Achyranthes aspera is commonly known as prickly chaff flower. The flowering plant belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and in India, where it grows natively, it is locally known as Apang. The plant is used in traditional medicine for a number of ailments including fevers and infections, and for these treatments the stem, leaves and flowers of the plant can be used. Evidence suggests that extracts of Achyranthes aspera may be useful in the treatment of mood disorders. Researchers have investigated possible mood elevating effects of Achyranthes aspera with animals models. In one such study, researchers administered Achyranthes aspera extract to mice and then exposed them to experimental stress. The results of the study showed that the Achyranthes aspera extract provided significant anxiolytic effects and the behaviour of the mice was changed as a result of the extracts. The authors suggested that alkaloids, sterols and terpenes may be responsible for some or all of the anxiolytic effects.
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