Andrographis Paniculata – King of Bitters (Kalmegh)

Andrographis paniculata is an important medicinal plant of Andrographis genus.It is known as Kalmegh or kariyat. A. paniculata is an annual, branched, erect, and herbaceous plant. This plant grows abundantly in Southern and Southeastern Asia including India, Java, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

Andrographis leaf and stem helps in stimulating the immune system. It might also prevent flu viruses from binding to cells in the body. Due to its “cold property” activity, it is recommended to be used to get rid of the body heat in fevers and to dispel toxins from the body.

The plant is also used for the osteoarthritis, infection of the throat and tonsils, and a type of bowel disease called ulcerative colitis, treatment of snake bite, bug bite, diabetes, dysentery, fever, and malaria. It has a high blood purifying property.

It is also used for “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and prevention of heart disease and diabetes. In addition to these, following activities has been proven scientifically.

A type of inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative Colitis): If Andrographis extract is taken by mouth daily for 8 weeks reduces symptoms of ulcerative colitis about as well as the drug mesalamine.

Anti-hyperglycemic Effect: Blood glucose lowering effect of Andrographis paniculata was observed in both insulin-lacking diabetic rats and normal rats in several studies. The effect might be found due to presence of andrographolide.

Hepatoprotective Effect: A. paniculata is widely used traditionally as a hepatoprotective agent and a stimulating agent for multiple enzymes of the liver.

Anti-Viral Effect: Antiviral activity against limited viruses was observed such as dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV-1), human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV16), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), influenza A virus

Anti-Cancer Activity: Andrographolide exhibited both direct & indirect effects on cancer cells by inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells, cell-cycle arrests, or cell differentiation, enhancing body’s own immune system against cancer cells; and inducting apoptosis and necrosis of cancer cells.