Botanical Name

Swertia chirata Buch




Agathotes chirayta D.Don, Ericoila chirayta Bercht. & J.Presl, Eyrythalia floribunda G.Don.

Regional Name

English : Chireta, Hindi : Chirayata, Sanskrit : Kirata, Kirataka, Bhnimba, Kiratatiktaka, Urdu : Chiraita, Punjabi : Chiretta, Chiraita, Gujrati : Kariyatu, Kariyatun, Assamese : Chirta, Bengali : Chirata, Kannada : Nalebevu, Chirata Kaddi, Chirayat, Kashmiri : Lose, Chiraita, Malayalam : Nelaveppu, Kirayathu, Nilamakanjiram, Marathi : Kiraita, Kaduchiraita, Oriya : Chireita, Tamil : Nilavembu, Telugu : Nelavemu.

Part Used

Whole Plant.


Chirayata is a medicinal plant indigenous to temperate Himalaya. Chirayita has an erect, about 2–3 ft long stem, the middle portion is round, while the upper is four-angled, with a prominent decurrent line at each angle. The stems are orange brown or purplish in colour. The root is simple, tapering and stout, short, almost 7 cm long and usually half an inch thick. Flowering in Chirayita is in the form of numerous small, axillary, opposite, lax cymes arranged as short branches and the whole inflorescence is 2 ft long. Flowers are small, stalked, green-yellow, tinged with purple colour. The flower-tube is twice as long as the sepal-cup and divided near the base into four ovate–lance like segments. The upper surface of the petal has a pair of nectaries covered with oblong scales and ending as fringes. The plant is found at an altitude of 1200–3000 m, from Kashmir to Bhutan, and in the Khasi hills at 1200–1500 m. It can be grown in sub-temperate regions between 1500 and 2100 m altitudes.


Glycoside, Flavonoids, Tannins and Resins. The chemical compounds of the herb contains are Xanthone glycoside, Mangiferine (Flavonoid), amarogentin, amarogenitine, chiratin, chiratol, chiratogenin, enicoflavine, gentianine, gentipicrin, Isobellicifolin, swertianin, swerchirin, 7-0 methylswertianin, Swertinin, Sawertiamarine, Chiraranin, Enicoflavine, Geneianine, Episwertenol, B – Sitostetol, balanophoninoleanolic acidmaslinic acid, and sumaresinolic acid

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Tikta, Guna : Laghu, Ruksa, Vipaka : Katu, Virya : Sita, Karma : Jvaraghna, Kaphapittahara, Raktasodhaka, Vranasodhana, Saraka, Trsnapaha.

Ayurvedic Applications

Sotha, Daha, Jvara, Krmiroga, Kandu, Kustha, Meha, Trsna, Vrana.

Medicinal Uses

Chirayata is used for cold, cough, asthma, wheezing, diabetes, fever, inflammation, excessive thirst, urinary tract disorders, anorexia, gout, constipation, upset stomach, loss of appetite, burning sensation,  intestinal worm infestation, wound healing, infection, skin diseases, acne, ulcer, wounds and cancer. It is also used in bleeding disorders such as heavy periods and nasal bleeding.
Amlycure D.S.

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