Chirpati (Physalis minima) – Indications, Remedies, Side Effects, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza Physalis minima (Tankari) is an Ayurvedic herb mentioned in Bhavaprakasha Nighantu.

It is traditionally used as a remedy in diabetes, cancer, gastro intestinal diseases, fever, jaundice, leprosy, measles, worm infestation, herpes, ascites etc. Fruits of tankari promotes strength, act as diuretic and purgative in nature.

Botanical Name – Physalis minima Family – Solanaceae

Home remedies, qualities

Medicinal Qualities of Tankari
Rasa (taste) – Tiktha (bitter)
Karma (action) – Deepani (kindles digestive fire)
Laghu (light to digest)

Traditional Remedies of chirpoti

  • For earache tankari leaf juice along with mustard oil and water is used as ear drops.
  • Sthana shithilatha (flaccid breast) – The whole tankari plant along with its root is crushed and made paste with rice washed water and applied over the flaccid breasts.
  • Tankari along with tankana bhasma is mixed with honey and taken as a remedy in Asthma.
  • Juice of the plant is used in flatulence.
  • Tankari leaves are used as a remedy in fever.
  • Its roots are used in gastric diseases. It improves appetite and digestion strength.
  • Decoction of the whole plant is used as a cancer remedy.
  • Fruits of Tankari is said to possess strength promoting quality, diuretic and purgative.
  • It is also used in leprosy.
  • Leaf paste is applied externally in measles, yaws and guinea worm sore.
  • Leaf sap of tankari is used orally to treat tonsillitis, sore throat, bad breath, jaundice, angina pectoris, tachycardia and stomachache. It also act as anthelmintic.
  • Seed juice of winter melon mixed with tankari leaf juice is used locally in eye diseases.
  • Leaves are crushed and applied over snake bite.

Effect on Tridoshas Balances Vata dosha and Kapha dosha

Names of Chirpati in Different Languages
Sanskrit Name – Tankari
Hindi Name – Chirpoti, chirpati, tulati pati
English Name – Native gooseberry, wild cape gooseberry
Marati Name – Thanmodi, chirboti,
Gujarati Name – Popti, Parpoti
Kannada Name – Bondula
Telugu Name – Kupante
Tamil Name – Kupanti
Bengali Name – Bon tepari

Indications of Tankari
Shotha – inflammation
Udara – ascites Peeta visarpa – herpes over back region

Sanskrit verse, controversy

Controversy about herb Identification
Tankari is the Ayurvedic herb mentioned in Bhavaprakasha Nighantu. A study conducted to ascertain right identity of tankari herb has concluded that herb mentioned in classics ‘Sharngesta’ is same as tankari mentioned in Bhavaprakasha. Chirapothika and kakatiktha are its synonyms.(read more here)

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.

Pharmacology, part used, side effects

Pharmacological activity of chirpati
Anti-cancerous, Anti-diabetic, Analgesic,
Antipyretic, Anti-inflammatory, Anti ulcer, Anti fertility, Anti bacterial, Anti malarial, Anti gonorrhoeal. (Read – ). Physalis minima is also used traditionally as abortifacient.

Part Used Whole plant

Side Effects of Native gooseberry
There are no recorded side effects of this herb. As it is used traditionally as abortifacient, it is best to avoid oral intake in pregnancy. Due to its anti fertility property it is best to avoid its oral usage in those seeking infertility treatment.

Distribution, research

Physalis minima is found throughout India, Baluchistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Africa and Australia.

Research points

  • Antioxidant Activity – The result of present research article have proved significant antioxidant activity of crude extracts of stem and leaves of physalis minima.
  • Diuretic Activity – The present research study have found that Methanolic Extract of Physalis minima have significant diuretic effect similar to the standard diuretic furosemide. The study have also proved the additional advantage of chloride conserving effect of methanolic extract of physalis minima.
  • Antibacterial activity – A study conducted to evaluate antibacterial potential of physalis minima have concluded potent antibacterial activity of methanol and chloroform extracts of physalis minima.
  • Analgesic Effect – The result of present research article conducted to evaluate analgesic activity of aqueous extract of physalis minima flowers and leaves in albino mice have proved its significant analgesic effect.

Morphology, Categorization

Morphology of Physalis minima
It is a herb growing up to half meter in height. Leaves are simple, alternate, ovate, margins are coarsely toothed.
Flowers are yellowish in colour. Fruits are yellowish in colour encapsulated in papery cover. It is a common weed grown along the roadsides, river banks and cultivated lands.

Classical Categorisation
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Guduchyadi Varga

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Spermatophyta
Class: Monocotyledonae
Order: Polemoniales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Physalis
Species: minima
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