Trailing eclipta is a small, erect and a coarsely haired annual herb that grows up to 30 cm in height. It has a round, feeble stem, simple ecliptic and hairy leaves, variable in shape, bright dark green in color with very small flowers called florents. Its small black seeds resemble mustard seeds.
The fresh plant leaves and roots are all used for medicinal purposes. The fresh plant and the leaves are tonic. The leaves have a slightly bitter and acrid taste. It is advisable not to take the leaves alone but to mix them with other bland leaves or some other medium.
Trailing eclipta contains alkaloid ecliptine. It also contains alkaloid nicotine and resin. The leaves have more of water and soft cellulose content.
Botanical Name: Eclipta alba
Indian Name: Bhangra
Below are some of the medicinal properties of trailing eclipta:
- Trailing eclipta relieve feverishness and produce a feeling of coolness. The fresh juice of the plant should be taken in doses of 2 to 8 ml. The juice of the leaves in combination with cardamom and cinnamon can be taken in fevers in doses of 1 teaspoon.
- Trailing eclipta is beneficial in the enlargement of liver and spleen. It is also useful in liver disorders. A decoction of the herb is taken in doses of 1 teaspoon twice a day. The leaves of the plant can also be used for these disorders and jaundice. One teaspoon of the juice can be mixed with an aromatic such as cardamom and cinnamon. For catarrhal jaundice accompanied with discharge of mucus from the mucus membranes of the intestine, a large pill of fresh leaves, mixed with a few crushed pepper corns is taken with curd early in the morning for about a week.
- Trailing eclipta corrects the disordered processes of nutrition and restores the normal function of the system.
- The herb also facilitates secretion or exertion by opening the natural passage and pores of the body like of the skin.
- The roots and leave of trailing eclipta also promote the flow of bile.
- The juice of trailing eclipta is useful for newborn babies suffering from catarrh. Two drops of the juice mixed with honey is given. The juice of the leaves can also be used for this purpose in doses of 2 drops mixed with 8 drops of honey.
- For premature graying of hair, two parts of trailing eclipta, one part of black sesame seeds and one part of Indian gooseberry (amla) are finely powdered. One teaspoon of this powder is taken with milk and sugar twice daily for treating this disorder.
- The fresh juice of the leaves has beneficial results in promoting growth of hair. The juice should be rubbed into the scalp for this purpose.
- The leaves of the herb are beneficial in uterine hemorrhages or bleeding. A decoction of the leaves can be taken in doses of 60 to 120 ml twice a day.
- It is good for glandular swellings, elephantiasis and other skin diseases. A paste of the herb mixed with sesame (til) oil applied externally over the affected parts. A paste of the leaves is also applied to chronic glandular swellings, skin diseases and to wounds as a styptic or astringent. The juice of the leaves can be used beneficially for cleaning and healing sores.