Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 30;124(3):450-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.05.023. Epub 2009 May 28.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Eclipta alba is traditionally known to potentiate hair growth promotion.

Aim of the study: The study was aimed to investigate the efficacy of methanol extract of Eclipta alba as hair growth promoter.

Materials and methods: Pigmented C57/BL6 mice, preselected for their telogen phase of hair growth were used. In these species, the truncal epidermis lacks melanin-producing melanocytes and melanin production is strictly coupled to anagen phase of hair growth. The extract was applied topically to assess telogen to anagen transition. Immunohistochemical investigation was performed to analyze antigen specificity. Animals in anagen phase of hair growth were positive for FGF-7 and Shh and negative for BMP4, whereas the animals in telogen phase were positive only for BMP4 antigen.

Results: The methanol extract of whole plant when tested for hair growth promoting potential, exhibited dose dependent activity in C57BL6 mice. The activity was assessed by studying the melanogenesis in resected skin, follicle count in the subcutis, skin thickness and surrogate markers in vehicle control and extract treated animals.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that methanol extract of Eclipta alba may have potential as a hair growth promoter.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 / metabolism
  • Eclipta / chemistry*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 7 / biosynthesis
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 7 / genetics
  • Hair / drug effects*
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects
  • Hair Follicle / growth & development
  • Hedgehog Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Hedgehog Proteins / genetics
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Minoxidil / pharmacology
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Fgf7 protein, mouse
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Shh protein, mouse
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 7
  • Minoxidil