Chaff Flower uses benefits and side effects

Achyranthens Aspera  is an erect, many-branched, spreading, and quadrangular herb that lives several years. The plant can grow up to 6 to 7 feet tall, commonly known as chaff flower, prickly chaff flower, devil’s horsewhip. The plant and its all parts like root, seeds, leaves, roots, flowers, and fruits have been used for the medicinal purpose; 21 leaves of the  Achyranthens Aspera  regularly used in Ganesh Patra pooja on Ganesh Chaturthi.

The leaves of  Achyranthens Aspera  are simple, hairy, shorty stalked. The leaves have two colors, i.e. yellowish below and green above, situated opposite each other on a sharp-pointed woody stem. The leaves are 8 to 10 cm long, 7 to 8 cm wide with a broad base and pointed tip like an egg.  Achyranthens Aspera  has small green/yellowish-white flowers which form narrow, long spikes; it grows up to 60 cm long.

By the time flowers bend towards the stem, in the fruiting stage, The bracts around the flowers become sharp, pointed tips making the heads spiny to the touch, fruits are orange to reddish-purple or straw-brown capsules.  

Morphology of Achyranthens Aspera

Flower-it has yellow, green/white flowers with long, axillary spikes, flowering throughout the year. In axillary, elongated spikes; yellowish-white in color. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit-The fruit easily sticks to clothes and animal skin. It has a solitary seed-fruiting throughout the year. Stem having longitudinal ridges/grooves with hairy nodes. 

Did you know?

  • Achyranthens Aspera has shown potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in preclinical studies. source: ncbi
  • Achyranthens Aspera has shown hepatoprotective activity, protecting the liver from damage. source: ncbi
  • Achyranthens Aspera has been used traditionally for the treatment of respiratory disorders. source: ncbi
  • Achyranthens Aspera has been found to possess anti-fungal activity against certain fungal strains. source: ncbi

Sources of  Achyranthens Aspera

Achyranthens Aspera is mainly found in tropical Asian, African, warmer regions. It is also found in Australia and America, Ceylon, Baluchistan. In India, it predominantly grows like a weed on roadsides.

Achyranthes Aspera or Chaff flower, is highly nutritious and has caloric value. Based on some studies, it might have anti-diabetic activity and can be useful in managing diabetes.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Chemical components of Achyranthen Aspera

The Achyranthen Aspera is stated to contain the following major classes of compounds: 

  • Fatty acids.
  • D-glucuronic, Betaine.
  • Oleanolic acid, triacontanol.
  • Spathulenol, alkaloids.
  • Achyranthine, different amino acids.
  • Ecdysterone.
  • Oleonic acid.
  • Bisdesmosidic, triterpenoid-based saponins.
  • Spinasterol, dihydroxy ketones.
  • n-hexacos-14- enoic.  

Nutritional constituents

Achyranthes Aspera plant and seeds are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and bioactive constituents such as flavonoids, tannins, and saponins that help maintain an individual’s overall health.

Other Names for Achyranthens Aspera

The plant is known by different names in various parts of the world.  

  • In Hindi, it is known as Puthkanda, Latjira, Chirchira, Lamchichra, Sonpur.
  • In Marathi, it is known as Aghada.
  • In Sanskrit, it is known as Apamargah.
  • In English, it is known as Chaff Flower.
  • In Punjabi, it is known as Kutri.
  • In Kannada, it is known as Gorwiballi, Karihambu.
  • In Tamil, it is known as Naaiyuruvi, Naagarkaai Mullu.
  • In Telugu, it is known as Uttaraene.

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Traditional Uses of  Achyranthes Aspera

  • The pulp of fresh Achyranthens Aspera leaves, and flowering spikes is an effective home remedy for scorpion bites when applied externally, which is believed to paralyze.
  • For snake/reptile bites, the seeds are beneficial for ophthalmic diseases and other corneal infections.
  • Flowering, elongated spikes mix with little sugar and used in mad dog bites to treat hydrophobia.
  • Achyranthens Aspera ash loaded with potash has been used for washing clothes.
  • Flowers and fruits of Achyranthens Aspera are useful for the treatment of menorrhagia.

