The Literary Study of Bhringaraja


Ayurveda is the Indian Indigenous System. Dravyagunavidnyana which is a backbone means to achieve healthy long life.Alopecia or Khalitya is a physiological phenomenon if it occurs after the mid-forties, but is considered a disease if it aries earlier.Modern day lifestyles, eating habits, pollutants, stress, decreased immunity, hormonal imbalance, faulty hair care etc. have increased the incidence of premature graying & loss of hair. Bhringaraja possess Tikta, Katu rasa, Katu vipaka & Ushna virya which causes Pittavirechana & Vatakaphashamana in Khalitya.

Key words: Khalitya, Bhringaraja


Ayurveda is a science in which there is the description of properties and actions of the drugs which are useful for the life as well as those which are harmful. For achiving `Dharma’ ‘Artha’ and ‘Sukha’ , one who want the life should believe and respect Ayurveda.

Dravyagunavignyana truly a natural science, that deals with dravyas which play key role in maintainance of health and alleviation of disease in human body out of tetrads of therapeutic management of diseases. Dravyagunavignyana fundamental, inseperable branch of ayurveda which deals with study of such dravyas & its properties, actions, dose, time of administration and various preparations of these drugs. This science pervades all spheres & specialities of ayurveda.

'Hairs of the scalp' an additive factor of personality.Beautiful, long and attractive hairs of the scalp add plus factor to the personality.But, to keep the healthy hairs in the healthy state is, entirely the duty of human being. In the fast world of today, there is a race for cosmetics,changed life style or more specifically westernised culture, indifferent dietary habits has made the hairs either grey at prematurity or to fall down. Allopathy has no answer to this problem. But,when we look at Ayurveda for this problem, we have the best choice, because Ayurveda the ‘Science of Longivity’ promotes positive health, natural beauty and long life.

Medicinal plants play an important role in the health care of developing countries. Corruntely, near about 80 % of the world population use herbal medicine and World Health Organisation (WHO) also encourages,recommends and promotes the inclusion of herbal drugs in national health care programmes. For the treatment of the Hairfall, so many drugs are mentioned in Ayurvedic classics, out of them Bhringraj is a very well known medicinal drug, which is easily available and within the reach of common man.The reason for selecting the drug Bhringraj is its availability in abundance as fresh or dry herb, costs effective and its multiple uses. Bhringraj has been mentioned as Keshya & Kesh rogahara by the various ancient Ayurvedic acharyas. Bhringraj has also been mentioned as Keshya, Kesh rogahara and Rasayana dravya.

Ye masama eke swarasam pibanti dine dine bhringaraja samuthama|
Balaviryauktaha samaha shatajivitamaaapnuvanti || (Va.ut.39)

Khalitya: Introduction

Pragavaidik ,Vaidik, Samgraha kala-

The names of the drugs such as Nitatni, Keshbrumhani, Keshavardhini etc. are enlisted in the Vedic literature which were supposed to cure drastic disorders like Khalitya and Indralupta.

Atharvaveda, in which maximum literatures pertaining to Ayurveda is found, and it also mentions disease of the hairs. Moreover, these some Keshya and Rasayana drugs have been also mentioned.

