Chiretta (Swertia chirayita)

Annual
Ophelia chirata
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chiretta
Swertia chirayita
Gentianaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Chiretta is a traditional Ayurvedic herb. A strongly bitter tonic it is an excellent remedy for a weak stomach, especially when this gives rise to nausea, indigestion and bloating, and it has also been shown to protect the liver[254]. It is perhaps best known in India as the main ingredient in mahasudarshana churna, a remedy containing more than 50 herbs[254]. The plant has an interesting chemistry, similar in many respects to Gentiana lutea, a widely used restorative tonic of the digestive system[238]. It also contains xanthones, which are reputedly effective against malaria and tuberculosis, and also amarogentin, a glycoside that may protect the liver against carbon tetrachloride poisoning[238].

    The whole plant is an extremely bitter tonic digestive herb that lowers fevers and is stimulant[165, 238]. The herb has a beneficial effect on the liver, promoting the flow of bile, it also cures constipation and is useful for treating dyspepsia[4, 238]. The plant is harvested when the seed is setting and then dried for later use[4].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in temperatures not exceeding 10¡c in a humus-rich medium[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
Succeeds in a moist humus-rich soil in damp light woodlands, streamsides or the bog garden[200]. Grows best in areas with cool summers[200]. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade[238]. Plants are hardy to at least -15¡c[238].
E. Asia – Himalayas.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.