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Schwabe News Volume 5 | Issue 2 | February 2014

Achyranthes aspera

 

It belongs to the family of Amaranthacea.  It has been used in India since long for its astringent and diuretic properties1.  Its clinical value has revived with extensive research work on it. 

It is a herb upto 1m in height with 2.5 x 12.5cm extremely variable leaves.  It is found throughout in India.  It is closely related so far their action on skin is concerned to Mexican Achyranthes calea (Fever herb) of the same family.  Plant is pungent, purgative, diuretic and is used in dropsy, for piles, boils, and skin eruptions, colic and externally for snake-bite.2 

Herb is with woody base and the decoction is useful in pneumonia, cough and kidney stones.  In large doses, it acts as ecbolic.3 50 percent alcoholic extract is reported to be hypoglycemic.4  The alcoholic extract is antifungal.5   The homoeopathic tincture (alcoholic extract) is made with about 70% alcohol.

It is one of the constituents of indigenous drug ‘Cystone’ which is believed to be useful in urinary tract infections.   Many clinical trials have confirmed this.  Alcoholic and aqueous extracts are antibacterial against Micrococcus pyogenes var. aureus and Escherichia coli.6  Various parts are used in atrophy, cachexia, rheumatism, scabies, syphilis, labour complaints and blindness to cattle.7

Achyranthine the alkaloid is the main constituent and has been identified as betaine.8  It lowers hypertension, depresses heart rate, causes vasodilation and increases respiration in animals and is slightly antipyretic; It is spasmodic on rectal muscles of frog; it has diuretic and purgative action on albino rats.9  The drug is used in renal dropsy and bronchial infections.10

In homoeopathy the provings conducted by S.C. Ghose is the basis for its use.  The tincture has been found to be useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, giddiness and fever.  S.C. Ghose used the tincture internally and externally (in diluted form) and relieved burning pain of carbuncle within ten minutes.  The 3x was found useful in watery diarrhoea and in cases of fever with thirst and giddiness.11

Dose: 1x to 3x

 

References:
  • K. M. Nadkarni, Indian Materia Medica, Edited by A. K. Nandkarni, Volume 1, Bombay Popular Prakashan, Mumbai – 34.
  • CSIR, Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants with Active Principles, Part 1 (A-K), Publication and Information Directorate, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, 1992.
  • CSIR, Wealth of India, Publication and Information Directorate, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
  • Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 1968, 6, 232
  • Indian Journal of Microbiology, 1976
  • J. Agric Trop. Bot., April, 1966, 13, 250
  • Econ Bot, 1970, 24, 241
  • Indian J. Chem, 1966, 4, 461
  • India J. Pharm, 1970, 32, 43
  • CSIR, Second Supplement to Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants with Active Principles, Part 1 (A-K), Publication and Information Directorate, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, 1992.
  • S. C. Ghose, Drugs of Hindoosthan, With their Homoeopathic Uses, Provings and Clinical Verifications, Hahnemann Publishing Company Pvt.ltd, 165 Bipin Behary Ganguly Street, Calcutta-700 012, Ninth Edition, Reprint Dec. 1998.