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Chirata (Cirayata), Its Uses and Characteristics

Characteristics

 How it looks - It is an erect annual herb, with strong stems which are cylindrical below and four-angled towards the top. The leaves are lance-shaped with 5 nerves along the length and the flowers are many, small and greenish yellow. The fruits are minute, pointed, capsules with smooth many-angled seeds.

What we use - Whole plant

What it does - It is both refrigerant and thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, sudorific and anti periodic.

Home Remedies for the Cure of General Disorders

  • In fevers - In fevers of all types, chirata is highly useful either singly or in combination with other herbs like picrohiza, tinospora, bittergourd or snakegourd. Make a decoction of chirata and drink thrice a day to conquer even obstinate and chronic fevers.

  • In worms - Give a decoction of the leaves sweetened with palm candy to children afflicted with worms at bed time.

  • In skin disease - Pasted with oil and a few pepper seeds and applied on itchy patches, chirata purifies blood and heals and soothes rashes and irritation. Intake of chirata berries is preventive for skin disease.

  • In swellings - Powder the dried plant of chirata and dry ginger and take a tsp of powder with some rice wash twice a day to reduce swelling of feet, hands or face.

  • In bleeding disorders - Take half a tsp each of the powders of chirata and sandal with cool water thrice a day especially to control excessive bleeding.

  • To purify breast milk - To keep breast milk free of infections and to promote secretion and flow of milk, drink a decoction of chirata everyday for a week.

  • In mouth ulcers - Soak the berries in buttermilk overnight and then dry and powder them for storage. Whenever necessary, fry a tsp of this powder in ghee and mix with rice before eating to soothe oral ulcers.

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