The Bhringraj plant is renowned for its numerous medicinal advantages so let’s explore How to grow Eclipta Alba in your own space!
Ayurveda is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment, and in this ancient art one plant stands out in the limelight due to its wide variety of healing properties. Eclipta Alba also known as Bhringaraj will be discussed in this article and I am sure that by the end of it you will tempted to grow it in your personal garden to reap its fruits (no pun intended).
Have a glance at how to grow Bhringaraj here
Information on Eclipta Alba
Eclipta alba is a herbaceous plant native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, including India, China, and Thailand. Therefore traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine have widely used This plant for its therapeutic properties.
Eclipta alba is rich in bioactive compounds like flavonoids, alkaloids, and triterpenoids, which contribute to its medicinal benefits. The Bhringaraj plant typically reaches a height of about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters).
It is known for its hepatoprotective properties, aiding liver health and promoting detoxification. People also use Eclipta alba for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects. Traditionally, people have used it to treat various ailments, including hair loss, skin disorders, and respiratory conditions.
Common Name: False Daisy, Bhringaraj
Eclipta alba has different names in various Indian languages:
Hindi: भृंगराज (Bhringraj)
Bengali: কেশরাজ (Kesharaj)
Telugu: గుంటగడ్డ (Guntagadda)
Tamil: கரிசிலாங்கணி (Karisilangani)
Kannada: ಕೆಶರಾಜ (Kesharaja)
Malayalam: കയ്യെഴുന്നി (Kaiyezhunni)
Marathi: केशराज (Kesharaj)
Gujarati: ભૃંગરાજ (Bhringraj)
Punjabi: ਭ੍ਰਿੰਗਰਾਜ (Bhringraj)
Odia: କେଶରାଜ (Kesharaja)
Assamese: কেশৰাজ (Kesharaj)
Urdu: بھرنگراج (Bhringraj)
Konkani: कापरो (Kaparo)
Learn more about the different species of champa here
Propagation of Eclipta Alba
You can achieve the propagation of Eclipta alba by following these steps:
- Seed Collection: Obtain mature seeds from a healthy Eclipta alba plant. The seeds are small, brown, and have a feathery appearance.
- Seed Preparation: Clean the seeds by removing any debris or damaged seeds. You can do this by gently rubbing the seeds between your fingers or by using a fine sieve. It is important to use fresh seeds for better germination rates.
- Germination: Eclipta alba seeds can be directly sown into the prepared soil or germinated in trays/pots filled with well-draining soil. Fill the trays with soil and lightly press the seeds into the surface. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and place the trays in a warm and well-lit area. Germination usually takes around 1 to 2 weeks.
- Transplanting: Once the seedlings have developed 2-3 true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or directly into the desired planting location. Choose a location with full or partial sunlight and well-draining soil.
- Plant Care: Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not overly saturated. Eclipta alba prefers slightly moist conditions. Ensure adequate sunlight exposure for healthy growth. Fertilize the plants with a balanced organic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
- Maintenance: Regularly monitor the plants for pests or diseases and take appropriate measures to control them. Pinch back the growing tips to encourage bushier growth and promote branching.
- Harvesting: Eclipta alba can be harvested once it reaches maturity, typically around 2-3 months after planting. Harvest the leaves and aerial parts of the plant for their medicinal use or for culinary purposes.
Requirements for Growing Eclipta Alba
Eclipta alba thrives in full to partial sunlight conditions. It prefers a location that receives at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth and development. However, it can tolerate some shade, making it suitable for areas with partial shade as well.
This plant grows well in a variety of soil types, but it thrives in well-draining soil with good fertility. Hence the ideal soil for Eclipta alba cultivation is loamy soil that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged.
It should have good organic matter content to support healthy growth. The pH level of the soil should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.
Eclipta alba requires regular watering to maintain consistent soil moisture, but it is important to avoid waterlogging. Water the plant deeply and thoroughly, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist. We recommend watering the plant when you feel that the top inch of soil is slightly dry to the touch.
This plant is a tropical plant that prefers warm temperatures. It prefers temperatures ranging from 20°C to 35°C for optimal growth. The plant is sensitive to cold temperatures and cannot tolerate frost or prolonged exposure to temperatures below 10°C. It is most suitable for regions with a tropical or subtropical climate.
This plant thrives in high humidity conditions, as it is native to tropical regions. It prefers a humid environment with humidity levels ranging from 60% to 80%. In areas with lower humidity, such as drier climates or indoors with central heating, it is important to provide adequate moisture around the plant.
Learn how to identify Bhringaraj here
Care For Eclipta Alba
Eclipta alba benefits from regular fertilization to support its growth and development. Prior to planting, it is recommended to amend the soil with organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to provide a nutrient-rich base.
During the growing season, a balanced organic fertilizer can be applied every 4-6 weeks to provide essential nutrients. Look for a fertilizer with a balanced NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio, or choose one specifically formulated for herbs or vegetables.
Learn why adding fertilizer and manure is beneficial for plants here
Pruning Eclipta alba is beneficial for maintaining its shape, promoting bushier growth, and harvesting its foliage for various purposes. Regular pruning helps prevent the plant from becoming leggy and encourages branching.
It is recommended to pinch back the growing tips of the plant when it reaches a height of 6-8 inches to promote lateral growth and denser foliage.
Pests and Diseases
Eclipta alba can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases, although it is generally considered a relatively pest-resistant plant. Common pests that may affect Eclipta alba include aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies.
Regularly inspect the plant for any signs of infestation, such as distorted leaves, webbing, or tiny insects. In case of infestation, use organic insecticidal soaps or neem oil to control the pests. This plant is also susceptible to fungal diseases like leaf spot and powdery mildew, which are often caused by excessive moisture or poor air circulation.
Eclipta alba is generally considered safe for consumption and external use when used in recommended doses. However, like any medicinal plant, it is important to exercise caution. The plant contains various bioactive compounds, and excessive consumption or use may cause adverse effects. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using Eclipta alba without consulting a healthcare professional.