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Swertia chirata Buch-Ham       


Swertia chirata Buch-Ham

Local Name

Chirata (Nep), Rungkyon (Lep)


S.tonluensis Burkill, Gentiana chirayita Roxb.ex Fleming G. chirata Wall

Family Gentianaceae

It is a branched robust annual or perennial herb up to 1.5 m tall. The plant grows wild in temperate region. The plant is found generally at cool and humid areas.

Distribution Distributed in temperate-sub alpine region.

Chungthang, Dentam, Pemayantse, Kyongnosla, Rabong, Bakhim to Tsokha, Karponang, 6th mile (East Sikkim), Lachung-Sarchok, Nathang, Phadamchen, Dzongu.

Out side

Himachal Pradesh (Shimla, Chadwick falls, Mushobra, Matiana, Jogindernagar) Utter Pradesh (Nainital, Mussorie, Chopta, Binsar, Garnath, Jaunsar, Chakrata, Tehri Garhwal, Ranikhet, Mandal, Chamoli); Nagaland (Naga hills); West Bengal (Darjeeling); Meghalaya (Khasi hills); also distributed in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and China.

General Himalayas (Kashmir-Bhutan), Meghalaya.

Erect herb; up to 1.5 m tall. Roots 5-10 cm long, light brown, somewhat twisted and gradually tapering. Stems more or less 4-sided. Leaves opposite, broadly lanceolate, acute. Corymbose cymes. Flowers greenish-yellow tinged with purple in. Capsules sessile, oblong, many sided. Seeds smooth many angled.

Flowering September-November.


Parts Whole plant.
Status Extinct in wild (Survived only through the cultivation)

Isolation and structure determination of a new dimeric xanthone-chiratanin; a new triterpene- swertanone  isolated from aerial parts and its structure elucidated.


1. Chatterjee, Asima; Satyesh Chandra Pakrashi (1995). The Treatise on Indian Medicinal Plants, (Vol. 4). Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi. 92,94.

2. Kumar, Sushil; Janardan Singh; N.C. Shah; Ranjan (1997). Indian Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Facing Genetic Erosion. Central Institute of Vinay Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow. 193-195.

3. Kirtikar, K.R.; B.D. Basu (1994) Indian Medicinal Plants (Vol. 1). Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh

Dehradun. 1664-1666.

4. Progress Report of the Project "Studies on Medicinal Plants of Sikkim" (1998-2001). State Council of Science and Technology for Sikkim.

5. Thakur, R.S. Puri, H.S. Hussain, Akhtar. (1989). Major Medicinal Plants of India, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow. 475-476.


Whole plant: Used as powder, infusion or as an extract, antidiarrhoeal, antimalarial, anthelmintic, astringent, bitter. Laxative, stomachic and tonic used as a special remedy for franchial asthma and liver disorders; beneficial in cough, dropsy, dyspepsia, melancholia, sciatica and skin diseases; given with sandal wood paste to stop internal haemorrhage in the stomach.

Ayurvedic It is an ingredient of ayurvedic "Chaturbhadra Kvatha" + "Sudarshan churna", used for fevers. It is prescribed with dry grapes and coriander in measles and in disease of liver.

It is used in Jawarish jalanus for weak digestion and urinary troubles. Roghan Kham as an anti-inflammatory.

Traditional The decoction of whole dried plant (around 200-250 ml) taken daily in the morning before taking breakfast could be the good remedies against high fever, cough and malarial fever (Project Report 1999, Common System). The root extract taken daily in the morning in an  empty stomach to keep fit and healthy. The juice of fresh plants or infusion of dry plants is prescribed as blood purifier in skin diseases, bitter tonic for fevers and indigestion. The infusion prepared from chirayita. Dried peels of orange and lemon and alcohol (25%) by maceration official in I.P and its 0 dose is 2 to 4 ml.



   Amongst the many floral treaties of Sikkim Himalaya one of the earliest ones may be found over the genus Rhododendron (Gk. rhodo = red, dendrons = tree ).  



Rarity Status
L.K Rai Notes


  Orchid known for their brilliance in colors, unusual shapes attractive growth habits, variety in fragrance and exquisite beauty can attract any nature lovers.





The Genus



Medicinal Plant

Sikkim with its total geographical area of 7,096 sq km is bestowed with a huge diversity of flora and fauna.































































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