Botanical Name

Linum usitatissimum Linn.




Linum usitatissimum subsp. bienne (Mill.) Stank, Linum usitatissimum var. crepitans Boenn., Linum usitatissimum subsp. crepitans Elladi, Linum usitatissimum subsp. humile (Mill.) Chernom., Linum usitatissimum var. humile (Mill.) Pers., Linum usitatissimum var. indehiscens Neilr., Linum usitatissimum var. stenophyllum (Boiss.) Rech.f., Linum crepitans (Boenn.) Dumor

Regional Name

English : Pellitory, Hindi : Akalkara, Sanskrit : Akallaka, Urdu : Aqaraqarha, Punjabi : Akarakarabh, Akarakara, Bengali : Akarakara, Gujrati : Akkalkaro, Akkalgaro, Kannada : Akkallakara, Akallakara, Akalakarabha, Akkallaka Hommugulu, Malayalam : Akikaruka, Akravu, Marathi : Akkalakara, Akkalakada, Oriya : Akarakara, Tamil : Akkaraka, Akkarakaram, Telugu : Akkalakarra

Part Used



Alsi is native to the Mediterranean region and is cultivated in many parts of the world. Within India, it is cultivated throughout the plains up to an altitude of 800 m. in the Himalayas. Atasi is an erect annual herb, 0.6-1.2 m high, Seed are small, brown, glossy with minutely pitted surface, about 4-6 mm long and 2-2.5 mm in maximum width, elongated-ovoid, flattened, rounded at one end and obliquely pointed at the other, near which on one edge, flattened planoconvex cotyledons and a radicle, nearly fills the seed and completely surrounded by a thin,whitish endosperm, both endosperm and embryo oily, test mucilaginous when soaked in water, odour, characteristic, taste, oily when chewed.


Alsi seeds contains Fixed oil (37 - 44%), mucilage (3-10%), protein, glycosides, palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic acids, amino acids and sugars. It contains campesterol, dehydroavenasterol, sitosterol, cycloartenol, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Madhura, Tikta, Guna : Guru, Snigdha, Vipaka : Katu, Virya : Usna, Karma : Acaksusya, Vataghna.

Ayurvedic Applications

Krmiroga, Kustha, Prameha, Siroroga.

Medicinal Uses

It is useful in healing wounds and non-healing wounds, swelling, gout, rheumatism, joint and muscle pains, , ulcers, constipation, piles, fistula, chronic dysentery,  Haemorrhoid, Cystitis, anorexia, cough, skin diseases, lungs disorders, breathing difficulty, Heart diseases, It is also useful in Urinary Tract Infections, potent diuretic, gonorrhea, increases the sexual stimulation and general weakness.
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