(Ref: Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)
Swertia chirata (Chirayata or Kiratikat) is very essential herb of Ayurveda that inhabits the temperate regions of upper Himalayas.
This herb is used in Ayurveda for its magnificent health benefits. It helps to promote the health of liver and control the secretion of bile in body. Xanthones present in this herb are very effective compounds that aid with malaria, chronic fevers and tuberculosis. This herb helps to aid with chronic constipation and dyspepsia.
This herb is extremely bitter in taste with cool potency. It helps in pacification of vitiated pitta and kapha dosha. Externally this herb helps in quick healing of wounds and ulcers.
Chirayata is erect annual herb that grows up to height of 1.5 meters. It has long erect stem, middle portion of the stem is cylindrical while upper portion is quadrangular. Stem is covered with dark brown to purplish coloured bark. Leaves of the plant has no stalks, Lanceolate, opposite in pair, bout 4 cm long with 6-7 prominent nerves. Simple roots of the plant are short and dark yellowish in colour. Plant contains numerous small flowers that are green-yellowish in colour and tinged with purple or greenish-white hair. Flowering season of this plant is September to October caber. Fruits are capsules, oval in shape with 2 valves. Fruits contains multiple, tiny and brownish-black seeds inside.
Swertia chirayata is abundantly distributed in India, Nepal and Bhutan. In India it is found at higher altitudes of Himalaya. It is wildly found in Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
- Latin Name - Swertia Chirata
- English Name - Chireta, Indian Gentian
- Hindi Name - Chirayata, Chireta, Cherreta, Chirayita
- Bengali Name - Chirata, Chireta
- Malayalam Name - Kadechirayata, Chirayita
- Gujarati Name - Kariyantu
- Kannada Name - Nelbedu
- Telugu Name - Neelvemui Name
- Tamil Name - Nelasabvemu
- Farsi Name - Nonihad, Mohinadandi
- Arabic Name - Kasbulrayrah, Kasvujirah
Chirayata - According to Ayurveda
According to above mentioned verse of Bhav Prakash Nighantu Kiratikat, Kairaat, Katutikat, Kiratak, Kaandtikat, Anyartikat, Bhoonimb and Ramsenak are the various synonyms of herb Swertia chirata. In Nepal one another species of this herb is found that is less bitter in taste than this species and it is called by name Ardhatikta. It is used to treat fever (Jwarnashak). It helps to induce motion, cool in potency, bitter in taste and very light in nature. It is used to treat chronic fevers, bleeding disorders, cough, asthma, thirst, inflammation, leprosy, wound healing and worm infestations. It is used to pacify kapha and pitta dosha in body.
The Bahav Prkash Nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary of Padamshri Prof Krishna Chander Chunnekar and edited by Dr. Ganga Sahay Pandey: edition 2010; page number - 70 and verse number- 153,154 and 155.
Uses of Chirayata
- Cold decoction and powder of Chirayata is used to treat burning sensation (daha) and used to stimulate low digestive fire (agnimadya) in chronic fevers. It is very effective and essential herb of Sudarshan Churna and this churna is used to treat chronic fevers.
- Cold decoction of Chirayata with laung and dalchini are used to stimulate digestive fire and it improves digestion.
- Cold decoction of Chirayata with honey and sugar is used to treat hiccups (hichaki), pregnancy induced vomiting (garbhinivaman) and excessive alcoholism (madyapan).
- It is used as nutritious herb for the sufferers of vatarakta (gout).
- Chirayata and Dhania decoction with honey is very effective remedy for liver disorders (Yakrit vikaar).
- Bhunimb powder with Chirayata, Kutki, Trikatu, Mustak, Inderyaaav, Kureya bark and Chitrak bark is used to treat worm infestation. It is used to improve digestion, colic pain and fever in children.
- External application of paste of takkankshaar and Sudrashan Churna in impetigo contagiosa (aajgallika) give instant relief.
- It is used to treat anaemia (panduroga) and thinness (krushta) caused by chronic fevers in body.
Health Benefits of Chirayata
- Vishamjawara - This beneficial herb of Ayurveda is used to treat chronic fevers and it is very effective herb that works wonderfully in malarial fevers.
- Daahara - Chirayata is also used to relieve excessive burning sensation of body and thirst caused by fevers. It is also used in treating cold sweating in fever.
- Agnimadhya - Externally this herb is used to stimulate digestive fire.
- Kupachan - This herb is very beneficial for health of both amashay (stomach) and pakwashya (intestine). It stimulate process of digestion and aid with indigestion and colic pain.
- Adhmaan - It helps to relieve abdominal distention, flatus and bloating as a result of indigestion.
- Amalpitta - It is also very beneficial herb for hyperacidity. It help to neutralize the harmful effects of hydrochloric acid accumulated in stomach. It gives relief from sore watering in mouth and blenching.
- Yakritvikaar - It also help to promote the overall health of liver and helps to combat with various disorders associated with this vital organ.
- Kamla - It is also very beneficial for the sufferers of jaundice.
- Pandu - It help to improve the blood volume in body and also good herb to treat anaemic patients.
- Shwaas - Carminative nature of this herb help to remove congestion and mucus accumulation in respiratory tract and good for the sufferers of asthma, cough and other disorders of respiratory tract.
- Shotha - It helps to reduce excessive inflammation of joints. It is good for the treatment of arthritis and gout. External application of Chirayata helps to remove local inflammation and also used for quick healing of wounds and ulcers.
- Krimihara - Chirayata powder is also used to kill harmful worms of gut. It is used to kill tapeworms and ringworms. It helps to reduce the harmful symptoms caused by worms in small children.
Medicinal Properties of Chirayata
- Swertia is hepato-protective herb. This herb helps to protect our liver from the harmful effects of toxins, free radicals and infection causing micro-organisms and other health conditions that are harmful for liver and its functioning.
- Anti-diabetic nature of this herb make it capable to fight against diabetes. It help to lower down the raised sugar level in blood and it help to promote the health of pancreas.
- It is also good for the patients of piles. It give relief in both bleeding and non-bleeding piles. It helps to overcome other underlying conditions of this disorder like constipation, redness and itching.
- It helps to clear the air pathway due to its bronchodilator nature and expectorant properties. This herb serves multiple benefits to the sufferers of asthma and bronchitis.
- It helps to reduce excessive inflammation in body joints and other organs of body.
- Regular use of this herb help to stimulate the process of production of blood cells and good for anaemic patients.
- It is strongly bitter tonic and very essential for digestive system. It help to combat with serious conditions of digestive tract. It is very miraculous remedy for weak stomach.
- Powder - 500-1500mg
- Cold decoction - 10-15ml