Botanical Name

Achyranthes aspera L.




Achyranthes acuminata E.Mey. ex Cooke & Wright, Achyranthes aspera var. australis (R.Br.) Domin, Achyranthes aspera var. canescens (R.Br.) Drake, Achyranthes asperoides Pires de Lima, Centrostachys aspera (L.) Standl., Centrostachys indica (L.) Standl., Centrostachys grandifolia (Moq.) Standl., Stachyarpagophora aspera (L.) M.Gomez.

Regional Name

English : Prickly Chaff Flower, Hindi : Chirchita, Latjira, Sanskrit : Mayura, Mayuraka, Pratyakpuspa, Kharamanjar, Sikhari, Apamarga, Urdu : Chirchita, Punjabi : Puthakanda, Bengali : Apamg, Gujrati : Aghedo, Assamese :- Apang, Kannada : Uttarani, Malayalam : Katalati, Marathi : Aghada, Tamil : Nayuruvi, Telugu : Uttarenu.

Part Used

Whole plant


This species is globally distributed in the Pantropics. Within India, it is common weed found on roadsides and waste places throughout up to an altitude of 2100 m. and in the Andaman Islands.  Apamarga is a stiff, yellowish-brown, erect, branched, cylindrical, hairy, solid, swelled nodes, perennial herb, 30-90 cm high. Leaves are simple, subsessile, exstipulate, opposite, decussate, wavy margin, obovate, slightly acuminate and pubescent due to the presence of thick coat of long simple hairs. Flower are arranged in inflorescence of long spikes, greenish-white, numerous, sessile, bracteate with two bracteoles, one spine lipped, bisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous; perianth segments 5,free, membranous, contorted or quincuncial, stamens 5, opposite, the perianth lobes, connate forming a membranous tube-like structure, alternating with truncate and fimbriate staminodes, filament short; anther, two celled, dorsifixed; gynoecium bicarpellary, syncarpous; ovary superior, unilocular with single ovule; style, single; stigma, capitate. Fruit is an indehiscent dry utricle enclosed within persistent, perianth and bracteoles, Seed are sub-cylindric, truncate at the apex, round at the base, endospermic, brown colour.


Saponins are the main chemical constituents of Apamarga. It contains  triterpenoid  saponins, oleanolic acid achyranthine, betaine, pentatriaontane, 6 pentatriacontanone,  hexatriacontane Hentriacontane, Ecdysterone  and tritriacontane.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Katu, Tikta, Guna : Sara, Tiksna, Vipaka : Katu, Virya : Usna, Karma : Dipana, Kaphahara, Vatahara, Medohara, Chedana, Pacana, Vamaka, Sirovirecana.

Ayurvedic Applications

Sula, Udara Roga, Apaci, Arsa, Kandu, Medoroga.

Medicinal Uses

Apamarga is used to treat excessive hunger, piles, ulcers, haemorrhoids, boils, skin eruptions, kidney stone and colic. It is also used in wounds, Ascites, difficult labour, accidental wounds, eye disease, ear disease, head disease, dog-bite, meno-metrorrhagia, obesity, tumors, abdominal pain, jaundice, coughs, asthma, pneumonia, rheumatism, insomnia and pain in vagina.
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