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  • Das K

The Godfather: Achyranthes aspera

This is a classic case of mistaken identity where a plant as versatile and beneficial as this one is considered a weed. The challenge however is that it is prickly, a little difficult to deal with and it has its own ways of bullying other plants. And yes, who needs godfathers !

Do read on... and you might change your mind.

This is a powerful herb, a last resort one can turn to when afflicted with difficult to cure diseases. For starters: The devils broom has a way of reversing antibiotic resistance in pathogens - something that seems really magical. It also does help protect from the toxic venoms of insects, reptile bites, scorpion and snake bites. And during natural calamities this plant also comes to ones aid as an alternative food especially during famines: tender leaves can be cooked as spinach and the seeds can be eaten as a substitute to grain. Surprisingly, whilst it helps you survive starvation during a famine, it comes to your aid when you are struggling with unhealthy lipids and excess fat as well. It helps you shed the extra pounds, the unhealthy cholesterol and improve liver function. Prickly chaff also seems to be a promising anticancer herb.

Scientific Name: Achyranthes aspera | English: Prickly chaff flower, Devils horsewhip| Sanskrit: Apamarga| Hindi: Latjira, Chirchira, Aghara| Bengali: Apamarga | Tamil: Apamarkkam, Naaiyuruvi, Nairusedi keeraii | Marathi: Aghada| Telugu: Uttaraene| Kannada: Gorwiballi, Karihambu |Malayalam: Katalati, Vankadalaadi| Nepali: Akamaro | Urdu: Aghara

Parts used: Entire plant.

Medicinal uses: Helps protect from Tooth decay and Dental caries, Antibacterial, Antihelmintic, Treats parasitic infections, Heat boils and festering wounds, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antidiabetic, Anti-hypertensive, Cardioprotective ( Heart tonic), Addresses root cause of Hypertension, Protects against Kidney damage, Nervine tonic, For treating Asthma, Anthelmintic- expel worms, For Hemorrhoids, Hepatoprotective.

Our mouth is an entry point for majority of microorganisms and hence if we are able to maintain oral health then we would be able to protect ourselves not just from dental issues but other infectious diseases too. Poor dental health has been associated with increased risk of bacterial infections in the body. Poor dental hygeine is also associated with increased incidence of coronary artery disease. As a gatekeeper, this herb can help protect from a range of diseases including the dreaded ones as heart diseases and cancer.

  1. The root can be used as a toothbrush. Alternatively the powder of the roots can be used for making a toothpowder that helps protect oral mucosa from infectious microorganisms: Hence it helps prevent protect from tooth decay and dental caries.

  2. 1/4th to 1/2 tsp of this powder is taken with honey to improve digestion.

  3. As and antidiabetic: Decoction of the leaves and twigs helps reduce blood glucose levels.

  4. For Improving Thyroid Function: Cooked tender leaves

  5. Paste of the roots can be applied externally to alleviate itching caused by insect bites. It can also be used to reduce the itching caused by urticaria and allergic rashes.

Disclaimer: For the untrained eye, many plants appear similar. Do not attempt to harvest and use herbs until and unless you are familiar with herb identification and usage.

If you want to use any of the herbs mentioned on these blogs, please do so under the guidance of a doctor or a holistic practitioner. You can also write to us at for usage information specific to your issue.


Achyranthes aspera L. leaf extract induced anticancer effects on Dalton's Lymphoma via regulation of PKCα signaling pathway and mitochondrial apoptosis

Achyranthes aspera Extracts as Adjuvants for the Redressal of Antibiotic Resistance

Cardiovascular prevention starts from your mouth

Gum disease and the connection to heart disease.

Oral health and all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory mortality in older people in the UK and USA


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