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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Rough Chaff (Achyranthes Aspera)?

Apamarg, Achyranthes Aspera

What is Rough Chaff (Achyranthes Aspera)?

Achyranthes aspera has been used in Ayurveda for the treatment of many body ailments such as obesity, tumors, fistula, diarrhea, dysentery, cough, cholera, skin condition, flu, rheumatism, and nervous disorder. Botanically the herb is known as Achyranthes aspera and belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. The whole plant is considered as medicinally important but the roots of the plant generally more effective due to the presence of triterpenoid saponins. Roots are acts as astringent, antispasmodic and diuretic, so helps in treatment of cholera, stomach problems, and dropsy. The ash of burned plant can be mixed with mustard oil and a pinch of salt. This mixture used as a tooth powder. It provides relief from a toothache and pyorrhea.

The herb is commonly found in India, Sri Lanka, tropical Asia, Baluchistan, Africa, Australia, and America. It is annual, perennial shrub distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical region. The leaves of the plant are elliptical, ovate, and opposite. Flowers contains axillary and terminal spikes up to 15 cm long. Fruits are oblong, ovoid and utricle.

Classification:

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
  • Super Division - Spermatophyta
  • Division - Mangoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass - Caryophyllidae
  • Order - Caryophyllales
  • Family - Amaranthaceae
  • Genus - Achyranthes L.
  • Species - Achyranthes aspera

Pharmacological Action of the Herb:

  • Antiparasitic activity
  • Hypoglycemic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant activity
  • Anti-allergic
  • Anti-depressant activity
  • Cancer (Chemopreventive activity)
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Anti-arthritic
  • Cardiovascular activity
  • Nephroprotective activity
  • Broncho-protective Activity

Other Names of the Herb:

  • English name - Prickly Chaff flower
  • Hindi name - Chirchita, Latjira, Chirchira, Chingchingi, Onga
  • Sanskrit name - Markati, Markat, Kapi pippali, Parak pushpin, Pratyaka shreni, Mayuraka, Kinihi, Shikhari, Adhah Shalya, Khara manjari, Kubja, Vasheera, Durabhi graha, Duragraha
  • Punjabi Name - Puthakanda, Kutri
  • Telugu Name - Antisha, Uttaraene, Apamargamu,
  • Tamil Name - Shiru kadaladi, Nayuruvi
  • Kannada name - Uttrani, Uttarani
  • Malayalam Name - Katalati, Kadaladi
  • Bengali Name - Apang
  • Marathi Name - Aghada, Pandhara-aghada
  • Malagasy Name - Mahabaka
  • Sinhala - Karal heba
  • Indonesia - Jarong
  • French name - Herbe à Bengalis, queue de rat, herbe sergen,
  • Spanish name - Cadillo chichoborugo, mazotillo cadillo de mazorca,
  • African name - Grootklits, Langklitskablom

Medicinal Properties of Herb in Ayurveda:

  • Rasa (Taste):  Pungent (Katu), Bitter (Tikta)
  • Guna (Qualities): Laghu (Lightness), Strong, Sharp (Teeksna), Dryness (Rooksha), Induces movement (Sara).
  • Vipaka: (Katu) - after digestion undergoes pungent taste conversion.
  • Veerya:  Hot potency (Ushna)
  • Effect on tridosha: Balances Vata and Kapha Dosha.
  • Part used: seed, leaf, roots, kshara and whole plant.

What are the Health Benefits of Achyranthes Aspera?

  1. It helps to treat various respiratory ailments such as a cough, asthma, and airways problem. The herb shows bronchoprotective activity on toluene disisocyanate (TDI), a chemical compound which causes severe irritation to the mucous membrane and also causes bronchitis and asthma.
  2. The herb also helps to heal any injury and allergy in the body. Due to the presence of natural steroids in Achyranthes aspera, herb shows the ant allergic property.  The pure extract of the Achyranthes aspera leaves contains some important wound healing activities.
  3. Achyranthes aspera also act as an antidepressant due to the presence of methanolic extract in the leaves. By doing so it can reduce the stress and anxiety in the depressed patient.
  4. The herb also shows cardiovascular activity. The presence of active water-soluble alkaloids in the leaves of Achyranthes aspera helps to decrease the blood pressure, increase the rate of respiration and dilated blood vessels. It reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  5. The antispasmodic activity of the Achyranthes aspera has been shown to increase the spermicidal activity of human.  The roots of the Achyranthes aspera contains some important chemical constituents which are very effective for sperm viability and immobilization.
  6. The methanol extract of aerial part of Achyranthes aspera helps to reduce the hepatotoxic activity of rifampicin on our liver. So act as a great hepatoprotective herb.
  7. The herb also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which reduce the inflammation and oxidative damages by free radicals.
  8. According to the Ayurvedic point of view, Achyranthes aspera helps to pacify the Ama in the body. So it helps to improve digestive strength and indigestion problems in the body.
  9. It helps to maintain the kapha and vata dosha in the body. Which are responsible for body ailments such as constipation, piles and hemorrhoids.
  10. Achyranthes aspera also beneficial for the overweight patient because it is helpful in fat reduction and deposition in the body and also enhance body metabolism.
  11. The paste of Achyranthes aspera roots is used for external use during scorpion bite, itching, and urticaria.
  12. The herb also shows antibacterial and anti-parasitic activity.

Achyranthes Aspera Side Effects

  1. It's better to avoid long-term use of this herb.
  2. High dosage of the herb may cause vomiting.
  3. Must avoid by pregnant ladies.
  4. Lactating mothers and children's can be used in a lower amount.

We at Planet Ayurveda provides a number of herbal product which contains pure extracts of Achyranthes aspera and useful for the treatments of various body disorders.

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