Chirata is a herb that is traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions like malaria, diabetes, and liver disorders.
This herb is widely distributed in the temperate Himalayas, between Kashmir to Bhutan. It is an annual, erect plant that has a height of about 0.5 to 1.5 meters. It consists of a long erect stem that is covered by a bark. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate, and do not contain any stalks. It has several small dark yellowish-flowers with white to pink hair-like sharp-pointed fruits.
It’s botanical name is Swertia chirayta which belongs to Gentianaceae family. In Sanskrit it is known by the name Kiratatikta.
Parts Used –
The plant parts that grow above the ground is used by the people to make medicines.
The healing dosage of chirata may vary from person to person depending upon the age, severity, and condition of the patient. You must consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner before start taking it.
• Chirata Powder – 1-3 gm infused in luke warm water twice a day
• Chirata Decoction – 15 – 20 ml twice a day
• Chirata Tablet/Capsule – 1 tab/cap twice a day
Chirata leaves acts against the growth of the malarial parasite right at the ring stage and hence prevents aggravation of the infection. Along with malaria, chirata is also extremely beneficial for treating and managing different types of fever, hysteria, body pain, headache and convulsions.
• Respiratory Diseases
The leaves of this herb play an excellent role in treating the common cold, cough and flu symptoms. It also thins and loosens phlegm
deposits within the chest and nasal cavities and hence eases breathing and helps the body to get rid of mucus faster.
• Skin Diseases
It removes toxins from the blood and hence helps to manage skin diseases. It is also extremely useful in managing rashes, inflammation, redness, itching, burning sensation and thus helps in the treatment of skin eruptions, acne, pimples, eczema, boils, and scabies.
• Liver Disorders
This herb offers support to the liver functioning by secreting bile which in turn helps the liver enzymes to come down to normal levels. It also cleanses and detoxifies the liver and improves liver functioning disorders like jaundice, hepatitis etc.
The production of insulin from the β-pancreatic cells becomes active in taking chirata formulations. It helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn leads to low blood glucose levels and eventually helps in managing diabetes.
Chirata is unsafe to use in the following medical situations –
• Pregnancy and breastfeeding– No adequate information is present to know whether Chirata is safe to use in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
• Intestinal ulcers– It is important to avoid it when having intestinal ulcers as it could worsen the condition.
• Diabetes– In some people, it might result in reducing blood sugar levels. It is essential to monitor your blood sugar levels when using Chirata as a remedy.
• Surgery– It is essential to stop taking Chirata at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery. This is because it might hinder blood sugar control during and after a surgical procedure.
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