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Kiratatikta – Swertia chirata

Last updated on: September 8th, 2017

Introduction of Kiratatikta – Swertia chirata – 

  • Botanical Name of Kirata Tikta is Swertia chirata.
  • Family of Kirata Tikta is Gentianaceae.

The Kirata Tikta is one such drug which is not available commonly. It is found at a altitude of 4,000-5000 ft. Kirata Tikta plants grow widely in Himalayan region between 1208- 3046 m elevation from Kashmir to Bhutan. In Folklore medicine and in rural areas the Kalamegha or Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) is considered as Kirata Tikta and it is used in place of Kirata Tikta because of its similar morphology and properties. It is a bitter plant of Kiratas or north India.

Kirata Tikta is mentioned in earlier period by Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhatta and also in Vedas itself.   It is used by Hindu physicians. It is a tonic, stomachic & febrifuge and prescribed in Kashaya or infusion of small tea-cup full twice a day.  On large dose it oppresses the stomach and causes nausea.

Photographs OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

Kiratatikta - Swertia chirata Kiratatikta - Swertia chirata

Kiratatikta - Swertia chirata

(Image Source- 1 2 3 )

LITERARY REVIEWS OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Kirata Tikta has long has been an important article of Hindu materia medica.
  • It is mentioned in Samhita like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Vagbhatta’s Ashtangahridayam, Bhavaprakasha, Sharangdhar Samhita and others under the name of Kirata Tikta.
  • In Harita Samhita, it is mentioned to be used in the treatment of scorpion bite with other drugs.
  • It is also mentioned in the Nighantu like Yoga Rathnakara, Raja Nighantu, Kaiyadeva Nighantu, Adarsha  Nighantu, Shodhala Nighantu and Dhanwanthari Nighantu. Also there is mention of Kirata Tikta in Bhaishajya Ratnavali and in Chakradatta, Amarkosha, Shabda Kalpa Drooma.
  • It is used as a tea in a quantity of one tea-cup full twice a day. It is a tonic in a dyspepsia and functional inactivity of liver. Chiretta is much praised in India as a powerful tonic. It does not constipate the bowel but causes easy movement of bile (A chemical investigation of the plant was carried out by Janaki Ram).

CONTROVERSIES OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

Kirata Tikta has a synonym Bhu-nimba.

It is also a synonym of Kalamegha/ Kalmegh – Andrographis paniculata. In Folklore medicine and in rural areas people consider and call Kalamegha has Vighata Tikta because of its similar morphology and properties and action.

In Kerala in place of Kirata Tikta two drugs are used, they are:

  1. Kalamedha – Androgrophis paniculata Ness.
  2. Bruhathi – Solanum indicum. Linn

TYPES AND VARIETIES OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

There are three types of Kirata Tikta-

  1. Swertia Chirata – Kirata Tikta
  2. Swertia angustifolia – Meetha Chirayata
  3. Swertia alata

SYNONYMS OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Bhunimba – It is a small neem herb.
  • Ramasenak
  • Kanda tikta – Stem is bitter in taste.
  • Bhutikta
  • Anaryatikta – It is not found in “Aryan” regions
  • Ardhatikta
  • Chiratikta
  • Haima – It is having golden coloured patches
  • Jwarantak – It destroys Jwara
  • Naipal – Found abundant in Nepal
  • Nidrari
  • Tikta – It is having Tikta rasa
  • Chirayata
  • Kairata – It is present in Kirata Desh (Desha means place, region, country).
  • Kairat tikta – It is tikta plant present in Kirata Desh
  • Kiratak – It destroys all diseases
  • Nepal nimba – It is found abundantly in Nepal.
  • Truna nimba – It is small neem plant
  • Nidiga tikta
  • Sannipatah- useful in sannipat jwara
  • Katu tikta – It is having tikta ras and katu vipak
  • Vikataka
  • Su tiktak – It is having tikta rasa.

GANA OR VARGA (Ayurvedic Categorization) OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

In ancient Ayurvedic treatise drugs have been grouped under either Gana or Varga. This grouping was based on the pharmacological properties as well as dietary use. Etymologically Varga or Gana will provide the forms meaning:

  1. Varga is a group of limited number of herbs having similar pharmacological properties.
  2. Gana is a group of large number of herbs having similar pharmacological properties.
  • According to Charaka Kirata Tikta is included under Tikta skanda, Stanya Shodhana, Trishna Nigrahana.
  • According to Sushruta it is mentioned under Argawadhadi Gana.
  • According to Bhavaprakasha it is included under Harithakyathi Varga.
  • According to Dhanwanthari Nigantu it is included under Guduchyadi Varga.
  • According to Raja Nigantu it is included under Prabhadradi Varga.

