better than Minoxidil, which is a commonly-prescribed hair growth treatment. According to another study, the Bhringraj group had more follicles in anagen (69) compared to the Minoxidil group (47). Growth time was also 50% faster in the Eclipta alba group.  

Apart from its direct effects, Bhringraj’s other astounding properties may help promote good hair health as well. As a known antioxidant, it may help ward off the free radicals that damage the follicles – thus leading to hair loss. 

As a potent anti-microbial, Eclipta alba contains Eclalbasaponin – a substance that may help fight organisms. It is particularly effective against Staphylococcus aureus, which causes boils and abscesses. It also causes folliculitis, which is the inflammation of the hair follicles. In severe cases, there is permanent damage to the follicles – which then leads to bald patches in the long run. 

Bhringraj may also help boost the immune system, which is good for the hair – and general health too. In essence, healthy immune cells ensure hair regeneration. Impaired immunity, on the other hand, can lead to slow hair growth or gradual hair loss. 

Eclipta alba’s anti-inflammatory effects may benefit the hair too. Constant stresses can cause systemic inflammation – a factor that significantly contributes to hair loss. With Bhringraj, your body may be able to fight the inflammatory processes that affect hair health. 

Bhringraj Powder vs. Oil: Which is Better?

BHRINGRAJ POWDER VS OIL

Most Bhringraj products are available in powder and oil forms. While both of them are useful, each type has its own unique characteristic.

Do you want to know "How Healthy is Your Hair". Find out here -> Hair Health Quiz 

Bhringraj Powder

Eclipta alba powder is often made from the plant’s leaves, flowers, stems, and roots. It is said to be a better option as 500 mg of dried coarse leaves – mixed with 2% to 5% petroleum – can hasten hair growth. 

Bhringraj powder can stimulate growth in as little as 5 days, compared to the 12 days it took for the other group. In essence, the false daisy leaves can bring full hair growth in 20 days – which is 4 days faster than the control group. 

As with most herbal powders, Bhringraj should be stored in an airtight container. It should be placed in a cool and dry place to preserve its potency. 

Bhringraj Oil

Eclipta alba oil is good for the hair, though it may be easier to spoil. 

It can be purchased commercially, although you may be able to concoct one at home. All you need for this recipe are 50 grams of the plant, 200 ml of coconut oil, and 2 spoons of Fenugreek seeds. 

Start by blending the Bhringraj leaves – just make sure it doesn't turn into a paste. 

In a pan, heat your coconut oil and add the leaves. Leave this mixture on low heat for 8-10 minutes. Add the Fenugreek seeds intermittently. 

Once the mixture turns green, turn off the heat and let the oil cool. Cover the pot and leave it overnight before use. 

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How to Use Bhringraj for the Hair

BHRINGRAJ FOR THE HAIR

According to traditional practitioners, there are several ways that Bhringraj could be used to combat hair problems.

Hair Loss

You can take the leaf extract orally twice a day for 3 months. Another option is to take the extract for the same dose and duration together with cow’s milk. 

In West Bengal, fresh Eclipta alba leaves are applied together with sesame oil on the balding spots. 

As for Bhringraj powder, the acceptable dosage for adults is 1 to 3 grams (with a maximum of 9). The divided doses, which should be diluted in lukewarm water, can be consumed twice or thrice a day. For best results, take the first dose on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. 

Graying Hair

You can use the Eclipta alba extract as a hair tonic. Another option is to make a plant paste out of Bhringraj leaves. Any of these concoctions can be applied directly to the discolored strands. 

Bhringraj powder can also be used to make a hair mask. All you need to do is mix equal parts of the powder with Fenugreek powder and Amla powder. Add yogurt to thicken the paste and apply to the hair. Leave on your scalp for 15 minutes for best results.

Dandruff/Lice Prevention

Eclipta alba leaf extract can also be used to clean the hair. Many thanks to its anti-microbial properties, regular shampooing with Bhringraj may help reduce dandruff and kill hair lice – without the need for chemical ingredients.

Bhringraj Side Effects

Compared to Minoxidil and Finasteride, the use of Eclipta alba powder or oil does not come with bothersome side effects. However, pregnant or breastfeeding women who wish to take Bhringraj should consult with their physicians or herbalists first. 

Eclipta alba should not be taken together with alcohol as the latter can react with the oil/powder. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for a natural solution for your hair problems, then you should consider taking Bhringraj. Available in powder and oil forms, it can be taken orally – or applied directly to the strands. With regular use, Eclipta alba may help reduce hair loss, graying hair, and dandruff/lice infestation.