Swertia chirata or chirayita, called “Chiretta” in English, belongs to the Gentianaceae botanical family. Native to temperate Himalayas, it is a herb growing to 1m on pastures and slopes, in damp light woodlands and stream sides.
This traditional Ayurvedic herb is now on the verge of extinction due to its increasing high usage. It is a strongly bitter tonic used in folk medicine as a remedy for a weak stomach, loss of appetite, nausea, indigestion, dyspepsia, constipation; it has a beneficial effect on the liver, promoting the flow of bile, and is also used for the treatment of fever, malaria, diabetes and certain skin diseases.
Its main chemical ingredients are swertiamarin, amarogentin, mangiferin, sweroside, gentianine, amaroswerin, oleanolic acid, swertanoone, ursolic acid.