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Bhuinimb or Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata Nees.)

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
Tamil: Nilavempui

Family: Acanthaceae

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 (90–120 days after sowing) is cut at the base leaving 10–15 cm stem for plant regeneration. About 50–60 days after first harvest, final harvest is performed. In Indian condition, the yield varies between 2000–2500 Kg dry herb per hectare.

Resource Person:
Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management, (SOPAM)
28-A, College Road, Geeta Nagar
Raipur- 492001 India
E-mail: pankajoudhia@usa.net
Homepage: www.celestine-india.com/pankajoudhia
Phone: 91-771-253243
Mobile: 91-98271-15642
Fax: 91-771-536312