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Bhringraj oil comes from a plant known in English as “false daisy.” The herb is in the sunflower family and grows best in moist places including Thailand, India, and Brazil.

Leaves from the bhringraj plant are mixed and heated with a carrier oil to produce bhringraj oil. Bhringraj can also be found in capsule or powder form.

In Ayurveda, an Indian tradition that aims to balance and heal the body through nutrition, bhringraj is said to promote hair growth, strengthen hair, and prevent graying and dandruff.

One 2011 study found that Eclipta alba extract (Bhringraj) is effective at fighting bacteria and fungus. This means it could be helpful in treating certain bacterial infections.

There is research to support the claim that bhringraj oil can promote hair growth and improve dandruff, though much of it has been conducted on mice, so more human based studies are needed. Bhringraj oil is thought to have the following benefits for hair:

Hair growth

A 2008 study done on male albino rats showed that using bhringraj oil increased the number of hair follicles, and was actually more effective than minoxidil (Rogaine) at preventing hair loss. This study needs to be repeated in humans for it to be conclusive, though it does show promise.

Bhringraj also contains vitamin E, which is known to fight free radicals that can impede hair growth.

Dandruff reduction

Bhringraj oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can help reduce dandruff. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help psoriasis or other skin irritations on the scalp. It is also said to improve circulation to the scalp.

May slow graying

Though gray hair is largely genetic, anecdotally speaking, some report that bhringraj oil may slow or prevent the graying process. Gray hair is also commonly understood as a loss of pigment (melanin). The darkening properties of Bhringraj of may help hair appear less gray.

Bhringraj oil is rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains

  • vitamin E
  • vitamin D
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • iron

There is little research supporting these claims, but Ayurvedic teachings and anecdotal evidence suggest that bhringraj can have effects on the body beyond just hair health.

May promote relaxation and sleep

Magnesium is known for its relaxant properties and may promote muscle relaxation, sleep, and it can also improve mood.

May help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)

The antimicrobial properties of bhringraj may help treat UTIs, which are most commonly caused by bacterial infections.

Liver detoxification

The juice from the leaves of the bhringraj (false daisy) plant are used as a liver tonic in Ayurvedic medicine. Some studies show that the herb may help with liver cell generation.

Helps soothe inflamed skin

Bhringraj oil is hydrating and can help quench dry skin. Bhringraj is an anti-inflammatory, so when applied topically to skin it may help treat skin inflammation like psoriasis, dermatitis, and some forms of acne.

May treat headaches

Magnesium is also known to prevent headaches and migraines.

Neutralizes rattlesnake venom

A 2014 study showed bhringraj to be effective at neutralizing the lethal effects of rattlesnake venom when the juice of the plant is ingested.

May improve Alzheimer’s related memory loss

A different 2014 study found that when bhringraj (referred to in the study by its scientific name, Eclipta alba) was combined with ashwagandha (also an herb), it increased “mitochondrial activity” in the brains of rats that had Alzheimer’s induced in their brains.

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that Bhringraj can cause chills, especially when taken orally. Do not orally ingest bhringraj before discussing dosage with a doctor.

If you have not used the oil before on your skin, do a skin patch test by applying a small amount to your forearm and waiting at least 30 minutes for signs of a reaction that may include itching, stinging, swelling, or redness.

For scalp health and hair growth, massage bhringraj oil into your head using your fingertips and let the oil sink in for an hour. Shower, and if your hair still feels oily, shampoo twice.

You can also make a hair mask by mixing bhringraj powder with water, oil, or even yogurt, applying it to dry hair for about 30 minutes, then rinsing.

To treat gray hair and perhaps temporarily darken its color, consider this recipe: Mix 1 teaspoon of bhringraj and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over low heat. Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp. Wash it out after 1 hour. Repeat 2 to 3 times a week.

Bhringraj oil is available at certain specialty drug or grocery stores, and it’s an ingredient in many over-the-counter hair oils. The oil is also widely available online, and also comes in powder and capsule form.

Shop for bhringraj products online.

The plant bhringraj, also known as “false daisy,” becomes an oil when its botanical extracts are mixed with a carrier oil.

Bhringraj may prevent hair loss, dandruff, and graying, though more human studies are needed. It also may be helpful in reversing liver damage; fighting memory loss, headaches, and snake bite toxicity; and promoting feelings of relaxation.