ACHYRANTHES ASPERA L.

Family: Amaranthaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Apang, Uputhlengra.
Tribal name: Chai-chi, Chai-ka-krilu (Marma); Uvalayra (Chakma); Ulteran (Tipra).
English name: Prickly Chaff-flower, Rough Chaff Tree, Red Chaff Tree.

Description of the plant:
ACHYRANTHES ASPERA L. is a coarse perennial herb, 30-90 cm high. Leaves few, 2.5-12.7 cm, elliptic or obovate, round at the apex, generally thick, softly pubescent, tomentose or velvety; flowers small in slender, elongated, terminal spikes, soon deflexed.

Using information:
Plant is laxative, stomachic, carminative, astringent, depurative, emetic and good diuretic; found efficacious in renal dropsis and general anasarca. Also used in coughs, pneumonia, rheumatism, piles, boils, skin eruptions, kidney stone and colic. The ash of the plant is used in cases of asthma and coughs; mixed with orpiment, the ash is used externally in the treatment of ulcers and warts.


Achyranthes Aspera
ACHYRANTHES ASPERA L.


Root is used in ophthalmia, dropsy and cutaneous diseases. 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. 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.

The plant extract possesses antifungal properties. Benzene extract of the bark showed antiimplantation activity in mice and abortifacient activity in rabbit. The alkaloid betaine lowered Blood pressure, depressed heart rate, caused vasodilation, increased respiration in animals; it is spasmodic on rectus muscle of frog and possesses diuretic and purgative action on albino rats (Asolkar et al., 1992).

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, α-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).

Distribution:
All over the country in way sides and fallow lands.