This plant has cylindrical, grayish roots. The solitary flower heads are 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) in diameter, with white florets. The achenes are compressed and narrowly winged.
The plant has traditional uses in Ayurveda. It is bitter, hot, sharp, dry in taste. In India it is known as bhangra (भांग्र), bhringaraj, bhrungraja and bhringraja. Wedelia calendulacea is known by the same names, so the white-flowered E. alba is called white bhangra and the yellow-flowered W. calendulacea is called yellow bhangra. The various Sanskrit names of Eclipta Alba, i.e. Bhringraj, Bhringraja, Bhrungraja etc., are literally translated as the 'King of Hair', clearly referring to its traditional reputation in Ayurveda as an herb supporting hair growth. Some Ayurvedic hair oils incorporate Bhringraj as an ingredient.
It is reported to improve hair growth and color.[medical citation needed] A study in rats showed that petroleum ether extracts of E. prostrata decreased the amount of time it took for hair to begin regrowing and to fully regrow in shaved albino rats. The result of treatment with E. prostrata was better than the positive control, 2% minoxidil.
Eclipta Alba is a close relative of Eclipta Prostrata, but is thought to be somewhat interchangeable. In the Ayurvedic System, Eclipta Alba, as with all other herbs, is classified according to its qualities, taste, physiological effects, etc. Ayurveda states that it is: Taste – Katu (Bitter), Tikta (Pungent) Quality – Rooksha (Dry), Laghu (light to digest) Energy - Ushna (Hot) Post Digestive Effect - Pungent, i.e. undergoes a pungent taste conversion after digestion. According to Ayurveda, these qualities characterize the medicinal effects of Eclipta Alba on the body, and are expressed in Ayurvedic terms as reducing Vata and Kapha, and increasing Pitta only when used in excess. However it is a confusing herb, because it is said to be heating in some ways but also is said to control Pitta (heat) in the head, which is how it prevents hair loss by cooling down the head. It has a confusing heating and cooling effect in different ways.
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- Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
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- Flora of China, 鳢肠 li chang Eclipta prostrata (Linnaeus) Linnaeus, Mant. Pl. 2: 286. 1771.
- Altervista Flora Italiana, Falsa margherita , false daisy, tattoo plant, Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.
- Puri, H. S. 2003. Rasayana: Ayurvedic Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation. Taylor & Francis, London. pages 80–85.
- https://americanindianimports.com/content/5_bhringraj[full citation needed]
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- Roy RK, Thakur M, Dixit VK (2008). "Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats". Archives of Dermatological Research. 300 (7): 357–64. doi:10.1007/s00403-008-0860-3. PMID 18478241.
- Datta K, Singh AT, Mukherjee A, Bhat B, Ramesh B, Burman AC (2009). "Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 124 (3): 450–6. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.05.023. PMID 19481595.
- Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L.; Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press. ISBN 0-89672-614-2
- Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 0-7234-3410-7.
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