Kiratatikta, Chirayata (Swertia chirata)

Kiratatikta (Swertia chirata) is an erect annual herb that grows to a height of 0.5 - 1.5 meters. The opposing, lanceolate, and sharp leaves on the spreading stems. Flowers are many, extremely tiny, and greenish yellow with a purple tinge. The plant has pink or white hair and sharp pointed fruits. For millennia, the entire plant has been utilized in medicine.

General Information

Kirata tikta means "completely bitter." This is a well-known Ayurvedic herb for the treatment of infectious and inflammatory illnesses such as skin infections and fever. This herb's decoction is very helpful for healing wounds and providing relief from leaking, burning, and itching. This herb is a blood purifier. Kiratatikta also promotes digestive tract wellness. This herb, in decoction or powder form, is useful for relieving constipation and improving appetite.

Phytochemical compounds like Swertinin,friedelin, sitosterol isolated,  swertianin, swerchirin, decussating, isobellidifolin, nine tetraoxy genated xanthones, gentianine, arghinine, leucine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, gentiocrucine, eniflavine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid. The kirata tikta contains the aforementioned phytochemicals, which have great therapeutic benefits for treating a variety of diseases.


Kingdom - Plantae

Family - Gentianaceae

Division - Angiosperm

Sub Division - Dicotyledon

Class - Gamopetallae

Sub Class - Bicarpellotai

Order - Gentionale

Genus - Swertia

Species - chirata


This plant grows in the eastern temperate Himalayas at elevations ranging from 1500 to 3000 meters. It can be found in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Kashmir. The plant grows naturally in the Himalayan region between 1208-3046 m elevation from Kashmir to Bhutan, and it can also be found in the Kosi hills between 1204-1525 m elevation in the north eastern Himalayan region.


Latin Name - Swertia chirata

Hindi name - Chirayata,

English name - Chitretta

Bengali name - Chirata, Chireta

Tamil name - Nilavembu

Punjab name - Charatin, Charaita

Marathi name - Kiraita

Gujarati name - Kariyatum

Kannada name - Nilabevu, Kiratatikta

Malayalam name - Nilavipaa, Nilaveppa

Telugu name - Nilavemu

Arabian name - Kasabujajareeraa

Farsi name - Nainihaabandi

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)



Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Rooksha

Light, Dry

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Effect)



Effects on Doshas

It balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha

Classical Categorization

  • Kirata Tikta is referenced in Samhitas like as Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Vagbhatta's Ashtangahridayam, Bhavaprakasha, Sharangdhar Samhita, and others.
  • It is described in the Harita Samhita to be used in conjunction with other medications to cure scorpion bites.
  • Yoga Rathnakara, Raja Nighantu, Kaiyadeva Nighantu, Adarsha Nighantu, Shodhala Nighantu, and Dhanwanthari Nighantu are some of the Nighantu that explain it. Aside from this, Kirata Tikta is described in Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Chakradatta, Amarkosha, and Shabda Kalpa Drooma.

Practical uses

  • This herb contains a lot of Hepatoprotective effects. It contributes to the liver's general health by removing toxins from the body. It also aids in the regeneration of new liver cells.
  • This herb's hypoglycemic qualities aid in the maintenance of appropriate blood sugar levels in the body. This herb is quite effective in the treatment of diabetes.
  • This plant promotes the health of the digestive tract. It can aid with peptic disorder, gastritis, indigestion, bloating, bowel motions, flatulence, heartburn, and stomachache. It also serves as a laxative, making it beneficial for constipation. As a result, this plant helps to strengthen the stomach and is also useful in the treatment of diarrhea and dyspepsia.
  • This herb is well-known for its ability to treat fever. The high malarial fever can also be effectively relieved by using this herb.
  • When used to cure piles, the plant works pretty well. Additionally, it aids in the treatment of symptoms such as swelling, redness, itching, irritation, and discomfort around the anus.
  • The herb's anti-parasitic qualities help the body get rid of helminthes and other internal parasites. This herb works very well against flukes, tapeworms, and roundworms. Additionally, the symptoms of worm infections, such as diarrhea, anemia, and problems with the liver and lungs, can be relieved by this plant.
  • The herb's expectorant qualities aid in clearing the airways of mucous. This herb works really well for asthma. It lessens the discomfort caused by breathing shortness.
  • This herb's blood-purifying qualities work wonders for treating skin conditions. It aids in relieving symptoms such as burning, itching, redness, and leaking, among others.
  • This herb's anti-inflammatory qualities aid in relieving pain.
  • This herb's abundant medicinal qualities aid in the speedy healing of cuts and wounds.
  • For those who are anemic, using this herb is really beneficial. It contributes to an increase in RBCs, or red blood cells.

Parts Used

Whole plant


4-7 gram powder.

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