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]


The juice of this plant is a potent ingredient for a mixture of wall plaster, according to the Samarāṅgaṇa Sūtradhāra, which is a Sanskrit treatise dealing with Śilpaśāstra (Hindu science of art and construction).[7]

It is one of the 21 leaves used in the Ganesh Patra Pooja done regularly on Ganesh Chaturthi day.

Traditional medicine[edit]

Achyranthes aspera has occupied a pivotal position in Indian culture and folk medicine.[citation needed] Since ancient times the tribal and rural people of India commonly use this herb in various disorders.[vague]

(चिरचिटा) is a Ayurvedik Medicine plant

In Uttar Pradesh, the plant is used for medicinal purposes, especially in obstetrics and gynecology, including abortion, induction of labor, and cessation of postpartum bleeding.[8][unreliable medical source?]

The Maasai people of Kenya use the plant medicinally to ease the symptoms of malaria.[9]

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.[10]

Other chemical constituents such as achyranthine, betaine, pentatriaontane, 6-pentatriacontanone, hexatriacontane, and tritriacontane are also present.[11][unreliable source?]


Achyranthes aspera has different names in various languages:[12][13]


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  2. ^ Flowers of India
  3. ^ USDA Plants Profile
  4. ^ Flora of North America
  5. ^ GRIN Species Profile
  6. ^ Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk
  7. ^ Nardi, Isabella (2007). The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting. Routledge. p. 121. ISBN 1134165234. 
  8. ^ Khan, A. V. and A. A. Khan. Ethnomedicinal uses of Achyranthes aspera L. (Amaranthaceae) in management of gynaecological disorders in western Uttar Pradesh (India). Archived November 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Ethnoleaflets.
  9. ^ Bussmann, R. W.; Gilbreath, G. G.; Solio, J; Lutura, M; Lutuluo, R; Kunguru, K; Wood, N; Mathenge, S. G. (2006). "Plant use of the Maasai of Sekenani Valley, Maasai Mara, Kenya". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 2: 22. doi:10.1186/1746-4269-2-22. PMC 1475560Freely accessible. PMID 16674830. 
  10. ^ Indian Herbal Pharmacopia Vol. II, Page-5.
  11. ^ Saurabh Srivastav; Pradeep Singh; Garima Mishra; K. K. Jha; R. L. Khosa (2011). "Achyranthes aspera-An important medicinal plant: A review". J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resour. 1 (1): 1–14. 
  12. ^ Dr. K. M. Nadkarni's Indian Materia Medica, Volume 1, Edited by A. K. Nadkarni, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1976, pp. 21-2.
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  14. ^ "Etymological Dictionary of Tocharian B". BrillOnline Dictionaries. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 

External links[edit]