Cassia tora – Chakramarda Uses, Dose, Research

Chakramard – Cassia tora is probably the underdog among medicinal herbs. It has anti-cancer potential, externally used for snake bite poisoning, it reduces cholesterol and more. 
Botanical name- Cassia tora Linn,  Cassia boreensis Miq., Cassia borneensis Miq., Cassia gallinaria Collad., Cassia numilis Collad.
Family- Caesapiniaceae


Kingdom -Plantae
Division -Magnoliophyta
Class – Magnoliopsida
Sub-class – Rosidae
Order – Fabales
Family – Fabaceae
Sub-family – Caesalpinioideae
Tribe – Cassieae
Sub-tribe –  Cassiinae
Genus: Cassia
Species:  Cassia tora

Cassia tora - Senna tora

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
English name – Ring-worm plant, sickle senna, sickle pod, tora, coffee pod, tovara, chakvad and foetid cassia
Hindi name -Chakavad, Pavand
Telugu name – Tagirise, Tantepu chettu
Tamil name – Taghrai
Bengali name – Chavuka
Marathi name – Takla
Gujarati name – Kuvadiyo
Telugu name – Tagirise

Cassia tora leaves - sickle senna

Sanskrit synonyms

Kharjughna, Dadrughna – cures Dadru – ring worm
Edagaja, Andagaja, Gajakhya, Andahasti, Chakragaja,
Kshodaka, Mardaka, Pamato, Meghakusuma, Drudabeeja, Prapunnata, Punnata, Prapunnada, Taravata, Vyavartaka, Padmata,
Avartaka, Chakrika, Chakrahva, Chakramarda – Chakra refers to wheel, or ringworm. It is useful to cure ringworm infection.
Meshakshi kusuma,  Mesha Lochana – flowers and leaves resemble eyes of Mesha – sheep

Classical categorization

Charaka- Shaka varga – leafy vegetable group of herbs
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Karaveeradi Varga
Bhavaprakasha – Hareetakyadi Varga
Raja Nighantu – Shatahvadi Varga

Chemical constituents

Cassia tora chemical Constituents- Fistucacidin, emodin, Rubro fusarin, Torosachrysone,  Isotoralactone, Questin, Obtusin, Obtusifolin, Alaternins, Cassiaside etc. (JLN Shastry)
Chrysophenol is its marker compound.
Seeds: cinnamaldehyde, gum, tannins, mannitol, coumarins, aldehydes, eugenol and pinene, sugars, resins.
Root: Beta sitosterol, Beta-D glucoside, palmitic acid, stearic acid, uridine, quercitin, iso-quercitin.

Variety, habitat

Variety: Cassia obtusifolia is considered as a variant of this plant.
Habitat: Available throughout India, in hotter regions. 

Senna tora (L.) Roxb , Foetid cassia, Sickle senna

Properties, part used, dosage

Cassia tora medicinal properties:
Guna (qualities) – Laghu – light to digest, Rooksha – Dryness
Rasa (taste) – Katu –pungent
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Vata Dosha

As per Bhojana Kutuhalam twelfth chapter, chakramarda is pungent in taste, causes severe intoxication and alleviates vitiated vata and kapha dosha. It treats wounds, itching, skin diseases, colicky pain etc. Chakramarda that is imported from a foreign island is bigger in size and treats dadru.

Part used– Seeds. shoots, leaves, root. Its plants, seeds are edible. Leaves are used as vegetable. Its roasted seeds are used as a substitute for coffee.
Dosage- Seeds powder 1-3 g; leaf juice 5-10 ml

Sanskrit verse

Cassia tora benefits

Uses, indications

Chakramarda – Cassia tora uses:
Ushna – hot
Rooksha – dry
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Svadu – sweet
Katu – pungent
Laghu – light to digest
Vishtambhi – constipative
Srushta Vit Mutra – increases volume of urine and feces
Pittanilahara – balances Pitta and Vata Dosha.
Kantikara – improves skin glow and complexion
Soukumaryakara – imparts softness and makes it look young
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Medohara – reduces fat and cholesterol levels

Indicated in:
Kushta – skin diseases
Jwara – fever
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Kasa – cough, cold
Meha – diabetes, urinary tract disorders
Aruchi – anorexia
Krumi – worm infestation
Vrana – Ulcers, wounds
Pama – Keloids, Papules

Shaka – shoot and leaves
Guru – heavy to digest
Kaphahara – balances Kapha, useful in productive cough, asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion
Anilahara – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance  such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Pitta prakopana – increases Pitta Dosha.
Balya – improves strength and immunity

Indicated in :
Kushta – skin diseases
Dadru – ring worm / tinea infection
Pama – Keloids, Papules

Cassia tora fruits (pods)
Katu – pungent
Ushna – hot
Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha

Indicated in:
Kushta – skin diseases
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Kandu – itching, pruritis
Gulma – Tumors of the abdomen,
Dadru – ring worm / tinea infection, urticaria, itching, allergic skin rashes,
Kasa – cough, cold
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Krumi – worm infestation
Visha – toxic conditions, poisoning. It is used for the treatment of snake bite poisoning.
Gulma – Tumors of the abdomen

Its Kashaya – water decoction is used for the treatment of fever.

The plant is known to possess hypolipidemic activity – reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL (good cholesterol).
Anti-tumor activity: Emmodin – an antrhaquinone, present in roots and bark is being studied along with chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
It also possesses anti-genotoxic (protects DNA damage), anti inflammatory and anti hepatotoxic (protects liver), anthelmintic, anti oxidant, anti bacterial, anti nociceptive and hypotensive activities.

External application

Seed paste is applied externally in eczema,leprosy, tinea, allergic dermatitis,  psoriasis, inflamed pile mass, and snake bites, insect bites etc.
Fresh leaves are pounded with alcohol or vinegar and is applied externally to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines containing Cassia tora as ingredient:
Cutisora oil – used for the treatment of psoriasis.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.


Research studies on Cassia tora:
Anti-bacterial activity
Ethanolic and aqueous extracts from the leaves of Cassia tora were studied for anti-bacterial activity, in a concentration of 0.15 mg, 0.31 mg. Ciprofloxacin was used as standard reference. The study involved determination of inhibition zone in mm. Both the extracts exhibited significant antibacterial activity.

3 thoughts on “Cassia tora – Chakramarda Uses, Dose, Research”

    • 1. Its paste or juice extract is applied externally.
      2. Sesame oil – 20 parts is added to cassia tora and cooked, filtered. This oil is applied externally to treat tinea, psoriasis.


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