Swertia chirayita Roxb Lyons

[After Emanual Sweert, 16th century Dutch botanist and from Sanskrit, chiratika = Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons]

Physical description: It is a herb native to India which grows to a height of 80 cm. The stems are somewhat quadrangular or obscurely winged and glabrous, and the internodes are 2.4cm-2.5cm long. Leaves: bitter, simple, decussate, sessile and without stipules. The blade is linear, lanceolate, membranaceous, glabrous,

Gentiopicroside

Gentiopicroside

Synonymy: Swertia chirata Buch. - Ham., Agathotes cherayta D.Don, Ophelia chirata Griseb., Swertia chiretta.

Common names: Sekhagi (Burmese); chiratika (Sanskrit); nilavembo (Tamil).

3.5 cm x 6mm-1.6cm x 3 mm, and shows a midrib sunken above and raised below, without secondary nerves. The inflorescences are terminal or axillary cymes of 2cm-2.5cm in length, the pedicels of which are 5 mm-1.4cm long. The calyx consists of 4 sepals which are lanceolate, free, and 1 mm x 4mm-7mm. The corolla is contortate in buds and comprises of 4 petals which are very thin, yellow, 7 mm-8 mm x 2 mm and are glandular at the base. The andrecium comprises of 4 stamens which alternate with the petals, with filaments which are 4 mm long. The ovary is fusiform, and the stigma is 2-lobed and 5 mm x 1.5 mm. The fruits are capsular (Fig. 255).

Uses: In Burma: Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons is used to combat fever, invigorate the body and relieve the bowels of costiveness. In Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia, Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons is used to combat fever. In India, Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons is used to combat fever, expel intestinal worms, relieve the bowels of costiveness, promote the secretion of milk, resolve inflammation, heal ulcers, treat asthma, invigorate the body and assuage vomiting in pregnancy. A tincture of Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons (Tincture of Chirata, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1934) prepared by percolating 10 g of the dried and flowering plant with alcohol (60%) to 100 mL, has been used in Western medicine (dose 2mL-4mL) to promote digestion and appetite.

Fig. 255. Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons. From: Delhi University Herbarium 004363. Geographical localization: Musoorie, Uttar Pradesh, India. 20 Sep 1960, altitude: 6800 ft, rain fall 60" 90". Field collector: H Singh. Botanical Identification: S Jelan.

Chirata Drug
Amarogentin

Fig. 255. Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons. From: Delhi University Herbarium 004363. Geographical localization: Musoorie, Uttar Pradesh, India. 20 Sep 1960, altitude: 6800 ft, rain fall 60" 90". Field collector: H Singh. Botanical Identification: S Jelan.

and swertiamarin. Amarogentin inhibits the enzymatic activity of DNA-topoisomerase I and might hold some potential as an anticancer agent (Ray S et al, 1996; Bhattacharya SK et al, 1976). Extracts of the plant protect rat hepatocytes cultured in vitro against carbon tetrachloride and paracetamol poisoning (Reen RK et al., 2001).

An ethanolic extract of Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Lyons lowers blood glucose levels in alloxan diabetic albino rats. (Ajit K etal., 2003). The active principle is not known, but one might suspect a lipophilic substance, as maximal activity is reported from hexanic fractions (Sekar BC etal, 1987). Could it beaxanthone with a-glucosidase inhibitory activity?

Constipation Prescription

Constipation Prescription

Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.

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