Medicinal use of Bhringraj (Eclipta alba/Trailing Eclipta)

Eclipta alba is known as Bhringaraja is Ayurveda. It is a medicinal plant and used for treatment of diseases from time immemorial. Its description is available in many ancient Ayurvedic treatise. In Atharva Veda, it is said to affects intelligence and memory, cures bile (pitta) disorders and prevents hair greying and falling of hairs. Bhava Prakasha says it cures problems caused by phlegm and wind, beneficial for hair, skin, teeth and eyes, removes worms, and also effective in jaundice and oedema. Raja Nighantu describes this as one which is beneficial for hairs, eyes, oedema and phlegm.

Bhringraj Medicinal Uses
By Krish Dulal (Own work)[ CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Botanical name: Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk. Synonyms —E. prostrata Roxb

Family: Compositae;Asteraceae

Vernacular names

Sanskrit: Kesharaja, Tekaraja, Bhringa, Markava, Bhringraja Assamese: Bhrngaraja Bengali: Bheemraja, Kesuriya, Kesari Gujrati: Bhangaro, Bhangro Hindi: Bhangara, Bhangaraiya Kannada: Garujalu, Gurugada, Soppu, Keshavardhana, Kodigaraju Malayalam: Kayyonni, Knnunni Marathi: Bhangra, Bhringiraja, Maka Punjabi: BhangraTamil: Karisalankanni, Karisalanganni, Karisalai Telugu: Guntakalagara, Guntagalagara Urdu: Bhangra

Ecology and cultivation

Common on damp wastelands, low waterlogged areas, roadsides, grassy humid localities, prefers warm climate;wild.

Eclipta Alba plant

Eclipta alba or Bhringraj is an annual weed. You can easily find it growing in moist places throughout India ascending upto 1700 m. Whole plant is of medicinal importance. The height of plant is about 30-50 cm. It is erect or prostrate, much branched, strigosely hirsute and often with rooting at nodes.

Plant description

Root - Well developed, a number of secondary branches arise from main root, upto about 7 mm in dia., cylindrical, greyish.

Stem - Herbaceous, branched, occasionally rooting at nodes, cylindrical or flat, rough due to oppressed white hairs, node distinct, greenish, occasionally brownish.

Leaf - Opposite, sessile to subsessile, 2.2 - 8.5 cm long, 1.2 - 2.3 cm wide, usually oblong, lanceolate, sub-entire, sub-acute or acute, strigose with appressed hairs on both surfaces.

Flower - Solitary or 2, together on unequal axillary peduncles;involucral bracts about 8, ovate, obtuse or acute, herbaceous, strigose with oppressed hairs;ray flowers ligulate, ligule small, spreading, scarcely as long as bracts, not toothed, white;disc flowers tubular, corolla often 4 toothed;pappus absent, except occasionally very minute teeth on the top of achene;stamen 5, filaments epipetalous, free, anthers united into a tube with base obtuse;pistil bicarpellary;ovary inferior, unilocular with one basal ovule.

Fruit - Achenial cypsella, one seeded, cuneate, with a narrow wing, covered with warty excrescences, brown.

Seed - 0.2 - 0.25 cm long, 0.1 cm wide, dark brown, hairy and non-endospermic.

Constituents of plant

Alkaloids, Ecliptine and NICOTINE.

Ayurvedic Properties and Action on body

Bhringraja is described as Rasayana in Ayurveda. Rasayan means rejuvenative tonic that nourishes all dhatus and builds ojas. It gives strength to body and is good for skin, eyes, hairs and teeth. It alleviates Kapha/mucous, Pitta/bile dosha and detoxifies body.

There are many Ayurvedic medicine which contain it as an ingredients. Few of them are Bhringrajasava, Neelibhringadi taila, Bhringraja taila, Bhringamalkadi taila etc.

  1. Rasa (Taste): Tikta/Bitter, Katu (pungent)
  2. Guna (Characteristics): Ruksha/Dry, Tikshna/Sharp
  3. Virya (Potency): Ushna/Hot
  4. Vipaka (Post Digestive Effect): Katu/Pungent

Medicinal uses of Bhringraja or Eclipta alba

Eclipta alba plant can be used in fresh or dried form. It has antihepatotoxic, ophthalmic, digestive, carminative, aphrodisiac and anti-inflammatory action. Its fresh leaves are considered pain relieving and absorbent. It is used in treatment of wounds, cuts, hair problems, fever, cold and swelling.

In Gujrat people make powder of amla, bringraj and mulethi and take regularly to prevent various diseases. In Asaam and Bengal, people use it to cure wounds.

Following is given few medicinal uses of eclipta alba. These are simple remedies that that can be easily done at home.

Peeling Of Feet Skin

Sometimes skin of hands and feet get damaged by working in water for long duration. For such condition take Eclipta alba. Grind it to extract its juice and apply on the affected area. This also helps to cure wounds. This is not a toxic herb and can be used without any side effects.

Wounds: Apply leaves juice at affected area. Diabetic patients who are suffering from wounds and cuts which is not healing properly can apply Eclipta alba leaves juice on wounds or with help of cotton apply and tie with cloth for quick healing. Do it for few days.

Cough: 7-14 ml. juice of whole plant with honey twice a day.

Swelling:Grind Eclipta alba and warm it. Then with help of cotton apply on swelling and tie with help of cloth. This gives relief from swelling and pain.

Tooth ache:Extract juice of bringraj and put 4 drops in ear. Please note if pain is in left side of face then put drops in right side ear and vice versa.

Pain in gums: Massage with leaves juice.

Piles: Take 50 gm paste of bringraj. Mix 20 gm black pepper and make small pill of size black gram. Take 2 pills twice a day.

Ear infection: Put 4 drops in ear.

Gum problems: Wash Eclipta alba plant to remove soil and dirt. Chew the leaves for few minutes and then wash with warm water.

Migraine: Grind leaves and extract juice and put 4 drops in each nostril. This gives relief from migraine and head ache due to any reason.

Sinusitis: For 4 drops of Bringraj juice in each nostril do it for few days.

Jaundice, Cirrhosis: Drink 10 ml leaves juice 2-3 times a day for few days. It also help to purify blood and removes toxins.

Hair problems: Eclipta alba is a useful herb for treating hair problems.

Stomach ache: Grind leaves and make paste and apply externally on belly or drink juice of its leaves.

Preventing abortion: Drink 2-3 ml juice of bhangra leaves, misri and water.

Elephant leg or elephantiasis: Mix juice of bringraj with til ka tel and apply regularly on legs. Drink decoction of 10 gm leaves of bhangra, 2 times a day for a month.

Dizziness, insomnia, cough and high blood pressure: Take 2 tbsp of leaves juice with misri or honey.

Scorpion sting: Rub on place of sting to reduce pain.

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