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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
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Chirata

Chirata
Chirata is a popular medicinal herb native to high altitude regions of the sub-temperate Himalayas ranging from Himalayas to Bhutan. It has a bitter taste and each part of the plant has health benefits.
Chirata helps in weight loss as it increases metabolism and helps in burning more calories. It is also beneficial in managing diabetes by increasing insulin secretion and reduces oxidative stress in diabetic patients due to its high antioxidant activity. Chirata also plays a beneficial role in kidneys as it helps prevent stone formation due to its diuretic property. It also protects the kidney from damage by free radicals due to the presence of certain bioactive compounds. As per Ayurveda, taking Chirata water two times a day helps manage fever due to its Jvarghana (antipyretic) property.
Chirata is useful in managing skin problems including acne. Applying the paste of Chirata powder along with honey reduces the redness and inflammation and prevent infections due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Chirata powder with coconut oil helps manage wound healing due to its Ropan (healing) and Pitta balancing properties in Ayurveda.
Chirata reduces blood glucose levels. Therefore, it is recommended that diabetic patients taking antidiabetic medicines should monitor their glucose levels when consuming Chitara[2][3][9][14][16][17].

What are the synonyms of Chirata?

Swertia chirata, Kirataka, Bhunimba, Kiratatiktaka, Chirta, Chirata, Chireta, Kariyatu, Kariyatun, Nalebevu, Chirata Kaddi, Chirayat, Chiraita, Nelaveppu, Kirayathu, Nilamakanjiram, Kiraita, Kaduchiraita, Chireita, Chiretta, Nilavembu, Nelavemu, Kirata[1].

What is the source of Chirata?

Plant Based

Benefits of Chirata

What are the benefits of Chirata for Malaria?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata might be useful in managing the symptoms of Malaria as it contains certain constituents that have antimalarial properties. It might help inhibit the growth of malarial parasites. Chirata also has an antipyretic activity that helps manage malarial fever by reducing the elevated body temperature[2][15].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chirata is a well known Ayurvedic herb which is used to manage the symptoms of Malaria. In Ayurveda, Malaria fever is known as Vishamajwara (intermittent fever). Clinical features of Vishamajwara (Malaria) are fever with irregular onset and remission, excessive thirst, heaviness in the body, generalized body pain, headache and rigors. Taking Chirata helps to reduce the symptoms of Vishamajvara (Malaria) because of its Jvaraghna (antipyretic) and antimalarial properties.

Tip to make Chirata decoction at home to manage the symptoms of Malaria:
1. Take raw or dried Chirata (whole plant).
2. Boil it in 1 cup of water till it is reduced to 1/4th of its original quantity.
3. Filter this water and drink 3-4 teaspoons of it twice a day after meals to help manage the symptoms of Malaria.

What are the benefits of Chirata for Constipation?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata might help control constipation due to its strong laxative property. It acts as a natural laxative and helps promote bowel movement which eases excretion of stool from the body[5-6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Constipation is caused due to an aggravated Vata and Pitta dosha. This can be due to frequent consumption of junk food, excess intake of coffee or tea, sleeping late at night, stress, or depression. All these factors aggravate Vata and Pitta leading to constipation. Chirata eases bowel movement and helps in the removal of waste products from the body due to its Rechana (laxative) nature.

Tip to make Chirata decoction at home to get relief from constipation-
1. Take raw or dry chirata (whole plant).
2. Boil it in 1 cup of water till it is reduced to 1/4th of its original quantity.
3. Filter this water and drink 3-4 teaspoons of it twice a day after meals to get rid of constipation.

What are the benefits of Chirata for Worm infections?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata might lower the risk of parasitic Worm infestations due to its anthelmintic property. It suppresses the activity of parasites and helps in their removal from the body[2][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
In Ayurveda, worms are called Krimi. They grow in the intestine and cause harm to the body. Taking Chirata powder helps manage Worm infestation due to its Krimighna (anti-worm) property. It helps destroy the conditions that are ideal for the growth of these parasites and aids in their removal from the digestive tract.

Tip to use Chirata to manage Worm infestation-
1. Take 1-3 gm (or as directed by a physician) of Chirata powder.
2. Mix it with jaggery to reduce its bitter taste.
3. Swallow it with water once or twice a day to get rid of the parasitic worms and manage an infestation.

What are the benefits of Chirata for Appetite stimulant?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, Chirata might help manage appetite. It works as an appetite stimulant and helps improve digestion[9].

