Kalmegh : Chemical Constituents, Medicinal Uses and Synonyms

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Morphology and Distribution of Kalmegh:

Kalmegh consists of the dried leaves and tender shoots of the plant known as Andrographis paniculata, belonging to the family Acanthaceae. It is also known as andrographis, kirayat and bhui-nimb.

Kalmegh is an annual herb and is found in Sri Lanka and throughout the India. In India it is found in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Small amount of cultivation is done in Assam and West Bengal. It consists of rose coloured flowers.

English: Kalpa/ Kalmegh/ Maha-tita/ Bhui-neem/...

English: Kalpa/ Kalmegh/ Maha-tita/ Bhui-neem/ Sirunangai Andrographis paniculata in Narsapur, Andhra Pradesh, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chemical constituents of Kalmegh:

Kalmegh consists of bitter principles andrographolide, a bicyclic diterpenoid lactone and kalmeghin.

Medicinal Uses of Kalmegh:

  • Bitter tonic
  • Alterative
  • Anthelmintic
  • Stomachic
  • Used in the treatment of dysentery and dyspepsia
  • It has antibiotic activity
  • It has anti typhoid activity
  • Hepatoprotective drug

Substituents of Kalmegh:

Kalmegh is substituted with Andrographis echioides which is found in tropical India and in dry districts of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

Synonyms of Kalmegh:

  • Bengali – Kalmegh
  • Gujarati – Kariytu
  • Kannada – Nelaberu
  • Hindi – Kiryat
  • Tamil – Kiryat
  • Marathi – Olikirayat
  • Sanskrit – Kirata
  • Tamil – Nilavembu
  • Telugu – Nelavembu
  • English – Great chiretta
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