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In Ayurveda, Chitrak plant is commonly used medicinal herb for treating digestive weakness, piles, constipation, cough, muscular pains, rheumatism etc. Know some quick and simple remedies of Chitrak.

Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica) is a medicinal herb belonging to the family Plumbaginaceae. Due to its medicinal properties, it is grown in most parts of India, majorly in West Bengal and the southern regions. It is also distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical countries.1

The root is the plant part that contains many of its bioactive components responsible for most of its therapeutic properties. Plumbagin, a naphthoquinone, is a major component present in the root, which is responsible for its therapeutic activity.2

Other names of Chitrak include Agni/Vahni in Sanskrit, Chira/Chitra in Hindi, and Lead war in English.3 Plumbago zeylanicum contains a variety of phytochemicals present in different parts. These phytochemicals are flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, triterpenoids, tannins, coumarins, phenolic compounds, saponins, naphthoquinones, carbohydrates, fixed oil and fats and proteins.

 

 

Description

Nutritional Value of Chitrak:

The nutritional value of Chitrak extract is given below.1

Nutritional value Crude extract (mg/grams)
Protein 42
Starch 45
Sugar 55
Lipids 41
Phenol 3
Table 1: Nutritional value of Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanicum)1 

Therapeutic Uses of Chitrak: 

The therapeutic uses of Chitrak are as follows:

  • In Ayurveda, the roots are used to treat migraine, jaundice, skin diseases, urinary calculi, seminal weakness, and internal abscesses. It is also used as a detoxicate, febrifuge, antiseptic, and antihelminthic.5,6
  • The root is used extensively in India and China to treat contusion of extremities, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and dysmenorrhea.1
  • The roots contain an alkaloid called plumbagin. It is responsible for various therapeutic properties like antioxidant, antimalarial, antibiotic, antifertility, anticancer, and cardiotonic.1

Benefits of Chitrak: 

Benefits of Chitrak in Kidney Disorders:

  • The extract of Chitrak can produce a reversal of kidney damage due to cisplatin.
  • Chitrak extract showed protective activity against the nephrotoxic effects of the drug cisplatin.5

Benefits of Chitrak in Cancer Prevention:

  • Plumbagin inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer cells.
  • It has the potential of providing therapeutic effects against pancreatic cancer.7

Benefits of Chitrak for Heart:

  • According to an animal study, the root extract of Plumbago zeylanicum reduced the blood cholesterol level and low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
  • Plumbagin also prevents cholesterol and LDL accumulation in blood vessels and the liver.8

Benefits of Chitrak in Wound Healing:

  • The wound healing property of the root extract of Plumbago zeylanicum has been reported in many preclinical evaluations.
  • The wound healing activity is due to phytochemicals like saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and terpenoids.
  • The antioxidant nature of the plant extract is also said to be responsible for wound healing activity.8

Benefits of Chitrak in Preventing Liver Damage: 

The root extract of Plumbago zeylanicum showed protective benefits against the paracetamol-induced hepatic damage in an animal model.9

Benefits in Chitrak in Treating Microbial Infections:

  • According to a study, the root extract of Plumbago zeylanica showed antibacterial activity against several bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, multi-resistant strains of E. coli and Shigella, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • The crude extract of leaves showed antimicrobial activity against E.coli, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida.8

Benefits of Chitrak in Managing Arthritis: 

  • According to an animal study, the root extract of Plumbago zeylanica could suppress collagen type 2-induced arthritis.
  • The application of root extract could alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.10

Benefits of Chitrak in Birth Control:

  • Boiled aqueous extract of the root is used for fertility control.2
  • The leaf extract of Plumbago zeylanica also showed antifertility action in rabbits.
  • This antifertility action is reversible once the treatment with the extract is discontinued.11

How to Use Chitrak?

Chitrak can be applied externally as a paste and can be administered orally as well. There are various marketed dosages available that contain Chitrak.12 Your Ayurvedic physician will prescribe you the form and dosage as per your health condition.

Side Effects of Chitrak: 

The side effects of Chitrak are as follows:

  • Plumbagin, found in the root extract of Plumbago zeylanicum, produces abdominal colicky pain and irritation when administered in high doses. Other symptoms include redness and itching of the skin, dilated pupils, myotonia, hypotonia, irregular pulse and respiratory failure.
  • Roots or twigs, when applied externally, cause skin redness and blisters.4

Precautions to Take With Chitrak:

You should keep the following points in mind:

Dietary precaution 

Avoid oily foods, spices, and condiments to ensure good absorption of Chitrak. Root vegetables like potatoes and tubers should be avoided to facilitate good absorption of Chitrak. It is advised to drink plenty of water in between meals and while taking the plant drug to ensure good absorption, bioavailability, and excretion of the plant drug.13

Precaution to be taken in pregnancy

It should be avoided in all stages of pregnancy, as it possesses antifertility activity. It has anticopulatory effects.11

HOW TO USE CHITRAK HARITAKI

-Take 5-6 gm Chitrak Haritaki
-Have it with milk once or twice a day, preferably after food
#To get rid of the symptoms of asthma or cough.

 

Additional information

Weight 0.05 kg
Dimensions 5 × 5 × 5 cm

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