Comprehensive Guide To Eclipta Alba: The Natural Answer to Hair and Skincare

Jun 29, 2023by Heather Smith


You're likely no stranger to natural skincare remedies and oils, but have you heard of Eclipta alba? It's a powerful herb used in traditional medicine for centuries, gaining recognition in the beauty industry for its impressive benefits.

Often referred to as 'Bhringraj,' this plant is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and potent phytochemicals that can transform your hair and skin. Native to India, this herb is a cornerstone in Ayurvedic medicine for its powerful healing properties. It's loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, and coumestans, compounds shown to promote hair growth and skin health.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on Eclipta alba, delving into its origins, impact on skincare, and profound effects on hair health.

With regular use, you might find Eclipta alba the secret ingredient your hair and skin have been craving.

Eclipta alba oil for hair and skin - infographic by bareLUXE Skincare

What is Eclipta Alba?

Eclipta alba is a plant teeming with beneficial fatty acids and phytochemicals. 

It originates from India and has a storied history of use in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, showcasing its remarkable versatility and efficacy.

Also known as the false daisy, this little plant hails from the sunflower family. Reaching a modest height of just 40-60cm, this tropical native has an understated appeal that is as practical as it is versatile. This tough and adaptable plant thrives in warm, moist climates.

The true charm of Eclipta alba comes alive during the summer and fall. Small, composite flowers, each no larger than 6-8mm, punctuate the plant with bursts of white – an elegant contrast to the verdant green.

The active compounds found in Eclipta alba play a significant role in its effectiveness as a skincare and haircare ingredient. These include a variety of fatty acids and an array of phytochemicals.

Here's a simple breakdown of the key components found in Eclipta alba:

    • Fatty Acids: rich in linoleic acid and oleic acid, known to moisturize, heal, and protect the skin and hair, giving them a healthy glow.

    • Ecliptine: the primary active compound in Eclipta alba. It's been found to promote hair growth and improve hair health overall.

    • Flavonoids: powerful antioxidants that protect the skin and hair from environmental stressors. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.

    • Triterpenoids: compounds with potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making them excellent for problem skin.

    • Sterols: help to fortify the skin's barrier, maintaining moisture and protecting the skin from harmful external factors.

Eclipta alba's combination of fatty acids and phytochemicals provides a comprehensive package for hair and skin health — no wonder this plant has been revered for centuries in traditional medicine for its remarkable benefits.

Eclipta Alba in Traditional Medicines

As a skincare formulator who is also a medical physician, I tread carefully when exploring the traditional uses of the ingredients I choose to design my products. I don't apply herbalism or traditional knowledge to my medical practice; I keep those worlds separate. However, I'm also incredibly mindful that I'm just a visitor in this space. Cultural appropriation is rampant in the beauty industry, and my job primarily is to observe and learn.

Eclipta alba is Bhringraj in Ayurveda and Han Lian Cao in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In Ayurveda, Bhringraj is revered as a rejuvenator, believed to balance the body's energies and promote hair health. Similarly, TCM employs Han Lian Cao to nourish the liver and kidneys, purportedly addressing symptoms of premature aging. Contemporary studies hint at these benefits, with findings suggesting antioxidant and hair growth-promoting properties. However, more research is required for a fuller understanding.

It's crucial to appreciate these medicinal systems' cultural heritage while studying herbal benefits. As a skincare formulator, this traditional wisdom offers exciting possibilities to explore, always with the support of rigorous science and a deep respect for its cultural origins.

Eclipta Alba's Benefits for Skin

Although its use is focused on haircare, there are plenty of Eclipta alba skin benefits as a facial oil. Because of the emphasis on hair benefits, this humble plant is often overlooked as a skincare ingredient. It's rich in flavonoids and coumestans, compounds that are renowned for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These components help to soothe irritated skin, combat free radical damage, and prevent premature aging.

Here are a few key Eclipta alba benefits for skin:

    • It has potent anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it can help to reduce redness, swelling, and irritation caused by conditions like acne or rosacea.

