Kalijiri, also termed Bitter Cumin, is the seed obtained from the plant Centratherum Anthelminticum. Kalijiri seeds are traditionally utilized as an ingredient of numerous classical Ayurvedic formulations and are quite popular in combination with Ajwain and Methi for treating obesity and enhancing digestive health. Its powerful antibacterial property makes it useful for the treatment of several skin diseases which helps to reduce itching and skin irritation. Being a powerful blood purifier (correctly detoxifier), Kalijiri eliminates the toxins from the blood and curtails the incidence of different health conditions. Kali Jeeri offers an outstanding remedy for roundworms, tapeworms and threadworms. Although it boosts appetite, its bitter taste may induce nausea in some taste-sensitive people.

Kalijiri also stimulates blood circulation in the scalp and boosts hair growth. It helps to control the blood glucose level and keeps sugar in check. It is also useful for people with postprandial hyperglycemia.

The antioxidants present in Kalijiri also speed up wound healing by quickening wound contraction. According to Ayurveda, applying a paste of Kalijiri seeds along with neem or coconut oil assists in early wound healing owing to its Kashaya (astringent) property.

The seeds of this plant are also highly significant for alleviating respiratory problems like asthma, cough, cold etc due to the presence of bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory traits. It is also beneficial in the case of vitiligo due to its potential to promote melanin synthesis.

Kalijiri Plant Description

Kalijiri which goes by the botanical name Centratherum Anthelminticum belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is a tall, branched, glandular-pubescent, annual plant attaining a height of 2-3 feet. The leaves of this plant are membranous, lanceolate, coarsely serrated, and coated with hairs. There are multiple inflorescences which occur in clusters and subcorymbos. The flower head bears 30-40 minute purplish flowers. Fruits of the plant are termed schemes. Each fruit encloses seeds which are blackish-brown to black and tastes bitter. The plant usually bears seeds from May to June.

Geographical Distribution And Habitat

Kalijiri is found growing throughout India at an altitude of up to 1850 meters. It is native to the Himalayas and Khasi hills and is primarily cultivated for medicinal purposes.

Kalijiri Synonyms

Latin:  Centratherum Anthelminticum

English:  Purple Flebane

Hindi :  Kali Jeeri, Kalijiri, Karbi Jiri, Karba Jeera, Kaali Jeeri, Soharaai, Bakshi, Bakchi, and Buckshi

Tamil:  Kattuchirakam, Chittilai and Kattu chirakam

Malayalam:   Karun Jiragram

Telugu:  Adavijilakaroa, Garetikamma

Gujarati:   Kaaleejeeree, Kadavijiri, Kadvo-Jviri

Sanskrit:  Aryana Jeerak, Tikta Jeerak, Vrihatpali, Kalijeeri, Somaraji, Vanya Jeerak

Bengali:  Somaraaj, Babchi

Punjabi:  Bukoki, Kakshama, Kala-Zira, Kali-Ziri, Malwabakchi, Malwabakshi

Kannada:  Kari Jirige

Pharmacological Composition of Kalijiri

Kalijiri is mainly comprised of numerous glycosides, carbohydrates, phenolic compounds and sterols. The seeds of this plant contain fixed oil (18%), volatile oil (0.02%) and flavonoids that are known to regulate the neuropharmacological plant activity.

Medicinal Properties Of Kalijiri

Kalijiri is bestowed with the following powerful medicinal properties:

  • Anthelmintic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-hyperglycemic
  • Anti-ulcer
  • Emetic
  • Purgative
  • Blood purifier (accurately detoxifier)
  • Stomachic
  • Diuretic

Ayurvedic Indications

Ayurveda, the holistic science of conventional remedies has extensively mentioned the use of Kalijiri since ancient times in several ayurvedic scriptures and texts of Charaka Samhita, Sarangadhar Samhita, Raj Nighantu and Susruta Samhita. It is especially prescribed for the following health aberrations:

  • Amahara (treats indigestion)
  • Anaha ( treats bloating)
  • Deepana ( enhances stomach fire)
  • Pachana ( helps in digestion)
  • Rochana (stimulates appetite)
  • Prameha (manages diabetes)
  • Trutahara (relieves excessive thirst), Mehahara ( treats urinary tract disorder)
  • Ashmari ( treats urinary calculi)
  • Vibandha ( treats constipation)
  • Shoola ( treats abdominal colic)
  • Mutrakrichra ( treats dysuria)
  • Dahahara (tears burning sensation)
  • Mutraghata ( treats urinary obstruction)
  • Vajikaran ( improves libido)
  • Gulmajit ( treats abdominal tumours)
  • Udara ( treats ascites)
  • Arsha (treats haemorrhoids)
  • Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body)
  • Balya (improves strength)
  • Kustha (treats skin disorders)
  • Krimihara (relieves intestinal worms)
  • Jantujit (treats worm infestation)
  • Krichra (treats painful micturition)
  • Pushtida (gives nutrition)
  • Varnya (improves complexion)
  • Vayasthapana (prevents ageing)

