San: Bhrngarajah, Tekarajah;
Hin: Bhamgra, Mocakand, Babri;
Ben: Kesutthe, Kesraj;
Mal: Kannunni, Kayyonni, Kayyunnni;
Tam: Kayyantakara, Kaikeri;
Tel: Guntagalijeran; Arab: Kadim-el-bint
Importance: Eclipta is one of the ten auspicious herbs that constitute the group dasapuspam which is considered to destroy the causative factors of all unhealthy and unpleasant features and bestow good health and prosperity. The members of this group cure wounds and ulcers as well as fever caused by the derangement of the tridosas – vata, pitta and kapha. It is used in hepatitis, spleen enlargements, chronic skin diseases, tetanus and elephantiasis. The leaf promotes hair growth and use as an antidote in scorpion sting. The root is used as an emetic, in scalding of urine, conjuctivitis and as an antiseptic to ulcers and wound in cattle. It is used to prevent abortion and miscarriage and also in cases of uterine pains after the delivery. The juice of the plant with honey is given to infants for expulsion of worms. For the relief in piles, fumigation with Eclipta is considered beneficial. A decoction of the leaves is used in uterine haemorrhage. The paste prepared by mincing fresh plants has got an antiinflammatory effect and may be applied on insect bites, stings, swellings and other skin diseases. In Ayurveda, it is mainly used in hair oil, while in Unani system, the juice is used in “Hab Miskeen Nawaz” along with aconite, triphala, Croton tiglium, Piper nigium, Piper longum, Zingiber officinale and minerals like mercury, sulphur, arsenic, borax, etc. for various types of pains in the body. It is also a constituent of “Roghan Amla Khas” for applying on the hair and of “Majun Murrawah-ul-arwah”.
Distribution: This plant is widely distributed in the warm humid tropics with plenty of rainfall. It grows commonly in moist places as a weed all over plains of India.
Botany: Eclipta prostrata (Linn) Linn. syn. E. alba Hassk. is an annual, erect or postrate herb, often rooting at nodes. Leaves are sessile, 2.5-7.5cm long with white appressed hairs. Floral heads are 6-8 mm in diameter, solitary and white. Fruit is an achene, compressed and narrowly winged. Sometimes, Wedelia calendulacea, which resembles Eclipta prostrata is used for the same purpose.
Properties and activity: The leaves contain stigmasterol, -terthienylmethanol, wedelolactone, dismethylwedelolactone and dismethylwedelolactone-7-glucoside. The roots give hentriacontanol and heptacosanol. The roots contain polyacetylene substituted thiophenes. The aerial part is reported to contain a phytosterol, -amyrin in the n-hexane extract and luteolin-7-glucoside, -glucoside of phytosterol, a glucoside of a triterpenic acid and wedelolactone in polar solvent extract. The polypeptides isolated from the plant yield cystine, glutamic acid, phenyl alanine, tyrosine and methionine on hydrolysis. Nicotine and nicotinic acid are reported to occur in this plant.
The plant is anticatarrhal, febrifuge, antidontalgic, absorbent, antihepatic, CVS active, nematicidal, ovicidal and spasmolytic in activity. The alcoholic extract of entire plant has been reported to have antiviral activity against Ranikhet disease virus. Aqueous extract of the plant showed subjective improvement of vision in the case of refractive errors. The herbal drug Trefoli, containing extracts of the plant in combination with others, when administered to the patients of viral hepatitis, produced excellent results.