Bhringraj Oil: A Detailed Exploration of Its Properties, Uses, and Considerations

Bhringraj oil, also known as Eclipta alba oil or false daisy oil, is a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal oil derived from the Bhringraj plant (Eclipta alba). This herb, native to tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, holds a significant place in Ayurvedic medicine, with its oil being used for centuries to address various health concerns.

Here's your ultimate guide to the properties, uses, purported benefits, and essential considerations around Bhringraj oil.

Botanical Background and Chemical Composition

The Bhringraj plant, a member of the Asteraceae family, is a small, annual herb easily recognizable by its small white flowers and daisy-like appearance. Traditionally, the entire plant, including leaves, flowers, and stems, is used in Ayurvedic preparations. However, Bhringraj oil is specifically extracted from the aerial parts of the plant.

The oil's chemical composition is complex and not fully elucidated. However, some key components are believed to contribute to its potential health benefits. These include:

  • Wedelic acid: This sesquiterpene lactone is thought to possess anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.

  • Coumarins: These compounds may contribute to antioxidant and wound-healing effects.

  • Eclalin: This unique sterol is exclusive to the Bhringraj plant and may have various biological actives.

  • Fatty acids: The oil is rich in essential fatty acids, which are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and hair.

Properties of Bhringraj Oil

Bhringraj oil possesses several properties that may underlie its purported health benefits:

  • Antioxidant activity: Studies suggest that Bhringraj oil exhibits free radical scavenging activity, potentially protecting cells from oxidative damage.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Wedelic acid and other constituents may contribute to Bhringraj oil's anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Potential wound healing properties: Limited research suggests Bhringraj oil may accelerate wound healing.

  • Hair growth stimulation: Some studies indicate that Bhringraj oil may promote hair growth by stimulating the scalp and hair follicles.

  • Antifungal activity: Bhringraj oil may possess antifungal properties, potentially beneficial for certain skin conditions.

Traditional Uses of Bhringraj Oil

In Ayurvedic medicine, Bhringraj oil holds a prominent position and is traditionally used for a wide range of health concerns. Some of the most common applications include:

  • Hair care: Bhringraj oil is extensively used to promote hair growth, prevent hair loss, treat dandruff, and address premature greying.

  • Skin care: The oil is applied topically to manage various skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and wounds.

  • Liver health: Bhringraj oil is used in Ayurveda to support liver function and detoxification.

  • General well-being: Bhringraj oil is also used to promote overall well-being and longevity.

Potential Health Benefits of Bhringraj Oil

While Bhringraj oil has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, scientific research to support its purported benefits is ongoing. Here's a closer look at some potential benefits with corresponding caveats:

  • Hair health: Some studies suggest that Bhringraj oil may stimulate hair growth, possibly by increasing blood flow to the scalp and nourishing hair follicles. However, more robust clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings.
  • Skin health: The anti-inflammatory and potential wound healing properties of Bhringraj oil may be beneficial for certain skin conditions. However, scientific evidence to support its use for specific skin ailments is currently lacking. Further research is necessary to determine its efficacy and safety for topical application on various skin conditions.
  • Liver health: Bhringraj oil's antioxidant and potential hepatoprotective properties are claimed to support liver health. However, there is limited scientific research to validate this claim.  Studies investigating the oil's effects on the liver are warranted.

Balancing Vata, Pitta, and Kapha

Ayurveda recognizes three primary mind-body types or doshas: Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth and water). Bhringraj oil is believed to help balance all three doshas in various ways:

  • Vata: Vata governs movement and can become aggravated by dryness and anxiety. Bhringraj oil's grounding properties and potential to nourish the scalp may help alleviate Vata-related hair loss and dryness.
  • Pitta: Pitta is associated with metabolism and can become imbalanced due to excess heat or inflammation. Bhringraj oil's cooling properties and potential anti-inflammatory effects may be beneficial for Pitta-related skin concerns like eczema or psoriasis.
  • Kapha: Kapha governs structure and stability but can become sluggish when excessive. Bhringraj oil's stimulating properties may help address Kapha-related scalp congestion and sluggish circulation, potentially promoting hair growth.

Important Considerations Before Using Bhringraj Oil

While Bhringraj oil is generally considered safe for topical use, some crucial considerations are essential before incorporating it into your routine:

  • Consult an Ayurveda practitioner: It is vital to consult a qualified Ayurveda practitioner before using Bhringraj oil, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can advise on potential interactions and suitability
  • External use only: Bhringraj oil is strictly for external use. Accidental ingestion can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Potential for skin irritation: Bhringraj oil may cause skin irritation in some individuals, particularly those with sensitive skin. It is advisable to conduct a patch test before widespread application. Apply a small amount of oil to a localized area on your forearm and monitor for any reactions for 24 hours. If you experience redness, itching, or burning sensation, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Limited scientific evidence: As mentioned throughout this exploration, the current scientific understanding of Bhringraj oil's efficacy for various health conditions remains limited. While traditional uses and anecdotal evidence exist, more robust clinical trials are necessary to definitively establish its effectiveness and safety.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The safety of Bhringraj oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well established. It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it during these periods.

Using Bhringraj Oil Safely

If you choose to use Bhringraj oil after consulting with a healthcare professional and considering the potential risks, here are some general guidelines for safe use:

  • Selection: Purchase Bhringraj oil from a reputable source such as Sri Sri Tattva to ensure quality and purity. Look for cold-pressed, organic Bhringraj oil such as the one mentioned here.

  • Dosage: Specific dosage recommendations may vary depending on the intended use. It is advisable to follow the instructions on the product label or consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

  • Application: For hair care, massage the oil gently into the scalp and hair. Leave it on for a recommended duration, typically 30 minutes to an hour, before washing your hair with a gentle shampoo. For topical application on the skin, apply a thin layer of oil to the affected area and massage it gently.

  • Frequency: The frequency of use will also depend on the intended purpose. Generally, once or twice daily application is considered safe for most uses.

By understanding the properties, traditional uses, potential benefits, and essential considerations surrounding Bhringraj oil, you can make informed decisions about incorporating it into your routine.


Bhringraj oil is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy with a long history of use for various health concerns. While preliminary research exists for specific applications, particularly hair health, more well-designed scientific studies are needed to definitively confirm its effectiveness and safety.