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Health Benefits Of Kalijiri

Alleviates Digestive Anomalies

Agnimandya a.k.a Indigestion in medical terminology mainly occurs due to worsened Pitta doshas within the body and portrays a state of an incomplete process of digestion. Being a strong digestive herb, Kalijiri actively helps in dealing with a wide range of gastrointestinal anomalies as well, like Gerd or gastroesophageal reflux disease, constipation, heartburn, flatulence, peptic ulcer, and stomach pain. Thanks to its influential carminative nature, prescribed usage of Kalijiri extensively helps in detonating the food particles in the stomach and intestine. This action stimulates the production of digestive juices and thereby enhances the absorption of essential nutrients in the body cells. It also assists in eliminating abdominal gas and in turn, curtails bloating, abdominal distension and gaseous cramps. Additionally, by enhancing digestion, it improves body metabolism and helps in shedding excess weight.

Also Read: Indigestion: Best Home Remedies To Treat Your Stomach Woes Naturally

Remedies Constipation

Ayurveda, a centuries-old alternative practice strongly suggests the use of this herb in the treatment of constipation. It vigorously boosts the secretion of bile by the liver, which in turn, works on the peristalsis movement of the intestines and liver, thereby facilitating the smooth passage of faecal matter and wastes from the large intestine. It also plays a crucial role in lessening mucous and excess fat content in the stools and thwarting them from sticking to the intestinal walls and thereby allowing easy movement of faecal matter out of the body.

Also Check out: 5 Best Ayurvedic Remedies To Treat Constipation – Infographic

Regulates Diabetes

Diabetes a.k.a Madhumeha in Ayurveda is an excellent herb for managing high sugar levels by improving the metabolism owing to its Tikta (bitter) and Kashaya (astringent) disposition and Kapha-Pitta balancing doshas. The wonderful anti-glycemic nature of the herb holds high significance in ameliorating the blood sugar levels of the body. This herb readily activates the pancreas and stimulates the secretion of a balanced amount of Insulin and also regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates. This action helps the extra glucose dispersed in the blood to get converted into glycogen which in turn averts sudden spikes in the blood sugar level. It is a beneficial ayurvedic herb that assists diabetic patients to maintain control over their blood glucose levels in the blood naturally.

Also Read: Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Augments Skin Health

Empowered with dominant antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory traits, Ayurveda acknowledges Kalijiri as a well-known one-step remedy for various skin conditions. Owing to its Rakta sodhaka properties, Kalijiri extensively helps in removing toxins from the blood, and assists in dealing with a plethora of skin infections as well.

Kalijiri imbued with antibacterial and Shothahara (anti-inflammatory)   qualities helps to curb and manage acne or pimples. Both acne and pimples occur due to the aggravation of Kapha doshas. Kalijiri actively reduces the production of sebum and clears clogged pores that result in the formation of both white and blackheads.

Additionally, its Shodhana (detoxification) property plays a key role in shielding the skin from oxidative radical damage due to harmful UVA and UVB rays. It also effectively diminishes the risk of various signs of ageing like wrinkles, blemishes, spots, fine lines, and dark circles. It also demonstrates promising results in dealing with allergic conditions like psoriasis, scabies, eczema and many more.

Also Read: Ayurveda For Acne: Soothing Natural Remedies To Treat Pimples And Attain Clear Skin

Uplifts Respiratory Health

Intermittent coughs and congested throat can cause a lot of distress and hinder a peaceful good night’s sleep while making you feel exhausted and weary. Being rich in anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and expectorant qualities, Kalijiri holds high importance in treating the common cold, sore throat, cough and flu symptoms. It also curtails chest and nasal congestion gets rid of excess phlegm particles and ends nasal discharge. It is also highly beneficial in treating asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and other respiratory illnesses.

Asthma a.k.a Swasha Roga in Ayurveda usually manifests due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha doshas. The deranged ‘Vata’ combines with the aggravated ‘Kapha dosha’ in the lungs obstructing the respiratory passages. This results in coughing, gasping for air and struggling to breathe. Kalijiri helps treat asthma due to its Vata-Kapha normalizing and Ushna (hot) properties. It also helps to get rid of the obstruction in the lungs and ease breathing.

Take 1-3 gm of this Kalijiri seed powder, along with a teaspoon of honey in case of productive cough and clarified butter or ghee in case of dry cough.

