Mamejawa – Enicostemma axillare (littorale)

Enicostemma littorale (syn. Enicostemma axillare) / Mamajjakah / Nagajivha / Katvinayi / Chota chirayata / Indian Whitehead is an erect or procumbent perennial herb from the Gentianaceae family of 5-30 cm tall, simple or branched at the base, with 4-angled stems. This plant is characterized by the presence of many flowered axillary clusters around the stem.

Enicostemma axillare is the  herb known to have antiinflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anticancer and hypoglycaemic properties. This bitter herb acts as a laxative, helps in curing fever, rheumatism, skin diseases, abdominal disorders, snake bite, obesity and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Mamejawa contains a number of active phytoconstituent but out of them, Swertiamarin is major one. At present this drug is an important ingredient in most Ayurvedic medicines used for diabetes, obesity, skin diseases, stomach ailments, worm infections, fever and poisoning. Enicostemma is a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, silica, chloride, phosphate, sulfate, and vitamins (B and C).


  • Roots and leaves are used to treat several ailments such as skin diseases, malaria, diabetes, leprosy etc.
  • In India, it is used as bitter tonic, stomachic and carminative to lower fever and also a tonic for loss of appetite.
  • It is used for treating type 2 diabetes as it has a crucial role in lowering blood glucose and promotes serum insulin level and improves kidney functions and lipid profile.
  • It is used to treat tooth decay, fever, obesity, rheumatism, skin diseases, snake bite, abdominal disorders and regulation of blood sugar levels.


  • Antifungal and antimicrobial
  • Antinociceptive (i.e. pain reliever)
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory agent
  • Antiulcer
  • Antineoplastic
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Antihyperlipidemic
  • Hypoglycemic

Cautions: A medicinal phytocomponent derived from E. littorale has been found to be effective and free from any side effects. However, you should consult your doctor before taking any medicine with Enicostemma Axillare.