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June 07, 2019
Ayurvedic practitioners have used Bhringraj, also known as Eclipta alba for a number of different health-related issues for centuries. It also has a long history of use in other traditional medicines. While its medicinal uses are aplenty, Bhringraj has also been utilized for its many benefits for hair growth.
Bhringraj, also known as False Daisy, is a small annual plant that belongs to the Sunflower family. It is commonly found in tropical and subtropical climates.¹⁽⁶⁾
The medicinal uses of Bhringraj vary, but some of the illnesses it has been used to treat are gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory tract disorders (such as asthma), fever, hair loss, graying of hair, liver disorders (such as jaundice), skin disorders, spleen enlargement, and for cuts and wounds.⁶
Bhringraj boasts a large number of pharmacological properties that benefit health. It an antimicrobial. This includes antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antimalarial, and anthelmintic properties. Studies have proven that it is very beneficial for its use in hepatotoxicity, regulating diabetes-related issues, as a hypolipidemic, and as a proliferative.⁶
A number of studies have tested the use of Bhringraj and its effect on hair health and growth potential. It has also been studied as a treatment for Alopecia. Alopecia, or baldness, is a common hair disorder which affects all genders and races. Around 50% of men are believed to suffer from hair loss due to Alopecia, and it is estimated that an equal amount of women struggle with Alopecia as well. Some Alopecia is caused due to a large amount of a specific androgen hormone. There are patients who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, immunosuppressant drugs, and skin and scalp disorders such as eczema.⁴
One study was conducted on male albino rats to determine its potential for hair growth in patients with Alopecia. Minoxidil, a synthetic drug, is the leading treatment for hair loss, but the drug also comes with numerous side effects which limit the overall effectiveness of the drug.
In the study, Bhringraj (Eclipta alba) was tested against Minoxidil, as the control. The study results showed that the rats that had been treated with the Bhringraj not only proved to be comparable to Minoxidil but actually out-performed the leading drug! Researchers cited it as a proven and effective natural alternative for treating hair loss.⁷
Another study was conducted on nude mice that genetically lacked hair due to abnormal keratinization. Keratinization is the process in which the cytoplasm of the outermost cells of the mammalian epidermis is replaced by keratin. It allows millions of dead cells to slough off the body, and its waterproof protein provides strength and resiliency to skin and hair.⁸
The study tested four herbal remedies: Eclipta alba, Asiasarum sieboldii, Asiasari radix, and Panax ginseng. The leaves of the herbs were dried and extracted by menthol and applied topically on the backs of the nude mice. Of the herbs tested, Eclipta alba presented the fastest hair growth, length, and density! Its results also out-performed the control, Minoxidil, once again proving its effectiveness as a treatment for hair loss!⁸
One study tested the hair growth performance of a polyherbal blend against Minoxidil. The herbs used were Emblica officinalis, Centella asiatica, Aloe Vera, Ocimum sanctum, and Eclipta alba. The study was conducted on shaved rats and the solutions applied topically to their backs. Each of the herbs was tested individually as well as together in a polyblend. The results showed that the polyblend had the best overall results, but Eclipta alba also displayed results that were comparable with the control, Minoxidil. The measured categories for this study were hair length, density, and total serum protein.³
Another study testing the hair growth activities of Eclipta alba was conducted on rats whose truncal epidermis lacked melanin-producing melanocytes. Melanin production is tied to the anagen (growth) phase of hair growth. The study showed the menthol extracted Eclipta alba increased the number of hair follicles by 50% when compared against the control, Minoxidil.⁵
Researchers believe that the benefits of Eclipta alba on hair growth relates to its potential to extend the anagen phase of hair, keeping follicles in place longer. In one study done to observe this idea, 75% of participants with mild to moderate hair loss reported a significant reduction in loss after seven weeks of use!⁹
For centuries, Ayurvedic medicine has used Bhringraj as a tool to promote hair growth along with other common illnesses. Scientific studies have proven, in multiple studies, that its use promotes growth as well as potentially extends the life of current hair strands by extending the anagen phase of the hair cycle. Bhringraj, especially when combined with other, growth-promoting herbs, provides an effective natural treatment for those suffering from hair loss.
¹Eclipta prostrata. (2019, March 11). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipta_prostrataa
²Jahan, R., Al-Nahain, A., Majumder, S., & Rahmatullah, M. (2014, October 29). Ethnopharmacological Significance of Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk. (Asteraceae). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4897414/
³Jain, R., Jain, N. K., Singh, N., Gnanachandran, A. K., & Gokulan, P. D. (n.d.). DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF POLYHERBAL OINTMENT FOR HAIR ... Retrieved from https://innovareacademics.in/journal/ijpps/Vol3Suppl2/1173.pdf
⁴Rathi, V., Rathi, J. C., Patel, A., & Tamizharasi, S. (n.d.). E-ISSN: P-ISSN: Hair growth activity of Cicer arietinum ... Retrieved from http://www.phytojournal.com/archives/2017/vol6issue1/PartC/6-1-16-396.pdf
⁵Datta, K., Singh, A. T., Mukherjee, A., Bhat, B., Ramesh, B., & Burman, A. C. (2009, July 30). Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19481595
⁶Chokotia, L. S., Vashistha, P., Sironiya, R., & Matoli, H. (n.d.). Pharmacological Activity and Chemical Constituents of ... Retrieved from https://globaljournals.org/GJMR_Volume13/6-Pharmacological-Activity.pdf
⁷Roy, R. K., Thakur, M., & Dixit, V. K. (2008, May 14). Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00403-008-0860-3
⁸Begum, S., Lee, M. R., Gu, L. J., Hossain, M. J., Kim, H. K., & Sung, C. K. (2014). Comparative hair restorer efficacy of medicinal herb on nude (Foxn1nu) mice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4247959/
⁹Madan, A., Arun, A., & Verma, S. (n.d.). Article Detail. Retrieved from http://www.journalijar.com/article/959/a-non-comparative-open-label-pilot-study-to-see-the-efficacy-and-consumer-response-of-vegetal-hair-well-in-preventing-hair-fall-and-promoting-hair-growth/
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June 07, 2019