Alleviates Urinary Disorders

A urinary tract infection (UTI), demonstrated as Mutrakrichha in Ayurveda is a type of disorder where ‘Mutra’ stands for ‘ooze’ and ‘krichra’ implies ‘pain’. Thus, medically dysuria and painful urination symbolize Mutrakriccha. This condition may affect any part of the urinary system; right from the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, to the urethra. Kalijiri endowed with dominant anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties is one of the most useful Ayurvedic medicines proposed for urinary disorders.  In case of urinary tract infection, Kalijiri wanes the symptoms of UTI, like a burning sensation during urination due to its Pitta normalising property.

It also furnishes a strong remedy for treating urinary disorders like urinary incontinence, painful micturition, and burning sensation while urinating. It boosts the production of urine by shattering the stones in the urinary tract and thus provides relief from painful urination. Being a diuretic or Mutral herb, Kalijiri also remedies dysuria. The plethora of anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties treat different types of urinary infections extensively.

Treats Wounds And Ulcers

The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving characteristics of Kalijiri play a pivotal role in treating different types of ulcers like ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcer, canker sores or mouth ulcers, etc. The bioactive components in the herb improve tissue regeneration, promote wound healing and sometimes even help in gradually fading the scar tissue.

Improves Breast Milk Production

Prized as a powerful galactagogue, Kalijiri holds high significance for lactating women to improve the secretion of milk from the mammary glands. This is incredibly beneficial towards the young ones since breast milk is excellent for their nourishment and bolsters their immune system. It not only rejuvenates the new mom after childbirth but also helps in promoting the production of breastmilk for feeding the newborn.

Cures Worm Infestation

Worms, a.k.a Krimi in Ayurveda mainly arise in the stomach and intestines due to low Agni or Mandagni (weak digestive fire). This low digestive fire generates a favourable environment in the stomach for the development and multiplication of worms and parasites. Kalijiri acquiring powerful Krimighna (anti-worms) action assists in the treatment and management of worm infestation and destroying parasites and worms including threadworms, roundworms, pinworms etc.

Also Read: Parasitic Infections Can Affect Kids With Weaker Immunity

Remedies Fever

Infused with potent analgesic, antipyretic and temperature-reducing traits, this incredible Kapha pacifying herb is used effectively in dealing with different types of fever. It not only lessens the body temperature and remedies intermittent and high fever but is also highly significant against fever due to the common cold, flu and influenza.

Ayurvedic Properties Of Kalijiri

Rasa (Taste):       Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)

Anu Rasa (After Taste):        Kasaya (Astringent)

Guna (Main Quality):            Laghu (Light), Tikshna (Sharp)

Virya (Potency):           Ushna (Hot)

Vipaka (Resultant Taste After Digestion):      Katu (Pungent)

Prabhava (Action):      Detoxifier

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Effects on Doshas

Kalijiri mainly pacifies aggravated Kapha (earth and water) and Vata (air) doshas. According to its Ayurvedic properties, Kalijiri should not be consumed in conditions with Pitta aggravation. Owing to its fundamental properties and doshas, Kalijiri has a positive impact on the selective Dhatus (i.e., body tissues) which are Rasa (i.e., Plasma), Rakta (i.e., Blood) and Medas (i.e., adipose tissue ) and mainly has a positive impact on the intestine, liver, kidneys and pancreas. However, it is mainly indicated for skin woes.

Also Read: Introduction To Ayurveda: Learn About Vata, Pitta And Kapha Doshas

Kalijiri Dosage

The ultimate remedial dosage of this herb may fluctuate from one person to another depending upon their age, stringency of the disease, and health condition of the patient. Ensure you talk to an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner, as he or she will cross-examine the manifestations of the disease and prescribe the exact dosage.

Adults: 500 to 2 grams, along with warm water, once or twice a day, preferably after meals or as directed by the treating doctor

Kalijiri Side Effects

Blessed with potent bioactive components, this traditional herb displays no recorded side effects when used in the correct dosage. However, if taken for long periods without medical supervision, it may lead to nausea, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps. Excessive dosage may also lead to allergic reactions like skin rashes, tongue swelling, redness around the lips, colicky pain in the abdomen, tingling mouth and watery eyes.


Owing to its laxative action, Kalijiri may cause diarrhoea and incite uterine contractions leading to a miscarriage or preterm delivery. Additionally, being warm, Kalijiri is suitable for pregnant women. Hence it is suggested that pregnant women should avert from using this herb. However, owing to its galactagogue action, Kalijiri can be consumed during the lactation period to stimulate the production of breast milk.  But it is strictly suggested that breastfeeding mothers should only use it in the prescribed dosage after getting approval from the lactation specialist or treating doctor.


Kalijiri is an extraordinary Rakta shodhaka herb that has tremendous regenerative and detoxifying qualities. Imbued with the goodness of the essential bioactive components and the legion of medicinal properties, it is extensively used for the treatment and management of son diseases, respiratory troubles, urinary tract infections, low milk supply, diabetes and many more. Consume it in prescribed doses to bathe in the numerous benefits and steer clear of alter indications.