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Scientific View By
MSc Clinical embryology, M.Tech Biotechnology
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
Reviewed By
MBA (Hospital Management), MD (Pharma.)
Last updated on:
20 Dec 2018 | 04:45 PM (IST)
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Kalmegh

Kalmegh
Kalmegh is a plant which is also known as “Green Chiretta” and the “King of Bitters”. It forms a principal ingredient of a household medicine and is often used as a bitter tonic. This is due to the presence of bitter constituents called Kalmeghin and andrographolide in Kalmegh. Kalmegh has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties. It is used to manage diabetes, skin diseases, cold and flu. Kalmegh is an important constituent of at least 26 Ayurvedic formulas according to the Indian Pharmacopoeia[2-6].

What are the synonyms of Kalmegh?

Andrographis paniculata, Andrographis, Kalmegha, Kalamage[1].

What is the source of Kalmegh?

Plant Based

Benefits of Kalmegh

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Common cold symptoms?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh is beneficial in the management of common cold. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. It might inhibit the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. It might also reduce nasal secretions[2][7][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh helps to fight against common cold, flu, and upper respiratory infections due its Kapha and Pitta balancing property.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Tonsilitis?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh is beneficial in the management of tonsilitis. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. It might inhibit the inflammation of the tonsils. It also reduces symptoms like fever, sore throat and cough associated with tonsilitis[2][7][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh has anti-microbial activity and has a positive effect on the immune system due to its Kapha and Pitta balancing property. It helps to reduce fever and sore throat due to tonsillitis.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Inflammatory bowel disease?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh is beneficial in the management of ulcerative colitis. It is a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the large intestine. It occurs because of the improper functioning of the immune system. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has good anti-inflammatory property. It reduces inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis[7][12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh helps to manage inflammatory bowel disease because of its anti-inflammatory and Pitta balancing property. It improves the digestive fire and helps in better bowel movement.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Familial Mediterranean fever (Hereditary inflammatory disorder)?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of familial Mediterranean fever. It is a genetic disorder. It involves episodes of recurrent fever and inflammation of the tissues lining the lungs, heart and the abdomen. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It normalizes the level of nitric oxide and inflammatory mediators in blood. Thus, Kalmegh helps to reduce the severity and duration of these inflammatory episodes[7][13][14].

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Influenza (flu)?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of influenza. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the replication of influenza virus. It also decreases the activity of inflammatory mediators responsible for inflammation of lungs[7][15].

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Rheumatoid arthritis?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune disorder. It involves pain, inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It helps to reduce the pain and inflammation of joints[7][16][17].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is known as Aamavata in Ayurveda. Amavata is a disease in which vitiation of Vata dosha and accumulation of Ama takes place in the joints. Amavāta starts with a weak digestive fire which leads to accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion). This Ama is carried to different locations through Vata but instead of being absorbed, it gets accumulated in the joints. Taking Kalmegh on a regular basis helps to control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces Ama by improving the digestive fire. It also helps balance Vata due to its Ushna (hot) nature.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Sinusitis?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of sinusitis. This might be due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties[2][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh helps to fight against infection and also enhances the immune system. This is due to its Kapha and Pitta balancing properties.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for HIV infection?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of HIV/AIDS. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has antiviral and anti-HIV properties. It prevents the spread of HIV infection. It also reduces the symptoms associated with HIV[2][7].

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Appetite stimulant?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of anorexia or loss of appetite[2][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh is effective in managing digestive problems like loss of appetite. It helps to improve the digestive fire as well as liver functions due to its Ushna (hot) nature.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Heart disease?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of high blood pressure. It helps to dilate the blood vessels and improves the blood flow. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has antioxidant properties. It protects the blood vessels against damage caused by lipid peroxidation. It also protects the heart cells against injury due to lack of oxygen[2][7].

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Parasitic infections?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of malaria. It has good antimalarial activity. Andrographolide in Kalmegh inhibits the growth of the malaria parasite[2][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh is useful in managing malaria. It has antibacterial and antiparasitic activities. This is due to its Tikta and Pitta balancing properties.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Stomach ulcers?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of both gastric and duodenal ulcers. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It prevents the excess acid secretion in the stomach. It also fights against the free radicals and protects the gastric mucosal layer. Thus, Kalmegh acts as a gastroprotective agent[7][11].

