Citraka or Chithraka herb

     Citraka is one of the most potent herbs used for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda and is commonly known as Ceylon lead wort. It is found through out India. The plant have hot potency (Ushna virya) and is used as a carminative and digestant. Dr. Varun Ram Raj of Ayurvedatarian uses the herb Citraka for the treatment of diseases caused by the vitiation of the doshas Vata and Kapha. The herb is used in conditions like Vitiligo, Skin ailments, Diarrhoea etc by Ayurvedatarian. Citraka contains Phytoconstituents like plumbagin, chitranone etc which aids in it’s irritant action.

General aspects and geography

Botanical name : Plumbago zeylanica     

Family :  Plumbaginaceae 

Habitat: South India

Parts used

  • Root and root bark 

Classical categorization based on Ayurveda textbooks

Charaka Samhita – Arsoghna varga (alleviates Haemorrhoids )

Susruta Samhita – Pippalyadi gana

Pharmacological action

  • Appetizer 
  • Digestant 
  • Irritant

Medicinal property according to Ayurveda

  • Dipana ( carminative )
  • Krimighna(Antimicrobial )
  • Kasahara(Reduces cough)
  • Jwaraghna (Reduces fever )

Therapeutic indications

  • Vitiligo (Switra ) – Citraka is mixed with honey ghee and ginger etc and is kept in a jar for 15 days. Internal administration of this can alleviate Vitiligo 
  • Diarrhoea (Atisara)- Habitual intake of Citraka with buttermilk prevents Diarrhoea 
  • Skin disease (Kushta)- Intake of powder of Citraka can alleviate Skin disorders.


Powder (Churna) – 1 g

Tablet - 2 tablets twice daily or as per the advice of the Ayurveda doctor 

Note: Ayurveda medications must be taken only after consulting an Ayurveda doctor. 


  • Citrakadi churna
  • Citraka haritaki
  • Citrakadi ghrtha 

Morphology :

Perennial herb with spreading and glabrous stem. Leaves are glabrous. Inflorescence is elongated spikes. Flowers are white in colour. Fruits are capsules.

Vernacular names 

English – Ceylon lead wort

Hindi- Chita

Malayalam – Vellakotuveri

Sanskrit – Citraka 


  • Dipaka
  • Vyala
  • Ushana

Rasapanchaka of Citraka

Rasa- Katu(Acrid)

Guna-  Ruksha (Dry)

Vipaka- Katu (Acrid)

Virya-  Ushna (hot)

चित्रकः कटुकः पाके वन्हिकृत्पाचनो लघुः  

रूक्षोष्णो ग्रहणी कुष्ठशोथार्शः कृमिकासनुत्

(Bhavaprakasa Nighantu -Haritakyadi varga-shloka 90)

Citraka is Vata Kapha alleviating because of it’s properties like acrid taste and hot potency. The herb is used to treat diseases caused by Vata and Kapha doshas like Haemorrhoids and Vitiligo etc. Ayurvedatarian lead by Dr. Varun Ram Raj, is currently conducting various researches based on ancient Ayurvedic textbooks, involving Citraka for preparing various combinations of medicines to alleviate conditions involving vitiation of Kapha and Vata. Reach Ayurvedatarian for better health management.

Frequently asked Questions

1)What are the uses of Citraka churna?

   Powder of Citraka is used effectively in reducing skin disorders.

2)What is the scientific name of Citraka?

Botanical name of Citraka is Plumbago zeylanica     


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