Chirata is an annual herb 30-80 cm. high; leaves lanceolate acute; flowers greenish- purple. It is naturally found in temperate to sub-alpine Himalayan areas from J&K, H.P., U. P. to Arunachal Pradesh on slopes between 1800-3600 m. altitude.
Swertia chirayita (Gentianaceae), a popular medicinal herb indigenous to the temperate Himalayas is used in traditional medicine to treat numerous ailments such as liver disorders, malaria, and diabetes and are reported to have a wide spectrum of pharmacological properties.
Morphological characteristics. Chirayata is an erect, annual, branched herb, up to 1.5 m high. Stem is robust and cylindrical below, but four-angled upwards. Leaves are broadly lanceolate, opposite, sessile, about 10 cm long, acute at tip, and five nerved.
Chirata is an herb. People use the parts that grow above the ground and the root to make medicine. Some people take chirata by mouth for fever, constipation, upset stomach, loss of appetite, intestinal worms, skin diseases, liverinflammation, stomachinflammation, and cancer.