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Swertia chirata

Boatnical Name: swertia chirata
Nepali Name: chirayata
Sanskrit Name: Kirat-tikta
English Name: Chiretta


Description and Composition
Chirayata, also known as Indian gentian is a robust annual herb which grows upto about 1.5 meters in height. It has leaves in opposite pair about 10 cms long, without stalks, pointed at the tip.The plant has numerous flowers , pale green in colour, tinged with purple, with long white or pink hairs and minutes sharp pointed fruits. The whole plant, collected in its flowering stage and dried, constitutes the drug. The trade name chirayata is based on the local name of the plant. It has long been used by the ayurvedic physicians as a bitter tonic.

The plant contains a bitter glycoside chiratin, which yields on hydrolysis, two bitter principle, ophelic acid and chiratin. The latter is solublein water. The ophelic acid is a brown hydroscopic substance which is soluble in water and alcohol .It also contains resin, tannin and 4to 8 per cent of ash.

Parts Used:
Whole Plant

Healing Power and Curative Properties
Chirayata is a valuable bitter tonic. It is laxative and an appetizer . It also corrects the disordered process of nutrition and restore the normal fuction of the system.

Chirayatra is an effective drug for reducing fevers.It is specially beneficial in the treatment of malarial fevers. It is also effective in hysteria and convulsion.

Stomach Disorders
The herb is an excellent drug for strengthening the stomach and promoting its action. It is used in the treatment of dyspepsia and diarrhoea.

Intestinal Worms
Chirayata possesses anthelmintic, that is, worms destroying, properties and is used in killing intestinal worms. An infusion of the herb is taken for this purpose.

General Debility
It serves as an effective tonic in case of general weakness and during convalescence. The infusion of the plant can be taken in doses of 60ml or40 tablespoons twice a day, before meals.
Preparation and Doses: The herb is used in the from of an infusion or tincture.The infusion is prepared in the hot water with aromatics likes cloves and cinnamon. It is generally taken in doses of 15 to 30 ml or 1 to 2 tablespoon.

Other Uses
Hiccups: The root of the plant is useful in checking hiccups and vomitting. It is taken in doses of 0.5 to 2 grams with honey.

Decoction: 50-100 ml
Powder: 1-3 gm
Ayurvedic Preparation:
Sudarshan Churna, Kiratadi Kwath

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