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Chukra (Rumex vesicarius) 


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Chukra- Rumex vesicarius is an Ayurvedic herb used for the treatment of constipation, diseases of the liver, scorpion bite, snake bite, piles and vomiting.

Latin name- Rumex vesicarius Linn.
Family- Polygonaceae

Names in different languages:
English name – Bladder dock, Sorrel, Bubble dock, Rosy Dock,

Hindi  name  – Ambari, Chuka, Chukekasak
Kannada name- Chukka
Arabic name – Hamaz, Humarbostani, Humbijit
Assamese name – Sukhasag
Bengali name – Chak, Chuk, Chukapalang
Bombay         – Chuka
Burmese name – Kalakhenbour
Deccan name – Ambari, Chukka
Malayalam name – Chokkancheera
Persian name            – Tursak, Turshah, Turshunuk
Punjabi name – Kattamitha, Khatbiri, Saluni
Tamil  name  – Chukka
Telugu name   – Chukka kura

Classical categorization:
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Shakha varga & Hareethakyadi varga
Priya Nighantu – Hareethakyadi varga
Nighantu Adarsha – Chukrikadi varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadha varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Amradi Varga

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex L.



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Amla, Amlabhedaka, Sinchamla, Shuktika, Sahasravedhi, Amlantaki, Rajamla, Rasamla, Vetamla, Viramla- All these names indicate the sour nature of the plant

Bhedana, Gulmaha, Beeta, Shukta, Chanda,

Morphology of Rumex vesicarius:
Chukra is a plant growing to a height of 15-3 cm. It is found in most parts of India in a state of cultivation or as a garden escape. It occurs in western Punjab, salt range and Trans-Indus hills. It grows especially in hilly areas and Himalayan zone.

Medicinal properties of Bladder dock:
Rasa (Taste) – Amla (Sour), Madhura (Sweet)

Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion)
Vipaka – Amla (Undergoes sour taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
Karma (Actions) – Vata shamaka (reduces vata dosha), Kapha pitta vardaka (Increases kapha and pitta dosha)

Part used- Whole plant, Seed

Fresh juice- 10 to 20 ml

Powder- 2 to 3 g

Chemical composition:
Fresh and green herb contains 92% water content dried plant contain either extract 4.62%, albuminoid 16.27%, carbohydrate 57.86%, woody part 10.50% and alkaline 10.75%. Root contains Rumicin and lapathin. It also contains an anthraquinone glucoside, aminoacids, vitamins, cystine, glutamic acid, histidine etc.

Uses of Chukra:

Uses of Chukra as per Ayurveda: 
Pittakrut – Increases Pitta Dosha
Rakrakrut – can increase bleading disorders
Vatashamana – Balances Vata Dosha
Bastishuddhikara – cleanses and detoxifies kidneys and bladder
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Pachana – Digestive, relieves Ama Dosha
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation

Indicated in – 
Shoola – abdominal colic pain
Gulma – Tumors of the abdomen
Vibandha – constipation
Amavata – rheumatoid arthritis
Vami – vomiting
Trushna – excessive thirst
Asyavairasya – bad berath
Hrutpeeda – Cardiac pain
Vahnimandya – low digestion strength

Pharmacological action:
Laxative, stomachic. It is useful in tumours, constipation, alcoholism, diseases of spleen, hiccough, flatulence, asthma, bronchitis, dyspepsia, vomiting & piles.

Adverse effects: There are no known adverse effects of the herb Chukra
It is best to avoid this in high Pitta disorders such as diseases associated with excess bleeding.
Because it acts as laxative, it is not suitable for people with diarrhea.

Ayurvedic medicines containing Chukra:
Marma gulika: Marma Gulika is a tablet, used in Ayurvedic treatment of diseases of Marma places – vital organs, means, diseases related to heart, brain, urinary system etc. It is also used to treat external injury to vital organs of the body.

Research articles related to Rumex vesicarius:
Hepato protective action: To evaluate the hepatoprotective potential and in vitro cytotoxicity studies of whole plant methanol extract of Rumex vesicarius L. Methanol extract at a dose of 100 mg/kg bw and 200 mg/kg bw were assessed for its hepato- protective potential against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity by monitoring activity levels of SGOT (Serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase), SGPT (Serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase), ALP (Alkaline phosphatase), TP (Total protein), TB (Total bilirubin) and SOD (Superoxide dismutase), CAT (Catalase), MDA (Malondialdehyde). Pretreatment of animals with whole plant methanol extracts of Rumex vesicarius L. significantly reduced the liver damage and the symptoms of liver injury by restoration of architecture of liver. The biochemical parameters in serum also improved in treated groups compared to the control and standard (silymarin) groups. Histo pathological investigation further corroborated these biochemical observations.

Anti- bacterial action:The main aim of this research work is to evaluate antibacterial and antioxidant activities of different plant parts of Rumex vesicarius L. The pattern of inhibition, activity index and proportion  index  showed  highly  significant  variations  according  to  variations  of  solvents  used  for  extraction. Ether  extract  of  roots  was  found  to  be  the  most  effective  against  Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus  and  Streptococcus pyogenes (inhibition zones=26.500, 22.000, 41.5000 and 21.500 mm respectively), methanol extract of roots was found to be the most  effective  against  Streptococcus pneumoniae  (inhibition zone  =18.000 mm) and ethanol extract  of  flowers was  found  to  be  most effective  one  against Escherichia coli (inhibition zone =15.875 mm).

Anti- diabetic activity: The main objective of this work is to evaluate the in vivo anti diabetic activity of ethanolic extract of Rumex vesicarius in the streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Single intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg body weight) was used for induction of diabetes in albino rats. The statistical data indicated that the different dose of Rumex vesicarius significantly decreases the level of blood glucose in streptozotocin induced rats. This result indicated that Rumex vesicarius can protect pancreatic βcells from streptozotocin induced damage which is confirmed by the results of histo pathological examination of pancreas.

Anti- cancer action: The goal of the current study was to explore the potent role of Rumex vesicarius extract against Hepato Cellular Carcinoma (HCC) induced in rats. The results of the current study showed that the treatment of the HCC group with R. vesicarius extract reversed the significant increase in liver enzymes activity, CEA, AFP, AFU, glypican 3, golgi 73 and VEGF levels in serum as compared to HCC-untreated counterparts. In addition, the favorable impact of R. vesicarius treatment was evidenced by the marked improvement in the histo pathological features of the liver of the treated group.


Textual reference:
Susruta quoted chukra, but not cukrika and chukrika. In caraka samhita chikitsa 24/150 [ C.S.Ci 24/ 150] and A.H. Ci. 7/31 both cukrika and chukrika are mentioned together. They may be Rumex vesicarius linn and R.acetosella linn respectively.