Herbs Profile

Bhringaraja ( Eclipta alba)

Bhringaraja oil is a famous hair tonic for maintaining dark hair and reversing baldness. It is often translated as ‘king of the hair’, but literally means ‘bee ruler’. It is decocted in coconut oil and as this is a ‘cooling’ oil it is used externally for ‘hot’ and inflammatory head problems such as headaches, sinusitis and ear infections. The herb also benefits heat problems.

Common name Eclipta (E), Bhangra (H), Maka (M) Sanskrit Bhrngara- ja, Kesa-raja Latin Eclipta alba–Folium (Compositae)


  • Rasa (taste) Bitter, pungent, sweet
  • Vı-rya (energy) Cooling
  • Vipa-ka (post-digestive effect) Pungent
  • Gun.a (quality) Dry, light
  • Dos.a effect Balances all 3 dosas;
  • VPK=, mainly PV−, Pitta rasayana
  • Dha-tu (tissue) Plasma, blood, bone, nerve, reproductive
  • Srotas (channel) Circulatory, nervous, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive


  • Triterpene glycosides and
  • saponins Oleanane glycosides, eclalbasaponins, β-amyrin
  • Flavonoids Luteolin, apigenin, wedelolactone
  • Wedelic acid and ecliptal (Williamson 2002)


  • Rasa-yana Rejuvenative
  • Medhya Promotes the intellect
  • Ke´sya Benefits hair
  • Dantya Benefits the teeth
  • Tvacya Benefits itching
  • Kusthaghna Destroys skindiseases
  • Rakta´sodhana Purifies the blood
  • Raktastambhana Stops bleeding
  • Amana-´saka Destroys ama
  • Vis.aghna Destroys poisons in the body
  • Caks.us.ya Benefits the eyes
  • Kr.mighna Destroys worms
  • Yakr.dottejaka Benefits the liver
  • Pa-ndughna Reduces anaemia


Alterative, anti-inflammatory, haemostatic, antipyretic, vulnerary, tonic, cholagogue, hepatoprotective


Head Premature greying of hair, alopecia and early baldness are often classified as a pitta imbalance caused by pitta literally ‘burning’ the hair follicle. Eclipta clears pitta and especially from the head. It also benefits loose teeth, hearing problems, dizziness, vertigo (vata problems in the head). It is restorative to asthi dhatu (bone) tissue imbalances. It tonifies vata and therefore by strengthening, it reduces excess vata. Bhringaraja prepared oil also dissolves obstructions in the sinuses, nose, ears and head; use as nose and ear drops (Bhavapraka´sa).

Liver Cirrhosis, hepatitis; it clears ran˜jaka pitta from its site and protects the liver. It increases bile flow and helps restore appetite. The blood is treated via its beneficial effect on liver function. It actually helps to build blood, strengthen rakta dhatu and reduce anaemia. Combined with a capillary-strengthening action this can prevent high blood pressure caused by pitta and vata (Tillotson 2001). It also benefits the eyes and treats conjunctivitis, styes and redness.

Nerves Insomnia and mental agitation from high pitta and vata. It calms stress and reduces tension by tonifying majja dhatu. Bhringaraja increases blood and nourishes the brain (Frawley & Lad 1994).

Skin Bhringaraja treats skin conditions via the nervous system and the liver, helping to allay itching and inflammation; urticaria, eczema and ringworm caused by aggravations of the rasa and rakta dhatu are treated. It also helps to

recolour the skin after depigmentation (Bhavapraka´sa).

Lungs Its pungency can help alleviate mucus and treat asthma and bronchitis.

Reproduction Its rasayana properties rejuvenate deficiencies in sukra dhatu, helping to build sperm quality and quantity. The seeds especially are used for this.

Gynaecology It helps to prevent excessive uterine bleeding by clearing pitta from the artavahasrotas and uterus.


* Amalaki, sariva, triphala for hair problems from high pitta.

* Manjishtha, kutki, neem, pippali for hepatitis and liver conditions.

* Jatamamsi, brahmi and shankhapushpi for mental disorders from high vata and pitta.

* Black pepper for stimulating rasa and rakta dhatu agni and treating anaemia

* Turmeric, neem, licorice for dermatological conditions due to high kapha and vata.

* Manjishtha, ashoka, lotus node for bleeding conditions from high pitta.


Any signs of cold in the digestive system.


No drug–herb interactions are known


250mg–5g per day or 5–15ml per day of a 1:5 @ 25% tincture.


  • Although there are three types described in Ayurveda (white-, yellow- and blue-flowered) the white is most commonly used. Bhringaraja is an annual, liking damp or wasteland areas, and grows all over India.
  • A classic rejuvenative for preventing ageing and slowing signs of old age.
  • Use externally and internally for alopecia and skin inflammations.
  • It has different energetic classifications. In early texts its vı-rya appears to be pungent, but in more modern texts it appears to be cooling. Its effect on
  • protecting the liver, healing the skin, reducing bleeding and calming the mind certainly reflect a cooling emphasis.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda


  • Hi Doctor,

    I am taking Bhringa for its rejuvenative property. I am taking this along with milk and cumins. I think i am basically Pitta -Vata person. I have gastritis,constipation and gas formation in stomach with skin inflammation (white heads) and premature greying.
    Can i continue this?. since my digestion is not strong and pitta skin is it recommended to take bhringa ?

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