Time and again you’ve heard about hair oils and tonics that will magically stop hair fall or even reverse balding. And more times than you care to recall, you have been disappointed. This has probably made you highly skeptical of marketers who make big claims about products that deliver small results, if any! Thankfully, bhringraj oil isn’t one of those products. What makes it even more interesting is that in addition to working incredibly well as a hair growth oil, bhringraj oil has also been found to be effective at relieving stress.
If you’re still in doubt, there’s plenty of scientific evidence to back up these claims. In fact, if you were to look at all the research, you’d think that bhringraj (Eclipta alba) is the answer to every known ailment! But, let’s stay focused and find out how it helps deal with what are perhaps 2 of the most common problems for most men and women – stress and hair loss.
Bhringraj for Hair Loss & Thinning
The Ayurvedic Perspective: According to the Ayurvedic tradition, bhringaraj is a cooling herb that promotes hair growth. Bhringraj oil and other extracts have a long history of use on the subcontinent, especially as a hair treatment to reduce hair fall or encourage hair regrowth. The herb also helps to delay greying of hair and helps balance all the doshas. Most importantly, it helps to lower pitta. As excess pitta is a major cause for hair damage and balding, this is what makes bhringraj so effective.
The Evidence: A study that appeared in the Archives of Dermatological Research reported a significant reduction in hair growth time, which would make it a viable natural treatment for hair loss or thinning. Another study that looked at the efficacy of various polyherbal formulations also found that products containing bhringraj showed marked improvement in the regeneration and growth time of hair, with an increase in the number of hair follicles in the anagenic phase.
How to Use It: Massage your scalp gently with maha bhringraj taila, but make sure to do this at least once a day consistently to see visible results. You can massage your scalp for 5 to 15 minutes and wait for at least 45 minutes to an hour before rinsing your hair. You can even make your own hair mask with bhringraj powder or extract, mixed with other herbs like amla, or coconut oil. You can find all of these products on allAyurveda’s store.
Bhringraj for Stress Management
The Ayurvedic Perspective: Stress is invariably traced back to imbalances in your life and energy that occur as a direct result of imbalances in your lifestyle and diet, such as the lack of adequate sleep or rest periods. Regarded as rasayana (rejuvenator), bhringraj has a calming effect on the mind and also helps to restore balance. Although the focus here is on the herbal oil, bhringraj extracts like capsules and teas can also be consumed for stress relief.
The Evidence: Clinical investigations into the pharmacological properties of the bhringraj plant have highlighted its potential use as a nootropic agent. Nootropics are basically smart drugs or cognitive enhancers that improve brain function, encouraging creativity, and helping increase focus. Research also suggests that bhringraj leaves and extracts contain sedative and anxiolytic properties that could help in the treatment of stress and anxiety disorders.
How to Use It: You can simply apply a few drops of bhringraj oil to your feet, massaging gently for a few minutes. This helps balance energy levels, calms the nervous system, and has a relaxing effect on the mind. Perhaps the best thing that you could do would be to treat yourself to Abhyanga – an Ayurvedic oil massage. Before massaging your body with the oil, make sure to warm it lightly.
In addition to using bhringraj oil, don’t forget that both hair loss and stress can be aggravated by a variety of factors. For best results, try to give up or reduce your intake of processed foods, maintain a healthy work/life balance, and take up activities like yoga and meditation. Most importantly, take action, but quit worrying about hair fall, as that’s one vicious cycle you don’t want to fall into!
Jahan, R., Al-Nahain, A., Majumder, S., & Rahmatullah, M. (2014). Ethnopharmacological Significance of Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk. (Asteraceae). International Scholarly Research Notices, 2014, 385969. http://doi.org/10.1155/2014/385969
Roy, R. K., Thakur, M., & Dixit, V. K. (2008). Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats [Abstract]. Archives of Dermatological Research, 300(7), 357-364. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-008-0860-3
Roy, R. K., Thakur, M., & Dixit, V. K. (2007, May 22). Development and evaluation of polyherbal formulation for hair growth–promoting activity. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Retrieved March 15, 2018, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2007.00305.x/abstract
Thakur, V. D., & Mengi, S. A. (2005, July 27). Neuropharmacological profile of Eclipta alba (Linn.) Hassk. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 102(1), 23-31, Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2005.05.037
Miller, J., & Mishra, S. (2013, October). Sedative and antianxiety activity of ethanolic extract of Eclipta alba in albino rats. International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, 4(4). 1-8, Retrieved March 15, 2018, from http://www.ijpbs.net/cms/php/upload/2682_pdf.pdf