Citraka consists of dried mature root of Plumbago zeylanica Linn. (Fam. Plumbaginaceae) , a large perennial sub-scandent shrub.
Sanskrit : Agni, Vahni, Jvalanikhya, Krisinu, Huisa, Dahana, Hutabhuk, Sikhi
Assamese : Agiyachit, Agnachit
Bengali : Chita
English : Lead war
Gujrati : Chitrakmula
Hindi : Chira, Chitra
Kannada : Chitramula, Vahni, Bilichitramoola
Kashmiri : Chitra, Shatranja
Malayalam : Vellakeduveli, Thumpokkoduveli
Marathi : Chitraka
Oriya : Chitamula, Chitoparu
Punjabi : Chitra
Tamil : Chitramoolam, Kodiveli
Telugu : Chitramulam
Urdu : Sheetraj Hindi, Cheetah
Roots 30 cm or more in length, 6 mm or more in diameter as also as short stout pieces, including root stocks reddish to deep brown, scars of rootlets present, bark thin and brown, internal structure striated, odour, disagreeable, taste, acrid.
Transverse section of root shows outer most tissue of cork consisting of 5 -7 row, of cubical to rectangular dark brown cells, secondary cortex consists of 2-3 rows of thinwalled rectangular, light brown cells, most of the cortex cells contain starch grains, secondary cortex followed by a wide zone of cortex, composed of large polygonal to tangentially elongated parenchymatous cells varying in size and shape, containing starch grains and some cells with yellow contents, fibres scattered singly or in groups of 2-6, phloem a narrow zone of polygonal, thin-walled cells, consisting of usual elements and phloem fibres, similar to cortical zone, phloem fibres usually in groups of 2-5 or more but occasionally occurring singly, lignified with pointed ends and narrow lumen, similar in shape and size to those of secondary cortex, cambium indistinct, xylem light yellow to whitish, vessels radially arranged with pitted thickenings, medullary rays straight, 1-6 seriate, cells radially elongated starch filled with starch grains, stone cells absent.
CONSTITUENTS – Plumbagin.
PROPERTIES AND ACTION
Rasa : Katu
Guna : Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshna
Virya : Ushna
Vipaka : Katu
Karma : sothahara, Dipana, Grihi, Picana, Kaphavitahara, Arsohara, shulahara
IMPORTANT FORMULATIONS – Citrakidi Vati, Citrakaharitaki, Citrakidi Churna
THERAPEUTIC USES – Agnimindya, Grahani Roga, Arsa, Udara shula, Gudasotha
DOSE – 1-2 g of the drug in powder form.
Note – sodhana of this drug is to be done before use as described in the appendix