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Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica)

Benefits of Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica), Medicinal Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects

In Ayurveda, Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) is considered one of the most powerful carminative and digestive herbs. It has been used by our Acharya since ancient times to treat several digestion issues. Its name plumbago is derived from the word plumb which means agree. In the Ayurveda system of medicine, it also came under Rasayana. This herb not only works for internal purposes but can be used externally for various skin-related issues like dermatitis. It shows good results in the case of liver and heart disorders.


Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) Shloka
Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) Meaning of this shloka

It means that synonyms of Chitrak are analnama, pathi, vyaal, and Ushna. This herb is of pungent taste, digestive, and has hot potency. It shows good results in malabsorption syndrome, skin disease, inflammation, piles, worm infestation, and cough. It works as an absorbent and pacifies all three doshas.

(Reference- Bhavaprakasha Nighantu- haritkyadi varga- page no. 21 and shloka no. 70-71)

Botanical name- Plumbago zeylanica

Family- Plumbaginaceae

Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) Names in different languages

  • English Name- Leadwort
  • Hindi Name- Chitra, Cheeta, Chita, Chitavur, Chitraka, Chitaraka
  • Punjabi name- Chitra
  • Kannada name- Bilichitramula, Chitramula
  • Malayalam name- Kotubeli, Vellakotuveri
  • Bengali Name- Chitu, Chita
  • Marathi Name- Chitramul, Chitraka
  • Gujarati Name- Chitra, Chitro, Pitaro
  • Telugu Name- Agnimatha, Chitramulamu, Tellachitra
  • Arabian name- Sheetaraj
  • Tamil Name- Chittira, Chittiri, kodivel, Penchitar
  • Farsi name- Sheetar

Synonyms in the Sanskrit language

Anala, Vahnisajnaka, Hutasana, Pithi, Agnika, Agni, Dahana, Nirdahana, Jyothi, Vahni, Sikhi, Vyala- all these synonyms are related to fire and this herb helps to improve digestive strength. It is also called Dahana (burning) because while collecting it, it is usually found that there is a burning sensation in the palms due to the hotness.

Morphological characteristics

Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) is a perennial plant that grows up to the height of 3 to 4 feet. The stem of this plant is glabrous and erect. Its leaves are sessile, fleshy, thick, and oval with hairy margins. Its flowers are white, have elongated spikes, and are arranged in the terminal. The sticky substance present in it densely covers the calyx that is capable of killing and trapping insects by secreting this sticky mucilage. Its fruits are small and contain a single seed of about 5 to 6 mm in length. These seeds are reddish-brown to dark brown. The roots are straight and light yellow when fresh and change to reddish-brown with a pungent order when become dry.


Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) is cultivated in tropical regions of Pacific Island, Sri Lanka, and South India. In India, it is mainly found in Uttar Pradesh and Bengal for commercial and medicinal purposes.

Chemical Constituents

Plumbagin, Chitranone, Maritone, droserone, Elliptinone, 3- Chloroplumbagin, Zeylanone and Zeylinone, B- Sitosterol, Plumbagic acid, Dihydrosterone, etc.

Categorization according to classical books

According to-

Acharya Charaka
  • Deepaneeya- Herbs that improve appetite and increase digestive strength
  • Arshoghna- herbs that help treat piles
  • Shoola Prashamana– Herbs that treat abdominal colic pain
  • Lekhaneeya- herbs that have scraping property.
Acharya Susrutha

Mustadi, Pippalyadi, Amalakyadi, Aragvadadi and Varunadi gana

Acharya Vagbhata
  • Mustadi, Pippalyadi, Varunadi, and Aragvadadi gana
  • Raja Nighantu- Pippalyadi varga
  • Bhavaprakasha Nighantu- Haritakyadi varga


As per Acharaya Vagbhatta there are three varieties of Chitrak-

  1. Peeta Chitrak
  2. Shweta Chitrak
  3. Asita Chitrak

Medicinal properties Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica)

  • Rasa (taste)- Katu (pungent)
  • Guna (qualities)- Laghu (lightness), Teekshna (strong), and Rooksha (dryness)
  • Veerya- Ushna (hot potency)
  • Vipaka- (undergoes taste conversion after digestion)- Katu (Pungent)
  • Karma (action)- Balances Vata and Kapha dosha

Medicinal uses as per Ayurveda

  • Shothahara- works as anti-inflammatory
  • Pachana- works as a digestive
  • Laghu- it is light to digest
  • Grahanihara- treats sprue and malabsorption syndrome,
  • Vahnikrut- Increases digestive strength
  • Vatarsha- treats hemorrhoids due to Vata dosha (with pain)
  • Kushtahara- treats skin diseases
  • Kruminut- treats intestinal worm infestation
  • Kasanut- relieves cough and cold
  • Grahi- works as an absorbent that absorbs excess moisture from the intestine

Benefits of Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) Herb


The main cause of piles is constipation and it leads to vitiation of all the three doshas but mainly Vata dosha. This vitiated dosha causes low digestive fire and results in persistent constipation which further leads to pain and swelling around the anal area. This herb has the laxative property that provides relief from constipation and has an anti-inflammatory action that reduces inflammation and balances aggravated doshas.


As per Ayurveda, indigestion occurs due to pitta dosha imbalance. When the undigested food is left in the abdomen it leads to the formation of Ama (toxins) in the body. Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica) not only prevents indigestion but also removes or eliminates toxins from the body and improves digestive fire.

Sexual Weakness

In this condition, there is an imbalance of Vata dosha in the body. Being an aphrodisiac, Chitrak helps to manage sexual weakness, increases sexual performance, and balances Vata dosha.


Obesity occurs due to the accumulation of toxins (ama) in the form of fat. According to Ayurveda, due to constipation, there is the result in an imbalance of Medha dhatu, which leads to obesity. This herb works as an appetizer and Laxative that prevents fat accumulation by increasing digestive fire.

Dosage of Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica)

Part used- Root bark

Dosage- 1 to 2 grams of powder

Side effects of Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica)

In excessive doses, Chitrak can cause burning sensations and gastritis. It is contraindicated during pregnancy and can cause heavy periods.


From this article, it is concluded that Chitrak works as a great appetizer and has digestive properties. This herb also shows properties like anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It should be contraindicated during pregnancy and menstruation as it can cause a burning sensation in the body. Its root bark powder can be used in a dose of 1 to 2 grams.

Some FAQs Related to Chitrak (Plumbago Zeylanica)

Ques: How does Chitrak treat constipation?

Chitrak works as a laxative that increases fluid content in the intestine and makes the easy flow of stool from the body.

Ques: At what dosage Chitrak can be used for medicinal purposes?

Chitrak can be used in a dosage of 1 to 2 grams for medicinal purposes.

Ques: What are the side effects of Chitrak?

In excess, Chitrak can cause a burning sensation in the body. It is also contraindicated during pregnancy and heavy periods.

Ques : Does Chitrak treat indigestion?

Yes, Chitrak can treat indigestion by increasing digestive fire and maintaining the digestion process.

Note: Our purpose is to serve useful information related to bee Chitraks benefits, dosage, and other properties. It is advised to the patients not to consume this on the basis of this information. Before taking it  as a medicine it is better to have an expert opinion because dosage and treatment vary from patient to patient depending on their symptoms and medical history.

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About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 11 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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