Scientific name: Plumbago zeylanica

Family: Plumbaginaceae


Chitrak, also known as “Leadwort” or “Doctorbush,” is a perennial shrub with lance-shaped leaves and vibrant red or pink flowers. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. The plant typically reaches a height of 1-1.5 meters and has a woody stem. The leaves are arranged alternately, and the flowers are tubular with five petals, forming clusters at the end of branches. Chitrak is known for its thick, fleshy roots, which are the part used in traditional medicine.

Chemical Constituents: Chitrak contains various bioactive compounds, including plumbagin, a quinone derivative responsible for many of its medicinal properties. It also contains alkaloids, flavonoids, and tannins. Plumbagin is the primary constituent associated with Chitrak’s therapeutic effects.

Properties: In Ayurveda, Chitrak is described as having “Deepana” and “Pachana” properties, meaning it stimulates digestion and helps in the assimilation of nutrients. It is often referred to as “Agnivardhani” and Properties: Acrid, hot, corrosive, appetizer, digestive, cholesterol reducing, anti-cancer etc
Rasa (Taste): Katu (pungent)
Guna: Tikshna / sharp, Ruksha/ Dry, Laghu/ Light
Virya: Ushna/ Hot
Vipaka: Katu/ Pungent
Action: Shula-har, Shoth-har, Kapha-Vata- har, Dipana, Pachana, Arsh-har, Grahi

  1. Chitrak is highly regarded in Ayurveda for its digestive and detoxifying properties. It is commonly used to improve appetite, stimulate digestion, and alleviate conditions like indigestion and flatulence. Chitrak’s ability to kindle the digestive fire (Agni) makes it beneficial for weight management and enhancing metabolism.
  2. Chitrak is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is used to relieve joint pain, arthritis, and muscle stiffness. The root extract is also employed in traditional medicine to address respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis.
  3. Chitrak’s detoxifying qualities support liver function and may aid in liver disorders. It has been used as a remedy for certain skin conditions and as a general tonic to enhance vitality and stamina.
  4. chitramoola plant to treat skin-related infections, scabies, dermatitis, intestinal worms, ringworm, sores, leprosy, acne, ulcers, and hookworm.
  5. Consuming the root by mouth gives relief from shortness of breath.
  6. Milk sap is mainly used for skin problems like boils and ringworm.

Contraindications: Chitrak should be used with caution and under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. It is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Excessive consumption may lead to digestive discomfort, including diarrhea. People with peptic ulcers or inflammatory bowel diseases should avoid Chitrak, as it can aggravate these conditions.