Contributor: Pankaj Oudhia
Copyright (c) 2002. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.
English Name: Creat , Green Chirayta, King of bitters.
Common (Indian) Name:
Hindi: Kalmegh, Kiryat, Mahatit,
Gujrati: Kiriyata, Olikiriyat
Marathi: Olen Kirayat,
Canarese: Nelabevu gida
Sanskrit: Bhuinimb, Kirata, Mahateet
Malyalam: Nilaveppu, Kiriyatta,
Telugu: Nela Vemu
Distribution: Kalmegh is an annual herb found through India, specially in dense forests.It is under cultivation in many states of India.
Botany: It is an erect branched annual, 0.3-0.9 meters high, branches sharply quadrangular winged in the upper part; leave - lanceolate, acute, undulate, pale beneath; Flowers small, solitary distant, in axillary or terminal racemes or panicles, bracts lanceolate; Corolla - 2 lipped, upper lip 2-toothed, lower 2 lobed, rose coloured; Flowers - Capsule, linear - oblong, acute at both ends; Seeds many, rugosely pitted, yellowish brown. Flowering time in India is November - December.
Useful parts: Whole plant.
Medicinal Properties: According to Ayurveda the plant is bitter, acrid, cooling, laxative, vulnerary, antipyretic, antiperiodic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, depurative, soporific, anthelmintic, digestive and useful in hyperdispsia, buring sensation, wounds, ulcers, chronic fever, malarial and intermittent fevers, inflammations, cough, bronchitis, skin diseases, leprosy, colic, flatulence, diarrhoea, dysentery, haemorrhoids etc. Kalmegh is also a reputed Homoeopathic drug. In Bengal (India), household medicine known as "Alui" is prepared from fresh leaves and is given to children suffering from stomach complaints. Recent experimental finding indicated that Kalmegh is having antityphoid and antibiotic properties. It has been proved to be hepatopratective drug.
Chemical Constituents: Kalmegh contains bitter principles andrographolide, a bicyclic diterpenoid lactone and Kalmeghin (upto 2.5%). The leaves contain the maximum active principle content while in the stem it is in lesser amount.
Cultivation: In India, it is cultivated as rainy season (Kharif) crop.
Any soil having fair amount of organic matter is suitable for commercial cultivation
of this crop. About 400 gms. seed are sufficient for one hectare. The spacing
is maintained 30 × 15 cm. No major insect and disease infestation has
been reported. The plants at flowering stage (90120 days after sowing)
is cut at the base leaving 1015 cm stem for plant regeneration. About
5060 days after first harvest, final harvest is performed. In Indian condition,
the yield varies between 20002500 Kg dry herb per hectare.
Society for Parthenium Management, (SOPAM)
28-A, College Road, Geeta Nagar
Raipur- 492001 India