Eclipta prostrata -Plant Health Benefits & Growing
Bhringraj is a weedy plant that is being used since ancient times as a haircare remedy in Indian Ayurveda. These plants grow abundantly in Southeast Asian countries like India, Nepal, China, Brazil, and Thailand. Bhringraj is known by various other names in different regions including Maka, Bhringarajasava, Bhringaraj, False Daisy, Yerba de Tago. The botanical name of this plant is Eclipta prostrata.
Health Benefits of Bhringraj
Bhringraj has a special place in ancient Indian medicine because of its positive effects on hair, skin. But the benefits are not limited to only skin and hair. The parts of this weedy plant are used as a traditional remedy for several other health conditions. Unfortunately like many other herbal medicines, the research on the Bhringraj plant is limited and not very sophisticated resulting in this valuable natural medicine not getting the well-deserved attention.
Oils infused with the goodness of Bhringraj leaves are used to resolve hair problems like hair loss, dryness of hair, scalp issues. A good head massage with this oil acts as a great stress buster and cures sleep trouble. Bhringraj leaves paste/ oil is applied to the skin to treat various skin conditions like skin blisters and fungal infections. Bhringraj leaves powder also known as Churna is used in some ayurvedic formulations to treat jaundice and stomach ulcers. It is also used as a traditional remedy for treating loose motions. There are various other claimed benefits of Bhringraj. In my personal experience, it definitely helps to improve hair health. I’m not sure if there are some side effects of taking Bhringraj orally. One should take it only with a doctor’s advice.
Growing Climate and Temperature
Bhringraj plants are very easy to grow. They are vigorous growers. I started my first plant in Aerogarden as the weather outside is cold currently. I know that Bhringraj plants are hardy and they grow in various climates including tropical, subtropical, and temperate. But they grow the best at temperatures 25-35°C or 77-95 °F.
Propogation of Bhringraj
Growing Climate & Optimal Temperature for Bhringaraj
Bhringraj is a weedy plant that is being used since ancient times as a haircare remedy in Indian Ayurveda.
Bhringraj plants are very easy to grow. They are vigorous growers. I started my first plant in Aerogarden as the weather outside is cold currently. I know that Bhringraj plants are hardy and they grow in various climates including tropical, subtropical and temperate. But they grow the best at temperatures 25-35°C or 77-95 °F.
How to Propagate Bhringraj? Growing From Seeds vs Cuttings
You can grow Bzhringaraj plants from both seeds and cuttings. If the weather is not extreme in your region then I think they will easily manage to self propagate.
Seed Germination Time
Growing Bhringraj in AeroGarden From Seeds
I started a couple of seeds in the Aerogarden and both germinated just in 3-To 5 days. I moved one of the seedlings to a plastic cup to allow the other one to grow freely. The plant in the Aerogarden took off and grew huge. Bhringaraj plant likes moist clay-like soil. Drainage is not a big issue like other plants and these plants can survive in waterlogged soil. I didn’t get a chance to move the plant in the cup to a bigger pot sooner and that one didn’t grow much at first. Soon the plant started developing tiny white flowers. It was time to harvest the leaves and move the plants outdoors so that pollination can happen effortlessly.
Growing Bhringaraj From Cuttings
As I harvested leaves, I kept the thicker stems in some water. Just in 3 To 5 days, they grew beautiful healthy roots. Almost all the stems grew roots. So, it is very easy to grow these plants. I used the leaves to make the oil. You can check out my video
As I harvested leaves I kept the thicker stems in some water. Just in 3 To 5 days, they grew beautiful healthy roots. Almost all the stems grew roots on them. So, it is very easy to grow these plants. I used the leaves to make the oil.
Leaves – Bhringraj
Bhringraj Leaves are tapered and elongated. The size of the leaves varies depending on the environment in which they grow. The larger leaves can grow up to 5 To 7 cm. Leaves and stems are soft and can easily break. The Stems are slightly reddish in color and show broad branching. Both the leaves and stems of Bhringraj have several health benefits as discussed above. Leaves are used in various herbal remedies and Ayurvedic medicines. They are eaten in some parts. But there is not enough information available about any possible side effects and the safe amount that can be consumed.
Root System – Bhringraj
The root system of Bhringraj is very extensive and strong. As these plants are not fussy, you do not need any special soil. Bhringraj plants prefer moist soil.
You can use an all-purpose fertilizer. The plants that are grown in optimal conditions have very long and broad leaves.
Flowers – Bhringraj
The flowers are white in color and tiny. Since these tiny flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects. That could be the reason why this plant (Eclipta prostrata) is called “Bhringraj” since in the Sanskrit language the word “Bhring” means a type of bee and “Raj” means King. So the name Bhringraj means “One who rules the Bees”.
They are 5-8 mm in diameter. Dried fertilized flowers disperse the seeds through the wind to the nearby areas. The seeds are located at the bottom of the flowers. If the weather is optimal then the plants will continue to self-propagate.