What are the benefits of Chirata for Stomach upset?

scientific
Modern Science View
Certain constituents present in Chirata might help manage the symptoms of an Upset stomach like acidity or flatulence. It helps improve digestion and strengthens the stomach, thereby providing relief from an Upset stomach[12].

How effective is Chirata?

Insufficient evidence
Appetite stimulant, Constipation, Malaria, Stomach upset, Worm infections

Precautions when using Chirata

Advice from Experts
scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata is found to interfere with blood sugar levels during surgery. So, it is generally advisable not to use Chirata at least 2 weeks before surgery[4].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available, it is advisable to avoid or consult your doctor before taking Chirata during breastfeeding.
Patients with diabetes
scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata may lower blood sugar levels. So it is generally advisable to monitor your blood glucose levels while taking Chirata with antidiabetic drugs[4].
Patients with heart disease
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available, it is advisable to avoid or consult your doctor before taking Chirata in patients with heart disease.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available, it is advisable to avoid or consult your doctor before taking Chirata during pregnancy.
Side Effects
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Dizziness.
2. Numbness in hands.

Recommended Dosage of Chirata

  • Chirata Powder - 1-3 gm twice a day or as directed by the doctor.
  • Chirata Tablet - 1 tablet twice a day or as directed by the doctor.
  • Chirata Capsule - 1 capsule a day or as directed by a physician.

How to use Chirata

1. Chirata powder
a. Take 1-3 gm (or as directed by a physician) of Chirata powder.
b. Swallow it with lukewarm water once or twice a day.
c. Consume it daily to manage worm infestations.

2. Chirata Decoction
a. Take raw or dried Chirata (whole plant).
b. Boil it in 1 cup of water till it is reduced to 1/4th of its original quantity.
c. Filter this water and drink 3-4 teaspoons of it twice a day.
d. Consume it daily to get relief from constipation.

3. Chirata Tablets
a. Take 1 tablet a day or as directed by the doctor.
b. Swallow it with water 1-2 times a day.

4. Chirata Capsules
a. Take 1 capsule a day or as directed by the doctor.
b. Swallow it with water 1-2 times a day.
c. Consume it daily for blood purification.

Benefits of Chirata

1. Acne and Pimples
A Kapha-Pitta dosha skin type can be prone to Acne and Pimples. According to Ayurveda, aggravation of Kapha increases sebum production, which clogs the pores. This results in the formation of both white and blackheads. An aggravation of Pitta also causes red papules (bumps) and inflammation with pus. Chirata helps in balancing Kapha and Pitta which helps to remove clogs and inflammation as well.

Tip to use Chirata to get rid of Acne and Pimples:
a. Take 1-6 gm or as per your requirement of Chirata powder.
b. Add honey or rose water to it and make a paste.
c. Apply evenly on the face.
d. Let it sit for 15-20 mins.
e. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
f. Use this remedy 2-3 times a week to get rid of Acne and Pimples, reduce fine lines, wrinkles and get glowing skin.

2. Skin disease
Chirata helps to control the symptoms of Skin diseases like eczema when applied to the affected area. Some of the symptoms of eczema are rough skin, blisters, inflammation, itchiness and bleeding. Applying Chirata powder or paste reduces inflammation and helps stop bleeding due to its Ropan (healing) and Sita (cold) properties.

Tip to use Chirata to help manage Skin disease-
a. Take 1-6 gm (or as per your requirement) of Chirata powder.
b. Add coconut oil to it and make a paste.
c. Apply the paste on the affected area.
d. Leave at least 4-5 hours.

3. Wound healing
Chirata helps in quick healing of Wounds, decreases swelling and brings back the normal texture of the skin. A paste of Chirata powder with coconut oil helps in quick healing and reduces inflammation due to its Ropan (healing) and Pitta balancing properties.

a. Tip to use Chirata to promote Wound healing-
b. Take 1-6 gm (or as per your requirement) of Chirata powder.
c. Add coconut oil to it and make a paste.
d. Apply the paste on the affected area.
e. Leave at least 4-5 hours for quick wound healing.

Recommended Dosage of Chirata

  • Chirata Powder - 1-6 gm or as per your requirement.

How to use Chirata

Chirata Powder
a. Take 1-6 gm of Chirata or as per your requirement.
b. Add honey or rose water to it.
c. Apply evenly on the face.
d. Let it sit for 15-20 mins.
e. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
f. Use this remedy 2-3 times a week to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and get a glowing skin.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How do you store chirata powder?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata powder should be stored in clean, dry and sterile conditions[13].

