Kalamegha (Andrographis paniculata)
Kalamegha – Andrographis paniculata
Kalamegha commonly known as “The creat” or “green chireta” is an annual subshrub found throughout the Indian sub-continent and Africa. Kalamegha means “Dark cloud”- the blackish tinge on the leaf added the name Kalamegha. It is also called as “Neem of Land” because of its extreme bitter taste.
Kalamegh is scientifically known as Andrographis paniculata. The chemical constituents present in the plant have excellent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. This plant is having inhibitory effects on inflammatory mediators and helps in arresting inflammation.The whole plant is used for the treatment of certain skin allergic conditions. Dr. Gupta’s IAFA have included Kalamegha in different skin allergy related products. Ayurveda considers Kalamegha as a special herb in the treatment purposes of allergy, skin infection related to virus, inflammation and liver disorders. Kalamegha is one of the most popular medicinal plants used traditionally for the treatment of vast number of diseases such as cancer, HPV, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, ulcer, skin ailments, dyspnea, flatulence, intestinal colic, influenza, dysentery, dyspepsia and malaria for centuries. It possesses several photochemical constituents with unique and interesting biological properties.
Kalamegha is also an active herb in the modern scientific researches.The hepatocurative silver nano particles are synthesized rapidly using Andrographis paniculata. These silver nano particles are responsible for the hepato curative action of Kalamegha. The anti-diabetic property is Andrographis paniculata is due to the chloroform fraction of ethanol extract of these drugs. The anti diabetic screening fraction of Kalamegha at molecular level revealed significant anti diabetic activities. The diterpene lactone called Andrographolide present in Kalamegha displays anti-HIV activities in vitro. Various studies have been conducted on this and those results suggest that andrographolide derivatives can be used for prevention of HIV infection and soon or later as an immune-modulator action against new coronavirus CoVid19 or SARS-CoV-2.
Importance of Kalamegha In Allergies
One of the most significant property of the plant Kalamegha is it’s effects towards allergic conditions. The unique phytoconstituents present in this plant is responsible for the alleviation of allergic conditions. The leaves of Andrographis paniculata found to have anti-inflammatory effects. Results revealed that it exhibited inhibitory effect on all the inflammatory mediators excluding PGE2 and TNF alpha. By inhibiting all other inflammatory mediators the plant helps to stop the inflammation to a certain level. Various studies confirm that the plant as a whole can be used for treatment of such diseases in both modern and ayurvedic treatment purposes.
Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification
|Botanical name||Andrographis paniculata|
|Family||Acanthaceae (Vasa Kula)|
|Hindi name||Kalamegha, Kalpanath|
|English name||The creat|
|Gujarati name||Kariyathu, Litu Kariyat|
Phytomorphology of Kalamegha Andrographis paniculata
Andrographis paniculata is an annual herbaceous plant growing to a height of 1-4 feet having hairy soft dark green stem. The leaves are hairless with sharp and pointed narrow end. Flowers are unbranched, pinkish and small with indeterminate type of inflorescence. Brown yellowish seeds are present in capsule shaped fruit.
Habitat of Kalamegha Andrographis paniculata
Kalamegha crowned as “King of Bitter” in Ayurveda, native to India, Srilanka and tropical part Asian countries. Kalmegha due to its wild habitat nature found along the roadside waste land, plains and hill sides up to 550 meter in all provinces of India. The Andrographis paniculata is widely cultivated also to overcome the demand of ayurvedic medicine manufactures in India.
Chemical constituents of Kalamegha Andrographis paniculata
A plant of kalamega if extracted contains a bicyclic diterpenoid lactones constituent named as andrographolide. Some other known lactones are Andrographine, Andrographolide, Neoandrographolide, Panicoline, Root, Paniculide-A, Paniculide-B, Paniculide-C,
Ayurvedic Reference of Kalamegha Andrographis paniculata
Parts Used of Kalamegha Andrographis paniculata
Kalamegha whole plant is having medicinal properties and used mainly as an internal medication for oral intake.
Preparation and dosage of Kalamegha- Andrographis paniculata
- Powder (choornam) – 1-3 gm per day
- Juices (swaras)–10-20 ml two times a day
- Decoction (Kwath)– 30ml two times a day
Medicinal Properties and Uses of Kalamegha- Andrographis paniculata
- Antiviral: Flu, Common Cold, HPV infection and CoVid19
- Throat: Sore Throat, Tonsillitis, Laryngitis, Pharyngitis and Oral lichen planus.
- In chest and nasal allergies- Rhinitis, Sinusitis, Bronchitis and Pneumonia
- Food allergy: Immune-modulator, anti-colic, stops diarrhea and laxative also
- Skin allergy: Eczema, Lichen Planus, Herpes, HPV and Diabetic ulcers
- Cardio-protective: Antithrombotic and Antihypertensive
- Cancer: Anti-tumor
Home Remedies of Kalamegha- Andrographis paniculata
- Kalamegha in malaria – Kalamegha leaf juice along with Maricha (Piper nigrum) is given to patient in powder form internally in case of malaria.
- Kalamegha in inflammation – The leaves of Kalamegha have anti inflammatory properties and are used in inflammation. The extracts collected by squeezing the leaves are used internally to reduce mild inflammatory changes happened due to sports injuries. 50 to 100 leaves are used to take the juice for attaining the best results.
- In Skin allergy conditions – The leaves along with Haridra (curcuma longa) is mixed with water and applied over the skin
- In fever – The leaves and stem bark are collected and made into decoction and it cures fever. Two fistful of leaves can be prepared to 200 ml of water to make decoction. Take 100 ml, twice daily one hour before food for three days for attaining fast result.
- Kalamegha in Diabetes mellitus- Kwatha/decoction prepared from whole plant is given internally 60-100 ml for a day in case of Madhu meha(Diabetes mellitus).
- Kalamegha In liver disorders – Decoction of Kalamegha leaf is given orally in case of all kinds of liver disorders. 25 leaves can be used for making decoction in 100 ml of water. 50 m of decoction taken twice daily one hour before food for 6 weeks is suggestive in getting better result in liver disorders.
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist