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Chitrak: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   08-Dec-2020

Chitrak is a large perennial shrub occasionally cultivated in India's gardens in a wild state, and this shrub is available in White color. Chitrak plant in Ayurveda is consumed as a medicinal herb for treating various diseases such as constipation, muscular pains, digestive weakness, piles, cough, rheumatism, etc. In India, Chitrak is used as a traditional medicine system and is referred to by various names such as Chittramoolam, Sheetraj Hindi, and Chitrak.


  • It assists in removing natural toxins from the intestines and thereby helps boost metabolism. 
  • It is chiefly used for bodyweight management and is an excellent cure to Kapha.
  • It helps the inappropriate functioning of the liver and effortless digestion of sugar and fats. 
  • Chitrak refreshes the body by offering proper absorption of nutrients.
  • It is also helpful for pain in joints.


The Latin name of Chitrak is Plumbago zeylanica and belongs to the Family of Plumbaginaceae.


Kingdom: Plantae, Class: Magnoliopsida, Division: Magnoliophyta, Order: Ranunculales, Family: Plumbaginaceae, Genus: Plumbago, and Species: P. zeylanica


Sanskrit: Chitrak, English: White Leadwort, Ceylon leadwort, plumbago, Assamese: Agiyachit, Agnachit, Bengali: Chita, Gujarati: Chitrakmula, Hindi: Chira, Chitrak, Kannada: Chitramula, Vahni, Bilichitramoola, Kashmiri: Chitra, Shatranja, Malayalam: Vellakeduveli, Thumpokkoduveli, Marathi: Chitraka, Oriya: Chitamula, Chitoparu, Punjabi: Chitra, Tamil: Chitramoolam, Kodiveli, Telugu: Chitramulam, Urdu: Sheetraj Hindi, Cheetah


Chitrak is an under shrub with green branches, spreading, terete, stems somewhat woody, striate, glabrous. Often it is dilated into stipule like auricles and Leaves alternate, ovate or oblong, petiole narrow, amplexicaul at the base. Flower of chitrak is usually white with axillary and terminal elongated spikes, referred to as bisexual. It has Calyx densely covered with sticky glands, Ovary superior, 5-generous, one-celled, ovule one, basal. Its Roots are light yellow colored when fresh, reddish-brown when dry, straight unbranched, or slightly branched with or without secondary.

Particulars of description include-

Flowering and Fruiting: September to December, Principal constituent: plumbagin, Part Used: Root, root bark, seeds, Characteristics: Light, Dry, Sharp Ayurvedic Properties and Action on the body, Taste: Pungent, Potency: Hot/Ushna, Post Digestive Effect: Pungent/ Katu, Action: Shoth-har, Diana, Grahi, Pachana, Kapha-Vata- har, Arsh-har, Shula-har, Significant formulations of Chitrak: Chitrakadi Vati, Chitrak-haritaki, Chitrakadi churna


In Ayurveda, the roots of Chitrak have been used for healing a variety of diseases related to the digestive system such as muscular pains, digestive weakness, piles, cough, rheumatism, etc. Chitrak has characteristics that fight the disease like anti-plasmodial, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar lowering, antimicrobial, and lipid-lowering properties. It is applied topically in all kinds of skin diseases and the whole plant in paste form.

Agni is another Ayurvedic name for this herb, which means fire. It can be lethal in high concentrations due to its extremely hot nature. Caution and warning are listed on the product before consuming, and it should only be consumed in the suggested amount. According to Ayurvedic text, before using medicinally, the roots are purified. This herb, in particular, works on blood, bone, reproductive system, and plasma.


There is no requirement of irrigation in the rainy season except during a long gap later irrigation is done four or five times:





First irrigation



Second irrigation



Third irrigation



Fourth irrigation



Fifth irrigation


For irrigation, a Flat or flood irrigation method with 2 cm water is necessary.