Q. Can Chirata be consumed daily?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Chirata can be consumed on a daily basis until the symptoms disappear. Chirata powder along with the Lukewarm water can be consumed to manage certain infections. However, it is advisable to consult a physician before taking Chirata for long term use.

Q. How to use Chirata in diabetes?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chirata is commonly available in the market in various forms such as powder, capsules and Kwath as well. However, 1-3g of Chirata powder twice a day is taken to control diabetes or as per directed by your doctor.

Q. What is the scientific name of Chirata?

scientific
Modern Science View
Scientific name of Chirata is Swertia chirata, Kirataka.

Q. Is Chirata good for diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata might help manage diabetes due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps prevent damage to pancreatic cells and enhances the release of insulin. This helps lower the level of blood sugar[10].

Q. Is Chirata good for the liver?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata is good for the liver due to its antioxidant and liver-protecting activities. Antioxidants help prevent damage caused to liver cells due to free radicals and eliminate them from the body. Chirata also reduces liver inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory property[9][11].

Q. Is Chirata good for fever?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Chirata root might help in the management of fever due to the presence of certain constituents that have antipyretic activity. Various studies state that these antipyretic agents help in reducing the elevated body temperature[9].

Q. How does Chirata help in weight loss?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata helps stimulate the digestive system. The presence of methanol present in Chirata helps promote weight loss by enhancing body metabolism[14]. Chirata provides good support for health by modulating the factors affecting the nutrition balance.

Q. Does Chirata help in anemia?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Chirata might help manage anemia as it promotes the production of blood in the body[14].

Q. Is Chirata good for gastrointestinal disorders?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Chirata might help manage gastrointestinal disorders due to its anti-inflammatory property. It lowers acid production in the stomach and provides relief from stomach pain due to acidity[14].

Q. Is Chirata safe during ulcers?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata is found to worsen gastric or duodenal ulcers. So, it is advisable to consult a physician while using Chiarata if you suffer from gastric or duodenal ulcers[4][12].

Q. Can Chirata cause vomiting?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata has got a bitter taste so it may induce vomiting in some people[4].

Q. Can Chirata result in hypoglycemia?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata might lower the level of blood sugar and lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level). So it is advisable to monitor your blood sugar regularly if you are taking Chirata along with any anti-diabetic drug[4][8].

Q. What are the side effects of Chirata?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata might cause vomiting because of its bitter taste. Sometimes, excessive consumption of Chirata might lead to dizziness and numbness[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chirata powder might cause nausea or vomiting in some people because of its Tikta (bitter) taste.

Q. What are the benefits of Chirata leaves?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata leaves help in the management of fever by lowering body temperature due to its antipyretic activity. Chirata leaves are also good for managing headaches and blood pressure.

Tips for using Chirata leaf paste
a. The Chirata leaves are chopped and then soaked in water overnight.
b. Prepare the paste using a glass of water.
c. Consume this freshly prepared paste once a day until the symptoms disappear or as directed by the physician[2][9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chirata is useful to reduce the symptoms of Vishamajwara (intermittent fever). Consuming the paste of Chirata leaves along with water helps manage the symptoms of Vishamajwara (intermittent fever) due to its Jvaraghna (antipyretic) and antimalarial properties.

Q. How to take Chirata powder?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chirata power can be used in different ways for different purposes. For a better treatment of the problem, it is advised to consult the doctor for the exact dose. Generally, 1-3 gm of Chirata power is advised to be taken for managing normal sugar levels and other health elements. It can be swallowed with lukewarm water once or twice a day. You can also use Chirata Kwath (decoction) once or twice a day. This is usually advised for diabetic patients.
How to make Chirata kwath:
Boil one spoon Chirata powder in two cups of water
Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes
Filter the mix in a cup
Your decoction is ready to help you better manage blood sugar levels.

Q. How can diabetics use Chirata?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
A diabetic person can use Chitrata in the following way like powder or Kwath(decoction)
Make powder of Chirata and consume it with water once or twice a day.
Chirata capsules or tablets are also available in the market. Take a tablet with water once or twice a day.
You can make Chirata Kwath (decoction).

