Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Swertia chirayita - (Roxb. ex Fleming.)H.Karst.

Common Name Chiretta
Family Gentianaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards Do not exceed recommended dose.
Habitats Pastures and slopes in the Himalayas to 3,000 metres[238, 240].
Range E. Asia - Himalayas.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade
Swertia chirayita Chiretta


Swertia chirayita Chiretta

 

Translate this page:

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Swertia chirayita is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Gentiana chirayita Roxb. ex Fleming. Ophelia chirata

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Digestive  Hepatic  Stimulant

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].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

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].

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

(Roxb. ex Fleming.)H.Karst.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Wed Aug 23 2006

how it helps in staphylococcus infections

Rajendra Prasad Kala   Wed Mar 5 2008

Dear Sirs, The life span of Swertia chirata needs to be amended because its not an annual plant, it is a bienniel plant some times a pluroi annual plant, I have been working on this plant for the last 5 years. Please acknoWledege . Sincerelyn Rajendra Prasad Kala rajendrakala12@ yahoo.com

   Fri Aug 29 2008

swertia chirayita shows different habits depending PROBABLY DUE TO the site EFFECTS and also due to different cytotypes,chemotypes and genotypic variations IN ITS POPULATIONS BUT MOSTLY IN TEMPERATE ZONE IT SHOWS PLURIANNUAL BEHAVIOUR IRFAN ALI

Kunwar Singh   Fri Jul 18 2008

Swertia Chirayita is commonly used in India for purifying blood and allergies. Chirayita is a bitter herb and it is most effective in combating cholesterol. It is a good liver tonic and cures constipation. This is the cheapest herb available in India for general health. Chirayita is very effective to control Diabetes.

Kunwar Singh   Wed Jul 23 2008

Swertia Chirayita is also effecive in treating lipid profile and expels intestinal worms. Due to its bitter taste, it purifies the blood and thus is very effective in skin diseases.

shweta srivastav   Thu Jun 18 2009

dear sir,it is a cool herbal for stomach or hot?whether the patients suffering from acidity and gas can take it or not.

shweta srivastav   Thu Jun 18 2009

dear sir,upto what duration chiraita can be taken?

rejani krishnankutty   Sun Jan 24 2010

Respected Sir, Have researches been conducted on this herb, to prove that it is actually effective as a treatment for Diabetes or Skin disorders??

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Swertia chirayita  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.