Medicinal plant Red Leadwort uses, health benefits and side effects

Red Leadwort: This perennial herbaceous flowering shrub is sub-scandent with spirally arranged leaves. The leaves are 0.5-12 cm long with a tapered base. The margin is hairy. It grows up to a height of 0.5-2 metres. It bears red, pink, purple, blue, or white flowers.

red leadwort medicinal uses

The flowers have a tubular corolla with five petal-like lobes. They are produced in racemes. The underside of the leaves produces a white chalk-like exudate that many gardeners confuse with powdery mildew. The flowers are produced in clusters on a stalk 10-30 cm long. The flowering occurs in September to November period. The fruit is long and slender. The roots are shaped like fingers.

Common name

The common names for this plant are Chitrak, Rakt Chitrak, Red Leadwort, and Lal Cheeta.

Botanical name or Family

The botanical name is Plumbago Indica. It belongs to Plumbaginaceae family.

Geographical areas where Red Leadwort plant grows

This plant grows in the warm temperate to tropical regions of the world. You find it in the Philippines, Arabian Peninsula, Myanmar, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. In India, you will find it Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Gujrat, Odisha, Bihar, and Manipur.

red leadwort flowers

Medicinal uses of Red Leadwort for curing diseases

The Red Leadwort can be used in oil or paste form. You can also use the powder of the dried parts of the root and bark. People use it to cure body aches.

  • Treat elephantiasis: This is effective in keeping control of elephantiasis due to the anti-filarial property of the herb. The anti-bacterial property of the Red Leadwort helps destroy the parasitic worms. You need to continue the treatment for at least two weeks to feel the improvement.
  • Cure fevers and bring the body temperature down: Mix the powder of the root in boiling water. Cool and have it twice a day. The antipyretic property of the cheetah helps to control the fever and bring the temperature down.
  • Get relief from diarrhea: Powder 1-2 grams of the root and have it with buttermilk, thrice. This should keep your diarrhea under control.
  • Helps cure liver related problems: Mix the powder in a glass of water or milk and have it twice daily. This will help cure the liver problems since the Red Leadwort removes the toxins from the body.
  • Oil cures skin ailments: Massage the oil of Red Leadwort on the affected parts of the skin. Do this twice every day. You will see improvement within a week.
  • Helps control inflammation: The herb has strong anti-inflammatory properties. To control inflammation, use the paste of the roots or bark of the plant on the affected parts. Do this twice a day, and soon the inflammation will come down.

    Red Leadwort root
  • Used to treat rheumatoid arthritis: People with rheumatoid arthritis will benefit by using this herb. Apply the paste to the affected parts, and you will observe an improvement in the symptoms.
  • Use it to cure erectile dysfunction: People with erectile dysfunction can use the powder in milk and honey thrice daily to get improvement. This herb is hot and will increase the metabolic rate and augment the body strength.
  • Remedy for scorpion stings: Apply the paste to the sting and cover lightly with a soft cloth. You should see an improvement within the hour.
  • Root has a use for its anticancer activities: Due to its antioxidant nature, the herb finds a use for preventing and treating cancer. The antioxidants in the herb fight against the free radicals and control the spread of the disease.
  • Some people use it to abort illegal pregnancies: The herb is hot and stimulates the womb to premature birth. This will get rid of unwanted pregnancies.
  • Treatment for buboes and glandular swelling: Bubo is a swelling of the lymph node. This is found in many diseases such as syphilis, tuberculosis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Use the paste of the root on the affected area. You will see improvements within two to three weeks.
  • Treat Syphilis: It is possible to treat sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis using the herb. This is due to the strong anti-microbial action shown by the herb. Take the decoction of the root twice a day until you have better health.
  • Helps control leucoderma: In leucoderma, you observe loss of pigmentation of the skin. The reason for the incidence of such a condition may be due to inflammatory conditions, burns, and others. But, the problem is not serious as it not contagious. Use of the paste on the affected parts will improve the symptoms considerably.
  • Paralysis treatment: To get relief from paralysis, just massage the herb daily on the hands and legs. You can use the oil of the herb for the massage. You will see results in one or two months.
  • Cure coughs and cold: The herb helps fight infections and keep coughs and colds in control. Take the 1 tablespoon of the decoction prepared with the root and mix with 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add two teaspoons of pepper and one teaspoon of ginger juice. Have this twice a day until the symptoms vanish.
  • Cures menstrual disturbances and regularizes it: When women have disturbances to the menstrual period, the Red Leadwort decoction will help to regularize it. Take the powder in water and bring to boil. Add 200 grams of wild yam. Now take dong quai and black haw and add it to the mixture. People who have breast cancer should avoid using the black haw as it will produce allergic reactions. Drink this juice twice a day. You will see the results within the month.
  • Cures scabies and dermatitis: For this, you use the specially prepared oil using Red Leadwort. Add the root of the herb with Sarpagandha and fry it in mustard oil. Alternatively, you can use the paste to apply on the affected areas.
  • Get a cure for piles: To cure the problem of piles, one must powder the root. Take 2-3 grams of this powder and mix it with buttermilk. Have this mixture thrice every day until you get relief from the problem.

Taken in normal doses, the Red Leadwort is nontoxic. It is an expectorant and tones up the urinary tract. Stop taking medicine if you see any adverse effects.


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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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