  • In Carak Samhita, ‘Trimarmiya Adhyaya’ of Chikitsa sthana has the description of etiopethogenesis, line of treatment and recipes of drug compound for the disease Khalitya (Ca. Chi. 26/132).
  • The disease Khalitya also has been included in Urdhvajatrugat roga and has been described to occur due to negotiation of Dustapratishyaya (Ca. Chi. 26/ 107-109).
  • In Vimana sthana Acarya Carak has described the etiological factor of Khalitya i.e.excessive use of Lavan and Kshara (Ca. V. 1/17-19).
  •  Khalitya has been considered one of the characters of Pitta prakriti in Vimana sthana (Ca.V.8/97).
  • Acarya Susrut has described it in Kshudra roga along with its pathogenesis in Nidan sthana (Su.Ni. 13/33).He elucidates Khalitya as a synonym of Indralupta.
  • According to Acarya Susrut, an act of combing during menstrual period is the predisposing factor of congenital hair loss (Khalitya) (Su. Sha. 2/25).
  • Astang Samgrahkara has mentioned Khalitya under the heading of Kapal vyadhi along with its pathogenesis. He was the first who has made differentiation between Indralupt and Khalitya. Moreover, this he also has described different types of Khalitya, its symptoms and its prognosis (A. S. U.27/29-30).
  • Besides this he has declared that an intake of Lavan during pregnancy would be result in congenital hair loss (Khalitya) (A. S. Sha. 2/37).
  • In case of the disease Khalitya Acarya Vagbhatta has followed similarly to Maharshi Susrut(A. H.U. 23/27-28).
  • The description of the pathogenesis of Khalitya given by Bnagasen resembles to Acarya Susrut, but the therapeutic aspects is of his own with marked difference (Bangasen- Kshudrarogadhikar).
  • Harita samhita refers to such a disorder by proclaiming it as Keshaghna with its types, symptoms and treatment. (H. S. 46)
  • In Kashyap samhita, the details are found about the anatomy and physiology of the hair and the production, preservation and declination of hair following Svabhava and Prakriti (K. S. Sh.).
  • In Madhav Nidan Acarya Madhav has mentioned Khalitya like wise Acharya Susrut, but in Madhukosha commentator Kartikeya has explained the differentiation between Indralupt, Khalitya and Ruhya (M. N. 55).
  • Other contemporary writers such as Acarya Chakradatta (C. D. 55), Sharangdhara (Sa. S. M. Kha. 10) have considered this disease as Indralupt and have described its treatment under the heading of Kshudra roga.
  • Bhavmishra also has mentioned Khalitya in Khudraroga while describing the samprapti of Indralupta (B. P. M. Kha. 62/6).


In Astang Hridya, Acharya Vagbhatt has mentioned (A.H. U.23/26). It suggests gradual hair loss. In Shabdakalpadrum & Vachaspatyam have mentioned Khalitya as KHALATI - SKHALAYANTI KESH ASMAT and KHALA SANKHALANE (S. K. IInd Vol. Page - 278) (Vach. IIIrd Vol Page - 2476)


According to Carak, the Thermal element, combined with the vata and other humors, scorches up the scalp and produces alopecia (Khalitya) (Ca. Chi.26/132).Vagbhatta says that, in Khalati, loss of hair occurs gradully (A.H.U. 23/26).


1. Carak - Khalitya, Khalati
2. Susruta - Khalitya, Indrapupta, Ruhya
3. Astang Hridya - Khalrti, Chacha
4. Astang Sangraha - Khalrti, Rujha
5. Madhav - Khalitya, Indralupta
6. Bhoja - Indralupta, Ruhya
7. Harita - Keshaghna

Varities of Khalitya

According to Astang Hridya and Astang Sangraha :

1. Vataj Khalitya
2. Pittaj Khalitya
3. Kaphaj Khalitya
4. Sannipataj Khalitya


In Ayurvedic literature there is no any clear cut reference regarding the causative factors of Khalitya except Acarya Caraka, who has mentioned the major factors as follows :

1. Lavanrasaatisevan (Ca. Su. 26/43.3, Ca. Vi. 1/18, A. H. Su. 10/12)
2. Ksharaatisevan (Ca. Vi. 1/17)
3. Ushar Bhomi (Ca. Vi. 1/18)
4. Viruddha Aharasevan (Ca. Vi. 1/18)
5. (Ca. Chi. 26/109)
6. (Ca. Vi. 8/97)
7. (Su. Chi. 40/55)

Etiological factors of urdhavajatrugatarogas can be considered as a etiological factors of Khalitya, which are as follows :
Vegvidharana, Divaswapa,Asatmyagandh, Sheetamboosevan,Ama, Deshkala Viparyaya Atimaithuna,Dhooma, Rodana,Atapa, Uchchabhasya,Hima Avashyaya,Prajagarana, Manahtapa.

