• Name : Akarkara
  • English Name :Pellitory, Spanish Chamomile
  • Scientific Name :Anacyclus pyrethrum



Akarakarabha consists of dried roots of Anacyclus pyrethrum DC. (Fam. Asteraceae); an annual, hairy herb with numerous spreading prostrate or ascending branched stems.1


Morphology Description (Habit):

Roots tough, cylindrical, 7-15 cm in length, tapering slightly at both ends, with a few hairy rootlets and occasionally topped by bristly remains of leaves, external surface rough, brown, shrivelled, bark upto 3 mm thick, not easily separable, odour, slightly aromatic, taste, characteristically astringent and pungent, on chewing gives tingling sensation to tongue and lips and causes excessive flow of saliva.1


Parts Used:




Volatile oil and Alkaloid (Pyrethrin).


As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Pancharasa (Lavana Varjit) i.e. sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Heavy, rough and cold

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Sweet


Pharmacological Actions:

Akarkara is Tridoshahara; its primary pharmacological actions are summarized as under:


Central Nervous System:

i. Exhibits anticonvulsant and anti-epileptic activities. It and also showed protection against cognitive impairment by decreasing oxidative stress.2

ii. Exerts protective effect against seizures, seizure-induced oxidative stress and cognitive impairment.3

iii. Root extract might produce antidepressant effect by interaction with adrenergic and dopamine receptor thereby increasing the level of noradrenaline and dopamine in brain.4

iv. Improves cognitive process by enhancing memory via improvement in central cholinergic neurotransmission.5


Endocrinal System: 

i. Exhibits antidiabetic effect.6


Reproductive System: 

i. A. pyrethrum has androgenic potential and may improve male fertility by enhancing spermatogenesis.7

ii. Improves sexual potential in males.8

iii. Root aqueous extract of A. pyrethrum has been observed to increase the weights of body and sex organs, increase of sperm count of epididymis and right and left vas deferens, and reduction of percent of abnormal spermatozoids in treated rats.9



i. Essential oils from the aerial parts of Anacyclus pyrethrum L. showed activity against Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria strains. They represent an inexpensive source of natural antibacterial substances that may potentially be used in pathogenic systems.10

ii. Useful as an adaptogen and immunomodulator.11



Cognitive impairment


Epilepsy and seizures

Male infertility and impotency

Impaired immunity

General debility



1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Volume-2.

2. Pahuja M, Mehla J, Reeta KH, Tripathi M, Gupta YK. Effect of Anacyclus pyrethrum on pentylenetetrazole-induced kindling, spatial memory, oxidative stress and rho-kinase II expression in mice. Neurochem Res. 2013 Mar;38(3):547-56.

3. Pahuja M, Mehla J, Reeta KH, Joshi S, Gupta YK. Root extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum ameliorates seizures, seizure-induced oxidative stress and cognitive impairment in experimental animals. Epilepsy Res. 2012 Feb;98(2-3):157-65.

4. Badhe SR, Badhe RV, Ghaisas MM, Chopade VV, Deshpande AD. Evaluations of antidepressant activity of Anacyclus pyrethrum root extract. Int J Green Pharm. 2010; 4:79-82.

5. Sujith K, Darwin CR, Sathish, Suba V. Memory-enhancing activity of Anacyclus pyrethrum in albino Wistar rats. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 2012; 2(4): 307-311.

6. Tyagi S, Mansoori MH, Singh NK, et al. Antidiabetic Effect of Anacyclus pyrethrum DC in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats. European Journal of Biological Sciences 3 (4): 117-120, 2011.

7. Sharma V, Boonen J, Spiegeleer BD, Dixit VK. Androgenic and spermatogenic activity of alkylamide-rich ethanol solution extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum DC. Phytother Res. 2013 Jan;27(1):99-106.

8. Sharma V, Thakur M, Chauhan NS, Dixit VK. Effects of petroleum ether extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum DC. on sexual behavior in male rats. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2010 Aug;8(8):767-73.

9. Mohammad Reza Shahraki, Sarieh Shahraki , Mohammad Reza Arab , Mahnaz Shahrakipour. The Effects of Aqueous Extract of Anacyclus Pyrethrum on Sperm Count and Reproductive Organs in Adult Male Rats. Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. 2013.

10. Selles C, Dib ME, Djabou N, Beddou F, et al. Antimicrobial activity and evolution of the composition of essential oil from Algerian Anacyclus pyrethrum L. through the vegetative cycle. Nat Prod Res. 2013.

11. Sharma V, Thakur M, Chauhan NS, Dixit VK. Immunomodulatory activity of petroleum ether extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum. Pharm Biol. 2010 Nov;48(11):1247-54.


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