Bhringaraj, known in the west as Eclipta alba or False daisy, is a tropical plant heavily used in both Indian Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Its use in treating hair loss conditions has aroused Western interest in recent years and some promising clinical trials have revealed it to be a serious option for those looking to treat hair loss.
Eclipta alba – what is it?
A small herb endemic to Asia and Southwestern America. It is a tropical plant that grows in areas of high moisture, grows to a height of 3 inches and has lance-shaped leaves.
In India Bhringaraj oil (Eclipta alba) has traditionally be used to treat hair loss, but it is also used for its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial action, as well as a liver and blood cleanser. It’s attributed many health properties, including the ability to prevent certain types of cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.
The oil derived from the plant is said to have various anti-aging properties inside and out. Apart from treating the visible effects of aging, it’s also said to increase energy levels and treat fatigure.
Eclipta alba for hair loss
Used topically, eclipta alba has been shown to increase the rate of hair growth in rodents faster and better than a 2% concentration of minoxidil. Significant
results were measured in two separate clinical trials. The best results were achieved using a petroleum ether extract of the plant but a methanol extraction method was also effective. These tests do seem to support the traditional use of Eclipta alba / Bhringaraj as a hair loss tonic. The results were impressive – the methanol extracted Eclipta alba increased the hair count from 19 to 66, while the minoxidil 2% concentration increased it from 43 to 73. The extract seemed to affect hair follicles that were in the telogen (dormant) phase and stimulate them to reenter the anagen phase – producing new hairs.
Further tests need to be conducted to determine why some methods of extractions work better than others, but for now, Eclipta alba is a perfectly safe hair loss treatment you can use at home.
To use Bhringaraj topically at home:
Mix Bhringaraj powder with oil (coconut or sesame oil are best), gently warm it without boiling to release the herb’s properties into the oil, cool down and bottle. Apply topically to the scalp while gently massaging it in.
You can also mix the dried powder with some ground up green gram (mung bean), mix with water or milk and apply to the hair. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing off. Repeat once every three days.