Purvarupa- occasional loss of some hair, may be considered as a purvarupa of Khalitya.


  • According to Acarya Caraka when the Teja along with Vatadi doshas scroches the Kesh bhoomi(scalp), then the fall of hairs occur(Ca. Chi. 26/32).
  • Acarya Susruta has mentioned Khalitya with little different i.e. the Pitta which has gone in to the Romakupa gets mixed with Vata causing hair fall thereafter the Sleshma along with the Shonita causes obstruction in the Romakupa preventing the further growth of new hair (Su. Ni. 13).
  • Acarya Vagbhatta stated Kesha to be a different locality then the Roma and further added that when the gradual hair fall occurs it may be known as Khalitya. Thus, the Pratyatma linga of Khalitya may be taken as the gradual loss of hair.
  • Astanga Samgrahakara has described this disease with four varites viz.Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja and Sannipataja Khalitya. After that he has stated that,there is a vitiation of all the three doshes but the dominance of particular dosha denotes the type of disease and the symptoms also occur accordingly.
  • According to Susruta and Caraka the cordinal symptoms of Khalitya is hair loss where Vagbhatta states gradual loss of hair.

The signs & symptoms according to classification of Khalitya are as follows :

Acarya Harita has denoted this disease by the name Keshaghna and further classified its symptoms which are as follow :

Vataj – Ruksha pandura scalp
Pittaja – Redness and burning of the scalp
Kapha – Snigha scalp
Raktaj – Pus (sapaka)
Sannipataja – All the character of 3 dosha.


Atilavanasevana, Usharbhoomi > Atapasevana Divaswapa Pachaka Pitta dushti, Samana Vayu Prakop,
Vyan Vaya Prakop & Rakta dushti >Bhrajak Pitta dushti> Pittoshma increase (Klinnatva)> Lomakupa Paka
(Shirogata)> Kehsapata Romakupa Avarodha> Arrest of further hair growth> Khalitya Samprapti

Samprapti Ghataka
1. Dosha : Pitta - Pachaka, Bhrajaka Vata - Saman, Vyan Kapha - Tarpaka
2. Dushya : Dhatu - Asthi, Rasa, Rakta Mala - Sweda, Kesh
3. Srotasa : Asthivaha, Rasavaha, Raktavaha, Swedavaha, Manovaha.
4. Srotodusti : Sanga
5. Agni : Jatharagni, Rasagni, Raktagni & Asthyagni
6. Rogamarga : Bahya
7. Udbhavasthana : Amashaya.
8. Adhisthana : Keshabhoomi

Sadhyasadhyata- Sukhasadhya, Krichchasadhya, Yapya and Asadhya.

According to Asthtanga Sangrahakara,there are four typs of Khalitya as Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja and Sannipataja,whereas Harita adds Raktaja type of Khalitya to this tally to make five types.Both of them have opined about the Tridoshaja or Sannipataja type to be Asadhya.Further more the Astanga Sangrahakara adds that the patients of Khalitya having the scalp with - Burnt like appearance,Nail like apperarance, Absolute hair loss or romarahitatva, The injury due to burns, are also Asadhya.


A glance on the parctical study carried out so far, certain derivations may be presented regarding the increase or decrease of the disease with respect to some particular change in the dietary and behavioral attitude.At Khalitya has been recorded to have the vitiation of the Vata and Pitta dosha in dominance all the dietary and behavioral regimens aggravating these two dosha were found to increase the loss of hair in the patients.It was also marked that all the patients who used to engaged themselves either in the psychological disturbances complained about increased hairfall in comparison to other individuals.

Mithya Ahar, Mithya Vihar and Manobhighata like mental stress,fright, anger, shock etc. many collectively increase the Pitta and Vata dosha.

Chikitsa Siddhant:

Acarya Carak and Susrut have inclined towards one point that is priscribing Nasya. Pakvashaya, Amashaya and Murdha should be treated by Basti, Virechana and Vamana therapies respectively(Ca. Chi. 26/291).

