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Eclipta alba

Eclipta alba

Synonyms

No documentation.

Vernacular Name

Bhangra, bhringaraja, trailing alba.

Description

This erect, glabrous, branched annual produces small white, narrowly winged hermaphrodite flowers. Root systems are very well developed. It produces floral heads that are between 6-8 milimeters in diameter.

Origin / Habitat

Eclipta Alba is commonly known as a weed that grows readily throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. It grows well in semi-shaded areas such as woodlands and prefers moist soil evidenced by its flourishing in rice paddies in Japan.

Chemical Constituents

E. alba contains three major coumestans: norwedelolactone, wedelolactone, and demethylwedelolactone. Also, flavonoids, steroids, triterpenoids, polyacetylenes, andthiophene derivitives. [2][3][4]

Plant Part Used

Leaf and sometimes root. [5]

Traditional Use

In Ayurvedic medical practices Bhangra, or Bhringaraja, is used as a general tonic, a diuretic and in treatment of spleen and liver disorders such as enlarged liver and hepatitis. Generally, the whole plant is used, but often just the juice from the leaves is used to treat edema, joint pain and fever. The juice from the Bhangra leaf can also be used topically for mild burns and abrasions. Bhangra stimulates the pitta dosha while pacifying the kapha and vata doshas. Its rasa (taste) is classified as Katu and Tikta (pungent and bitter, respectively). [5] In popular Indian culture, Bhangra is used to stimulate and improve memory. 

The leaves and sometimes roots are used in combination with Ajowan seeds in liver and gallbladder derangements and have often replaced the use of general liver tonics. 

Dosage

3-6g Powder, 4-12 ml infusion. [1]

Pharmacology

Pre-clinical

E. alba is astringent, emetic, febrifuge, purgative and tonic. Actual clinical work on E. alba is limited with only a few small pilot studies published in the literature. However its traditional use has been further verified and investigated in animal studies. [3] 

Additional animal studies have shown positive results for E. alba as having hepatoprotective properties, anti-aggressive neurological effects, a positive effect on memory,   anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic properties.[6][7][8][9]  

Clinical

In one small clinical study of mildly hypertensive males aged 45 to 50, E. alba users showed a reduction in mean arterial pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, plasma lipid peroxides and LDL fraction. Its use also resulted in an increased urine output. [10] 

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, E. alba should not be used in conjunction with hypertensive medications or diuretics as it has been shown to act as a diuretic. [10]

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

No documentation.

Pregnancy

Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

No documentation.

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  1)  Western Herbs

References

  1. Kapoor, LD. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1990.169.
  2. Nadkarni AK, Indian Materia Medica, Volume 1. 3rd Edition. Bombay:Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd;1982.
  3. Premila, M.S. Ayurvedic Herbs: A Clinical Guide to the Healing Plants of Traditional Indian Medicine. Binghamton, NY: The Hayworth Press; 2006.
  4. Upadhyay RK, Pandey MB, Jha RN, Pandey VB.Eclalbatin, a triterpene saponin from Eclipta alba. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2001;3(3):213-217.
  5. Kapoor, LD. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1990.189.
  6. Singh B, Saxena AK, Chandan BK, Agarwal SG, Anand KK.In vivo hepatoprotective activity of active fraction from ethanolic extract of Eclipta alba leaves. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. Oct 2001;45(4):435-441.
  7. Lobo OJ, Banji D, Annamalai AR, Manavalan R. Evaluation of antiagessive activity in Eclipta alba in experimental animals. Pak J Pharm Sci. Apr2008; 21(2):195-199.
  8. Banji O, Banji D, Annamalai AR, Manavalan R. Investigation on the effect of Eclipta alba on animal models of learning and memory. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. Jul-Sep2007; 51(3): 274-278.
  9. Sawant M, Isaac JC, Narayanan S. Analgesic studies on total alkaloids and alcohol extracts of Eclipta alba (Linn.) Hassk. Phytother Res. Feb2004; 18(2): 111-113
  10. Rangineni V, Sharada D, Saxena S. Diuretic, hypotensive, and hypocholesterolemic effects of Eclipta alba in mild hypertensive subjects; a pilot study. J Med Food. Mar2007; 10(1):143-148.

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