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Kshavak / Sneezewort (Centipeda Minima)- Ayurvedic Properties, Effects On Doshas & Dosage


Ayurveda is an old system of medicine that helps us to maintain our bodies disease-free and enhance the longevity of life, Ayurvedic medicine's effect depends upon the management of the balance of tridoshas that are vata, pitta, and Kapha. Ayurveda has vast knowledge that helps us to prevent the disease and eliminate the root cause of the problem. Our Ayurvedic medicinal knowledge has been passed by old sages that were doing the practice of Ayurveda for many years on Gods. The qualities of natural constituents in our body are very helpful to balance our natural strength and immune system that helps to fight against the various microorganisms that are not good for our general health. In this article writing, we are going to discuss a wonderful herb named Kshavak Centipeda minima which is very good to balance the Kapha and vata dosha. This herb is very beneficial in upper clavicular entities and is categorised under the best herbs that are helpful in eliminating nose-related diseases.

Kshavak, Sneezewort, Centipeda minima

General Information

Kshavak is a herb that is known as Sneeze wort in English and is widely famous in India with its different names like Kshavak, chikkani, teekshna, ghrandukhda in sanskrit, in hindi it is named as nakchikkani, in Bengali Mecheta, in Malayalam, naakshinkani, and many more. Its botanical name is Centipeda minima and it belongs to the Asteraceae family. As we know that this herb is mentioned to cure the Nasa gat vikaras which means it is very helpful in Kapha prokapaka diseases. This herb is widely found in every part of India up to Sri Lanka and is usually grown in wet or deciduous places.

Special Note About This Plant

  • Myroginin is the best chemical constituent that is found in this herb that is having different properties like antihistamine in nature, and antitussive, and is used as Kapha nihsarak which means a great expectorant.
  • This herb also consists of flavonoids, amide, and sesquiterpenes.
  • This herb has the good quality of pacifying Kapha and vata dosha through its various medicinal properties like having a teekshan (sharp), Katu (pungent) rasa, and its hot potency.
  • By Acharya Charak this herb is categorised under the category of Shirovirechnopag mahakashaya.
  • By Acharya Sushrut, this herb is considered under the mustadi ganna.
  • Acharya Bhavprakash and in Kaiyyadev Nighantu this herb is described with its medicinal properties in different kinds of diseases.

Systemic Classification

  • Botanical Name - Centipeda minima
  • Family - Asteraceae
  • Genus - Centipede
  • Species - C. minima


  • Kshavak, Chikkani - this herb is helpful in inducing sneezing.
  • Kshudhajanan, Kshut Vibhodak - this herb is good in enhancing the appetite and digestive fire.
  • Ghranduhkhad - Causes pain in nose after the repeated sneezing.


  • This is a small plant that grows all over India mostly in damp areas, and is a very small plant, its leaves are simple, these may be lobed or may be unlobed but they are not separated from one another.
  • The leaves are arranged alternatively, obovate, blunt, and only one leaf is grown or arranged in one lobe all along the stem.
  • The edge of the leaf blade has different types of lobes consisting of teeth.
  • Its flowers are having the shape of disks, these are stalkless, hemispherical, 2 seriate bracts, and are hairy in nature. From December to March this herb blooms.

Classical Categorization

  • Acharya Bhavprakash has mentioned this herb in Guduchyadi Varga.
  • Kaiyyadeva Nighantu has mentioned this herb in Aushadhi Varga.
  • Acharya Charak In Shirovirechniya mahakashaya.
  • Acharya Sushrut in Mustadi ganna.
  • Acharya Priya Vrat Sharma is categorised under the drugs which are helpful in Nasa gata rogas.

Ancient Verses

Shloka - 1

छिक्कनी कटुका रूच्या तीक्ष्णोष्णा वन्हिपित्तकृत् ।
वातरक्तहरी कुष्ठकृमिवातकफापहा ।।

Reference - Bhavprakash Nighantu / Guduchyadi Varga

Interpretation of Shloka - Chikkani is pungent in taste, improves appetite, is sharp, and is of hot potency, this herb is helpful in enhancement of digestive fire, aggravates pitta, and is used to treat gout, skin diseases, helminthic activities, and is used to pacify the Vata and Kapha dosha.

Shloka - 2

छिक्किका छिक्कपत्रा च नासासंवेदनस्तथा ।
क्षवक क्षुरकस्तीक्ष्णः क्रूर उद्द्वेजनास्तथा।।
क्षुधातिजननो राजक्षवको क्षुधिबोधनः ।
क्षवकाः कटुकः पाके रसे रूच्याग्निपित्तकृत्।।
तीक्षणोष्ण: कफवातस्रदृक्कुष्ठकृमिजिल्लघुः।

Reference - Kaiyyadev Nighantu

Interpretation of Shloka - This plant is named chikkika and its leaves are good for analgesic properties, this herb is sharp, rough, and works as a stimulant, this herb is helpful in increasing the digestive fire, rajkshavak, and kshudhibodhan, it is of pungent taste, is used to enhance the digestive fire, so it pacifies the pitta dosha. It is sharp, hot potency and is used for the pacification of Kapha dosha, vata dosha, rakta dosha, and various other skin disorders.

Ayurvedic Properties

  • Rasa (Taste) - Katu (Pungent)
  • Guna (Quality) - Teekshan (Sharp)
  • Veerya (Potency) - Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka (Post digestive effect) - Katu (Pungent)
  • Karma (Action) - Balances the Kapha and Vata dosha
  • Projyang (Part used) - Seeds are used

Effects On Doshas

It balances the Kapha and Vata dosha with the help of their therapeutic properties.

Practical Uses

  • This herb is very helpful in maintaining the Kapha and Vata conditions.
  • Its external application is very useful as kushthagna (eliminates the skin conditions), vedana sthapana (pacifies pain).
  • When the drops of the herbal decoction or extracting the juice of this herb is used as the Nasya (distilled the drops in nasal cavities), it helps as Shirovirechniya as mentioned by Acharya Charak.
  • This is helpful in strengthening the neuromuscular tissues.
  • This is a good appetiser and is helpful in stimulating the digestive fire, and is good in worm infestations.
  • Its Nasya procedure helps to reduce the symptoms of sinusitis and various types of headaches.
  • Decoction of the plant is used as Kapha-nihsarak which means expelling out the phlegm and mucus.
  • It is also beneficial in erectile dysfunction.
  • In liver or spleen hardening this herb is used as a detoxifier in the form of decoction or powder.
  • To reduce the pain, the paste of this herb is used by the local application on the affected part.


  • Seeds powder can be taken in the quantity of 1-3 grams.
  • Decoction of this herb can be taken up to 20-30 ml.
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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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