This is the comman management of Shiroroga. Acarya Carak says that the patient of Khalitya should be treated by Nasya, Tailabhyanga on head & face and Pralepa on the head along with Shodhan chikitsa(Ca. Chi. 26/262).

Acarya Vagbhatta says that after the shodhana of Dhoshas, whatever the treatment shown in Indralupt and Palitya, should be done in Khalitya(A.H. U. 28/ 38).

Astanga Samgrahkara has quoted that application of the different types of pralepas should be perform following the Shuchi Karma or the application of lepas after doing Prachchhana(A. S. U. 28). Therapeutic indication for the premature greying of hair can be applied in the case of Khalitya (A. S. U.28/43).

The common management can be divided as following :

1. Abhyang
2. Lepa
3. Shodhan
4. Nasya
5. Rasayan and Keshya Dravya


Pathya Ahara :

Dhanya – Gehu, Yava, Shali Chaval, Mudga
Shaka Varga – Jivanti, Kasmard, Patol, Tomato, Lauki,Patrashaka, Carrots, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Cabbage etc.
Taila Varga – Tila Taila and Coconut oil for external and internal use.
Fruits – Amlaki, Dadim, Matulanga, Amaraphala, Narikele,Draksha etc
Others – Milk, Sugar, Honey etc.

Pathya Vihara :

Shirorakskha, Nasya, Ushnishadharana, Shirasana, Chhatradharana,Sarvangasana, Padaraksha, Shiro Abhyanaga and Best hygiene of hair.

Apathya Ahara :

High quantity of Lavan, Amla and Kshara seven. Excess oily,starchy and fat rich stuff, breads, cakes, chocolates & other bakery items, pickles, curd, tea etc. Mashahara, Virudhahara, Vegetable ghee, Vidahiahara.

Apathya Vihara :
Atapasevan, Divaswapna, Krodha, Vegavarodha, Bhaya, Atimaithun, Ratrijagrana, Smoking, Tobacco, Alcohol etc.Excessive use of shampoo, hardye, hair-cram, hair-lotion and other cosmetic items.

Vedic Period

  • Bhringraj is well known drug from ancient period.
  • In Atharved Maharshi Sayana has mentioned it in the treatment of Kustha and Palit. This indicates that the Keshya property of Bhringraj was well known from this period.
  • In (Ca. Chi. 26/264) Acarya Carak has clearly indicated Bhringraj for the treatment of Khalitya and Palitya.He also stated Bhringraj is the ingredients of 'Sahacharadi Taila' and ‘Mahanil Taila’ which are mostly used in form of Nasya in the treatment of Palitya.
  • Bhringraj is also used as a Ahaharkalpana in the form of Rohandipanorag (Ca. Chi.24/181).
  • In Kalpasthana Bhringraj is also used in Vamana and Virechana yoga (Ca. K. 7).
  • Acarya Susruta has mentioned In Chikitsa and Kalpasthana Bhringraj is used in the treatment of Khalitya and Palitya and he prooved its Keshya activity (Su. Chi. 25/28-32; Ka. 8/54).
  • Harit also stated Bhringraj is used in form of Lepa in Indralupta and Kustharoga (H.43/6-7). He again mentaioned Bhringraj is one of the ingredients of Shadbindu Taila (H.40/25).
  • Bhringraj is used for the treatment of Khalitya & Palitya in the different forms such like Nilikadhya Tail, Bhringraj Tail, Ayashchurnadilepa, Triphladi lepa, Nimbabija Tail, etc. (Sa. M. 10,11).
  • In Kshudrarog Chikitsa, Bhringraj is mentioned for the treatment of Palitya & Khalitya in the form of Triphaladi Lepa, Kashamaryadi Tail and Gunjadi Tail. (B. P. M. 62/4, 5, 18). Bhringraj is one ingredient of Shadbindu Tail for the treatment of Shiroroga and Urdhvajatrugataroga (B. P. M. 63/39).
  • Astang Hridaya placed a synonym Markav in two places and he mentioned it is one of the ingredients of Rasayana Kalpa for Rasayana Karma (A. H. U. 39/163). it is also used in the treatment of Palitya in the form of Swarasa (A. H. U. 13/35-37).

