Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Benefits of Maka

What is Maka ?

Maka is a creeping and moisture-loving herb; it has a short, flat or round stem and small white flowers on a long stalk. It grows 3" tall; the leaves are opposite and lance shaped. Its scientific name is eclipta alba and is also called Bhringaraj, Bhringraj, Babri, Galagara, Gunta-kalagara, Kesharaji, Kesuri, or Mochkand. It is found throughout India and the southwestern U.S.

Maka is the main herb for the hair and cirrhosis in Ayurveda. It is believed to prevent aging, maintains and rejuvenates hair, teeth, bones, memory, sight, and hearing. It also rejuvenates the kidneys and liver. As oil, it removes graying, balding, makes the hair darker, and promotes deep sleep. It also improves complexion. The root powder is used in Ayurveda for hepatitis, enlarged spleen and skin disorders. Mixed with salt, it relieves burning urine. Mixed with a little oil and applied to the head, it relieves headache.

Most interestingly is that Maka has been shown to be better at rejuvenating hair than Minoxidil. There is a scientific study that has examined this finding. The abstract can be found here:
Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats.

There are a couple of ways to use Maka to improve your hair growth: either as a powder or oil. You can make a paste from the powder and apply to your hair for 30 minutes or so before rinsing. Or add it to your favorite powders.

There are several oils available with Maka as the main ingredient: Mahabhringraj Tail, Ancient Formulae Mahabhringraj Oil and Neelibhringadi Oil. Most oils have a very pungent scent, so they are not for everyone. You can try adding your own essential oil to cut the scent.