VERNACULAR NAMES OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Arabic- Qusa Buzzaraioh
  • Assamese- Chireta
  • Bengali – Chireta
  • Bombay – Chiraita/Kirata
  • Burma – Se Khagi
  • Deccan – Charayat
  • English – Chiritta, Brown Chiritta
  • Gujarati – Chirayat
  • Hindi – Chirayata
  • Kannada – Nela Bevu
  • Kashmir – Lose Chiraita
  • Malyalam – Nelaveppu, Kiriyattu
  • Marati – Chirayita
  • Nepal – Cherota
  • Orissa – Chirito
  • Patna – Cherayta
  • Persian – Nemilawandi
  • Sanskrit – Kiratatikta
  • Tamil – Nilavebu
  • Telugu – Nilavemu
  • Urdu – Cheriyota

DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

The Swertia chirata plant occurs in eastern temperate Himalaya’s at 1500- 3000 m altitude. It is found in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. Plants grow wild in Himalayan region between 1208- 3046 m elevation from Kashmir to Bhuthan and it is found in nature in Kosi hills at 1204-1525 m in north eastern Himalayan region. Some other species of Swertia are found frequently than Swertia Chirata.

SYSTEMIC CLASSIFICATION OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Division- Angiosperm
  • Sub Division- Dicotyledon
  • Class- Gamopetallae
  • Sub Class- Bicarpellotai
  • Order- Gentionale
  • Family- Gentianaceae

 

USEFUL PARTS OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

Pachanga (whole plant) of Kirata Tikta is used for medicinal purpose, but most potent part is the moola (roots).

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Kirata Tikta contains cheratin, ophelic acid and true bitter principle. It does not contain tannin.
  • It also contains Swertinin, Swertianin, Swerchinin, decussolin, bellidifoten, friedelin, β sitosterol,  Anginin, lucine, methwmini, threomine, trypliphan aspantic acid and glutamic acid.
  • Chiratin is a chief bitter active constituent which is very bitter and amorphous glycosides.
  • Opholic acid is yellowish brown which is soluble in water and alcohol.

AYURVEDIC PROPERTIES OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Rasa – Thikta
  • Guna – Laghu, Ruksha
  • Veerya – Sheetha
  • Vipak – Katu
  • Doshaghnata- Tridosha shamaka, especially Kapha Pitta shamaka

ACTIONS (KARMA) OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Jwaraghna
  • Katu paushtika
  • Daha prashamana
  • Rakta Shodhak
  • Kandughna
  • Kushthaghna
  • Sweda janana
  • Stanya Shodhana
  • Kaphaghna
  • Shwasa hara
  • Hridya
  • Sheetahara
  • Trishna Nigrahana
  • Deepana
  • Pachana, Amapachana
  • Pitta saraka
  • Anulomana
  • Krimighna
  • Vrana ropana
  • Vrana Shodhana

THERAPEUTIC USES OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Jwara, Jeernajwara, Vishamajwara
  • Kushtha, Kandu, Charma Roga, Rakta shudhikarnartha, Visarpa, Visphota.
  • Kamala, Yakrithvikara, Agnimandya, Ajeerna, Vibandha, Trushna / Trishna, Atisara, Grahani
  • Dhaha
  • Krimi
  • Kasa, Shwasa
  • Hrit Daurbalya
  • Vrana, Shotha,
  • Upadansha
  • Stanya Dusthi
  • Chhardi
  • Prameha

VISHISHTHA YOGA (Pharmaceutical Preparations) OF KIRATA TIKTA (Swertia chirata) – 

  • Sudarshan Choorna
  • Kiratadi Kwatha
  • Bhunimbadi Kwatha
  • Tikta Panchaka Kwatha
  • Kiratadi Taila
  • Chandraprabha Vati
  • Shathyadi Kwatha
  • Pachabhadra Kwatha
  • Sarva Jwarahara Taila
  • Phalatrikadi Kwatha
  • Madhwasaava
  • Tikta shadpalaka Ghrita
  • Chandanadi Ghrita
  • Mahatikta Ghrita
  • Chandraprabha Vati
  • Maha Manjishthadi Kwatha
  • Sudharshan Kwatha
  • Chandanasava
  • Ushirasava
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