Kalmegha- A potent hepatoprotective

Synonyms: Kalmegh (Hindi), Kalmegha (Sanskrit), Kalpnath , Kirayat (Hindi), Mahatita (King of Bitters, yavtikta , bhunimba
Latin name: Andrographis panniculata .
General description: Kalmegha is an erect annual herb ,extremely bitter in taste .It grows throughout India . Stem is dark green, branched, erect annual growing to a height of 30 - 110 cm. Leaves are glabrous (smooth), broad, lanceolate, pinnate. It bears white flowers with purple stripes .
Whole plant is used in medicine but mainly its stem and leaves are used as highly effective remedy for curing large number of diseases .
Ayurvedic properties:
It is bitter in taste and pungent in post digestive effect. It possesses light and dry attributes, hot in potency . According to ayurvedic texts it is known to alleviate pitta and kapha dosha . It is found to be highly effective as hepatoprotective (protecting liver and gall bladder), efficient liver stimulant, appetizer and a bitter tonic.
Medicinal uses:
It is versatile herb with multiple uses .It is used as single herb or as a constituent in various ayurvedic formulations. On basis of ayurvedic texts and research, several uses have been documented. Some of them are mentioned below :
⇒For fevers : It is bitter tonic and very effective in fevers especially in malaria , typhoid and also for general debility or in convalescence period
⇒Respiratory tract : used in fighting off cold , cough, sinusitis ,asthma and various respiratory tract infections .
⇒Digestive disorders : It is used as an appetizer , as a antispasmodic , in abdominal gas , diarrhoea , dysentery ,ulcerative colitis , constipation as a single herb or in combination with other herbs .For improving digestion its commonly used with cardamom and cinnamon .for any sort of abdominal pain its leaves juice about 1to 2ml is highly effective remedy .
⇒Liver disorders: kalmegha is potent detoxifier so very effective in protecting liver and curing various liver ailments like jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatomegaly and even in hepatic carcinoma .
⇒In skin diseases : due to its detoxification property it purifies blood and used in skin eruptions, boils, scabies, eczema for external application as well as internal consumption too . Its decoction with neem bark shows promising results in various skin disorders
⇒Antiinflammatory: Its found to reduce inflammation and pain in almost all body systems
⇒Vermicidal : It is used for all sort of worm infestations in body beside that recent researches have shown it to be effective antimicrobial , antifungal , antiprotozoal . So it can be used in various infectious disorders .
⇒As antioxidant and anticancerous : This miraculous herb is also attributed to protect the body from free radical damage .Several studies have been conducted and found it to be promising herb in cancer.
⇒Cardioprotective : this bitter tonic is very helpful for healthy circulatory system also ,as it prevents clot formation and also maintains normal lipid profile .
⇒Antidiabetic : It keeps body sugar level in normal range along with providing protection against diabetic complications
Parts used and dosage : although whole plant is used for various diseases . But mainly its leaves are used in wide range of diseases .
Dose: powder 1 to 3gm ; leaf juice ;5-10ml ; decoction 20 to 40 ml.
Various formulations: panchang churna ,kalmeghasav etc .
Although it is safe to use in prescribed dose and no adverse effects have been found so far . Still it must be used under medical supervision.