Achyranthes aspera

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Achyranthes aspera
Achyranthes aspera at Kadavoor.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Achyranthes
Species: A. aspera
Binomial name
Achyranthes aspera

Achyranthes aspera (common names: chaff-flower,[1] prickly chaff flower,[2] devil's horsewhip,[3] Sanskrit: अपामार्ग apamarga) is a species of plant in the Amaranthaceae family. It is distributed throughout the tropical world.[4] It can be found in many places growing as an introduced species and a common weed.[5] It is an invasive species in some areas, including many Pacific Islands environments.[6]

It is one of the 21 leaves used in the Ganesh Patra Pooja done regularly on Ganesh Chaturthi day. In Uttar Pradesh the plant is used for a great many medicinal purposes, especially in obstetrics and gynecology, including abortion, induction of labor, and cessation of postpartum bleeding.[7] The Maasai people of Kenya use the plant medicinally to ease the symptoms of malaria.[8]

Chemical constituents[edit]

Achyranthes aspera contains triterpenoid saponins which possess oleanolic acid as the aglycone. Ecdysterone, an insect moulting hormone, and long chain alcohols are also found in Achyranthes aspera.[9] Medicinally important chemicals like achyranthine, betaine, pentatriaontane, 6-pentatriacontanone, hexatriacontane and tritriacontane are also present.[10]

Traditional medicine[edit]

Achyranthes aspera has occupied a pivotal position in Indian culture and folk medicine. Since ancient times the tribal and rural people of India commonly use this herb in various disorders. Achyranthes aspera is known for its mood enhancing effects and is used to treat depression and forms of anxiety.


Achyranthes aspera has different names in various languages:[11][12]

  • Sanskrit: Adhoghanta, Adhvashalya, Aghamargava, Aghata, Apamarga, Apangaka, Chamatkara, Dhamargava
  • Hindi: Apang, Chirchra, Chirehitta,Latjira, Onga
  • Assam: Apang
  • Bengali: Apang
  • Gujarati: Safed aghedo, Anghadi, Andhedi, Agheda
  • Kannada: Uttaranee
  • Malayalam: Kadaladi, Katalati
  • Marathi: Aghada, Aghara, Pandhara-aghada
  • Persian: Kharevazhun
  • Punjabi: Kutri
  • Tamil: Nayurivi, Shiru-kadaladi
  • Telugu: Antisha, Apamargamu, Uttareni
  • Sinhalese: Gaskaralheba, Karal seba
  • Indonesia: Jarong
  • Arabian: Atkumah
  • French: Achyranth a feuilles rudes, collant, gendarme
  • Spanish: Mosotillo, rabo de gato, rabo de chango, rabo de raton
  • Afrikaans: Grootklits, langklitskafblom
  • Tocharian B: apamārga, viśīr[13]
  • Vietnamese: Cây cỏ xước


External links[edit]