Achyranthes Aspera

Achyranthes Aspera ( Chirchira )

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Indian Name: Chirchira

Botanical Name: Achyranthes Aspera

Other Names: Devil's Horsewhip, Latjira, Apamarga, Prickly-Chaff Flower

Achyranthes Aspera’s white and red varieties are mentioned in the Ayurveda. It grows in tropical regions of America, Australia, Asia and Africa, in wastelands and dry regions as an annual perennial weed that grows in abundance. In India on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, pooja of Lord Ganesh is done by offering twenty one leaves. To treat postpartum bleeding, obstetrics, inducing labour, gynecology and abortion, it is used as a medicine in Uttar Pradesh. Malarial symptoms are eased with this medicinal plant and the plant is used by Kenya’s Maasai people for this purpose.

Achyranthes Aspera is known as Apamarga in Sanskrit and Devil’s Horsewhip and Prickly Chaff Flower are its common names. In the Amaranthaceae family it is one of the species. It grows mainly in the tropical region. It now grows as a common weed in many places all over the world as an invasive species.

Chemical constituents

Achyranthes Aspera include alcohols in a long chain, triterpenoidsaponins in which aglycone is possessed as the oleanolic acid and a moulting hormone for insects called ecdysterone.


In experiments conducted in laboratories on rabbits and mice it shows a significant activity that is abortifacient in nature. It helps in labour inducement and following the delivery, haemorrhage chances are reduced. Besides this is it used in skin disorder treatment, to treat pain caused by conditions in the joints and muscles and also disturbances in the gastrointestinal region. It may not be recommended to treat certain heath conditions since with some medicines it does not interact properly.

Disorders of the skin like psoriasis, eczema and rosaceae heal faster when achyranthesaspera paste is applied. Itching caused due to insect bites gets relieved and even abscesses on the skin and boils are treated due to the astringent properties which are present in herb, naturally. However if pus oozes out and there is swelling or redness then it is better always to go to a doctor. In treating eruptions in the skin, complaints of liver, piles, eye complaints and dysentery, the plant is used. In gonorrhea the leaves are used and roots used in treating stones in the bladder and trouble in the stomach and also cancer.

Before starting a medical treatment, taking the advice of a doctor is necessary. Even mothers-to-be should avoid taking Achyranthes Aspera as medicine especially when the full term is not reached or else it could cause stillbirth or miscarriage. Following delivery to prevent too much of bleeding, and in women experiencing painful and heavy periods, it proves to be useful. It has purgative, alterative, astringent, and diuretic properties.

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