Ancient Ayurveda has educated us about the beauty of nature, and how it helps us look and feel beautiful too. Out of the hundreds of herbs in Ayurveda, a special herb called “Bhringraj” makes quite a buzz in the haircare community. Many call it the “king herb” (Keshraaj, as Ayurveda puts it) for maintaining hair health and for all kind of hair treatment. Bhiringraj Oil is used in hair oils and its leaves are used for Henna concoctions, hair masks, juices, and digestive pills. What exactly are the qualities of Bhringraj Oil that make it so useful for hair treatment? Why is Bhringraj Oil a key ingredient in ayurvedic hair growth products and hair treatment products? How does Bhringraj help in hair treatment? We answer some of these questions here.
What is Bhringraj?
Bhringraj is a herb hailing from the family of sunflowers, known as the “false daisy” plant in English. This herb is usually around 3 meters long, with white solitary flowers and lance-shaped leaves facing in opposite directions. It has variations with yellow or blue flowers. The Bhringraj plant has distinct cylindrical roots that are greyish. The herb is usually found in India, China, Nepal, and Brazil, where it grows in damp areas. The scientific name of Bhringraj is Eclipta Alba.
The leaves from the Bhringraj plant are crushed and mixed with a base oil like Sesame or Coconut oil to create Bhringraj oil. Parts of these plants are also crushed and mixed in Mehendi hair masks, hair powders for hair treatment and in nutrition capsules, juices for health benefits.
Hair Benefits of Bhringraj
Ayurveda has traditionally used Bhringraj for hair treatment purposes like hair growth, preventing greying, dandruff, and strengthening hair. Scriptures in Ayurveda mention this herb by various names like Bhring, Keshranjan, Keshraaj, Angarak, Bhringaar, and Markav.
Over the years, scientific studies have been conducted to test out the benefits of Bhringraj Oil, but these have mostly been done on mice. These studies have found the herb to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and nutritious properties. Bhringraj has benefits beyond hair growth but stands out the most in its haircare benefits and is therefore used for hair treatment. Let us discuss some of the many hair benefits this herb provides.
Promotes Hair Growth
Bhringraj oil has been found to increase the number of hair follicles on the scalp upon application, which ultimately leads to thicker and more luscious hair locks. A special property of this herb is vasodilation, which refers to the widening of blood vessels. This function of Bhringraj is effective in increasing blood supply to hair follicles. Better blood circulation to your scalp results in more nutrients being transported to your hair locks. This ensures long, strong, and shiny hair.
Prevents Hair Fall and Balding
Increased number of hair follicles created on the application of Bhringraj oil prevent chances of hair loss and balding. Apart from this, Bhringraj is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin E, which help the scalp fight free radicals. Free radicals may cause cell damage and by preventing their effects, the Keshrajan makes way for stronger hair. It is an herb that is rich in nutrients and promotes blood circulation, making the overall health of hair better.
Treats and Prevents Greying Hair - An Effective Hair Treatment Herb
Bhringraj is one of the best natural Hair Treatment available. Greying of hair is usually caused by genetics and age, leading to reduced melanin composition in the hair. Like Henna (Mehendi), Bhringraj herb leaves are often crushed to extract black dye for the hair. Therefore, Bhringraj is used to reduce the greyish appearance of hair.
Other than this, Bhringraj oil’s high nutrient content aids the loss of pigmentation in hair. This is in helpful as hair treatment to prevent greying of hair. Bhringraj is often added to Mehendi hair masks, which serve the purpose of acting as a natural hair dye.
Massaging Bhringraj oil on your scalp and leaving it overnight before washing it off might become the solution to all your dandruff worries. Bhringraj Oil is the nest hair treatment remedy for dandruff. Dandruff is caused by excessive dryness on the scalp, lack of hygiene, and humidity. It eventually leads to flaking and itching in the scalp.
Many claim that Bhringraj Oil has a high specific gravity, which lets it penetrate deep into your hair follicles. This leads to improved health of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Bhringraj oil has anti-microbial properties that makes it an effective hair treatment and can help with irritation caused by dirt and bacteria that come along with excessive dandruff.
Treats Scalp Infections and Irritation
The antibacterial properties of Bhringraj make it an effective hair treatment for several scalp infections. It is efficient in treating various forms of folliculitis, which are caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. Other microbial infections like ringworm can cause irritation and itching on the scalp, along with hair fall. The regular application of this king herb lowers hair follicle inflammation, scalp tenderness, relieves scalp itching, and promotes hair growth.
Additional Benefits of Bhringraj
According to Ayurveda, Bhringraj is specifically effective in treating pitta doshas, which loosely translates to fire imbalances. This is enabled by the soothing and cooling properties of the herb. Though Bhringraj is mostly recommended for hair treatment, you will be pleased to know that it has several additional health benefits. Bhringraj is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, and iron. It has been used to promote sleep and relaxation, detoxify the liver, relieve migraines, and more. Let us discuss some of these benefits.
