Andrographis paniculata | King of Bitters | Kalmegh

  • Kariyat


  • English: King of Bitters; Kariyat; Creat; Andrographis; Indian Echinacea; Green Chiretta;
  • Ayurveda: Kalamegha (“Dark Cloud”); Kalmegh; Bhumi-Neem (“Neem of the Ground”); Kiriyattu;
  • Hindi: Kalmegh; Kalpanath; Kirayat; Kirayit; Mahatita; Hara Chirayata;
  • Assamese: Kalmegh; Moha-Tita; Chirota; Sirota; Kalpa-Tita;
  • Bengali: Kalmegh;
  • Gujarati: Kiriyata; Kariyatu; Kiryato; Olikiriyat;
  • Konkani: Kiratin; Vhadlem Kiraytem;
  • Kannada: Urakiriyatu; Nelabevu; Nelaberu; Nelabevu Gida; Kaala Megha;
  • Malayalam: Kiriyatta; Kiriath; Nilavepp; Nelavepu; Kiriyathu; Kiriyattu; Nilamkanjiram; Kaakanjiram;
  • Marathi: Ole Kirayat; Paale Kirayat; Oli-Kiryata; Kalamegha;  Kadu Kirayata; Olen Kirayat;
  • Manipuri: Bhubati; Vubati;
  • Nepali: Kalapnath; Ankuri Phul; Kalamegha;
  • Oriya: Haima; Bhadratikta; Bhui Nimba; Shweta Buhna; Sthulapushpi; Shankhini;
  • Punjabi: Chooraita; Charaita;
  • Tamil: Nilavempu; Siriya Nangai; Nilavembu;
  • Telugu: Nilavembu; Nelavemu;
  • Irula: Nangai Chedi;
  • Urdu: Bhooinimo; Naine-Havand;
  • Sanskrit: Kalamegha; Bhunimba; Mahatikta; Mahateet; Yavatikta; Kalmegha; Kirata;
  • China: Chuan Xin Lian; Si Fang Lian;
  • Malaysia: Hempedu Bumi (‘Bile Of Earth’); Empedu Tanah; Akar Cerita; Pokok Cerita;
  • Thai: Fah Talai Jone;
  • Arabic: Quasabhuva; Qazabuzzarirah; Qasabuzzarirah;
  • Brunei Malay: Daun Pahit;
  • Burmese: Nga Yoke Gah; Say Gah Gyi;
  • Indonesian: Sambiroto; Sambiloto;
  • Japanese: Senshinren; Andorogurafizu Paniikuraata;
  • Khmer: Smau Pramat Manuss;
  • Laotian: La Xa Bee;
  • Persian: Naine-Havandi;
  • Russian: Andrografis;
  • Sinhalese: Heen Bin Kohomba; Kiratha; Wal Bin Kohomba;
  • Thai: Fa Thalai Chon;
  • Vietnamese: Xuyen Tam Lien;
  • Philippines (Tagalog): Sinta; Serpentina; Aluy; Likha;
  • Persian: Naine-Havandi; Nainehavandi;

Heen Bin Kohomba (හීන් බිං කොහොඹ), Kiratha (කිරාත)

Plant Information – Growth, Importance

Andrographis paniculata or Kalmegh is an erect annual herb in the Acanthaceae family. Because of the extremely bitterness of the whole plant, this is also called the King of Bitters. 

Andrographis paniculata grows up to 1ft – 3ft in height well grown in moist and shady places, dark green slandered quadrangular stem with longitudinal furrows, Leaves 8cm -12cm long and 2cm-3cm wide and lanceolate, glabrous, acute apex. 

Small, lax flowers arranged in racemes panicles, calyx lobes 3 mm long, September – December is the flowering time. Oblong shaped 1.5 cm – 2 cm long Capsules’ ends are acute, contains 5 – 8 yellowish-brown color seeds. 

Kariyat or Andrographis paniculata well grow in moist well-drained soil can grow in any type of shady place. Green Chiretta or Kalmegh found in locations like roadsides, hillsides, open sandy locations, and in cultivated fields. Propagate through seeds and stem cuttings.

According to (Akbar, 2020; Nagalekshmi, Menon, Chandrasekharan, & Nair, 2011) Andrographis paniculata and Swertia chirayita are two controversial plants as both are used as Kiriyattu in Ayurveda, and Unani medicines in India, due to their similar therapeutic actions and their hepatoprotective and hepatostimulant activities.

Andrographis is native to India & Sri Lanka. Found in counties like China, Thailand, Philippine, Pakistan, and many other countries traditionally use and now it is one of the plants cultivated widely and use for many medicines. According to National Medicinal Plants Board –India Annually India traded Andrographis paniculata between 2000 – 5000 metric tons and which mostly grown in southern parts of India.

Demand For Andrographis paniculata extract increased in 2020 because the people tend to take as medicine for Covid -19 pandemic time due to its acknowledged medicinal value among people. Further Researches (Hancke, Burgos, Caceres, & Wikman, 1995; Samy, Thwin, & Gopalakrishnakone, 2007) claimed that Andrographis help to controlled the 1918-1919 flu epidemic in India.

  • Kiriyatta

Medicinal Uses

Kariyat or Andrographis paniculata have a long history that is used in traditional medicine as well as in the Siddha and Ayurvedic systems. 

Traditionally it uses for centuries in Asian, African, American countries for diseases like diabetes, ulcers, common cold, high blood pressures, bronchitis, influenza, dysentery, sore throat, allergies. 

According to records, Kalmegh uses for infections such as gonorrhea, cholera, HIV, leprosy, malaria, carbuncle, urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, use as an astringent and for skin diseases like ulcers, itchiness, vitiligo, as the liver and cardiovascular tonic uses for jaundice, liver damage, enlarged liver.

Apart from that Andrographis use for other ailments like digestive system related complaints including constipation, intestinal gas, and stomach pain, irregular stools, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis & for kidney problems, respiratory infections.

Mainly leaves and roots are taken for medicines, To get the maximum result suggested that take leaves when the plant starts to grow inflorescence axis and for roots takes after leaves show wilting and discoloring or end of the lifetime. Roots have febrifuge, stomachic and anthelmintic abilities.

Powdered leaves have the ability to cure the common cold and fresh leaves are edible. The decoction prepared by leaves & roots used to stomach pain, dysentery, typhus, cholera, influenza, and bronchitis, dyspepsia, hypertension, gonorrhea, jaundice, debility. Poultice makes from Kalmegh use to apply to swollen legs or feet. 

In China, Andrographis paniculata used its antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, de toxicant, properties, In Malaysia, the Andrographis identified as a plant that has antiperiodic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antihelmintic Properties. In India ethnomedicine is called “Alui” prepared from Andrographis leaves that used to give stomach complaints of infants.

Andrographis plant possess several photochemical constituents andrographolide is one of them. (Verma, Negi, Mahapatra, & Paul, 2019) The whole plant uses to obtain andrographolide, which causes the high bitterness of this plant, and Kalmegh has Immuno-modulatory, Antioxidant, Antidiabetic, Anti-allergic, Hepatoprotective, Antidiarrhoeal, Antipyretic, Anti-HIV, Antimicrobial, Anti-hyperglycemic, Anti-cancer, activities. According to researchers found that Andrographolide containing in Kalmegh has analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.


  • Akbar, S. (2020). Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Nees.(Acanthaceae) Handbook of 200 Medicinal Plants (pp. 267-283): Springer.
  • Hancke, J., Burgos, R., Caceres, D., & Wikman, G. (1995). A double‐blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: Decrease of symptoms and improvement in the recovery from common colds. Phytotherapy Research, 9(8), 559-562.
  • Nagalekshmi, R., Menon, A., Chandrasekharan, D. K., & Nair, C. K. K. (2011). Hepatoprotective activity of Andrographis paniculata and Swertia chirayita. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 49(12), 3367-3373.
  • Samy, R. P., Thwin, M., & Gopalakrishnakone, P. (2007). Phytochemistry, pharmacology and clinical use of Andrographis paniculata. Natural Product Communications, 2(5), 1934578X0700200519.
  • Verma, H., Negi, M., Mahapatra, B., & Paul, A. S. J. (2019). Evaluation of an emerging medicinal crop Kalmegh [Andrographis paniculata (Burm. F.) Wall. Ex. Nees] for commercial cultivation and pharmaceutical & industrial uses: A review. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 8(4), 835-848.
  • Other Medicinal Uses of Andrographis paniculata

    Amenorrhoea, Bug Bite, Cancer, Colic, Cholera, Dyspepsia, Female Disorder, Hyperdispsia, Itchiness, Infectious Fever, Jaundice, Leprosy, Leptospirosis, Mouth Ulcers, Malaria, Edema, Pneumonia, Pharyngitis, Rabies, Rheumatism, Snakebite, Swollen Tonsils, Sinusitis, Syphilis, Skin Diseases, Tuberculosis, Ulcers, Worms, Wounds,

  • Parts Used

    Leaves, Roots, Whole Plant, Aerial parts,

Andrographis paniculata
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