Achyranthes root

Achyranthes is a herbal plant from the amaranthaceae family. The plant grows about a meter in height with its seeds used as cereal grains.

The plant grows as a weed world over. In India, you can see this herb in large quantities along the road side and in waste lands un-cared for and un-utilized. However, natives have been using it in their traditional medicine without undertaking any worthwhile research.

The plant is grown more for the benefits from their roots and for their medicinal value.

Origin

Achyranthes bidentata was originally used by the people from China in their traditional medicines. It is now grown in India, Japan and Nepal. It is a plant with stout stems with an oily and bright appearance. It is a tropical and semi tropical perennial shrub. It has tiny but thorny flowers at the top.

Extract of achyranthes seeds and roots find their usage in medicines. The extract from the roots contain high level of polyphenol, flavonoid and total antioxidant activity.

The achyranthes plant is a herb growing up to 100 cm and its roots growing up to one  centimeter in diameter.

In all the countries, achyranthes is grown mainly for its roots even though the seeds are also rarely used as complimentary cereal grains.

Although there are various health benefits of Achyranthes root, research is still on to find its medicinal benefits.

Key constituents of Achyranthes

  1. Triterphenoid saponins like oleanotic acid and posthydrolisis sugar
  2. Steroids like ecdysterone,inokosterone and rubrosterone
  3. Many poly saccharaides and about a dozen amino acids. The amino acids are glycine and alkaloids.
  4. Some amount of copper and iron.

The break up numbers of specific constituents of the plant or root are yet to be researched and revealed precisely.

Health benefits of Achyranthes root

For menstruation and pregnancy related treatments

  1. It induces menstruation and also regulates the periodicity.
  2. It helps in reducing menstrual pain and restores menstruation.
  3. The root extract stimulates uterine contraction in pregnant women to facilitate easy delivery. Such contraction is due to the saponins present in the root extract.
  4. Benzene extract of achyranthes contains ecdysterone which is an anti-fertility agent. You can hence use it as an anti-pregnancy medicine.

Role in treating blood pressure

  1. It increases blood circulation and controls blood pressure.
  2. An alkaloid known as Achyranthine is isolated from the root. It is water soluble. It has the quality to decrease blood pressure and heart beat rate. This property is in initial stages of the confirmation process.

For bones, joints and related problems

  1. Strengthens bones and joints.
  2. Reduces pain in the lower back, soreness and knee pain.

Other benefits

  1. It prevents painful urination. Its diuretic properties cures the problems related to urinary track and bladder.
  2. It stops oozing of blood through the nose.
  3. This root can help to treat Atherosclerosis.
  4. It facilitates blood circulation from the upper body to lower body.
  5. The extract from the root is also useful in treating poor vision, nose bleeds, headache, tooth ache and weakness and bleeding in the gums.
  6. The root extract reduces blood sugar levels.
  7. It regulates the metabolism of water in the body.
  8. You can use the root extract to clear pus formation anywhere in the body.
  9. The root extract is useful in improving the enlarged prostate or damaged prostate.
  10. Methonolic extract of the root has cancer preventing properties.
  11. Alcoholic extract of the root has anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and anti-oxidant properties.
  12. Achyranthes root is a very important source of antimicrobial agents. Researches are trying to find concrete proof to establish the same. Further research can help to understand the exact mechanism of action to better understand their antibacterial activities.
  13. Traditional healers say that addition of achyranthes root extract to any herb based drug, enhances its efficacy. This needs further research to know the authenticity.

Ayurvedic reference

In Ayurveda, native Indian system of medicine, a special medicine called “Kshara” is prepared. Kshara is useful in treating fistula. Kshara is also an oral medicine to treat tumors and obesity.

Ayurveda shows dozens of medicines with achyranthes aspera as the base to provide relief in vast number of medical conditions.

Kshara tael, an oil prepared from kshara is used as ear drop to cure ear disorders.

You can consume Achyranthes root both in raw and cooked form. But you can derive most of the benefits from the root extract only.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.