Feb 12, 2014
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Family ► Amaranthaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the tropical and subtropical regions, up to an altitude of 2,100 m, in the southern Andaman Islands.

English ► Prickly Chaff Flower.

Ayurvedic ► Apaamaarga, Chirchitaa, Shikhari, Shaikharika, Adahshalya, Mayura, Mayuraka, Kharamanjari, Kharapushpaa, Pratyakpushpaa, Aaghaat, Vashira, Kanihi.

Unani ► Chirchitaa.

Siddha/Tamil ► Naayuruvi.

Folk ► Chirchitta, Chichidaa, Latjeeraa.

Action ► Astringent, pectoral (ashes of the plant used in asthma and cough), diuretic, hepatoprotective, emmenagogue. Benzene extract of the plant exhibited abortifacient activity. The flowers, ground and mixed with sugar, are given for menorrhagia. Roots—astringent, haemostatic. Seeds—emetic; used for biliousness. Essential oil— antifungal.

Key application ► As astringent, emetic. (Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of the whole plant in lipid disorders and obesity, the root for its blood-purifying property.

The plant juice and ash are used for treating bleeding piles. An alkaline powder of the plant is used in preparing Kshaarasutra of Ayurvedic medicine, which is recommended for treating fistula-in-ano.

The whole plant contains the alkaloids achyranthine and betaine. Achy- ranthine, a water-soluble alkaloid, is reported to dilate blood vessels, lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate and increase the rate and amplitude of respiration. It also shows spasmodic effects on the rectus muscle of frog, diuretic and purgative action in albino rats.

The presence of ecdysterone and oleanolic acid is also reported in the root.

The ashes of the plant yield large quantities of potash. The seeds yield saponins and oleanolic acid and its ester.

The presence of tannins and glyco- sides is also reported in the plant.

Dosage ► Whole plant—20-30 g for decoction. Root—5-10 g. (API Vols. II, III.) Ash—500 mg to 2 g. (CCRAS.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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