Botanical Name: Eclipta prostrata
Species: E. prostrata
Synonyms: E. alba. (L.)Hassk.
Common Names: False daisy, Yerba de tago, Gunta kalagaraku/Gunta galagaraku, Karisalankanni, Han Lian Cao,and Bhringraj
Habitat:Eclipta prostrata is native to the temperate and tropical America. It grows on wet places in the lowlands of Japan, especially by paddy fields.
Eclipta prostrata is an annual herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in). Leaves are narrow and shallowly serrated. Stems are purplish in color and can root at the nodes. It has cylindrical, grayish roots. The solitary flower heads are 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) in diameter, with white florets. The achenes are compressed and narrowly winged. It is in flower in August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.
Requires a damp to wet soil and a position in some shade. This is a tropical species and it might need more summer heat and a longer growing season than is normally available in British summers.
Through seeds – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some extra protection, such as a cloche, until they are established and growing away well.
Edible Uses: Tender leaves and young shoots are edible – cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
This species is widely used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and in Ayurveda. It is considered to be the best remedy for the hair and is also used as a rejuvenative and liver tonic. The whole plant contains the alkaloids nicotine and ecliptine as well as coumarin. It is astringent, deobstruent, depurative, emetic, febrifuge, ophthalmic, purgative, styptic and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of dropsy and liver complaints, anaemia, diphtheria etc, tinnitus, tooth loss and premature greying of the hair. Externally, it is used as an oil to treat hair loss and is also applied to athlete’s foot, eczema, dermatitis, wounds etc. The plant juice, mixed with an aromatic (essential oil?), is used in the treatment of catarrhal problems and jaundice. The leaves are used in the treatment of scorpion stings. They are used as an antidote for snake bites in Korea. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. The roots are emetic and purgative. They are applied externally as an antiseptic to ulcers and wounds, especially in cattle.
Other Uses: A black dye is obtained from the plant. It is used as a hair dye and for tattooing.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.