Q. How do you use Chirata for weight loss?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chirata can be taken once or twice a day to manage your weight. Steps suggested to use Chirata for weight loss:
Step 1: Take one teaspoon of Chirata Powder
Step 2: Mix it with 2 cup of water and let it boil for 5-10 minutes
Step 3: Filter this mixture in a cup
Step 4: Have a hot cup of Chirata to manage your weight

Q. Can Chirata cause harmful effects?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chirata is known to cause a dip in blood sugar levels. Keep a close check on your blood sugar levels and monitor closely to avoid signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Also, it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Therefore, avoid its use if you are due for any such procedure and inform your doctor.

Q. How does Chirata helps manage skin diseases ?

scientific
Modern Science View
The external application of Chirata paste might help in managing skin diseases such as eczema and pimples due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the bacterial action on the body as well as reduces inflammation, pain, and redness associated with acne and pimples[2].

Q. Is Chirata good for Contagiosa

scientific
Modern Science View
Contagiosa is an infectious inflammatory reaction on the face. Chirata reduces the redness and inflammation associated with Contagiosa due to its anti-inflammatory property[9].

Q. Does Chirata help in wound healing?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, the external application of Chirata paste might help in wound healing due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Certain constituents present in Chirata help in the contraction and closure of wounds. It also helps in the regeneration of skin cells and promotes wound healing[14].

Q. Can Chirata protect you from microbial infections?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Chirata can protect you from various microbial infections due to its antimicrobial property. It inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause intestinal and respiratory infections[9].

References

  1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India.Part 1 Volume 1.
  2. Kumar V, Staden JV. A Review of Swertia chirayita (Gentianaceae) as a Traditional Medicinal Plant.Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6:308.External Link
  3. Tabassum S, Mahmood S, Hanif J.An Overview of Medicinal Importance of SWERTIA lCHIRAYITA.International Journal of Applied Science and Technology.201;2(1):298-304.
  4. WebMD.Chirata: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].External Link
  5. Morais TC, Lopes SC, Martins KM , et al. Mangiferin, a natural xanthone, accelerates gastrointestinal transit in mice involving cholinergic mechanism.World J Gastroenterol.2012;18 (25):3207-3214.External Link
  6. Negi JS, Singh P, Rawat B.Chemical constituent and Biological Importance of Swertia: A Review.2011;3(1):1-15.External Link
  7. Iqbal Z,Lateef M, Khan MN et al.. Anthelmintic activity of Swertia chirata against gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep.2006;77(6): 463-465.External Link
  8. Khan HJ, Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA.Evaluation of Anti-proliferative and antioxidant activity of Swertia chirata : IMplications in breast cancer.International Journal of Research and Development in Pharmacy and LIfe Sciences.2016;6(1):2493-2501.External Link
  9. Aleem A, Kabir H.Review on Swertia Chirata as traditional uses to its phytochemistry and pharmacological activity.2018;8(5-s):73-78.External Link
  10. Saxena AM , Bajpai MB, Mukherjee SK, et al.Mechanism of blood sugar lowering by Swerchirin - containing hexane fraction (SWI) of Swertia chirayita.Indian Journal of Experimental Biology.1993;31(2):178-181.External Link
  11. Imran M, Arshad MS, Butt MS, et al.Mangiferin:a natural miracle bioactive compound against lifestyle related disorders.2017;16(84):1-17.External Link
  12. Kumar KP, Bhowmik D, Chairanjib, et al.Swertia chirata : A traditional herb and its medicinal uses.Journal of chemical and pharmaceutical research.2010;2(1):262-266.External Link
  13. Nayak K, Vailanka MS, Sheeba E.Antibacterial activity of different extracts of medicinal plant Swertia Chirata. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences.2015;4(7): 889-897.External Link
  14. Haq MD. Medicinal Importance of Swertia Chirayita in Unani system of medicine.International Journal of Unani and Integrative medicine.2018;2(2):47-51.External Link
  15. Panda AK,Nandy A, Tripathy PC.Clinical evaluation of Swertia chirata for the treatment of P. Vivax malaria.Phytomedica.2004;5(1):15-18.External Link
  16. Bhowmik P.Anti-diabetic potential of crude extracts of medicinal plants used as substitutes for Swertia chirayita using in vitro assays. Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science.2010;7:48-55.External Link
  17. Parmar RK, Kachchi NR, Tirgar P et.al.Preclinical evaluation of antiurolithiatic activity of Swertia chirata stems. Int Res J Pharm.2012;8: 18-202. External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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