Bhringaraj, popularly known as ‘false daisy’ in English is a traditional wonder herb, that is hugely recommended for growing long, silky and strong hair. Clad by the vernacular names as karisalankani in Tamil, gunta galagaraaku in Telugu, kesuriya in Bengali, kannunni in Malayalam and bhangaro in Gujarati, this herb belongs to the sunflower family and is widely used all over the world for its immense benefits towards hair and overall health.
Bhringaraj is a creeping herb that grows to a height of 3 metres. It has a long stalk and white coloured flowers which are solitary, winged and about 6 to 8 mm in diameter. The leaves are sessile, lance-shaped and arranged in the opposite orientation. It has distinct cylindrical and grey coloured roots. The herb mostly grows in the moist regions of India, China, Nepal, Thailand, and Brazil.
Bhringaraj is widely mentioned in several ayurvedic scriptures as bhring, markav, angarak, keshraaj, bhringaar, and keshranjan. The Sanskrit scriptures of Raj Nighantu categorises bhringaraj into three types:
Shweta Bhringaraj (possesses white coloured flowers)
Peet Bhringaraj (possesses yellow coloured flowers)
Neel Bhringaraj (possesses blue coloured flowers)
The umpteen beneficial properties of bhringaraj include Keshranjaka (hair vitalizer), Ruchuvardakam (appetizer), Jathraagni deepaka (stimulates digestive fire), Netrahitkara (treats eye problems), Kapha visha nashaka (helps destroy Kapha doshas and toxins), Deepana (enhances stomach fire), Pachana (helps in digestion), Kusthahara (treats skin disease), Shothahara (reduces inflammation), Raktapitta (treats bleeding disorders), Kasahara (treats cough and cold), Pandunut (treats anaemia), Shiro artinut (treats headache), Chakushya (improves eyesight), Rasayana (anti-ageing) and Jantujit (relieves from worm infestation). Imbued with these potent properties, bhringaraj is extensively used for treating a host of health issues like hair problems, skin and tooth infections, worm infestations, cough, cold, asthma, anaemia, inflammation, leprosy, and other infections.
Effect On Doshas
Shankhpushpi characterizes Katu and Tikta Rasa (pungent and bitter taste). It shows Laghu (light) and Rukshna (dry) gunas, Ushna Virya (hot potency) and Katu Vipaka (pungent metabolic property). It balances the Vata (air) and Kapha (earth and water) doshas and aggravates the Pitta
Bhringaraj being a potent hair vitalizer has a host of bioactive constituents including flavonoids and phytochemicals like ecliptic, wedelolactone, coumestans, polypeptides, polyacetylenes, thiophene derivatives, steroids, sterols like stigmasterol, heptacosanole, hentriacontanol, and triterpenes.
Bhringaraj is widely available in the market in various forms like powder or churna, juice or kashayam, juice or asava, oil or tailam. But mostly it is used in the form of oil.
It is a classic ayurvedic hair tonic that is extremely beneficial for hair fall, grey hair and dandruff. Apart from benefitting the hair, it is also useful for skin problems, headaches, and mental weakness. Massaging your hair with bhringaraj oil provides a calming effect on the head, increases memory, improves blood circulation on the scalp.