  • Piles-In piles should be consumed a day thrice; the pulverized root powder is taken in a dose of 1-2 grams with buttermilk.
  • Diarrhea (Atisaar) - In diarrhea or loose motion, Chitrak root powder should be given to the patient three times a day in a dose of 1-2 grams.
  • Skin diseases ( kustha)- 1-3 grams of root powder is given three times a day with cow's urine In case of skin diseases.
  • Obesity- Chitrak root powder is given in a dose of 1-2 grams with honey in Obesity.
  • Swelling, skin diseases, open abscesses, and ulcers- The root paste of Chitrak is applied externally on the affected body parts.
  • Arthritis- In Arthritis, medicated oil is prepared by boiling chitrak roots and sarpgandha in mustard oil, which is to be applied to affected areas.
  • Dermatitis- Paste of roots with water is to be applied in affected areas in dermatitis.
  • Scabies- Paste of bark and leaves of Plumbago with turmeric needs to be prepared and applied externally on the affected areas.


Chitrak suppresses implantation, ovulation and can cause abortion.

  • Chitrak is contraindicated in pregnancy.
  • It should always be used in the recommended doses and never overdose.
  • The main chief constituent, Plumbagin, in low dose stimulates CNS and muscles.
  • It also causes the secretion of bile, sweat, and urine.
  • In high doses, it causes paralysis and proves toxic.


Chitrak is consumed for the treatment, prevention, control & improvement of the subsequent diseases, conditions, and symptoms:

  • Sores
  • Skin diseases
  • Leprosy
  • Scabies
  • Ringworm infections
  • Hookworm infections
  • Dermatitis
  • Acne
  • Ulcers
  • Gonorrhea


As soon as you notice, you miss a dose use Chitrak. In case it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dosage, and continue your dosing schedule as previously followed. For a missed dose, do not use an extra dose to make up. Consider setting the alarm or asking a family member to remind you if you are regularly missing doses. If you have missed too many doses recently, then consult your doctor to discuss alterations in your dosing timetable or a new timetable to make up for missed doses.


One should not consume dosage more than the prescribed dose. Taking more medication may cause poisoning or serious side-effects, and it will not improve your symptoms. Please visit the closest hospital or nursing home's emergency department if you suspect that you or anyone else who may have overdosed on Chitrak. To assist doctors with the necessary information, bring a medicine box, container, or label with you. If you know that people around you have the same condition or it seems that they may have similar conditions, do not give your medicines to other people even as it may lead to overdosage.


Chitrak medicines must be Stored away from heat and direct light at room temperature. One must use the required package and do not freeze medicines. Chitrak medicines should be kept away from children and pets. Do not pour Medicines into drainage unless advised to do so; do not flush medications down the toilet. The environment may get contaminated if Medication is discarded in this manner. You are advised to consult your doctor for more details on how to discard Chitrak safely.


If an individual consumes expired Chitrak, it is usually an adverse event. If you feel unwell or sick, please discuss it with your primary health provider or doctor for proper advice. If you are getting treatment under prescribed conditions, then Expired drugs may become ineffective. It is essentially advised not to use expired drugs. In case of chronic diseases that require taking medicine continuously, such as heart condition, seizures, and life-threatening allergies, you must keep in touch with your doctor or medicine provider so that you can have a fresh stock of unexpired/consumable medications.







5 gm, 10 gm, and 15 gm



5 gm, 10 gm, 15 gm



2 gm, 4 gm, 6 gm



1 gm, 2 gm, 3 gm



1 gm, 2 gm, 3 gm


Some vital points to learn how to use Chitrak Haritaki in main diseases are given below:

  • Recurrent Common Cold- The color of mucus content is white, and Chitrak Haritaki works when mucus discharge becomes thick. When the color of mucus discharge becomes yellow or greenish, then formulations of Vasaka (Adhatoda Vasica), e.g., Vasavaleha and Vasa leaves juice is more helpful and safe.


  • Warning- In thin mucus content and the new common cold, Chitrak Haritaki should not be used. It increases nasal irritation, and it will dry up the nasal cavity. Fever occurs in these cases, especially in children, due to the accumulation of bacteria, and thereby, Chitrak Haritaki is used in new cases of the common cold.


  • Productive Cough- When a large amount of mucus is produced in the lungs & it is clear, white, and thick, then Chitrak Haritaki is beneficial to the individuals. If it is yellow-greenish in color, then it represents bacterial growth and infection in the chest, so in such cases, Sitopaladi churna, Gandhak Rasayan, Shringa Bhasma, and Vasavaleha or Vasa leaves juice is more useful.


