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Published on:1, 2011
Pharmacognosy Journal, 2011; 3(19):1-6
Invited Article | doi:10.5530/pj.2011.19.1

Exomorphic and Endomorphic features of Swertia chirayita

Authors and affiliation (s):

A.B.D. Selvam

Pharmacognosy Section, Botanical Survey of India, Howrah – 711103, India


The trade name ‘Chirata’ refers to both Swertia chirayita (Roxb. ex Flem.) Karsten. (Gentianaceae) and Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f) Nees (Acanthaceae). This ambiguous trade name gives room for fraudulent activities. The plant Swertia chirayita has already been studied by many authors. However, the basic vascular structures of Stem have been misinterpreted in Pharmacognosy books and also in the Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia. In the present investigation, exomorphic and endomorphic features of Swertia chirayita have been critically studied and the correct usage of the scientific terms and distinguishing structural features have also been highlighted, which would be useful in identification and authentication of this plant.

Key words: Swertia chirayita, chirata, exomorphic, endomorphic, identification, authentication


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