Ayurvedic Herbs

Gorakshaganja Aerva lanata Uses, Adverse effects, Research

Gorakshaganja- Aerva lanata is a plant mentioned in Ayurveda for the treatment of renal calculi, retention of urine, cough and sore throat. The plant has promise on anti HIV activity. 

Latin name- Aerva lanata Juss.
Family- Amaranthaceae

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
Hindi name: Gorakhbuti or Kapuri jadi, Gorakshaganja, Gorkhabundi, Kapurijidi, chaya.
English name: Mountain knot grass
Bengali name: Chaya
Kannada name: Bilesuli, Bilihindi soppu
Malayalam name: Cherula, Cerula, Ceruvuta
Marathi name: Kapuri-madhura, Kapurmadhura, Kumrapindi , Kapurphuti
Punjabi name: Bui-kaltan (flowers as sold in bazaars)
Tamil name: Sirru -pulay –vayr, Cerupulai, Poolai
Telugu name: Pindi-kura, Pindi-chettu, Pindiuttu, Kondapindichettu
Gujarathi name – Bur, Kapurimadhuri
Assamese name – Bameha
Spanish name- Sanguinaria de cuba
Deccan name – Khul-Khul
Mundari- Cauliara
Sind- Bui
Trans- Indus-Azmei
Punjab- Baikallau

Sanskrit Synonym

Pashanabheda- That which destroys the stones


Morphology of Aerva lanata
Aerva lanata is a common weed which grows wild everywhere in the plains of India. The root has a camphor-like aroma. The flowers are seen as clusters and are pale green in color. The dried flowers which look like soft spikes, are sold under the commercial names as Buikallan or Boor. The fruits and flowers are seen in the month of November to January. This herb is taken as a variety of Pashanabheda in South India.

Properties, part used, dosage

Medicinal Properties of Gorakshaganja:
Rasa (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion), Teekshna (Strong)
Vipaka – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Prabhava (Special action)- Ashmari bhedana (Destroys the stones)
Karma (Actions) – Kaphavata shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and vata dosha)

Part used- Root
Dosage- 50 to 100 ml of decoction


Goraksha ganja (Aerva lanata) grows throughout India in the plains upto 1000mts on the hills,Ceylon, Arabia,tropical Africa, Java, Philippines.

Chemical constituents

Chemical composition of Aerva lanata:
The plant contains palmitic acid, beta-sitosterol and alpha-amyrin. The flowering and fruiting parts contained hemicellulose, starch an acid- soluble polysaccharide & H2o soluble polysaccharides, monosaccharide contents of polysaccharides determined.

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Uses, indications

Uses of Gorakshaganja:

  • The decoction of the root of Aerva lanata is given in a dose of 50-60 ml to treat renal calculi and retention of urine.
  • Cold infusion of the whole plant is given in a dose of 30-40 ml to treat cough and sore throat.
  • The dried leaf and flowers of Gorakshaganja are burnt and the smoke coming from it is used for inhalation to treat asthma and chronic cough.
  • The paste of the plant is applied over forehead to treat headache.
  • The paste of the root is made into decoction and given in a dose of 30 ml to treat gonorrhea.
  • The cold infusion of the root of Aerva lanata is given to pregnant women as tonic to improve the body strength.

Pharmacological actions

Anthelmintic – useful in intestinal worm infestation
demulcent & lithasis.
useful in cough, sore  throat, indigestion, wounds & as specific for diabetes.
Decoction is efficacious diuretic & is useful in catarrh of bladders. It is said to cure diarrhea, cholera & dysentery.
Flowers are lithotryptic.

Adverse effects

No adverse effects are reported after the normal use of this herb.

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.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines containing Gorakshaganja:
Marma gulika: Marma Gulika is a tablet, used in Ayurvedic treatment of diseases of Marma places – vital organs, means, diseases related to heart, brain, urinary system etc. It is also used to treat external injury to vital organs of the body.

Ureaze tablet: It is a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine useful in the treatment of urinary tract infection and also acts like a diuretic.

Virataradi kashaya: It is a decoction used in the treatment of renal calculi, retention of urine and vata predominant diseases.


Research articles related to Aerva lanata:
Anti- microbial study: The antioxidant potential of Aerva lanata was investigated in this study. The plant exhibited the most potent radical scavenging activity at a maximum concentration 2.5mg/ml. Natural antioxidants such as Flavonoid, Total phenols, Tannin, Carotenoids and Lycopene were evaluated and also the antioxidant activity against DPPH, Super oxide anion, Hydroxyl radical, Nitric oxide radical, Hydrogen peroxide radical, Total antioxidant capacity assay and anti-lipid peroxidation activity were evaluated. Aerva lanata showed high anti lipid peroxidation against TBA. Strong antioxidant activity showed in aqueous ethanol extracts than water and ethanol extracts, and similar to standards ascorbic acid and BHT.

Anti- HIV activity: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-HIV activity and cytotoxic effects of Aerva lanata root extracts. All extracts exhibited the most notable activity and the chloroform extract of Aerva lanata showing highest (91.0%) HIV-RT inhibition at 2mg/ml concentration, hexane, ethyl acetate and acetone extractions showed highest inhibition of HIV-RT at 2 mg/ml concentration (86.9, 85.2 and 77.5 respectively). While control drug (AZT) showing 91.7% at 2mg/ml concentration. IC50 value of all extracts determined below 40mg/ml.

Anti- urolithiatic activity: . In this study aqueous, chloroform, benzene extracts of Aerva lanata (L.) and standard for dissolving kidney stones- calcium oxalate by an in-vitro model. To check their potential to dissolve experimentally prepared kidney stones- calcium oxalate by an in-vitro model for Aerva lanata (L.) and cystone as a standard compound collected from market. Phenolic compound isolated from the benzene and aqueous, flavanoids and steroids from aqueous fraction of the leaf. Aqueous fractions showed highest dissolution of stones as compare to others.

Anti- diabetic action: This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of an alcoholic extract of A. lanata (AAL) on blood glucose and other biochemical parameters in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. AAL was found to reduce the increase of blood sugar in alloxan-induced diabetic rats (42% at 375 mg/kg and 48% at 500 mg/kg body weight). Chronic administration of AAL significantly (P<0.001) reduced the blood sugar of alloxan induced diabetic rats for 2 weeks. Also the extract prevented a decrease in body weight and reduced the increased lipid peroxides in alloxan induced diabetic rats.

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Amaranthoideae
Genus: Aerva
Species: A. lanata

Author: Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com
Click to consult Dr Prashanth BK

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