This Plant is also known as Nelabev in kannada and kiratKadi in Konkani.
Assamese – Chiorta
Arabic – Quasabhuva
Marathi – Oli-kiryata
Bengali – Kalmegh
Oriya – Bhuinimba
Chinese – Chuan Xin Lian 穿心連
English – Green chirayta, creat, king of bitters, andrographis, India echinacea
Persian – Naine-havandi
Gujarati – Kariyatu
Sanskrit – Kalmegha, Bhunimba
Hindi – Kirayat
Tamil – Nilavembu
1. For treating affection by exopathogenic wind-heat, initial attacks of febrile diseases, coughing and dyspnea (difficult or labored respiration) due to the lung-heat, pulmonary abscess with pus in sputum and sore throat:
(A) Affection by exopathogenic wind-heat or initial attacks of febrile diseases with fever and headache:
Use it with honeysuckle flower (Flos Lonicerae), weeping forsythia fruit (Fructus Forsythiae), peppermint, etc.
(B) Coughs and dyspnea due to lung-heat:
Use it with skullcap root (Radix Scutellariae), white mulberry root-bark (Cortex Mori Radicis) and Chinese wolfberry root-bark (Cortex Lycii Radicis).
(C) Pulmonary abscess with pus in sputum:
Use it with such herbs as houttuynia, balloon flower root (Radix Platycodi), Chinese waxgourd seed, etc.
(D) Sore throat:
Use it with such herbs as Zhejiang figwort root (Radix Scrophulariae), great burdock achene (Fructus Arctii), isatis root (Radix Isatidis), etc.
2. For treating diarrhea due to damp-heat, strangury (slow and painful spasmodic discharge of urine drop by drop) due to heat, eczema and pruritus (itching):
(A) Diarrhea with abdominal pain and dysentery with pus and blood due to the damp-heat in the stomach and intestines:
This herb can be used alone or together with purslane (Herba Portulacae), Chinese goldthread rhizome (Rhizoma Coptidis), etc.
(B) Dripping urination with heat and painful sensation due to retention of damp-heat in the urinary bladder:
Use it with such herbs as Asiatic plantain seed (Semen Plantaginis), cogongrass rhizome (Rhizoma Imperatae), corktree bark (Cortex Phellodendri), etc.
(C) Eczema and pruritus:
This herb can be pulverized, mixed with glycerin and applied onto the affected part.
3. For treating skin and external diseases and snake and insect bite:
This herb can be used alone or decocted together with honeysuckle flower (Flos Lonicerae), mother chrysanthemum (Flos Chrysanthemi Arctii), manyleaf paris (Herba Paridis Polyphyllae), etc., and fresh Green Chiretta is mashed for external application. Both of the applications can remove toxic substances and subdue swelling.
Since ancient times, A. paniculata is used in traditional Siddha and Ayurvedic systems of medicine as well as in tribal medicine in India and some other countries for multiple clinical applications. The therapeutic value of Kalmegh is due to its mechanism of action which is perhaps by enzyme induction. The plant extract exhibits antityphoid and antifungal activities. Kalmegh is also reported to possess antihepatotoxic, antibiotic, antimalarial, antihepatitic, antithrombogenic, antiinflammatory, anti-snake venom, and antipyretic properties to mention a few, besides its general use as an immunostimulant agent. A recent study conducted at Bastyr University, confirms anti-HIV activity of andrographolide.
Andrographolide, chief constituent extracted from the leaves of the plant, is a bitter water-soluble lactone exhibiting protective effects in carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Its LD50 in male mice was 11.46gm/kg, ip. This bitter principle was isolated in pure form by Gorter (1911). Andrographolide is also attributed with such other activities like liver protection under various experimental conditions of treatment with galactosamine, paracetamol etc. The hepatoprotective action of andrographolide is related to activity of certain metabolic enzymes.
Andrographis paniculata plant extract is known to possess a variety of pharmacological activities. Andrographolide, the major constituent of the extract is implicated towards its pharmacological activity. A study has been conducted on the cellular processes and targets modulated by andrographolide treatment in human cancer and immune cells. Andrographolide treatment inhibited the in vitro proliferation of different tumor cell lines, representing various types of cancers. The compound exerts direct anticancer activity on cancer cells by cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase through induction of cell cycle inhibitory protein p27 and decreased expression of cyclin dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). Immunostimulatory activity of andrographolide is evidenced by increased proliferation of lymphocytes and production of interleukin 2. Andrographolide also enhanced the tumor necrosis factor a production and CD marker expression, resulting in increased cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes against cancer cells, which may contribute for its indirect anticancer activity. The in vivo anticancer activity of the compound is further substantiated against B16F0 melanoma syngenic and HT 29 xenograft models. These results suggest that andrographolide is an interesting pharmacophore with anticancer and immunomodulatory activities and hence has the potential for being developed as a cancer therapeutic agent.
The herb swertia chiretta (S. chirayita) possesses digestive, hepatic (conditions pertaining to the liver) and tonic properties. In fact, this bitter herb promotes digestion, particularly of fats, and aid in regulating blood sugar levels. At the same time, the herb is an effective medication for leishmaniasis – a parasitic disease usually found in tropical regions.
Chiretta is especially beneficial for certain health conditions, including diabetes and nausea. Here is a brief discussion regarding the use of this herb to treat these precise health problems.
Laboratory tests with animals having excessive baseline blood sugar levels have demonstrated diminished blood sugar levels following healing with chiretta. On the contrary, animals do not demonstrate such decrease in the blood sugar levels provided they already have low levels to begin with. This difference in results in treatment with chiretta provides an indication that the herb may perhaps be beneficial in regulating blood sugar levels without the perils of developing hypoglycemia owing to any excessive dosage of the herbal medication.
Additional animal studies with chiretta have discovered that this herb is more effectual in regulating blood sugar levels compared to the regular anti-diabetic drug Orinase (Tolbutamide).
The astringent flavor of chiretta sets of an impulsive response that promotes the production of saliva and gastric enzymes. This reflex reaction owing to the use of the herb not only stops nausea (queasiness), but also helps to cure indigestion, bloating and hiccups. In addition, chiretta also encourages the secretion of bile that promotes digestion as well as improves appetite.
The herbal application of chiretta is as an astringent tonic, a medication for stomach conditions as well as a medication for feverish conditions (febrifuge). Known as ‘chirayata’ in Hindi, chiretta is a traditional herbal medicine that is prepared with the aerial parts of the plant.