  • Chronic Bronchitis- As discussed in productive coughthe same principle of consuming chitrak applies in chronic bronchitis. It is also useful to reduce inflammation in addition to provide relief from productive cough in bronchitis. If there is any sign of infection like yellow-greenish phlegm, then it should not be used. When the patient needs to stop the mucus production, and mucus content is white and thick, chitrak can help the patient.


  • Chronic Sinusitis- When drainage of thick and white discharge, Chitrak Haritaki is very much useful. Discharge from the nose as well as down the back of the throat can be reduced after consuming Chitrak. It is also useful for improving breathing and repairing nasal obstruction by the consumption of chitrak. Sense of the smell and taste also improves through its intake.


  • Warning- Chitrak Haritaki is not beneficial; if tenderness is a chief concern and yellow-greenish discharge is a prominent sign in Chronic Sinusitis, then It should not be consumed.


The general dosage of Chitrak Haritaki is as prescribed:

  • Infants- Not Advised
  • Children-2 grams, i.e., 1/3 tsp.
  • Adults-2.5 to 5 grams, i.e., 1/2 to 1 tsp.
  • Geriatric, i.e., Old age-2 grams, i.e., 1/3 tsp.
  • Maximum Possible Dosage – per day or in 24 hours, 10 grams, i.e., 2 tsp. – in divided doses
  • It shall be consumed Twice a day with warm milk.

In treating health ailments, Herbs and plants have played an important role and help heal the body in ancient medicine. When modern medicine promised quick fixes and instant actions, these herbs took a step back. These drugs have once again led a shift towards natural healing in the long-term consequences of toxic chemicals.

A Leading number of research studies are finding the efficiency of these herbal remedies to be equal to modern medicines and are better than their modern counterparts. Chitrak or Plumbago zeylanica is one such herb used extensively in natural medicine. It is also referred to as Ceylon leadwort; this herb provides a plethora of health benefits. 


When pregnant, is it safe to use Chitrak?


While breastfeeding, is it safe to use Chitrak?


In the case of sores and skin diseases, is it safe to use Chitrak?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW: Yes, Chitrak is most commonly used for sores and skin diseases among the most commonly reported uses. Without consulting first with your doctor, kindly do not consume Chitrak for sores and skin diseases. To find out what other patients report as common uses for Chitrak, survey and review the results.

When using this product, is it safe to drive or operate heavy machinery?

It may not be safe to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery as you may experience drowsiness, dizziness, hypotension, or a headache as side-effects when using Chitrak medicine.



If using chitrak medicine makes you drowsy, dizzy, or lowers your blood-pressure extensively, one should not drive a vehicle.

It is advised not to drink alcohol with medicines as alcohol intensifies drowsiness side-effects.

When using Chitrak, Kindly check for these effects on your body and always consult with your doctor for recommendations to your body and health conditions.

Is this medicine o addictive or habit forming?

SCIENTIFIC VIEW: Generally, these Chitrak medicines don't come with a potential for addiction or abuse. There are medicines categorized by the Government, which can be as addictive as controlled substances. One must include the product package to ensure that the medicine does not belong to such particular categorizations of medicines as prescribed by Government. Increase your body's dependence on medicines without the advice of a doctor and do not self-medicate.

Do I have to wean off the user slowly, or can I stop using this product immediately?

AYURVEDIC VIEW: It cannot be stopped immediately because of rebound effects, and some medicines require to be tampered with. You are advised to consult with your doctor for recommendations particular to your body, health, and other medications that you may be using.

Q.  Can the central nervous system be managed by Chitrak?



Yes, Due to Chitrak ‘s muscle relaxant property, it significantly affects the central nervous system, reduces hyperactivity of the central nervous system, and decreases the anxiety level.


Vata dosha controls the Nervous system.  Due to its Vata balancing, Chitrak helps in the management of CNS and Medhya, i.e., brain tonic properties. This assists in the prevention of nervous disorders, management, and nourishes the nerves.

Q. Can ulcers be managed by Chitrak?



Due to Chitrak’s strong antioxidant activity, Chitrak helps in managing ulcers. Antioxidants can prevent wound formation caused by several ulcer-causing agents. It reduces wounds on the stomach wall and restricts the formation of ulcers.


Due to weak or poor digestion, Ulcer may occur. Due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestion) properties, ulcers can be managed by Chitrak, which helps improve digestion and prevent the formation of ulcers.



NS Desk

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Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.