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संस्कृत नाम- रक्तपामार्गः
Botanical name -
Achyranthes aspera
Description - A stiff herb, common weed throughout India up to 1000 m; stem erect, grows up to 1 m, simple or branched; leaves simple, petiolate, very variable, generally thick, young tomentose on both surfaces, mature usually glabrate on upper side with closely appressed hairs on the lower surface, apex rounded or suddenly short acuminate; spikes rigid, lengthening during fruiting as much as 60 cm; flowers numerous, greenish-white, 0.4-0.6 cm long, sharply reflexed against the stout pubescent inflorescence axis, bracts and bracteoles shorter than flowers, acuminate, spinescent, persistent; achene with oblong or ovate utricle, enclosed in the hardened perianth; seeds oblong, brown.
Chemical_Constituents- Plant-ash: rich in potash; Root: ecdysterone, inokosterone, insect moulting hormones; Stem-extract: sterol, saponins, ecdysterone; Leaf: ecdysterone; Unripe fruits : saponin C & D; Seed: saponin A & B.
Uses -
Root: as abortifacient; SANTAL : Plant: in diabetes, dropsy; Fresh plant-paste with that of black pepper: to cure effect of bite of mad dog; Plant-decoction: in cough, kidney stone, pneumonia and as an ingredient of 'cystone'-used in urinary tract infection; Root: in abdominal tumour, cough, snake bite, toothache, whooping cough; Leaf: in leucoderma; Leaf-infusion: in cold and cough; Leaf-extract: in eczema and leprosy in the name of 'Achyrol'; Seed-powder: to reduce hunger; tribes of Arunachal pradesh and Uttara pradesh: Root: in asthma, to women for antifertility purpose, bleeding in delivery. ATHARVA VEDA : an important medicinal plant having wormicidal properties, it cures piles, troubles of thigh, fever and oral ailments; KURMA PURANA and BRAHMAVAIVARTA PURANA : the twig of this plant is good for brushing teeth; CHARAKA SAMHITA : used as snuff to expel mucus from the nose; SHUSHRUTA SAMHITA : Root-bark: used in piles; CHAKRADATTA : used in haemorrhagia, deafness, acute opthalmia, etc. HOMEOPATHY : Astringent, diuretic, alterative; also useful in menorrhagia, diarrhoea, anasarca, ascites and dropsy. Modern use : Plant: pungent, purgative, diuretic, in dropsy, piles, boils, skin eruptions, colic, snake bite; Infusion of root: astringent; Seed: emetic, in hydrophobia.

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