Bhringaraj — a herbal alternative to minoxidil

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.

Tra­di­tional uses

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

Bhringaraj oil

Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) hair grown oil

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.

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