Chirata (Cirayata) Also known as-
Latin : Swertia chirayita
English : Chirata
Hindi : Cirayata
Sanskrit : Kiratatikta
Marathi : Kadechirayit Tamil : Cirattakucci
Telugu : Nelavemu
Malayalam : Uttarakiriyattu
Kannada : Nelabevu
How it looks—It is an erect annual herb, with strong stems which are cylindrical below and four-angled towards the top. The leaves are lance-shaped with 5 nerves along the length and the flowers are many, small and greenish yellow. The fruits are minute, pointed, capsules with smooth many-angled seeds.
What we use—Whole plant
What it does—It is both refrigerant and thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, sudorific and anti periodic.
How we use it—
In fevers—In fevers of all types, chirata is highly useful either singly or in combination with other herbs like picrohiza, tinospora, bittergourd or snakegourd. Make a decoction of chirata and drink thrice a day to conquer even obstinate and chronic fevers.
In worms—Give a decoction of the leaves sweetened with palm candy to children afflicted with worms at bed time.
In skin disease—Pasted with oil and a few pepper seeds and applied on itchy patches, chirata purifies blood and heals and soothes rashes and irritation. Intake of chirata berries is preventive for skin disease.
In swellings—Powder the dried plant of chirata and dry ginger and take a tsp of powder with some rice wash twice a day to reduce swelling of feet, hands or face.
In bleeding disorders—Take half a tsp each of the powders of chirata and sandal with cool water thrice a day especially to control excessive bleeding.
To purify breast milk—To keep breast milk free of infections and to promote secretion and flow of milk, drink a decoction of chirata everyday for a week.
In mouth ulcers—Soak the berries in buttermilk overnight and then dry and powder them for storage. Whenever necessary, fry a tsp of this powder in ghee and mix with rice before eating to soothe oral ulcers.