Achyranthes aspera L.
Synonyms: Achyranthesindica (L.) Mill.
Species: A. aspera
Urdu Name: Charchitah, Khardar-Guna,
English Name: Chaff-Flower, Devil’s Horsewhip
Sindhi Name: UbatKandi
Part Used: Leaves, roots, and seeds
AchyranthesasperaL.is aperennial herb. Leaves are elliptic, oval, very obtuse, and narrowed below. Bracts are lanceolate or narrowly deltoid-lanceolate, pale or brownish-membranous, and glabrous. Seed are cylindrical and smooth1.
A. asperaoccurs in Africa, America, Australia, China, India, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Tropical Asia.
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases (Sindh):
Azadiractaindica A. Juss.(Neem) leaves and AchyranthesasperaL. (Chaff-Flower) are boiled together in some water, and this water is used as wash face at least 2-3 times a day for the treatment of boils in District Badin (Sindh).
Fungal Infection and ringworm
Wet wood of A. asperais burnt on fire to get extract and applied topically for the treatment of fungal infection and ringworm in District QamberShahdadkotand Sukkur(Sindh).
Oil of A. asperais applied topically for the treatment of scabies in District QamberShahdadkot (Sindh).
Leaves of A. asperaare ground and mixed with oil to make anoily solution, and applied topically on affected area for the treatment of abscess in District QamberShahdadkot (Sindh).
A. asperaleaves are ground and mixed with fuller’s earth to make a paste. It is applied topically for the treatment of prickly heat in District Sukkur (Sindh).
A. asperais boiled in some water and this water is taken orally for the treatment of ringworm in District Sukkur (Sindh).
Seeds of A. aspera showed the presence of saponinsA, and B, 10-tricosanone, 10-octacosanone, and 4-tritriacontanone. Strigmasta-5,22-dien-3-β-ol, trans-13-docasenoic acid, n-hexacosanyl n-decaniate, n-hexacos-17-enoic acid, and n-hexacos-11-enoic acid were isolated from roots.Shoots contains triacontanol, 27-cyclohexylheptacosan-7-ol, and 17-pentatriacontanol. Saponins C and D were isolated from fruits while pentatriaontane, 6-pentatriacontanone, hexatriacontane, and tritriacontane from stems. Volatile oil was p-benzoquinone, hydroquinone, spathulenol, nerol, α-ionone, asarone, and eugenol present in this plant2.
Medicinal uses and Pharmacology/Scientific studies:
Ground leaves of this plant is heated and applied over the paralyzed parts of body proves useful. Root paste mixed in water is applied over the suppurating swellings. Decoction of root and leaves is effective against renal dropsies, general anasarca, bowel complaints, and piles. Seeds are soaked overnight in milk then ground, is used for biliousness. Root ashes, mixed with honey are effective for cough. Whole herb is converted into ashes and mixed in camel milk is used against dropsy, bilious cough, and stomach ache3.
Root paste is given to stop bleeding after abortion and stimulate labor pain. Infusion and decoction of the root are used for stitch, toothache, and cleansing teeth. Leaves juice is applied externally to eyes for increased dimmed vision. Leaves paste is applied over poisonous insect, wasp, and bees bites, and burns4.
Crushed leaves rubbed on back for curing strained back. Root is used as tooth brush. Root paste mixed in water is used in ophthalmia and opacities of the cornea. Fresh leaves paste is used for allaying pain from bite of wasps2.
A. asperais reported to have various pharmacological effects such as,microbial, larvicidal, antifertility, chemopreventive, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, bronchoprotective, antispasmodic, antiarthritic, wound healing, antisnake venom, hepatoprotective, analgesic, antipyretic, anthelmintic, diuretic, and antinociceptive. Plant was also reported for lepromatous leprosy5. Benzene extract of the stem bark possessed abortifacient activity6. Methanolic extract of A. asperaleaves showed anti-dandruff activity7.
- Srivastav, S., Singh, P., Mishra, G., Jha, K. K., andKhosa, R. L. (2011). Achyranthesaspera-An Important Medicinal Plant: A Review. Journal of Natural Product and Plant Resources, 1(1), 1-14.
- Qureshi, R., andBhatti, G. R. (2009). Folklore Uses of Amaranthaceae family from Nara desert, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 41(4), 1565-1572.
- Dey, A. (2011). Achyranthesaspera L: Phytochemical and Pharmacological Aspects. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, 9(2), 72-82.
- Bhattarai, N. (1994). Folk Herbal Remedies for Gynaecological Complaints in Central Nepal. International Journal ofPharmacognosy, 32(1), 13-26.
- Suresh Kumar, P., Sucheta, S., Umamaheswari, A., SudarshanaDeepa, V. (2010). In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation of Anti-Dandruff Activity of Formulated Polyherbal Hair Oil, Journal of Pharmacy Research, 3(12), 2956-2958.