Feb 12, 2014
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Wall. ex Nees

Family ► Acanthaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India, from Himachal Pradesh to Assam and Mizoram, and all over southern India.

English ► Creat.

Ayurvedic ► Kaalmegha, Bhuunimba, Bhuuminimbaka, Vishwambharaa, Yavtikta, Kalpanaatha, Kiraata-tikta (var.).

Unani ► Kiryaat.

Siddha/Tamil ► Nilavembu.

Action ► Hepatoprotective, cholin- ergic, antispasmodic, stomachic, anthelmintic, alterative, blood purifier, febrifuge. It acts well on the liver, promoting secretion of bile. Used in jaundice and torpid liver, flatulence and diarrhoea of children, colic, strangulation of intestines and splenomegaly; also for cold and upper respiratory tract infections.

Key application ► As bitter tonic, febrifuge and hepatoprotective. (Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

Kaalmegha, officinal in IP, consists of dried leaves and tender shoots, which yield not less than 1% andro- grapholide on dry-weight basis.

Several active constituents have been identified from the leaf and rhizome, including andrographolide, deoxyan- drographolide and other diterpenes.

Andrographolide exhibited strong choleretic action when administered i.p. to rats. It induces increase in bile flow together with change in physical properties of bile secretion. It was found to be more potent than sily- marin.

Andrographolide was found to be almost devoid of antihepatitis-B virus surface antigen-like activity (when compared with picroliv.)

The leaf and stem extracts of Kaal- megha/andrographolide given s.c. or orally did not change blood sugar level of normal or diabetic rats.

Alcoholic extract of the plant exhibited antidiarrhoeal activity against E. coli enterotoxins in animal models.

Clinical evidence of effectiveness of andrographis in humans is limited to the common cold. Preliminary evidence suggests that it might increase antibody activity and phagocytosis by macrophages, and might have mast cell-stabilizing and antiallergy activity. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

The herb is contraindicated inbleed- ing disorders, hypotension, as well as male and female sterility (exhibited infertility in laboratory animals).

Dosage ► Whole plant—5-10 ml juice; 50-100 ml decotion; 1-3 g powder. (CCRAS.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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