False Daisy
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False Daisy
ative Herb Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: False Daisy, Trailing eclipta • Hindi: भ्रिंगराज Bhringaraj, केशराज Kesharaj • Manipuri: ꯎꯆꯤ ꯁꯨꯝꯕꯜ Uchi-sumbal • Tamil: கரிசிலாங்கண்ணி Karisilanganni, Kavanthakara • Malayalam: Kannunni • Telugu: Galagara • Kannada: ಅಜಗರ Ajagara, ಕಾಡಿಗೆಗರಿಗೆ Kaadige garige, ಗರುಗ Garuga, ಗರುಗಲು Garugalu ಗರುಂಗು Garungu ಕೇಶವರ್ಧನ Keshavardhana • Oriya: Kesarda • Sanskrit: भृङ्गः, Bhring, भृङ्गम् Bhringam, भृङ्गराजः Bhringaraj • Nepali: भ्रिङ्गराज Bhringaraaj, भंगेरी झार Bhangeree Jhaar, आली झार Aalee Jhaar
Botanical name: Eclipta prostrata    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Eclipta erecta, Eclipta alba, Eclipta punctata

False Daisy is an annual commonly found growing in waste ground. Stems are erect or prostate, entirely velvety, often rooting at nodes. Oppositely arranged stalkless, oblong, lance-shaped, or elliptic leaves are 2.5-7.5 cm long. It has a short, flat or round, brown stem and small white daisy-like flowers on a long stalk. Eclipta grows abundantly in the tropics and is used with success in Ayurvedic medicine. Bhringaraj was used by Hindus in their Shradh, the ceremony for paying respect to a recently deceased person. This plant is one of the Hindu’s “Ten Auspicious Flowers” and is sometimes called, “the king of hair.”
Medicinal uses: Bhringraj is mainly used in hair oils, but it has been considered a good drug in hepatotoxicity. In hair oils, it may be used alongwith Centela asiatica (Brahmi) and Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) It may be used to prevent habitual abortion and miscarriage and also in cases of post-delivery uterine pain. A decoction of leaves is used in uterine haemorrhage. The juice of the plant with honey is given to infants with castor oil for expulsion of worms. For the relief in piles, fumigation with Eclipta alba is considered beneficial. The paste prepared by mincing fresh plants has got an anti-inflammatory effect and may be applied to insect bites, stings, swellings and other skin diseases.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Millenium Park, Delhi.

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