(Burm. f.) Wall. ex Nees (Acanthaceae)
The plant is well known in Bengal by the name 'Kalmeg'.
It is a principal herb in the domestic medicine called 'Alui',
which is given to infants. Both in Ayurveda and Unani, it is
confused with 'Chitetta' (Swertia chirata), but both are
different plants. It is widely available in ArabiaIt is
mentioned in the official pharmacopoeia of India.. It is
given for fever along with several herbs. It was advertised
in England as a substitute for quinine.
|It grows throughout India from
Assam and Himanchal Pradesh to all over south India. Grows
well in moist and shaded places, but it prefers sunny
situations. It is cultivated all over India.
Morphology Description (Habit)
It is an erect annual herb. Stem is dark green, quadrangular
with longitudinal furrows and wings on the angles of the
younger parts and slightly enlarged at the nodes. The leaves
are glabrous, dark green, arranged opposite decussate,
lanceolate and pinnate. The flowers are small, in lax
spreading axillary and terminal racemes or panicles. The
capsules are linear-oblong and acute at both ends. The seeds
are numerous, sub-quadrate and yellowish brown in colour.
Andrographolide was isolated and its structure was
It increases biliary flow and liver weight in rat2.
It shows hepatoprotective action3. It improves
non-specific immune response4. Andrographolide
produces a significant dose dependent choleretic effect, as
evidence by increase in bile flow, bile salt and bile acids
in conscious rats and anaesthetised guinea pigs5.
There is no adverse effect reported on use of this plant.
It is the principal ingredient of a reputed household
medicine, which is used as a bitter tonic and febrifuge. The
decoction of the juice is blood purifying.
- J. Sci. Ind. Res., 1964, 1, 14.
- Indian J. Exp. Biol. 1978, 16, 830.
- Indian J. Med. Res., 1990, 92(B), 276-283.
- J. Nat. Prod., 1993, 56(7), 995-999.
- Anonymous, 1998, Wealth Asia CD-ROM, CSIR, New Delhi.