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Achyranthes aspera L.

Achyranthes argentea Lam.
Achyranthes aspera var. indica L.
Achyranthes aspera var. obtusifolia (Lam.) Suess.
Achyranthes indica (L.) Mill.
Achyranthes obtusifolia Lam.

Duration: Annual, Perennial
Family: Amaranthaceae
Group: Dicot
Growth Habit: Herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Apang (Bangla), Uputhlengra.

Tribal Name: Chowmei (Bawm), Upalangra (Chakma), Chai-chi, Chai-ka-krilu, Merokh (Marma), Ulteran (Tripura).

English Name: Prickly Chaff-flower, Rough Chaff Tree, Red Chaff Tree.

Description of the Plant:

An erect, diffuse herb, fine-pubescent. Leaves simple, opposite, decussate, obavate-orbicular, round at the apex, generally thick, softly pubescent, tomentose or velvety. Flowers greenish-white in terminal spikes, soon deflexed. Fruits deflexed. Seeds shining.

Achyranthes Aspera

Achyranthes Aspera L. All Rights Reserved.

Chemical Constituents:

Leaves, stems and roots contain alkaloids, sterol and saponins. Root contains ecdysone, ecdysterone (polypodine A) and insect moulting hormones. Seeds contain saponin A&B. Fruit contains two oleanolic acid based saponins. The plant also contains an alkaloid achyranthine (=betaine), amino acids, arginine, histidine, lysine, cystine, threonine, methionine, lucine, isolucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and carbohydrate, valine, a-rhamnopyranosyl, ß-D gluuronopyranosyl, ß-D galactopyranosyl, galactose, xylose, rhamnose and glucose, large amount of potash, hormones, ecdysterone and inokosterone. (Asolkar et al., 1992; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993; Ghani, 2003; Qureshi and Bhatti 2006).

Mode of Uses:

Root chewed daily to relief Toothache (Marma). Root is used as a masticatory substance for the treatment of pain (Toothache). Root extract is used in dental carriage (Bawm). The plant is used for jaundice in the Rema-Kalenga of Moulvi Bazar district.

Leaf juice is used as eye drops in hysteria by the Marma's. Roots are used for tumour and vomiting in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

An infusion of the root is emetic and astringent; reported to be useful for easy delivery and in eczema. The juice of the leaves is taken for dysentery. Seeds are emetic; used in hydrophobia. Paste made of root powder and black pepper is given on acne to cure.


Throughout the country in road sides and fallow lands.

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