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Common name: Bhringaraj, Trailing eclipta, false daisy • Hindi: भ्रिंगराज Bhringaraj, केशराज Kesharaj • Manipuri: Uchi-sumbal • Tamil: கரிசிலாங்கண்ணி Karisilanganni, Kavanthakara • Malayalam: Kannunni • Telugu: Galagara • Kannada: Ajagara • Oriya: Kesarda • Sanskrit: भ्रिंगराज Bhringaraj

Botanical name: Eclipta prostrata/erecta/alba

Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

It is an annual, erect or prostate entirely pubescent herb, often rooting at nodes with opposite, sessile, usually oblong, 2.5 - 7.5 cm long leaves with white appressed hairs. it has a short, flat or round, brown stem and small white daisy-like flowers on a long stalk. It grows 3" tall; the leaves are opposite and lance-shaped. Eclipta grows abundantly in the tropics and is used with success in Ayurvedic medicine. Bhringaraj was used by Hindus in their Shradh, the ceremony for paying respect to a recently deceased person. This plant is one of the Hindu’s “Ten Auspicious Flowers” and is sometimes called, “the king of hair.”

Medicinal uses: Bhringraj is mainly used in hair oils, but it has been considered a good drug in hepatotoxicity. In hair oils, it may be used alongwith Centela asiatica (Brahmi) and Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) It may be used to prevent habitual abortion and miscarriage and also in cases of post-delivery uterine pain. A decoction of leaves is used in uterine haemorrhage. The juice of the plant with honey is given to infants with castor oil for expulsion of worms. For the relief in piles, fumigation with Eclipta alba is considered beneficial. The paste prepared by mincing fresh plants has got an anti-inflammatory effect and may be applied to insect bites, stings, swellings and other skin diseases.

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Medicinal plants of India