Bhringaraj – Eclipta alba; Compositae

Bhringaraj is pacifying to all doshas but is perhaps best known for its use bhringaraj1in Pitta related conditions.  It helps to purge excess heat, bile, and toxins from the liver, gallbladder, and blood.  It is used for hepatitis, cirrhosis, enlargement of the liver and spleen, skin diseases, bleeding disorders and inflamed mucous membranes.  Its action is quite similar to that of dandelion, although it is not as cold as in action.

For the treatment of hepatitis A and B, it is combines well with Kutki (gentian), dandelion, milk thistle, or shankapushpi.  There are cases that Bhringaraj worked well for hepatitis C also.

Bhringaraj has an affinity to the bone and its related tissues, the teeth and hair.  For strengthening these, it combines well with amalaki.  It is know as Kesharaja, or “King of the hair”, and the oil can be rubbed daily on the scalp at bedtime to prevent hair loss, premature graying, and dandruff.

It has a Sattvic quality that refreshes the mind and senses (especially the eyesight) and improves memory.  Combined with herbs like Brahmi(Gotu Kola), Jatamansi, or Skullcap, it calms, nourishes, and protects the nerve tissue.  The oil can also be applied to the soles of the feet to promote sound sleep, which is a nice remedy for stress related headaches as well.

The paste can be used topically to treat swollen glands and chronic skin disease.  Furthermore, a poultice can be applied on a scorpion sting and the wound wrapped with gauze to draw out the poison.

Effect on Doshas: VPK-

Rasa:Bitter, slightly pungent, astringent

Virya: cooling


Preparations: paste, medicated oil or ghee

Dosage: 1-6g per day.

Parts used: aerial portions.

Tissues: plasma, blood, bone, nerve and marrow.

Systems: circulatory, digestive, nervous, respiratory.

Properties: alterative, tonic, digestive, nervine, hemostatic, antipyretic, laxative, purgative, diuretic.

Indications: alopecia, premature gray hair, cirrhosis, hepatitis, skin diseases, enlarged liver or spleen, anemia, mental disorders, dysentery, weakness of the bones, poor eyesight, loose teeth, poor memory, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, nervous disorders, swollen glands, bronchial asthma.

Ref: Ayurvedic Herbology East & West A practical guide to Ayuredic Herbal Medicine  by Vishnu Dass

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