Botanical Name : ANDROGRAPHIS PANICULATA
Family Name : ACANTHACEAE
Common Name : CREAT, KARIYAT, INDIAN ECHINACEA
Parts used : Whole plant, leaves
Habitat : Cultivated throughout
Description : Andrographis paniculata grows erect to a height of 30–110 cm (12–43 in) in moist, shady places. The slender stem is dark green, squared in cross-section with longitudinal furrows and wings along the angles. The lance-shaped leaves have hairless blades measuring up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long by 2.5 cm (0.98 in). The small flowers are borne in spreading racemes. The fruit is a capsule around 2 cm (0.79 in) long and a few millimeters wide. It contains many yellow-brown seeds.
Uses : Andrographis has been found to be an effective anti-biotic, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and immune system stimulant. It is used in viral hepatitis, children’s bowel complaints, gastric acidity, liver congestion, flatulence. It is being increasingly used as treatment for colds. Reasonably good evidence tells us that it can reduce the severity of cold symptoms. It may also help prevent colds. Preliminary evidence suggests that it stimulates immunity, potentially making it useful for general immune support. Interestingly, the ingredient of andrographis used for standardization purposes, andrographolide, does not appear to affect the immune system as much as the whole plant extract. Preliminary studies in animals also suggest that andrographis may offer benefits for preventing heart disease. In addition, highly preliminary studies suggest that andrographis may help protect the liver from toxic injury, perhaps more successfully than the more famous liver-protective herb milk thistle.
Parts offered : Whole plant, leaves
Medicinal Properties :
- Antibacterial, Antifungal
- Bitter Tonic, Blood Purifying
- Improves Immutnity , Liver Protecting
- Andrographis paniculata (Kalmegh) is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature.
- It is used for the treatment of cancer and HIV.
- The regular use of Andrographis paniculata is helpful to cure cough, cold, sinusitis and body pain.
- Kalmegh is used as antibacterial, anti-parasitic and antifungal.
- It is used as a blood purifier and enhances immunity.
- It protects the liver and used as a Liver tonic.
- Traditionally, Andrographis paniculata is used in the treatment of leprosy and cholera.
- The tonic is used against weakness to add strength and vigour to the body.
- The extract of Kalmegh is used in the treatment of slow digestion, bowel irritation and irregular menstrual syndrome.
- It is used against various skin infection, scabies, boil and patches.
- The Kalmegh syrup is also used against fever and malaria.
- Andrographis paniculata is used against the respiratory infection.
- Kalmegh juice is used to cure ulcer traditionally.
- It has also been proved as anti-hepatoxic and anti-typhoid.
- Because of its bitterness, Andrographis paniculata is also used as an anti-diabetic herb.
- The bitter extract of the leaves is useful in killing worms in the stomach.
- The entire plant is very useful in the treatment of snake and scorpion bite.
- It is used against heart disease and reduces high blood sugar.
- The juice is antipyretic and also used to treat diarrhoea.
- The entire plant is helpful for the treatment of filarial, influenza and bronchitis.
- The plant is strongly avoided during pregnancy because of its anti-fertility property.
- The Chinese use this herb for the treatment of throat.
- Charaka Samhita quotes the plant in the treatment of jaundice.