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Andrographis paniculata

Andrographis paniculata


No documentation.

Vernacular Name

Kalmegh, bhunimba, kirata, nilavembu ,The creat


Kalmegh is an herbaceous plant that grows to a height of 40 to over 100cm. It produces dark green stems, glabrous leaves and white flowers that are spotted with purple on each petal.

Origin / Habitat

A. paniculata or Kalmegh is a tropical and sub-tropical herb native to Sri Lanka and India. The plant flourishes best in a moist, shady environment but it can grow in a wide variety of habitats. Though it yields small, white and purple flowers, the spiny, dark-green stems and leaves are the primary source of medicinal value. It is presently commercially cultivated in several areas of India. [1]

Chemical Constituents

Andrographolides, Trumethoxyflavone, Panicoline, Paniculides A, B, C. [3]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, stem. [2]

Traditional Use

Much like in western herbal medicine, Ayurvedic medicine values the use of Kalmegh in its relation to the liver as it is thought to increase bile, bile flow and bile salts. It is often used to treat jaundice and other typical liver conditions. Additionally, it has been found useful in the treatment of colic, fever and dyspepsia. It has also been used as an antitoxic in response to poisons or venom from poisonous bites. [4]

Kalmegh’s rasa (taste) is classified as heavily tikta (bitter) with its Vipaka (post-digestive properties) as Katu (pungent). A. paniculata is known to pacify the kapha and pitta doshas.


1-4ml Juice, 14-28 ml infusion, 2.5-5 ml extract. [2]



A. paniculata is most commonly used as a hepatoprotective, and for its antioxidant properties. [5][6][7][8] However, A. paniculata has also been reported as an efficacious method of treating some upper respiratory tract infections, to impede the lytic reproduction cycle in the Epstein-Barr virus, and as an immunomodulator. [9][10][11][12] Additionally, andrographide, a diterpene lactone found in A. paniculata has been shown to have apoptotic properties and may be useful in inhibiting growth of breast and colon cancer cells. [13][14] In fact, research over the recent years has shown A. paniculata to have potential as a therapeutic agent in several types of cancer. [12][15] Several pre-clinical studies have reported that A. paniculata has antimicrobial properties that suggest promising therapeutic use, may have a role in the treatment of diabetes, and may possess anti-malarial properties. [16][17][18][19] 


A small human study with 20 volunteers found that A. paniculata was able to inhibit the release of dense and alpha agranules from platelets and dilating of canalicular system indicating that further research into this area would be warranted. [20] 

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.

Interaction with Drugs

Animal studies have indicated that Kalmegh may have anti-thrombic properties. This could lead to potential/theoretical interactions with anticoagulants and other anti-thrombic medications including other botanicals and dietary supplements having similar properties. [22] 

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

In general, this herb has been found to be safe when used as directed.


A.paniculata is considered to have potential abortifacient properties and should therefore not be used during pregnancy. [21] 

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

Large doses may cause grastric discomfort and/or loss of appetite.

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  1) Botanical Info

  2) Cultivation

  3) Malaysian Herbal Plants

  4) Western Herb


  1. Oudhia, P. Andrographis paniculata Nees. Purdue Horticulture Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Database. Available from: [Accessed on 16 Feb 2009].
  2. Kapoor, LD. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1990.39.
  3. Duke, James A. Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS herbs and other economic plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1992.
  4. Premila, M.S. Ayurvedic Herbs: A Clinical Guide to the Healing Plants of Traditional Indian Medicine. Binghamton, NY: The Hayworth Press; 2006.
  5. Trivedi NP, Rawal UM, Patel, BP. Hepatoprotective Effect of Andrographolide Against Hexachlorocyclohexane-Induced Oxidative Injury. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2007; 6(3):271-280.
  6. Dandu AM, Inamdar NM. Evaluation of beneficial effects of antioxidant properties of aqueous leaf extract of Andrographis paniculata in STZ-induced diabetes. Pak J Pharm Sci. Jan2009;22(1):49-52.
  7. Shen YC, Chen CF, Chiou WF.Andrographolide prevents oxygen radical production by human neutrophils: possible mechanism(s) involved in its anti-inflammatory effect. Br J Pharmacol. Jan2002;135(2):399-406.
  8. Trivedi NP, Rawal UM. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant property of Andrographis paniculata (Nees) in BHC induced liver damage in Rats. Indian J Exp Biol. Jan2001; 39 (1): 41-46.
  9. Coon JT, Ernst E. Andrographis paniculata in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review of safety and efficacy. Planta Med. Apr2004; 70(4): 293-298.
  10. Lin TP, Chen SY, Duh PD, Chang LK, Liu YN. Inhibition of the epsein-barr virus lytic cycle by andrographolide. Biol Pharm Bull. Nov2008; 31 (11): 2018-2023.
  11. Rajagopal S, Kumar RA, Deevi DS, Satyanarayana C, Rajagopalan R. Andrographolide, a potential cancer therapeutic agent isolated from Andrographis paniculata. J Exp Ther Oncol. May-Jun2003;3(3):147-158.
  12. Kumar RA, Sridevi K, Kumar NV, Nanduri S, Rajagopal S.Anticancer and immunostimulatory compounds from Andrographis paniculata. J Ethnopharmacol. Jun 2004;92(2-3):291-295.
  13. Jada SR, Matthews C, Saad MS, Hamzah AS, Lajis NH, Stevens MF, Stanslas J. Benzylidene derivatives of andrographolide inhibit growth of breast and colon cancer cells in vitro by inducing G(1) arrest and apoptosis. Br J Pharmacol. Nov2008; 155(5): 641-654.
  14. Zhao F, He EQ, Wang L, Liu K. Anti-tumor activities of andrographolide, a diterpene from Andrographis paniculata, by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting VEGF level. J Asian Prod Res. May-Jun2008; 10 (5-6): 467-473.
  15. Rajagopal S, Kumar RA, Deevi DS, Satyanarayana C, Rajagopalan R. Andrographolide, a potential cancer therapeutic agent isolated from Andrographis paniculata. J Exp Ther Oncol. May-Jun2003;3(3):147-158.
  16. Voravuthikunchai SP, Limsuwan S. Medicinal plant extracts as anti-Escherichia coli O157:H7 agents and their effects on bacterial cell aggregation. J Food Prot. Oct 2006;69(10):2336-2341.
  17. Dandu AM, Inamdar NM. Evaluation of beneficial effects of antioxidant properties of aqueous leaf extract of Andrographis paniculata in STZ-induced diabetes. Pak J Pharm Sci. Jan2009;22(1):49-52.
  18. Wibudi A, Kiranadi B, Manalu W, winarto A, Suyono S. The traditional plant, Andrographis paniculata (Sambiloto), exhibits insulin-releasing actions in vitro. Acta Med Indones. Apr2008;40(2):63-68.
  19. Dua VK, Ojha VP, Roy R, Joshi BC, Valecha N, Devi CU, Bhatnagar MC, Sharma VP, Subbarao SK.Anti-malarial activity of some xanthones isolated from the roots of Andrographis paniculata. J Ethnopharmacol. Dec2004;95(2-3):247-251.
  20. Zhang YZ, Tang JZ, Zhang YJ.Study of Andrographis paniculata extracts on antiplatelet aggregation and release reaction and its mechanism. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. Jan1994;14(1):28-30, 34, 35.
  21. McGuffin M. Hobbs C. Upton R. Goldberg A. Botanical SafetyHandbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1997.
  22. Zhao HY, Fang WY.Antithrombotic effects of Andrographis paniculata nees in preventing myocardial infarction. Chin Med J (Engl). Sep1991; 104(9):770-775.

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