Relaxation and Sleep
The Bhringraj herb is high on magnesium, which is known for its relaxant properties. A good massage of Bhringraj oil on the scalp or body can help in reducing stress, thereby enabling relaxation and good sleep. Magnesium’s soothing properties are typically also effective in improving mood. This property of Bhringraj can be enabled by ingestion of capsules too.
The magnesium content in the Eclipta Alba herb comes to the rescue of wretched headaches and migraine problems. Bhringraj oil is particularly effective for stress-induced headaches. One method of treating the headache is to directly apply Bhringraj oil to your forehead and take some rest to feel better. Another method is to use Bhringraj Oil as a nasal oil, enabling fresher breathing and relaxation.
This finding does not have a lot of modern research proof but Ayurvedic practices have prescribed Bhringraj juice as a remedy for liver problems for centuries. A liver tonic is made from crushing the leaves of the herb. Recent studies have supported this claim, finding that it may help in the regeneration of liver cells.
Improving Digestive Health
The Bhringraj herb is used to treat many digestive problems. Apart from detoxifying the liver, and possibly being helpful in fighting diabetes, Ayurveda calls Bhringraj a “Jatharagni Deepaka” - which highlights its characteristic of stimulating a digestive fire. Bhringraj juice and tablets are often prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors to treat gastric issues, dysentery, ulcers, and nausea. The herb is said to be effective in absorbing food, assimilating nutrients, and excreting waste. It kills off harmful infections and clears clogged organs to make way for effective digestion.
Treating Skin Infections
Bhringraj does wonders for dry and irritated skin. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can help soothe the skin and keep it free of infections. It can treat medical infections like psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis, along with some forms of acne problems.
Treating Memory Problems
An interesting set of research studies have shown that Bhringraj combined with ashwagandha (another ayurvedic herb) improved the mitochondria (cell-power houses) activity and reduced oxidative stress in the brain cells of rats. These rats had Alzheimer’s induced in their brain. While a replicated study on human beings hasn’t been done yet, this finding indicates that Bhringraj might be effective in treating brain and memory problems.
How to Use Bhringraj?
As we’ve already discussed, the benefits of the king herb Bhringraj are practically endless. It has many hair, skin, digestion, health, relaxation, and stress-relieving benefits. There exist hundreds of ways in which you can use Bhringraj and utilise it to its full potential. You can use it for hair treatment, to heal infected skin, improve digestion, and much more.
Here are a few Bhringraj home remedies you do not want to miss out on:
Overnight Bhringraj Oil Treatment
The most popular hair treatment and essential benefit of Bhringraj Oil is its hair strengthening properties. Regularly massaging your scalp with some warmed up bhringraj oil a night before hair wash can result in gradual thickening of hair along with a beautiful black shine. Bhringraj Oil can further be effective in treating a dry, itchy scalp or dandruff.
Amla and Bhringraj for Hair Growth
Amla is a natural ingredient that makes it appearance in many hair products, thanks to its high Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other anti-oxidant contents. Bhringraj and Amla together make up a mild natural shampoo guaranteeing you strong and shiny hair with regular washes. You can either use store-bought shampoos with both ingredients, or make an amla-bhringraj hair mask. Take 1 entire amla, one spoon of bhringraj powder, and some water. Blend these together in a mixer and apply it to your hair about 30-60 minutes before hair wash.
Bhringraj and Henna for Hair Dyeing
Say no to ammonia-loaded, chemical-filled hair colours and instead adopt Bhringraj for hair treatment and getting rid of your greys. Studies have shown that this miraculous herb does not just treat greying of hair, but also prevent its depigmentation. For best results, combine henna powder, bhringraj powder, amla powder, brahmi powder and beetroot juice to make a hair mask. Apply it from root to tip and let it soak into your hair for 2-3 hours. Rinse and follow with mild herbal shampoo.
Bhringraj - Precautions and Side Effects
Bhringraj is a strong and helpful herb. However, just because an ingredient is natural does not make it less prone to giving you side-effects. When it comes to health, no treatment no matter how great it seems should be overdone. Here are some precautions you should take with the usage of Bhringraj: -
- Bhringraj has cooling and soothing properties. Some evidences have suggested that taking it orally can cause chills. Additionally, you cannot estimate how it will affect your body upon ingestion on your own. It is advised that you discuss dosage with a trusted professional before consuming it.
- If you are applying Bhringraj oil/powder directly to your hair and skin for the first time, a patch test is recommended. Apply a small amount of it on a less sensitive area and wait for an hour to look for possible side effects.
- If you experience a reaction after using Bhringraj oil or powder, stop using it immediately. Signs like itching, stinging, swelling, redness, rashes, or irritation, point to seeking medical advice from a professional immediately.