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Achyranthes aspera also known as Prickly Chaff Flower, Devil’s Horsewhip, Apamarga – a perennial.




Image of Achyranthes aspera plant at Google

Achyranthes aspera which is also known as Prickly Chaff Flower, Devil’s Horsewhip, Apamarga is a perennial that belongs to Amaranthaceae family and can grow up to a height of 3 feet. It is found in the tropical areas and is a common weed too as it can become invasive in some areas like in Pacific Islands.

It is used medicinally for obstetrics and gynecology, including abortion, induction of labor, and cessation of postpartum bleeding. It is used mainly to treat malaria in places like Kenya. In India it is one of the important leaves used in Ganesha Patra Pooja during the religious ceremony of Ganesha Chathurti that is performed all over the country.

Its name in various Indian languages:
– Sanskrit : Aghata; Khara-manjari; Apamarga
– Hindi : Chirchira; Latjira, Onga
– Bengali : Apang
– Gujarati : Safed Aghedo, “Anghadi”, “Andhedi”, “Agado”
– Kannada : Uttaranee
– Malayalam : Kadaladi; Katalati
– Marathi : Aghada; Pandhara-aghada
– Punjabi : Kutri
– Tamil : Nayuruvi; Shiru-kadaladi
– Telugu : Antisha; Apamargamu; Uttaraene

The plant is basically a shrub that has Ovate-elliptic leaves that are acute and silky in nature. The shrub flowers from August to December. The seeds are about 2mm in length.

Medically, it is bitter, pungent, heating, laxative, stomachic, carminative and useful in treatment of vomiting, bronchitis, heart disease, piles, itching abdominal pains, ascites, dyspepsia, dysentery, Antispasmodic; Astringent; Diuretic; Odontalgic, blood diseases etc. according to Ayurvedic Science. It is used in Apamarga Taila, Agnimukha etc.
In food it is used as a leafy vegetable. Its seeds are also cooked and used as food.

Growing/Caring conditions for Achillea aspera:
– Seeds require light for germination.
– Germination occurs when planted ¼ inch deep.
– Seeds also require a germination temperature of 18–24 °C (64–75 °F).
– Plant the seedlings 12 to 18 inches apart for better and prolonged growth.
– It can become invasive so take care.
– The site needs full sun or light shade.
– Plant in spring.
– The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
– The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
– It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
– It requires moist soil.





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