How does it feel to be locked in a tiny house for months. And the only view outside is a sheet of white snow.
A group of eight scientists had been living at the Antarctic Research Station for over a year. Long periods of darkness and harsh weather conditions took their toll on them.
He shrank his mind and came back. Obviously, the scientist was doing very little mental and physical activity. And that’s why their brain loses some volume, like an unused muscle.
Shrinkage is not just a problem of the brain or muscles. This is also the problem of hair follicles. Our hair follicles also shrink if we don’t stimulate it enough or go through too much stress or have an imbalance of hormones. When this happens – the hair follicles constrict – the hair becomes choked and becomes thinner and eventually falls out. Now the solution would be to remove the triggers first. So go for a head massage, reduce stress and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
But, what to do with hair follicles that have already shrunk? Well, you can take the help of Bhringraj – the famous Ayurvedic herb for hair. Bhringraj can increase the size and density of hair follicles and encourage the growth of strong and healthy hair. Also, if you have premature graying of hair, Bhringraj will deal with that as well.
This is a big promise. Do you want to know what Bhringraj does for hair? Then wait a while, first let’s know about Bhringraj.
What is Bhringraj?
Bhringraj or Eclipta alba belongs to the sunflower family. But its flowers are not big at all, they are actually quite small, the size of a shirt button. Also, Bhringraj is not an ornamental plant. It is a small liana that grows in the wild.
Bhringraj likes marshy wet areas, so you will usually find it along the banks of rivers, canals, rice fields and ponds. It is native to the Indian subcontinent where it is also known as Bhringa, Bhangra, Maka and Kesharaj – meaning king of hair rejuvenating herbs.
I remember when I was in high school, one of my friend’s mother used to go to the canal side and bring fresh bhringraj plants. That she would crush her hair and that of her two beautiful daughters. And perhaps Bhringraj worked his magic, because they all had such thick, black, beautiful hair.
But how do we know that his beautiful hair was due to Bhringraj. It could be that they were lucky enough to be born with big hair. Or maybe it’s both. Let’s dig deeper and find out…
Ancient and modern use Bhringraj for hair growth
Ayurveda places Bhringraj in the list of most effective herbs for hair. It has been used traditionally in the preparation of hair oils to promote hair growth and reduce hair fall. But this claim is not coming only from ancient texts.
There is strong evidence that Bhringraj is indeed effective for hair growth.
Studies conducted over the past decade have found that bhringraj not only stimulates hair growth, but it also shifts the hair cycle from the resting phase to the growing (anagen) phase (1, 2, 3). This means that hairs that are ready to fall out return to an actively growing state. And this in turn will reduce hair fall and make hair thick and voluminous.
Furthermore, when compared to Minoxidil, a conventional hair loss treatment, Bhringraj proved to be equally effective (1). But without the side effects of redness, scaling, and itching that minoxidil can cause.
Even though the study was done on rats, the evidence is promising.
How does Bhringraj promote growth?
The herb contains a variety of biological constituents, including flavonoids, phytosterols, and coumastains. All of these components are believed to work synergistically to increase the density and size of hair follicles (3).
It’s not clear what types of hair loss bhringraj will help. But from the findings at hand, it is most likely that the Indian herb may be useful in causing the shrinking of hair follicles, and they would be male and female pattern baldness.
So if any of these are causing your hair fall or god knows what else, try Bhringraj as it simply improves the health of the hair follicles. Let’s find out how to use it…shall we?
How to use Bhringraj to promote hair growth
If you have a fresh bhringraj plant, then by all means go ahead, use it. Make a paste of fresh leaves and apply it on your hair. But I think very few people will be.
Now most will need to make Bhringraj powder from dried leaves. You can use Bhringraj powder to make herbal hair oil. Follow the recipe for amla hair oil, either substituting bhringraj for amla or use both.
I like to use Bhringraj in hair masks. My hair responds better to the herbs in the hair mask than to the oil. And here are three of my favorite Bhringraj hair mask recipes for you to promote hair growth and/or darken hair…
1. Volumising Bhringraj and Yogurt Hair Mask
It is meant for fine, oily hair type. Bhringraj promotes hair growth and adding curd increases the volume and thickness of hair.
you will need:
- 1 tbsp Bhringraj powder
- 5-6 tbsp curd (full fat)
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds powder (optional)
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Combine the bhringraj powder and curd in a bowl, mix well and use. You can also add 1 egg yolk for added volume and fenugreek seeds for its growth-promoting effects. If your hair is dry, apply olive oil to restore moisture and softness.
Apply the mask on your scalp and hair. Leave it on for half an hour and wash it off with homemade or SLS-free natural shampoo.
2. Hair Growth & Moisturizing Bhringraj Mask
For those of you with dry, frizzy hair, combine hair growth beetle with hair softener hibiscus. You can use water as the base, but for a more luxurious experience, use coconut milk.
you will need:
- 2 tbsp Bhringraj powder
- 2 tbsp hibiscus powder
- 5-6 tbsp coconut milk
Take bhringraj powder and hibiscus powder in a bowl. Then add coconut milk and stir to make a paste.
Apply section by section to your scalp and hair, and leave it on for 30 minutes to work its magic. Wash it off with water. To shampoo or not is your choice. See how your hair feels, you can wash your hair with apple cider vinegar or reetha-shikakai.
3. Bhringraj Hair Coloring Mask
If your concern is both hair loss and graying, a great way to use Bhringraj is to comb it with henna. Henna gives a reddish-brown color to the hair and Bhringraj enhances the colour. Apart from this, it is also said that using Bhringraj regularly will stop graying and your hair will turn back to its original colour.
how to do this:
When you prepare henna, add one tablespoon of Bhringraj powder to it. Let the henna and bhringraj marinate overnight. And apply henna to your hair in the morning.
You May Also Like: How To Color Your Hair With Henna (Skip the Hair Dye)
Buying Bhringraj Powder:
Buying Bhringraj is not at all expensive. Since it can be known by many names, it is good to know its botanical name which is Eclipta alba or Eclipta prostrata.
You can buy Bhringraj powder online or you can also get it from Indian grocery stores.
Other uses of Bhringraj
Though Bhringraj is famous for its hair benefits, there are many other uses of this herb. Ayurvedic practitioners use Bhringraj supplements to treat liver disorders, skin conditions, arthritis, poor vision, hearing and memory problems.
A word of caution, if you plan to take bhringraj, talk to your doctor before self-medicating even with natural herbs, especially if you are pregnant or have a medical condition.
Let me know if you have any questions and how Bhringraj has worked for you.
be happy and healthy
Till next time…