Detailed Plants Dravya Guna Adil Farooq Malik  

Apamarga|Achyranthus aspera Linn.|Dravyaguna

Achyranthus aspera linn. Is a potent ayurvedic herb used to prepare a special kind of medicine called kshara which is colossaly used in surgical procedures to treat anorectal disorders like fistula, hemorrhoids and and oral medicine for obesity etc.

It is generally found in the tropical areas and can also be found in many places growing as an introduced species and a common weed.

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Botanical name : Achyranthus aspera linn.

Family : Amaranthaceae.

Hindi : Chirachinta / Cingcingi.

Vernacular Names

English : Prickly chaff flower.

Punjabi : Putha-kanda.

Telugu : Uttareni.

Tamil : Nayurvi.

Kannada : Uttaren.

Malayalam : Katalati.

Bengali : Apang.

Marathi : Aghada.

Synonyms In Sanskrit Language

Kapipippali, Pratyakpuspi, Mayuraka, Sikhari, Kinihi, Adhahsalya,

Markatapippali, Kubja.

Categorization In Classical Texts

Charaka : Sirovirecanopaga, Krimighna, Vamanopaga.

Sushruta : Arkadi.

Vagbhatta : Arkadi.

Important Mentions

1) Atharvaveda extensively quoted Apamarga and according to the etymology provided by Sayana, this plant drives away the vitiated dosas from the body. Hence the name Apaman The properties attributed this plant in Atharvaveda are: Sahasravirya, Krmighna, Raksoga Rasayana, Arsoghna, Ksudha-trsnamarana, Visaghna, Asmarinasana and ojovardhan (A.V. 17/1-8).

2) Paippalada school describes it as Dourbhagyanasana and Anapatyatansaana. Certain references provide clues about its indication in Kustha.- (Sou. 7/65/3).

Different Varieties

According to different nighantu:-

1) sveta (white)

2) rakta (red)

Kaiyadeva mentioned three varieties viz:-

1) Apamarga (white),

2) Vasira (red)

3) Ramatha (blue)

Botanical Description

A stiff erect herb, 30-90 cm long. Branches spreading.

Leaves: opposite, velvety-tomentose, 3.8-12.7 cm x 5.1-7.6 cm.

Flowers : bisexual, greenish-white, arranged in long spikes. inverted.

Flowering : in winter

Fruiting : in summer.


Tropical areas.

Properties (Guna-Karma)

Rasa  – Katu, Tikta

Guna – Laghu, Rükşa, Tiksna.

Virya – Ushna.

Vipaka – Katu.

Karma – Kapha-vatahara, Sirovirecana, Dipana-pacana, Medohara.














Therapeutic Uses

1) Visucika :- The root of Apamarga is taken with water (B.P.)

2) Nidranasa :- Decoction prepared with Kakajangha, Apamarga, Kokilakṣa and Suparnika is useful (H.S.).

3) Sidhma :- Seeds of Mulaka and fresh juice of Apamarga are made into paste and applied externally (V.M.).

Part Used

Root, seed, leaf, whole plant, ksara.

Major Chemical Constituents

triterpenoid, saponins, oleanolic acid, aglycone, Ecdysterone, and long chain alcohols.


Fresh juice:- 10-20 ml.

Kṣāra:- 0.5-2 g.

Research Work

(1) The diuretic activity of ‘ Ksara’ was found to be due to its high potassium content (Bhideet al., 1958).

(2) Clinically, administration of the decoction of whole plant to patients of leprosy has been reported to show encouraging results in lepra reaction as well as the quiescent stage oflepromatous leprosy (Ojha et al., 1966 & Ogha & Singh, 1968).

(3) The alcoholic extract of the whole plant showed hypogly-caemic activity in albino rats (Dhar et al., 1968).

(4) The chloroform-soluble basic fraction (from plant) raised the BP of anaesthetized dog, caused initial transitory stimulation of respiration and increased amplitude of contrac tions of isolated guineapigs heart. It also showed spasmolytic action against various

spasmogens on intestine and uterine muscles of guineapigs and a slight diuretic rats (Kapoor & Singh, 1967).

(5) Achyranthine, produced hypotension, depression of the heart, dilatation of the vessels and increase in the rate and amplitude of respiration in anaesthetized dogs. showed spasmogenic effect on frog’s rectus muscle and diuretic as well as purga action in albino rats (Neogi et al., 1970).

(6) The alkaloidal fraction of the alcoholic extract of root bark inhibited the contractiles sponse of isolated rat uterus suspended in oxygenated modified Ringer solution 300 0.01 and 0.015 units of oxytocin (Gupta & Khanijo, 1970).

(7) The aqueous and alcoholic extracts of roots caused a sharp and transient fall in BP out any significant action on the respiration of anaesthetized dogs. On frog’s heartit negative inotropic and chronotropic effect (Gambhir et al., 1965).

(8) The saponin mixture isolated from seeds showed a significant increase in the fore contraction of isolated heart of frog, quinea pig and rabbit (Gupta et al., 1972a).

(9) The diuretic effect of saponin mixture was associated with increase in the excretion Na & K in urine as found with acetazolamide (Gupta et al., 1972b).

(10) Shoot essential oil showed antifungal activity against aspergillus carneus (Phytoche 1992, 31, 1811).

Important Formulations

  • Apamargaksara taila.
  • Sikhari ghṛta.

Sanskrit Verses Mentioning apamarga.

१. अपामार्ग त्वया वयं सर्व तदप मृज्महे (शौ. ४/१७/७)


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