Astang Samgrah :

In Uttara tantra 28 Shirorog Chikitsa the Bhringraj mentioned for the treatment of Khalitya & Palitya in the form of Lepa (A. S. U. 28/39,44, 48, 58). He also stated that Bhringraj is one of the ingredients of Mahanil Tail, Bhringraj Tail. (A. S. U. 28/51,53).

Chakradatta :
In the Kshudraroga Chikitsa Acarya Chakradattaa mentioned Bhringraj is one of the ingredients of 7 differents Taila kalpanas like 'Snuhyadi Taila, Triphaladi Taila, Nimba Taila, Gunja Taila, Bhringraj Taila, Mahanimbma Taila, Chandanadi Taila (C. D. 55/91,92,104,112). It is also used in lepa & Nasya in the treatment of Kesharoga. Chakradatta has mentioned synonyme Keshraj for this drug first time.

Vaidya Manorama :
In this book autor described the drug Bhringraj in 5 various Kalpanas, such as Dhoompan for Kasa, Parishek for Kamla, Pralepa for Khalitya, Palitya & Indralupta (V. M Indralupta/89-96).

Rasaratna Samuchchaya :

In this Rasagrantha, Bhringraj mentioned as a ingredient drug of Snuhyadi Taila and Mahanil Tail which are used in Khalitya and Palitya respectively (R. R. S. 30/39,100).

Bhaishyajya Ratnavali :
In Kshudraroga Chikitsa Bhringraj is mentioned for the treatment of Indralupta, Palitya and Khalitya as one of the ingredients of Bhringraj Ghrit, Kesharanjanyoga, Bhringraj Taila, Chandanadi Taila,MahanilaTaila etc. (B. R. 60/71,80,94,99,129). It is also indicated as a Rasayana dravya in Rasayanadhikar (B. R. 73/39).

Synonyms and their Interpretation

  • Markav = Which kills the disease like baldness or which cures   white hairs.
  • Bhringha = Due to Rasayana property corrects the metabolism  of Dhatu.
  • Bhring = Like Hornet blackens hair due to Rasayana property.
  • Keshranja = Due to the dyeing of hairs.
  • Keshya = Good for the health of hairs.
  • Pantang = Which promotes blackining of hairs.
  • Markar = Which prevents whitening of hairs.
  • Markar = Which turns white hairs into black.
  • Bhringar = That which stabilies rasadi dhatu, hairs and Ojus.
  • Kuntal vardhan = Increase hairs in quantity and quality
  • Keshraj = Which cares the health of hairs.
  • Karanjak = That which gives black colour to the scalp hairs
  • Sujagar = Due to Rasayana property takes care of Dhatus


Rasa- katu, tikta
Virya- ushna
Vipaka- katu
Guna- laghu, ruksha, tikshna, ushna
Doshaghanata- vatakaphaghana, pittavirechana


Dosha – Kaphavataghna
Dhatu – Asthi (Dantya), Rakta, Meda (Pandu), Rasayana
Mala – Kesha (Keshya)
Avayava – Netra, Shira, Antra, Yakruta, Pliha

Samprapti bhanga

The drug Bhringraj has the dominance of Tikat Rasa which is said to be Pitta Shamaka. The Ushna Veerya of drug is Kapha & Vata Shamaka. It acts as Cholagogue. Bhringraj has been mentioned as rasayana drug. Rasayana drugs are those which checks the premature ageing process or may even reverse it. Rasayana

drugs promotes longevity by stabilising the health status. The drug Bhringraj is rasayana and have keshya, Tvachya and vishghana properties. In khalitya pitta is the main dosha.


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