Bhringraj called karisalankanni in Tamil is known to many mainly for it's use in making bhringraj hair oil. Bhringraj hair oil is an amazing hair treatment that solves many hair problems. But bhringraj has other amazing health and medicinal benefits too - it treats anemia, skin diseases and cold related problems. If you don't get fresh leaves, you can try using the bhringraj powder, that is available everywhere now. If you don't like to consume bhringraj powder, then try the bhringraj capsules, but I prefer to use only the fresh herb. There are 2 varieties of bhringraj, one variety produces yellow flowers and the other variety produces beautiful small white flowers. Bhringraj's botanical name is Eclipta Alba and it's English name is False Daisy. I usually have bhringraj plants in the garden and I strongly suggest that you grow this amazing herb in your garden too, to enjoy it's many health benefits. This plant needs very little to no maintenance and regular watering and little bit of natural manure will be enough to maintain this wonderful plant. In Tamil Nadu, bhringraj is considered a sacred herb and is valued very highly for it's wonderful uses. Including karisalankanni in the diet regularly will prevent anemia and all liver related diseases. Try to include this herb in the diet of young children, if consumed from an early age, it will protect them from many diseases. Out of the two varietys of bhringraj, the yellow variety is used more for home remedies. The best way to consume it is to include it in our dhal or just make a simple filling for dosa by frying onions in little bit of oil and then add the greens and saute well, till it reduced in quantity and is cooked. Now add little bit of pepper powder, salt and little bit of freshly gated coconut. Saute well till there is no moisture left. Use this as a filling for dosas, sandwiches, rotis. Once we learn to cook with this amazing herb, we will continue to use it regularly in our diet.
1. Bhringraj for Hair loss, Grey Hair & Hair Regrowth:
The best way to use bhringraj for hair is by making a hair oil with it, bhringraj oil has amazing hair benefits. It prevents hair fall, premature greying, strengthens the hair roots, conditions the hair well, prevents split ends, stimulates hair growth, prevents baldness, premature greying and alopecia - in short everything that is needed for a healthy hair. Nowadays bhringraj oil is marketed everywhere but you can make your own pure bhringraj oil at home very easily. I prefer to use homemade coconut oil that is not refined for making this oil and I would strongly suggest that you do the same for best results. This oil can be made in two ways, the first method is made by grinding the bhringraj leaves without water and making it into small rounds and then sun drying it till crisp. Then the rounds are added to coconut oil in a glass jar and placed in hot sunlight till the color of the oil changes. This method takes around 3 to 4 days for the bhringraj balls to dry and for the coconut oil to get heated up. This method is best done during hot summer months. I did the second method, which is made by directly heating the paste in coconut oil. This oil has a beautiful green color and a unique pleasant smell. When I made this oil, the whole house was smelling of this oil. To use this oil, massage it well into the scalp before having your hair wash regularly and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. This oil stores well for up to 3 months at room temperature.
2. Bhringraj for Baldness: This bhringraj hair pack made with bhringraj leaves will prevent baldness. To make the hair pack, take equal quantities of bhringraj powder, amla powder and methi powder in a cup. Mix the powders well together, now add enough yogurt till it forms a thick but spreadable paste. Apply this hair pack all over the scalp, wait for 15 minutes before washing it off. If you have access to fresh bhringraj leaves, the bhringraj powder in this pack can be substituted with it. Bhringraj when used regularly as a hair pack, treats all scalp problems and will greatly help promote new hair growth. Even with hereditary baldness, regular use of bhringraj will have a positive effect. I would suggest using this hair pack weekly once or twice for best results. Regular use is the key to getting the full hair benefits of bhringraj. If using fresh plant paste, both varieties of bhringraj plant can be used.
3. Bhringraj for Liver:
Bhringraj is a liver tonic. Like keelanelli, bhringraj is also used widely for treating liver disorders. When compared to our elders, we are increasingly eating out nowadays. Regularly eating junk food or food that has been mass produced that place emphasis only on the taste plays havoc with our liver. Last week, I was talking to a person who cooks regularly for marriages about adding synthetic colors to food. He said that not only him but almost all the cooks that he knows off adds synthetic colors to all the chutneys, sweets, even certain gravies to get the appealing bright color. No wonder each time we have food outside, the next day we feel so sluggish and tired. One best remedy is to include liver cleansing herbs in our diet. Adding bhringraj to our diet keeps our liver healthy. You can simply steam the finely cut and cleaned bhringraj leaves in a steamer and consume. It can also be had along with dhal or as a stuffing for bread, roti, etc. It can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for palak| spinach. Try to use bhringraj at least weekly once in the diet. In our village, the water decoction of equal parts of bhringraj and keelanelli along with tiny pinch of turmeric is used as a remedy for treating hepatitis. 4. Bhringraj For Skin: In my personal experience, home remedies work wonderfully for skin related diseases. Bhringraj leaves are amazing for treating all minor skin related diseases as it has wonderful anti bacterial properties. Bhringraj juice is very effective for treating cracked heels and minor skin allergies. To get the bhringraj juice, take the fresh leaves of bhringraj plant, wash and pound it in a mortar and pestle as finely as you can. Now take the pounded mixture in a strainer and press with a spoon to extract the juice completely. Apply this juice directly on the affected area continuously for a few days to see results. This juice also helps in faster healing of wounds and it is best applied when it is fresh. We also use bhringraj while making kajal, we apply the keelanelli juice on the brass plate and place it over a small lamp that is filled unrefined sesame oil. Once the soot is collected, we take it in a plate and mix it with ghee and use as kajal. Kajal made with keelanelli has a cooling effect on the eyes. 5. Bhringraj for Cold & Cough: Bhringraj is great for treating cold and cough. For the remedy, take a handful of fresh bhringraj leaves in a mortar and pestle. Extract the juice by pounding it along with little boiled water and strain. Now add a few drops of honey to this strained mixture. This mixture is very effective for treating cold and cough. This remedy can be given to both children and adults. This mixture should be consumed once every day for 3 days in empty stomach for best results. 6. Bhringraj for Anemia: A simple homemade soup made with bhringraj leaves treats anemia very effectively as bhringraj is very high in iron. To make the soup, heat little bit of homemade ghee in a pan and season it with cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add 1 finely sliced large onion, 2 finely cut garlic clove and then 1 small tomato, saute well and add the bhringraj leaves. Once it is fried well, season with salt and pepper. Add water till it is fully immersed in water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Switch off, mash it with a hand blender and strain. This soup if had daily for a few days will treat anemia very effectively. 7. Bhringraj for Sinus Infection:
Bhringraj is very effective for treating sinus infection. For the remedy, take a handful of bhringraj leaves in a pan. Pound 1/4 tsp peppercorns coarsely in a mortar and pestle and add it to the bhringraj leaves along with 3 pinches of organic turmeric powder. Boil till it reduces in quantity and strain. This home remedy works very well for treating all sinus related problems. But make sure that the peppercorns are coarse, else the mixture will be very spicy. This remedy can be used for young children too but reduce the quantity of peppercorns.....