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Allergy symptoms?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of allergy symptoms. This might be due to its anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties[2][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh is good to control allergies. It has an anti-microbial activity and has a positive effect on the immune system due to its Kapha and Pitta balancing property.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Liver disease?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of liver problems. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties. It prevents the damage of liver cells caused by the free radicals. It might also be effective against chronic hepatitis B viral infection[2][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh is especially useful in managing liver-related diseases. It exhibits hepatoprotective property due to Kapha and Pitta balancing nature.

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Skin disorders?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh might be beneficial in the management of skin diseases. It has antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has blood purifying activity. Together, Kalmegh might be useful in managing skin eruptions, boils and scabies[7][11][20].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh has blood purifying property. It removes toxins from the blood and hence helps to manage skin diseases. This is due to its Tikta (bitter) taste and Pitta balancing property.

How effective is Kalmegh?

Likely effective
Common cold symptoms, Inflammatory bowel disease, Tonsilitis
Insufficient evidence
Allergy symptoms, Appetite stimulant, Familial Mediterranean fever (Hereditary inflammatory disorder), HIV infection, Heart disease, Infections, Influenza (flu), Liver disease, Parasitic infections, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sinusitis, Skin disorders, Stomach ulcers

Precautions when using Kalmegh

Advice from Experts
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Take Kalmegh with natural sweetener since its taste is highly bitter.
Breastfeeding
scientific
Scientific View
Avoid the use of Kalmegh during breastfeeding[7].
Other Interaction
scientific
Scientific View
1. Kalmegh possess immunomodulatory effects. So it is generally advisable to consult a doctor while taking Kalmegh if you are on therapy of immunomodulatory drugs[7].

2. Kalmegh may interact with anticoagulants. So it generally advisable to consult your doctor while taking Kalmegh with anticoagulant drugs[7].
Patients with diabetes
scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh may lower the blood sugar levels. So it is generally advisable to monitor your blood sugar levels while taking Kalmegh along with antidiabetic drugs[10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh may lower the blood sugar levels monitor your blood sugar levels while taking kalmegh along with anti diabetic medicines due to Tikta(bitter) Rasa and Kapha balancing properties.
Patients with heart disease
scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh may lower the level of blood pressure. So, it is generally advisable to monitor your blood pressure level while taking Kalmegh along with antihypertensive drugs[7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh may lower the blood pressure, monitor your blood pressure level while taking Kalmegh with taking Kalmegh with anti hypertensive medicines due to its Pitta balancing property.
Pregnancy
scientific
Scientific View
Avoid the use of Kalmegh during pregnancy[10].
Side Effects
scientific
Scientific View
1. Dizziness
2. Drowsiness
3. Fatigue
4. Nausea
5. Vomiting
6. Diarrhea
7. Runny nose
8. Loss of appetite[7][10]

Recommended Dosage of Kalmegh

  • Kalmegh Juice - 1-2 teaspoon once a day.
  • Kalmegh Churna - ¼-½ teaspoon twice a day.
  • Kalmegh Capsule - 1-2 capsule twice a day.

How to use Kalmegh

1. Kalmegh Juice
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Kalmegh juice.
b. Mix it with 1 glass water and drink it once a day preferably before a meal.

2. Kalmegh Capsule
a. Take 1-2 Kalmegh capsule.
b. Swallow it with water after taking meals twice a day.

3. Kalmegh Leaf
a. Take 5-10 Kalmegh Leaves.
b. Crush it with 3-4 black peppercorns.
c. Take it once a day for 7 days to manage dysmenorrhoea.

4. Kalmegh Kwath
a. Take 1/2- 1 teaspoon of Kalmegh powder.
b. Add 2 cups of water and boil till the volume reduces to 1/2 cup.
c. This is Kamlegh Kwath.
d. Take 3-4 ml of this Kalmegh Kwath.
e. Add the same quantity of water and drink after lunch and dinner.
f. Use this remedy for 1-2 months for better results.

5. Kalmegh Churna (Powder)
a. Take ¼-½ teaspoon Kalmegh powder.
b. Mix with 1-2 teaspoon honey.
c. Have it 1-2 times a day after taking food.

