Bhringraj oil is a classical Ayurvedic oil preparation. It is commonly used in treating disorders that include graying and shedding of hair, headache, weak memory, and mental weakness.
This oil is recommended for practically all types of hair problems, and it promotes hair health and growth. When applied, it also has a cooling effect on the head that induces calmness.
Read in this article about the origin, composition, uses, benefits, and side effects of this oil.
Bhringraj oil is made from extracts of Bhringraj. This plant belongs to the order Asterales and the genus Eclipta.
It is a creeping herb that reaches up to three meters in height, and it has white coloured flowers that grow in a solitary manner.
The plant is found as a weed in moist areas of India, China, Brazil, and regions of Southwest America.
This herb has several applications in the therapeutic fields, especially Ayurveda. It is used to balance the doshas and improve the bones, vision, hearing, teeth, hair, and memory. The plant is known to have antimicrobial, analgesic, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Bhringraj oil has four main different formulations according to the purpose of its use. The formulations have been described in Ayurvedic classical texts, and the basic ingredient in all of them is Bhringraj juice.
1. The most common preparation of Bhringraj oil is the following one. It is easily available in the market. In addition, it is said to be a complete formulation that provides all the benefits of the oil.
It consists of the following ingredients:
- Herbal juices: Bhringraj, Brahmi, and Amla.
- Base oil: Sesame
- Other herbal extracts: Haritaki, Bibhitaki, Amla, Nagarmotha, Kachur, Lodhra, Manjistha, Babchi, Padmaka, Anantamul, Henna, Red Sandalwood, Priyangu, Licorice, Jatamansi, Kuth, and Mandur.
2. The next most common formulation uses milk to form the paste. This formulation is used by some companies to prepare Bhringraj oil. Its ingredients are:
- Herbal juices: Bhringraj juice.
- Base oil: Sesame.
- Other herbal extracts: Manjistha, Red ochre, Red sandalwood, Bala root, Turmeric, Daruhaldi, Nagkesar, Priyangu, Licorice, Kamal Kesar, Anantamul.
- Cow milk for consistency
3. This simple composition of Bhringraj oil consists of three components. The preparation is used for nasal administration, and it is usually prepared by Ayurvedic centres or therapists. Pharmaceutical companies do not prefer to manufacture it as it requires a large amount of Bhringraj juice, which makes it cost-ineffective.
The nasal administration of this type of Bhringraj oil benefits the eyesight and the health of the hair, treating effectively its shedding and premature greying.
Its components are:
- Bhringraj juice
- Sesame oil
4. The least common type of Bhringraj oil is rarely found in the market. It is used to treat scalp itching and folliculitis. The ingredients are:
- Herbal juice: Bhringraj
- Base oil: Sesame oil
- Other herbal extracts: Triphala, Anantamul, Mandur
Health Benefits Of Bhringraj Oil
Bhringraj oil has been traditionally used as an Ayurvedic remedy for several conditions, especially hair-related disorders. The benefits of bhringraj oil include:
The weakness of hair is generally caused due to excessive Vata and Pitta according to Ayurveda. The association of these doshas in excess causes hair weakness which leads to thinning and shedding.
Hair fall is also associated with faulty nutrition, damaged hair follicles, and scalp dryness.
The use of Bhringraj oil benefits the three doshas and balances them. Massaging the scalp with it enhances the blood circulation in the scalp and improves the condition of the hair follicles.
The benefits of Bhringraj oil can be obtained by gently massaging the scalp for five to ten minutes twice or thrice a week at least. This hydrates and nourishes the scalp, preventing and treating itching, foul smell, infections, hair thinning and breakage.
According to the Ayurvedic principles, Dandruff can be caused due to different reasons. These include:
- The dominance of Vata dosha
- Dominance of Pitta dosha associated with Ama
- Dominance of Kapha dosha
The Vata dominance causes dryness of the scalp, and it leads to its flaky appearance. The flakes produced by this condition are generally small, and this type of dandruff is accompanied by visibly dry skin.
When dandruff is caused by Pitta dominance associated with toxins (Ama), the produced flakes are greasy and yellow in colour.
The scalp acquires a red tone and a bad smell, while its skin becomes tender and sensitive to touch. There can be a pain when the skin of the scalp is pressed.
Kapha dominance tends to trigger dandruff associated with an oily scalp that suffers from continuous irritation. The flakes are white and they usually have a greasy texture. This condition can also trigger seborrheic dermatitis.
All the above-mentioned types of dandruff can be effectively treated with Bhringraj oil. To get rid of it, massage the scalp daily for five to ten minutes with lukewarm Bhringraj oil till the condition improves. Follow by using the oil two to three times per week to prevent dandruff recurrence.
3. Hair Graying
The herbal contents of Bhringraj oil, especially Bhringraj juice and Jatamansi are extremely beneficial to restore and maintain the hair color. They can treat premature graying of the hair and prevent its further graying. This condition is said to occur due to the excess of Pita dosha in the body.
Bhringraj oil should be applied daily with the help of a gentle massage. The process should be continued for six months to get highly beneficious results. It is recommended to follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to promote the treatment.
For severe cases, oral medications or nutritional supplements might be required. These supplements include Bhringraj powder, Amalakirasayan, Yashtimadhuchurna, Mukta Pishti, and Praval Pishti.
4. Scalp Folliculitis
Inflammation of the hair follicles is known as folliculitis. This condition is triggered by several factors, the most common ones being bacteria, fungi, and viruses. However, it can also be caused by extreme heat, dust, and sebum accumulation.
