Rhythm Of Nature

Cheroola – Mountain Knot Grass – Important Details & Uses

Cheroola is a small herb that grows natively in India and belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. Its common name in English is Mountain Knot Grass, while in Hindi, its name is Gorakshaganja.

Cheroola or Mountain Knot Grass - Aerva lanata
Cheroola – Aerva lanata

As a common plant all over Kerala, it spreads even in lawns and backyards. So it is often considered a weed. However, this small herb has certain medicinal values.

Scientific Name: Aerva lanata

Appearance

If it grows erect, this perennial plant can reach up to half a meter in height. Sometimes it lays flat on the ground, spreading in a random fashion, the stems stretching more than 2 meters long irregularly.

Dasapushpa - Cheroola - photo from Kottayam, Kerala
Cheroola – photo from Kottayam, Kerala

Flowers

The flowers are too tiny with whitish green colors. These emerge from the stem near the leaf axils and grow as dense clusters. The round-shaped fruit is also green in color which contains one seed.

Flowers of Cheroola (Aerva lanata)
Flowers of Cheroola – a close-up

The leaves are nearly oval in shape with tiny white hairs all over.

Cheroola Plant - Gorakshaganja - Aerva lanata
Nearly oval shaped leaves of Aerva lanata

Distribution

The plant is native in the Indian subcontinent including in Sri Lanka. It is also found in parts of Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Usually considered as a weed since it grows widely in the fields and open areas.

It grows very well in the plains having a tropical climate.

Medicinal values

  • The leaves, or sometimes the whole plant is used to create a decoction – a type of medicine according to Ayurveda by boiling the herb.
  • Aerva lanata is said to have diuretic properties. It is an effective medicine used in Ayurveda to dissolve kidney and bladder stones and to clear the urinary tract [ref1].
  • Cheroola may help to cure parasitic and worm infections in the intestine.
  • It may be effective in curing headaches

Disclaimer: These are only general information, not medical advice.

Aerva lanata has long stems

Other Uses

  • In many parts of India, there is a belief that Aerva lanata helps to keep evil forces away.
  • In Kerala, this plant is important for conducting funeral rituals among Hindus.

Cheroola is also one among the Dasapushpas (the ten flowers).

Common Names in Different Languages

Sanskrit: Bhadrika, Kurandaka, Gorakshaganja
Hindi & Bengali: Chaya
Tamil: Poolai
Telungu: Pindichettu
English: Mountain Knot Grass

Other names in malayalam: Alila Kalloorvanchi, Balipoo

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