Benefits of Kalmegh

What are the benefits of Kalmegh for Skin disorders?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalmegh helps to manage skin diseases due to its Pitta balancing property.

How effective is Kalmegh?

Insufficient evidence
Skin disorders

Precautions when using Kalmegh

Advice from Experts
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Use Kalmegh juice or paste with any other cream having cooling properties as it has hot potency.

Recommended Dosage of Kalmegh

  • Kalmegh Juice - 1-2 teaspoon or as per your requirement.
  • Kalmegh Paste - ½-1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.
  • Kalmegh Powder - ½-1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.

How to use Kalmegh

1. Kalmegh Juice
You can apply the juice of Kalmegh in case of wounds.

2. Kalmegh Paste
a. Take Kalmegh leaves and make a paste with turmeric.
b. Apply externally in case of infected wounds.

3. Kalmegh Powder
a. Mix Kalmegh powder with coconut oil.
b. Apply to the affected area in case of eczema and gonorrhea twice a day.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What are the chemical constituents of Kalmegh?

scientific
Scientific View
The major chemical constituents present in Kalmegh are kalmeghin and andrographolide that are responsible for its major therapeutic properties. It also contains diterpenes, lactones, and flavonoids[1].

Q. Where to buy Kalmegh?

scientific
Scientific View
Kalmegh is present in the market in the following forms:
Juice
Churna
Capsule
Kwath
You can choose the required form which is easily available in the market under various brands.

Q. Can I take Kalmegh with honey?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Kalmegh can be taken with honey in order to mask its bitter taste and make it more palatable. However, people with diabetes should consult a doctor before taking this combination.

Q. Is Kalmegh good for diabetes?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Kalmegh is good for diabetes. Andrographolide in Kalmegh helps to reduce the blood glucose levels. It helps in the release of insulin from the pancreatic cells, thus promotes the utilization of glucose. Due to its antioxidant property, Kalmegh reduces the risk of diabetic complications[2].

Q. Can Kalmegh help reduce cholesterol?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Kalmegh can help reduce cholesterol. Andrographolide in Kalmegh has hypolipidemic effect. It reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides in blood. It prevents the deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels. Due to its antioxidant property, it also prevents lipid peroxidation that can lead to the damage of blood vessels[2].

Q. Does Kalmegh cause rashes and itching in the skin?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Kalmegh might cause rashes and itching if you have a hypersensitive skin. This is due to its Ushna (hot) nature.

References

  1. Akbar S.Andrographis paniculata: A review of pharmacological activities and clinical effects.Altern Med Rev.2011;16(1):66-77.
  2. Jayakumar T, Hsieh CY, Lee JJ, et.al.Experimental and clinical pharmacology of Andrographis paniculata and its major bioactive phytoconstituent andrographolide. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2013;2013:846740.
  3. Kumar RA, Sridevi K, Kumar NV, et.al.Anticancer and immunostimulatory compounds from Andrographis paniculata.J Ethnopharmacol.2004;92(2-3):291-5.
  4. Calabrese C, Berman SH, Babish JG, et.al.A phase I trial of andrographolide in HIV positive patients and normal volunteers.Phytother Res.2000;14(5):333-8.
  5. Singha PK, Roy S, Dey S.Antimicrobial activity of Andrographis paniculata.Fitoterapia.2003;74(7-8):692-4.
  6. Jarukamjorn K, Nemoto N.Pharmacological aspects of Andrographis paniculata on health and its major diterpenoid constituent andrographolide.J Health Sci.2008;54(4):370–381.
  7. WebMD.Andrographis.: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  8. Chua L.S.Review on liver inflammation and antiinflammatory activity of Andrographis paniculata for hepatoprotection.Phytotherapy Research.2014;289(11):1589.
  9. Akhtar M, Sarib MBM, Ismail I, et al.Anti-diabetic activity and metabolic changes induced by Andrographis paniculata plant extract in obese diabetic rats.Molecules. 2016;21(8):1026.
  10. Ulbricht CE.Natural Standard:Herb and Supplement Guide, An Evidence Based Reference.Elsevier;2010.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.