Kalmegh (andrographis paniculata) – medicinal uses and benefits
(andrographis paniculata) is an annual herbaceous plant that is native to India and Sri Lanka. It is also a herbal plant that has been used in south-east Asia for thousands of years. The leaves and the roots of the Kalmegh plant are traditionally used to make Ayurvedic medicines. Kalmegh is extremely bitter to taste. The Kalmegh plant is said to have the following benefits:
• is an immunostimulant and it increases the disease-preventing capacity of the human body;
• Kalmegh is used in the treatment of common cold, sinusitis and tonsilitis;
• Kalmegh is beneficial in the treatment of fever and helps to cure general weakness;
• Kalmegh is used in the treatment of diarrhoea;
• Kalmegh is an excellent medicine for stomach and liver ailments;
• Kalmegh prevents flatulence;
• Kalmegh is beneficial in treating stomach worms;
• Kalmegh is very effective in the treatment of liver ailments and digestive problems in children;
• Kalmegh prevents typhoid and fights bacteria;
• Kalmegh cures constipation and helps to boost and protect the health of the liver. It has hepatostimulative and hepatoprotective properties;
• Kalmegh is indicated in the treatment of jaundice;
• Kalmegh is beneficial in fatty liver disease;
• Kalmegh is an excellent appetizer;
• Kalmegh is anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant;
• Kalmegh is used in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections;
• Clinical studies are being conducted to assess Kalmegh’s role in treating HIV infection and cancer prevention
Because of its bitterness, the natives of Malaysia call it Hempedu Bumi (bile of the world). Fresh juice of the leaves and the roots is generally used for medicinal purpose. In traditional medicine, it is considered a blood purifier.
Kalmegh is contraindicated in bleeding disorders, duodenal ulcers and hyperacidity as well as in pregnancy. It would be wise to use it cautiously and take it in recommended doses.
In India, Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd., produces ‘Kalmegh Compound’ which is an “extract of Kalmegh and other herbal active principles’. It is described as a ‘digestive cholagogue’ and a ‘bitter tonic’ that is ‘beneficial in bowel and liver complaints in children and adults. For adults, the dosage is 5ml (one teaspoon) with water thrice daily before meals.
You can buy online at Amazon. It is also available at ebay.