Feb 12, 2014
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SWERTIA CHIRAYITA

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(Roxb. ex Flem.) Karst.

Synonym ► S. chirata (Wall.) C. B. Clarke.

S. tongluensis Burkill. Gentiana chirayita Roxb. ex Flem. G. chirata Wall. Ophelia chirata Griseb.

Family ► Gentianaceae.

Habitat ► Temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan and in Khasi Hills.

English ► Chiretta.

Ayurvedic ► Kiraata, Kairaata, Kiraataka, Kandatikta, Kiraatatikta, Kiraatatiktaka, Katutikta, Trin- nimba, Bhuunimba, Aranyatikta, Raamasenaka. Bhuunimba (also equated with Andrographis paniculata).

Unani ► Chiraitaa.

Siddha ► Nilavembu.

Action ► Blood purifier and bitter tonic (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India); used in skin diseases. Other properties: antiinflammatory (experimentally, the benzene extract was comparable with phenylbutazone and betamethasone in induced arthritis); hypoglycaemic (xanthone, swerchirin, lowers blood sugar), astringent, stomachic (in dyspepsia and diarrhoea); antimalarial (before the discovery of Peruvian bark), anthelmintic; antiasthmatic, bechic; and as a liver tonic (several active principles are hepatoprotective).

The herb contains oxygenated xan- thone derivatives, including decus- satin, mangiferin, swerchirin, swer- tianin, isobellidifolin; iridoids including chiratin, alkaloids including gen- tianine, gentiocrucine, enicoflavine and glycosyl flavones.

Antitubercular activity has been claimed in xanthones. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Green chiretta is equated with Andrographis paniculata Nees, Acantha- ceae.

Dosage ► Whole plant—1-3 g powder; 20-30 g for decoction. (API, Vol. I.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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