What is Nilavembu powder

Kalmegh - Andrographis paniculata

Kalmegh, Andrographis paniculata, is an extremely bitter herb that has been used in India for centuries to detoxify and treat the liver.


Justicia paniculata


Andrographis paniculata, like Adhatoda vasica, is a plant from the Acanthaceae family.

Classic names

Bhunimba, Kalmegha.

Typical names for the country

  • Closely. - King of bitter, Green chiretta, creat, Indian chinetta
  • Deu. - Indian Echinacea
  • Hindi - Kalmegh, Kiryat, Charayetah, Mahatita
  • Malayalam - Nelaveppu, Nila-veppu, Kiriyattu
  • Marathi -Ole-kirayat, Olikiryata
  • Tamil - Nila-vembu, Shirat-kuchchi

Botanical description

Kalmegh, Andrographis paniculata, is an annual, upright, branched, herbaceous plant with square stems. The dark green stems reach a height of up to one meter. The hairless leaves are approx. 8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, pointed with a wavy edge. Kalmegh develops pink-red flowers. The yellowish-brown seeds are in elongated capsules that taper to a point on both sides.


Kalmegh prefers shady and moist locations. In India, it is particularly common in the south. In the north it can be found between Himachal Pradesh via Assam to Mizoram.

Parts used

In Ayurveda, the whole plant is used.

Kalmegh indications and effects

The spectrum of activity of the Kalmegh plant, which has now been proven, is enormous. In Sweden, the effectiveness against influenza was demonstrated in a double-blind study. Just four days after the administration of Kalmegh, all signs of the flu were gone. Chinese studies show lasting improvements in chronic bronchitis after 2 weeks. In the case of pneumonia, an improvement could already be demonstrated after 3 days after the administration of Kalmegh. The effectiveness against various types of cancer has been confirmed in Japanese studies. For example, Kalmegh stopped the growth of the degenerated cells in gastric cancer. The same effects have been demonstrated for malignant tumors, skin cancer and breast cancer.

In Ayurveda, Kalmegh is described as astringent, pain reliever, strengthening, detoxifying, relaxing and protecting the liver. It is used for liver problems, jaundice, diarrhea, cholera, diabetes, general weakness, flu, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, dysentery, intestinal inflammation, gastritis, pneumonia, kidney inflammation and gonorrhea.

Leaves and roots have an antipyretic, tonic, stomach-strengthening, worm-killing and choletic effect. A decoction from Kalmegh leaves is helpful for general exhaustion and indigestion.

A tincture made from the Kalmegh root has a toning, stimulating and laxative effect.

Tablets are made in India from macerated Kalmegh leaves, Kalmegh press juice, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. They are given to children when they have stomach problems.

Dosage in Ayurveda

Powder: 1 - 3 g

Juice: 5 - 10 ml

Liquid extract: 0.5 - 1 ml

Decoction: 20 - 40 ml


Kalmegh reduces kapha and pitta.

Chemical constituents

Andrographolide, neoandrographolide, deoxyandrographolide, andrographiside, andropanoside, andrographin, panicolin, apigenin, methylwogonin, andrographidines, ß-sitosterol, caffeic acid, panicolide, myristic acid, carvacrol, eugenol, hentriacontan, andgrographin andrographin, wogonrographicontro, andapanrographin

Pharmacological properties

Studies have shown the following effects for Kalmegh: Liver detoxification, liver protecting, cholinergic, cardiac strengthening, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antipyretic, immune system stimulating, antimicrobial, anti-HIV, anti-ulcer, formation of sperm, inhibiting, anti-diarrhea, fertility, anti-fungal, anti-fungal antibiotic, antioxidant, analgesic, antihyperglycemic, antityphous.


Andrographic leaf and stalk extracts, if taken orally in excessively high doses, can cause stomach upset and vomiting. An injection of extract can lead to anaphylactic shock. Animal experiments indicate a fertility-inhibiting effect of Bhunimba.

The mean lethal dose (LD50) of a Kalmegh extract in experiments with mice was 215 mg / kg injected.



A study with HIV-infected patients showed a significant increase in CD4 (+) lymphocytes after 6 weeks. The dose administered was 10 mg Kalmegh extract per kilo of body weight. The study was discontinued after 6 weeks after the dosage resulted in anaphylactic shock in one of the patients.

Infectious hepatitis

In a clinical study, 10 patients with infectious hepatitis were given a decoction from Kalmegh. The dosage was 40-60ml twice a day. After four weeks 6 patients were cured, the other 4 patients showed a significant improvement, both clinically and biochemically.


In a double-blind study with 61 patients it could be shown that Kalmegh - Andrographis paniculata - not only prevents colds but can also massively shorten the duration of the cold. A dried extract from Kalmegh was administered in the form of tablets. They are known as Kan Jang. There was a significant improvement after just four days.

Swine flu

Studies on swine flu are not yet available. An effectiveness of Kalmegh - Andrographis paniculata - against swine flu is obvious, based on the previous studies on the effectiveness of andrographis herb against influenza viruses. This would make Kalmegh - Andrographis paniculata - and Cistus incanus one of the few herbal remedies for treating and preventing swine flu.


  • Nimbadi kvatha
  • Bhunimbadi kvatha
  • Tiktaka ghrita
  • Pathyadi kvatha churna

Substitutes and counterfeiting agents

Andrographis echioides is used instead of Andrographis paniculata.

Propagation and Cultivation

Kalmegh is propagated by seeds. Sow from May to June.

Sources of supply

Kalmegh plants are hard to come by in Germany. One reason is that it is an annual herb that is little known in our part of the world. However, the plant is quite easy to grow and seeds can be obtained from selected nurseries. Cultivating the plant in your own garden or greenhouse is unproblematic.

Kalmegh can be obtained in powder form from the herbal mail order company.

Buy Kalmegh

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Category: Plants, Plant Guru - Plants of Ayurveda