Bhringraj in Ayurvedic Medicine

Not everyone who has reviewed hair loss remedies seeking treatments for hair growth will have heard of the Bhringraj plant. Also known as Eclipta alba, Eclipta prostrata, False Daisy and Yerba de tago, the Behringraj plant is recognized by the indian Ayurvedic medicine system as having widespread health benefits, including as a hair loss treatment. In fact one translation of the word Bhringraj is "king of hair".

As the Ayurvedic medicine system places so much faith in the hair growth properties of Bhringraj, it is important to understand the background to this traditional medicine system originating out of India.

Ayurvedic or Ayurveda literal mean "the knowledge for long life", which gives an indication of the high regard that Indian (and other) cultures hold for Ayurvedic medicine. The medicines and practices of Ayurveda have been cultured for centuries of years, culminating in the promotion of many alternative medicines and surgical procedures for many different illnesses. In addition to Bhringraj's hair growth properties, Bhringraj is also promoted in Ayurveda for more serious issues including problems with the liver.

The main reason that Ayurveda holds so much respect is that it has Divine origins, and that carries much weight in Indian cultures. As far back as 1500BC, the basic principles of Ayurvedic medicine can be found in the Hindu religion, with no less than 114 hymns detailing various medicines for the treatment of many different diseases. Because of this, Indian medicine is known as one of the oldest forms of systematic documented medicines.

It is because of this respect going back hundreds of years that prescribing Bhringraj for hair loss is viewed in Indian cultures as any medical practice prescription would be outside of Asia.

It is unsurprising to find that the Bhringraj plant features heavily in Ayurvedic medicine as Ayurveda concentrates on many plant based medicines, with many hundred of different plants utilized in the system.

Until relatively recently the benefits of Bhringraj were largely bound to Indian and Chinese cultures, more recently though the value of the Bhringraj plant is being recognized more wider than just in Asia.

The list of benefits and treatments associated with the Bhringraj plant reported by Indian and Chinese medicine is quite wide ranging and includes:

• longevity

• Rejuvenation

• bleeding

• skin complaints (itching, eczema)

• diphtheria

• diarrhoea

• concentration

• nervous system / snake bites

• liver

• eyes

• hair growth

Most of the treatments are made using Bhringraj powder, which is either mixed into a paste or made into a tea. For hair applications, it is easier to use Bhringraj oil. Again the oil is made from the powdered herb by combining it with a typical ayurvedic carrier oil like sesame or coconut oil. The mixture of oil and powder should be heated up gently without allowing it to boil. It is usually just easier to get a ready made bottle of Bhringraj oil than a trusted ayurvedic source instead of trying to make it yourself at home.

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