The active substances of Bhringraj oil and its antimicrobial properties make it a beneficial remedy against folliculitis.
Bhringraj oil is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Its regular application treats the tenderness of the scalp, reduces the pimples and whiteheads, and relieves itching.
5. Scalp Dryness
Bhringraj oil is in itself an excellent moisturizer that can relieve scalp dryness and provide it with the necessary nourishment.
For an added benefit, combine Bhringraj oil with other oils like coconut oil, or herbs like amla and shikhakai. The mixture will have a deep conditioning effect that will nurture and strengthen the hair and scalp.
6. Scalp Ringworm
This condition is also known as Tinea Capitis, and it is caused by an infection. The triggering agent is a fungal microorganism that affects the scalp skin and hair shafts. It leads to bald spots and scaly patches on the scalp as well as itchiness and irritation.
Bhringraj oil has antifungal properties that make it an effective remedy for this condition. It helps in alleviating its symptoms and eliminating the triggering factor.
Other Benefits Of Bhringraj Oil
1. Skin Dryness
Bhringraj is not only a useful moisturizer for the scalp, but also for the skin. It can hydrate the skin, increase blood circulation, and cleanse the hair follicles.
Massaging the body with Bhringraj oil also has a relaxing effect that improves sleep and a cooling effect that provides relief from pain.
Headaches associated with migraine generally experience relief when the head or forehead is pressing with the hand. According to Ayurveda, this type of pain occurs due to the excessive presence of the Vata dosha in the system.
Nasya performed with Bhringraj oil can help in mitigating this condition and provide relief from pain and heaviness in the head.
For it, Bhringraj oil drops are administered through the nose. The oil to be used should be recommended by an Ayurvedic practitioner.
However, the patient can not undergo this treatment if they are experiencing any of the following conditions:
- Increase of pain with pressure or massage.
- Burning sensation in the scalp or head.
- Pulsating pain.
- Sharp pain.
3. Eyesight Weakness
Bhringraj oil is also said to have a soothing effect on the eyes, and it is used to improve eyesight.To mitigate eyesight weakness, instil two drops of Bhringraj oil into each nostril in the morning.
Medicinal Properties & Benefits
The therapeutic properties of Bhringraj oil are many. The oil is commonly known as:
i. A promoter of hair growth
The oil boosts the growth of a healthy hair, and restores and maintains its color by preventing its graying.
ii. Hair strengthener
The oil prevents hair breakage and hair fall by strengthening the roots. It can improve weak hair, thin hair, and graying hair.
Like practically every oil, Bhringraj oil is a deep moisturizing agent for the hair and scalp. Its application prevents and treats dry scalp and hair.
iv. Antidandruff agent
Bhringraj oil mitigates the effects triggered by dandruff causing agents and promotes a healthy scalp.
v. Itching reliever
The oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties that soothe the inflammation and itching of the scalp.
vi. Acne treatment
The use of Bhringraj oil is an effective treatment for scalp acne.
vii. Muscle relaxant
When administered nasally, Bhringraj oil can also relieve the stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint.
viii. Folliculitis Healer
The properties of the oil make it a very good anti-inflammatory agent that prevents and treats the inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis).
ix. Carminative Substance
Bhringraj oil has a cooling and calming effect on the brain when it is applied on the scalp with a massage.
x. Eyesight Improver
The nasal administration of Bhringraj oil helps in boosting eyesight health.
Bhringraj oil has a general method of preparation regardless of its formulation. The steps to be followed for making the oil are:
- Choose a formulation and extract the juice of the herbs mentioned. Measure them according to the proportions needed.
- Grind the herbs that will be used for the preparation of the paste. Use water or cow milk to mix them with the powder and attaining the desired consistency.
- The base oil for all the formulations is sesame oil. Keep it aside.
- Mix all the three types of ingredients, i.e., herbal juices, base oil, and other herbal extracts.
- Heat the mixture and simmer it. The viscous, oily fluid that is left is Bhringraj oil.
- Let the oil cool in a natural way from twelve to twenty-four hours minimum. Nonetheless, leaving it for three to seven days more will just improve its efficacy and quality.
- After the cooling is complete, filter the oil by using a cotton cloth. The herbal residues should be discarded.
- Bhringraj oil is ready for use.
To obtain the benefits of Bhringraj oil, you should massage it on the scalp in the appropriate way. Follow these step-wise directions for it:
i. Wash your hands and make sure they are clean and free from dust, dirt, or microbes.
ii. Warm up the required dose of Bhringraj oil slightly. Make sure it does not acquire an excessively high temperature.
iii. Warm your hands by rubbing the palms against each other.
iv. Take a few drops of the oil in your hands and apply it on the hair roots with the help of your fingertips. Strictly avoid the usage of nails.
v. Massage the scalp in circular motions for five to ten minutes at least. This will facilitate the absorption of the oil by the scalp skin.
vi. Follow this procedure on a regular basis.
The topical use of Bhringraj oil is safe for practically everyone. However, the nasal administration may lead to side effects in certain cases.
These secondary symptoms include:
- Sneezing and irritation in the nose
- Burning sensation in the nose
- Throat irritation and discomfort
- Slight headaches
Bhringraj oil provides an effective treatment for several conditions, especially deficiencies and disorders of the hair. Regular massages with Bhringraj oil can help in boosting the health of the scalp and prevent adverse symptoms like itching, hair greying, and hair fall among others.
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