By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
Swertia chirata is known as Chirayata or Kiratatikta in India. This annual herb is found all across India. Whole plant is usually used and its twigs and leaves are very rich in its active constituents.
Kirata tikta is a severe bitter herb appreciated well in the treatment of varieties of fevers, liver disorders and skin diseases. Kiratatikta and Bhoo nimba (Andrographis paniculata) are used mutually in the absence of one another due to similar nature and therapeutic actions.
This herb is mentioned in almost all the classical literature like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtangahridayam, Ashtangasangraha, Chakradutta, Harita samhita, Bhavaprakasha, Sharangdhar Samhita, Bhaishajyaratnavali etc.
Important phytochemicals of Kiratatikta are swertinin, swertianin, swerchirin, decussating, isobellidifolin, friedelin, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, aspartic acid, 9 tetraoxy genated xanthones, gentianine, gentiocrucine, eniflavine, arghinine, leucine, glutamic acid etc.
The scientists have evaluated its potent hepatoprotective, leishmanicidal, anti cancerous, anti ulcer, CNS depressant, anti inflammatory, anti helmethic, anti pyretic and anti microbial activities.
In Ayurveda it is used abundantly in the treatment of intermittent fever, asthma, skin diseases, chronic ulcers, sinus, fistula, liver disorders, worm infestation etc. According to Ayurveda it is a veru good bitter tonic and is useful as a liver stimulant and appetizer.
Read related: Kiratatikta – Swertia chirata – Benefits, Dose, Usage, Side Effects
Mahasudarsana kvatha, Sudarsana churna, Kiratatiktadi kvatha, Bhunimbadi kvatha, Tiktapancaka kvatha, Kiratadi taila, Tiktaka ghrita etc are the important formulations of Kiratatikta.
Important simple remedies and their medicinal benefits of Kiratatikta are mentioned here below-
1. Kirat Tikt medicated oil in eczema and itching:
A fist full of whole plant (approximately 50 gram) is atken and fine paste is made. This is cooked with 200 ml of sesame oil or coconut oil till it is free from moisture. Then it is filtered and stored. This oil is used to apply over the itching skin lesions especially in eczema. In dandruff and seborrhic dermatitis also it is effective.
2. Kiratatikta – Ginger and Pepper decoction in recurrent fever and cold:
Equal amount of Kiratatikta-Ginger and Pepper are taken (3 gram each) and decoction is made bu cooking with approximately 100 ml of water. This is administered in the dose of 20-30 ml three to four times a day. It pacifies recurrent fevers.
Read related: Easy Ayurveda Home Remedy For Fever And Cold
3. Fine powder with honey in anorexia and nausea:
2-3 gram of fine powder of Kiratatikta plant or leaves is taken and licked by mixing with honey. This helps to restore the hunger and thirst. In nausea and vomiting also it is beneficial.
Pin worm, spasmodic pain
4. Fine paste in pin worms and spasmodic pain:
Fine paste of the fresh herb is very beneficial in intestinal worms especially in pin worms. In recurrent spasmodic pains and menstrual pain also it is found to be effective.
5. Kiratatikta, neem and Triphala decoction in skin diseases:
The decoction prepared out of equal amount of Kiratatikta, neem and Triphala is used both for internal and external purpose. Externally it is used to wash the wounds in case of chronic skin diseases and in ulcers. Internal administration is effective in Diabetes, itching skin diseases and even in several eye disorders.
Kiratatikta being a bitter herb has several health benefits. If this plant is included in our kitchen garden surely several health benefits can be obtained.
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