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Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Achyranthens Aspera

  • All parts (seeds, roots, leaves) of  Achyranthens Aspera  have been used both traditionally and medicinally; it has a strong unpleasant smell used externally or internally.
  • The  Achyranthens Aspera  having expectorant, stomach tonic, laxative, anthelmintic, diuretic, lithotriptic, sudorific, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, anticataract, antifungal, antibacterial, hypoglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, antiperiodic, antiasthmatic, hepatoprotective, anti-allergic properties s it aids to treat various health issues.
  • Achyranthens Aspera  plant supplements help remove excess body fat by preventing accumulation in the abdomen; gluteal regions control body weight.
  • Achyranthens Aspera  juice has ropan (astringent), anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, it is used in ulcers/wounds for faster healing.
  • Achyranthens Aspera  root paste and juice help to lower the pain, reduce itching, skin rashes in insect bites, and urticaria when applied topically and helpful in earache.
  • Daily consumption of  Achyranthens Aspera  supplement powder with honey improves digestion.
  • Achyranthens Aspera  has excellent digestive and appetizing properties, with the help of keeping digestion to keep the body healthy.
  • In Ayurveda, a unique medicine called  Achyranthens Aspera  (Apamarga ash) is very effective externally for fistula and fissure.
  • Achyranthens Aspera  oil is predominantly used to expel excessive cough in the body & gives relief from cough.
  • Achyranthens Aspera  has purgative quality, which helps to softens stool and lowers the risk of constipation, piles, fistula/fissures.
  • When  Achyranthens Aspera  taken orally breaks down calcium oxalate calculi by its Tikshna property, it expels out by increasing urine output (diuretic).
  • Achyranthens Aspera  mix with tankana bhasm and lemon juice. This mixture is used to remove warts, but this procedure can burn the skin. Therefore it is advisable to do this process under doctor consultation.
  • Achyranthens Aspera  is rich in potassium, so it keeps the heart-healthy.

Recommended Dosage of Achyranthens Aspera

The ayurvedic dosage of  Achyranthens Aspera  varies according to its variants:

ProductsPreparationDosage/ Day
JuiceTake two teaspoons of Achyranthens Aspera (Apamarga) juice. Add the same amount of water and honey. Take this mixture before meals.One time
ChurnaTake  ½ teaspoon of Apamarga Churna and mix it with honey and water. Take half a teaspoon of this mixture before meals.Two times.
CapsulesTake two Apamarga kshara capsule to swallow them with water after meals.Two times.
Root/leaves PasteTake Apamarga Aspera leaves or roots and mix them with cow milk. Grind it to make a thick paste. Apply it to the affected area.Three times.

Based on some research, Achyranthes aspera or Chaff flower might possess anti-fertility properties and might play a positive role in an unwanted pregnancy. However, its use should be in moderation and only after taking a professional opinion.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Precautions While Using Achyranthens Aspera

  • Achyranthens Aspera paste is used with caution since it may cause skin irritation, rashes over the skin. Therefore it is better to use it along with some cooling substances like ice.
  • The excessive intake of Achyranthens Aspera supplements can cause nausea, vomiting.
  • During pregnancy and breastfeeding situations, it is very much advisable to take Achyranthens Aspera under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
  • For children’s below 12 years, taking or giving Achyranthes Aspera supplements are not advisable.

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Whether Achyranthens Aspera can help in menstrual disorders?

Yes, traditionally, Achyranthens Aspera is used for prolonging menstrual flow, abnormal menses, and dysmenorrhoea. But there is no scientific evidence to prove this effect.

Can Achyranthens Aspera supplement helpful in wound healing?

Yes,  Achyranthes Aspera  supplements effectively wound healing due to the tannins, which are known to pose astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.  Achyranthens Aspera  supplements can help improve blood flow to the wound area, which led to the contraction of the wound. This synergistic effect can help to fasten the wound healing process.

Is Achyranthens Aspera (Apamarg) used in the treatment of Ulcers?

Yes, Achyranthes Aspera supplement is used to treat the ulcers as they are composed of a mixture of anti-ulcer and gastroprotective bioactive compounds. Achyranthens Aspera supplements can lower the volume of gastric juice and total acidity and thereby increase the pH of gastric juice. This togetherly helps in managing ulcer-related problems.


Achyranthes Aspera  is a traditional and essential medicinal herb or weed all over India. Almost all the parts (seeds, roots, and shoots) of  Achyranthes Aspera  are used to prepare traditional medicines.  Traditional healers highly value the Achyranthes Aspera plant.  

Achyranthes Aspera  is used in the treatment of boils, asthma, in facilitating delivery, bleeding, bronchitis, debility, dropsy, cold, colic, cough, dog bite, snake bite, scorpion bite, dysentery, earache, headache, leukoderma, renal complications, pneumonia, and skin diseases.

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