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Bhringraj Oil: Benefits, How To Use And Possible Side Effects

Bhringraj oil is a natural remedy used in Ayurveda. It is made from the medicinal plant Bhringraj, also known as 'Kehraj'in Assamese and 'Karisalankanni' in Tamil. As per Ayurveda, bhringraj oil is used to treat imbalances in pitta, one of three doshas that control the physical and mental processes [1].

Widely known as the 'King of Herbs', Bhringraj is an ayurvedic herb that is especially useful for its hair growth-promoting effect. Bhringraj improves the blood circulation in the scalp to nourish the hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth. Besides, it has antibacterial properties that help to maintain a healthy scalp and thus benefit your hair.

So, let's go ahead and read about the many benefits, side effects, and the recipe to make bhringraj oil.

Benefits Of Bhringraj Oil

Found in India, Thailand and Brazil, bhringraj grows in moist places. Leaves from the bhringraj plant are mixed with any essential oil (coconut, jojoba, sweet almond etc.) to produce bhringraj oil. They are available in capsule or powder form. Here are some of the proven benefits of bhringraj oil for your hair and its other benefits.

1. Promotes hair growth

Regular use of bhringraj oil has been shown to help increase the number of hair follicles and helps prevent hair fall [2]. Bhringraj also contains vitamin E, which help fight off the free radical that stunt hair growth [3]. Another way the oil aids hair growth is by reducing or preventing inflammation on the scalp [4].

2. Reduces dandruff

Getting rid of dandruff can be tiring and often a very long process. Using bhringraj oil can help prevent and get rid of dandruff due to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties [5]. It also helps improve circulation to the scalp.

3. May slow down greying

Although the study is inconclusive, some researchers say that regular application of bhringraj oil may help slow or prevent the greying process. Bhringraj also possesses darkening properties, which may help hair appear less grey [6].

4. Detoxifies the liver

Bhringraj leaves have been shown to have detoxification properties [7]. The juice of its leaves is used as a liver tonic in Ayurvedic medicine. Some studies show that the herb may help with liver cell generation [8].

5. Reduces inflammation

As mentioned before, bhringraj has anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe inflamed skin. When applied topically to the skin, it may help treat skin inflammation like psoriasis, dermatitis, and acne [9].

6. May prevent UTIs

Due to the antibacterial properties it possesses, bhringraj (and not the oil) have been said to help prevent urinary tract infections [10].

7. May promote sleep

One of the best-known properties of bhringraj oil is its soothing properties. Studies have shown that topical application of the oil may help promote relaxation (muscle relaxation) and sleep due to the presence of magnesium [11].

8. May improve Alzheimer's related memory loss

One study showed that combining bhringraj with ashwagandha increased mitochondrial activity in the brains of rats with Alzheimer's [12]. It can also significantly reduce oxidative stress on the brain.

9. May neutralise rattlesnake venom

Another benefit or use of bhringraj is that it effectively neutralises the lethal effects of rattlesnake venom [13]. The individual with a snake bite is made to drink the juice of the bhringraj plant, which help neutralise the venom in blood.

Side Effects Of Bhringraj Oil

  • When applied topically, the oil has been known to cause a tingling or burning sensation in some people.
  • The active ingredient, Eclipta alba in bhringraj, has a diuretic effect and may cause increased urination if taken orally.
  • The primary compound of the herb, Eclipta alba, may promote blood clotting and neutralise the effects of anticoagulants (blood thinners) [14].
  • Children, pregnant and nursing women should avoid using bhringraj oil [15].

How To Use Bhringraj Oil

(1) To promote hair growth and strength, massage bhringraj oil into your head using your fingertips and let the oil stay in for an hour. Wash off with a mild shampoo.

(2) Mix bhringraj powder with water, oil, or yoghurt to make a hair mask. Apply it to dry hair for about 30 minutes and rinse off with cold water.

(3) For treating grey hair, mix a teaspoon of bhringraj and two tablespoons of coconut oil over low heat. Take off heat and apply the warm oil mixture to your hair and scalp. Wash it out after 1 hour. Repeat 2 to 3 times a week.

On A Final Note...

Bhringraj oil is an oil whose benefits many of us might have heard of but quite possibly haven't tried yet. Bhringraj oil can be stored at room temperature but avoid excessive heat or sun exposure.