Herbs & Plants

Rough Chaff

Biological Name: Achyranthes aspera
Other Names: Rough Chaff Tree, Prickly Chaff Flower, Apamarga, Apamara, Adharajhada, Aghada, Aghata, Antisha, Apamarga, Apamargamu, Apang, Atkumah, Chirchira, Duk.-Agari, Kadaladi, Katalati, Kharamanjari, Khare-vazhun, Kune-la- mon, Kutri, Latjira, Nayuruvi, Pan- dhara-aghada, Safed hedo, Shiru-kidaladi, Uttaraene, Uttaranee
Scientific Name: Achyranthes aspera var. perphyristachya Hook F.
Family: Amaranthaceae
English Name: Prickly Chaff-flower.
Hindi Name:
Chirchita, Latjira, Onga.
Habitat: Sub-tropical Himalays from Kishwar tio Sikkim and Khasi hill to Bihar, Konkan, Nilgiris, and Travancore hills.

Flowering & Fruiting: Aug.-Dec.

Parts Used: leaves, seeds and root.

Description: This small herb found all over India. It grows as wasteland herb every where. Since time immemorial, it is in use as folk medicine. It holds a reputed position as medicinal herb in different systems of medicine in India.It is an erect and stiff annual herb. It has numerous branches ,almost round the slightly ribbed stem,light green or light pink in colour and covered with short,stiff and little rough hair.The leaves of the plant are simple egg shaped and green . The flowers are small and faced downwards.Its seeds and dried plants are available with grocers and dealers of Raw herbal drugs all over India.The leaves are testless but assume a mild bitter taste after cooking.They have soft cellulose.


Plant yields achyranthine. The fruit contains a large percentage of alkaline ash containing potash. It has an important constituents of alkaline mrdicine which is very useful in counteracting acidity.

Traditional Medicinal Uses: According to Ayurveda, it is bitter, pungent, heating, laxative, stomachic, carminative and useful in treatment of vomiting, bronchitis, heart disease, piles, itching abdominal pains, ascites, dyspepsia, dysentery, blood diseases etc.

Ayurvedic Preparation: Apamarga Taila, Agnimukha etc

Astringent, alterative and antiperiodic, antibilious, diuretic, expectorant, purgative.

Uses and Dosage:

For Renal Dropsies

Make a decoction by adding 2 oz. of the plant to 1.5 pints of water. Boil for 20 – 30 minutes. Strain. This is a good diuretic. Useful for renal dropsies.

Dose: one to two ounces of the mixture two or three times daily.

For stomach ache and bowel complaints, piles, boils, skin eruptions etc.

Use the leaf juice.

For diarrhea and dysentery

A decoction of powdered leaves with honey or sugar candy is useful in the early stages of diarrhea and dysentery.

For Fevers:

Grind fresh leaves into a paste. Mix it with jaggery or black pepper and garlic. Form it into pills. This is a good antiperiodic especially in quartan fevers.

For dropsies such as ascites, anasarca

Mix the ashes from the roots of the herb with water and jaggery. This is said to cure dropsies such as ascites, anasarca etc.

For Cough:

A pinch of the root-powder with a pinch of pepper powder and honey is a remedy for cough.

For bites of poisonous insects, wasps, bees etc

Rub the leaves into a paste with water. Apply this into the affected area.

Grind the flowering spikes of the seeds into a paste with water. Apply externally to the affected region for bites of poisonous snakes and reptiles.

Asthma: Rough chaff is benefically used to treat asthma. According to the Ayurvedic method, the leaves of the plant should be plucked in pitch darkness. As because the presence of light destorys the curative effect on them.After that they are ground with two grams of ground paper on a stone. Six pills can be made by the preparation and should be dried in a dark room on that night . Asthma patient has to take one pill with water on the ninth night of the second half of the lunar month, and continue to follow the procedure for six days up to new moon day.

Spleen enlargement: The herb is specific for the spleen enlargement. The powder of the whole plant is used twice daily with a little bitten yogard (curd).

Easy delivery:Rough chaff seeds are very useful in facilitating easy and painless delivery.The seeds are ground well with lillte water to form a fine past, and applied on the navel, pubis and vulva.

Cholera: The powdered root of the herb, mixed with water gives good result in cholera.

Renal dropsy: The decoction of the plant is beneficial in renal dropsy as its use increases the secretion and discharge of urine.The decoction is made by boiling the plant in water for half an hour . About 30 to 50 gms. of strained mixture should be taken twice daily.

Stomach disorders: Juice of rough chaff leaves are very useful for curing stomach ache,bowel complaints and piles.

Diarrhoea and dysentery: A decoction of the powdered leaves ,mixed with honey or sugar candy is useful in the early stage of these diseases.

Menstruation: A decoction of the herb is very useful in treating abnormal or excessive menstruation.

Eye problems: A paste of the roots of the herb with water can be applied beneficially in opthalmia opacity of the cornea.

Skin problems:Rough chaff leaves are useful in cuts and wounds from sharp knives or blades .Juice of a few leaves is used to soak the wound. A leaf is wrapped and bandaged over the wounds.It heals withen a day or two. with a single application.

For syphilitic sores:

Extract fresh juice from the leaves. Thicken the juice by evaporating by exposing to the sun. Mix it with a little opium. Apply to primary syphilitic sores.


Payasam or Kheer made of seeds in milk is a good remedy for brain diseases.

An Infusion of the root is a mild astringent useful in bowel complaints.

Seeds are used as an expectorant, or mixed with rice water for bleeding hemorrhoids.

Seed soaked in buttermilk during the night and ground into an emulsion the next morning is a cure for biliousness.

Apply Leaf juice applied to skin for overexposure to the sun. Leaves or seeds are used for poisonous animal bites.

Safety precautions:
Do not use while pregnant. Taken in large doses, it (especially the leaf juice) induces abortion or labor pains. No other information available.

Other Uses:
Useful for reclamation of wastelands.
Leaf is consumed as potherb.
Seeds rich in protein, cooked and eaten.
Used in religious ceremonies in India.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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