    • Packed with antioxidants, Eclipta alba helps to neutralize harmful free radicals. This can protect your skin from environmental damage and slow down the aging process.

    • Eclipta alba can also stimulate collagen production. This helps to maintain your skin's elasticity and firmness, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Eclipta Alba Oil for Hair: A Deep Dive

Now that we've touched on the skin benefits, let's focus on where this oil really shines - hair care! 

First, you need to know that Eclipta alba oil and Bhringraj oil are the same thing. Eclipta alba is the herb from which the oil is made. The herb is used in other ways for traditional medicine (leaves, stems, powder, etc.). Once infused into an oil, it is more commonly called Bhringraj oil in the Indian literature, but Eclipta alba oil is the same.

Unlike seed-based, cold-pressed oils, this oil is made through an infusion process. The leaves and stems of the plant are soaked (or mashed or heated) in carrier oil, and then the final oil is eventually filtered, leaving a clear product. 

Bhringraj Oil: The Indian Secret for Luscious Locks

Bhringraj oil has numerous benefits for your hair. Here are a few that might sway you to give this natural remedy a try:

    • It's rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals, thereby preventing damage to your hair follicles.
    • High concentrations of fatty acids provide moisture and nourishment to your hair and scalp. Regular use can restore vitality, shine, and softness to your hair. 
    • Anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe the scalp, preventing issues like itchiness and flaking.
    • Antimicrobial properties make it a powerful tool for keeping your scalp healthy. It fights off harmful bacteria and fungi that can cause scalp infections, leading to hair loss or dandruff.
    • Bhringraj oil stimulates blood circulation in the scalp, encouraging hair growth. This can be particularly beneficial if you're struggling with hair thinning or hair loss.
    • Bhringraj oil is felt to slow down the graying process. Regular use can help maintain your natural hair colour for longer.

These benefits make Bhringraj oil a powerful natural solution for hair care. Incorporating it into your hair care routine could be a game-changer.

The Science Behind Eclipta Alba Oil for Hair Growth

Eclipta alba, also known as Bhringraj in Ayurvedic medicine, is known for its hair growth-promoting capabilities. The use of Bhringraj oil for hair care is backed by science, not just tradition. It's rich in minerals and vitamins that nourish the scalp and strengthen the hair follicles, making them less prone to damage and breakage. It's been found to extend the anagen phase of hair growth, which is when your hair is actively growing. This means that consistent use of Eclipta alba oil can result in thicker, longer hair over time.

The main active compounds in Eclipta alba oil, like ecliptine and wedelolactone, have been shown to stimulate hair growth. They work by increasing blood circulation in the scalp, which leads to a better nutrient supply to the hair follicles, ultimately promoting healthier and faster hair growth.

In addition, these compounds have potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help combat scalp infections, one of the significant causes of hair loss.

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that hair treated with Eclipta alba extract showed a significant increase in the number of hair follicles, suggesting that it can stimulate hair growth effectively. Furthermore, it's believed to prolong the anagen phase (the growth phase) of the hair cycle, resulting in longer, stronger hair.

However, like most natural remedies, results won't be instant. There is also a lot more research needed before drawing conclusions that this is a miracle cure for baldness or thinning. Still, the evidence is interesting and if you're looking for a natural hair oil, choosing one with Bhringraj oil makes sense.

How to Apply Eclipta Alba Oil for Maximum Hair Benefits

To start, you need to apply Eclipta alba oil directly to your scalp. Gently massage it in circular motions for a few minutes to stimulate blood circulation, which helps with nutrient absorption, allowing the oil to penetrate deeper into your hair roots. Our article on the best hair oils goes through some great tips for properly using hair oil and avoiding any unwanted greasiness. 

It's recommended to leave the oil in your hair for at least an hour before washing it off. For the best results, repeat this process twice a week. Regular application of Eclipta alba oil not only strengthens the hair but also promotes growth, reduces hair fall, and gives your hair a natural shine.

Sustainability and Ethics of Eclipta Alba Production

There are no specific issues or controversies linked to the growth or harvesting of this plant. It does require a lot of water, which can be intense for local water resources if not managed responsibly.

The work involved in the cultivation and extraction of Bhringraj oil can be labour-intensive, and it's critical that workers are paid fair wages and provided with safe working conditions. The demand for Bhringraj oil should not lead to the displacement of local communities or the destruction of their traditional ways of life. Therefore, ethical sourcing and fair trade practices are key in the production of Bhringraj oil.

Eclipta Alba: Side Effects and Safety Precautions

Reactions to Eclipta alba are uncommon as it's not a common allergen or irritant. However, there are always risks of a reaction, and every person has different skin and sensitivities. Patch testing is always recommended, as-is discussing your skincare regimen with your dermatologist if you're worried.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can Eclipta Alba be used in combination with other natural ingredients for enhanced benefits?

Absolutely, you can combine Eclipta alba with other natural ingredients like amla or coconut oil for enhanced hair benefits. This mix amplifies hair growth, skin nourishment, and overall wellness properties.

Q: How long does it take to see results when using Eclipta Alba for hair and skincare?

Typically, you'll notice improvements in your hair and skin after about 6-8 weeks of consistent use of Eclipta alba. However, it's important to remember that results can vary based on individual differences.

Q: Are Eclipta alba and Bhringraj oil the same thing?

Eclipta alba is the name of the herb/plant. Many parts of the plant are used in medicinal practices (leaves, stems, etc.). The oil is extracted through the process of infusion with another carrier oil. Once extracted, then Eclipta alba oil and Bhringraj oil are the same thing.

Q: What is Eclipta prostrata?

Just another name for Eclipta alba. The taxonomy of naming rules just gets a bit confusing sometimes. 🤷‍♀️

Q: Can I use Bhringraj oil on my beard?

Yes! If you're deciding between a beard oil vs balm, Eclipta alba could be an ingredient in either. 

Final Thoughts on Eclipta Alba for Hair and Skin

This humble plant, also known as Bhringraj, has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic practices due to its potent properties that benefit hair and skin health. It's packed with beneficial compounds like ecliptine and wedelolactone, which are known to stimulate hair growth and improve skin texture. The plant's antioxidants also fight against aging and skin damage, providing you with a youthful glow. It's a true natural marvel, offering great value in terms of hair and skincare.

Let's not forget the research that backs up these benefits. Multiple studies have shown the efficiency of Eclipta alba in promoting hair growth and reducing hair fall. It's not just an old wives' tale; it's a scientifically validated solution to your hair and skin woes.


Begum S, Lee MR, Gu LJ, Hossain MJ, Kim HK, Sung CK. Comparative hair restorer efficacy of medicinal herb on nude (Foxn1nu) mice. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:319795. 

Roy RK, Thakur M, Dixit VK. Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats. Arch Dermatol Res. 2008 Aug;300(7):357-64. 

Datta K, Singh AT, Mukherjee A, Bhat B, Ramesh B, Burman AC. Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 30;124(3):450-6. 

Begum S, Lee MR, Gu LJ, Hossain J, Sung CK. Exogenous stimulation with Eclipta alba promotes hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation and downregulates TGF-β1 expression in nude mice. Int J Mol Med. 2015 Feb;35(2):496-502. 

Lee KH, Choi D, Jeong SI, Kim SJ, Lee CH, Seo HS, Jeong HS. Eclipta prostrata promotes the induction of anagen, sustains the anagen phase through regulation of FGF-7 and FGF-5. Pharm Biol. 2019 Dec;57(1):105-111. 

Jahan R, Al-Nahain A, Majumder S, Rahmatullah M. Ethnopharmacological Significance of Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk. (Asteraceae). Int Sch Res Notices. 2014 Oct 29;2014:385969.

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About the Author

Dr. Heather Smith developed her love for skinimalism and clean beauty years ago when she began making home remedies for her newborn's eczema. She is an expert in natural ingredients and active botanicals and has now launched bareLUXE Skincare - a full line of effective oil serums. She dedicates this blog to consumers who are researching ingredients and working to make their beauty ritual more natural and sustainable.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Smith nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content should consult their physicians about their skincare concerns and routines.