It is widely cultivated in Southern and Southeastern Asia, where it has been believed to be a treatment for bacterial infections and some diseases. Mostly the leaves and roots were used for such purposes; the whole plant is also used, in some cases.
The plant grows as an erect herb to a height of 30–110 cm (12–43 in) in moist, shady places. The slender stem is dark green, square in cross-section with longitudinal furrows and wings along the angles. The lance-shaped leaves have hairless blades measuring up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long by 2.5 cm (0.98 in). The small flowers are pink, solitary, arranged in lax spreading racemes or panicles. The fruit is a capsule around 2 cm (0.79 in) long and a few millimeters wide. It contains many yellow-brown seeds. The seeds are subquadrate, rugose and glabrous. The flowering time is September to December.
The species is distributed in tropical Asian countries, often in isolated patches. It can be found in a variety of habitats, such as plains, hillsides, coastlines, and disturbed and cultivated areas such as roadsides and farms. Native populations of A. paniculata are spread throughout south India and Sri Lanka which perhaps represent the center of origin and diversity of the species. The herb is an introduced species in northern parts of India, Java, Malaysia, Indonesia, the West Indies, and elsewhere in the Americas. The species also occurs in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, and other parts of Asia where it may or may not be native. The plant is cultivated in many areas, as well.
Unlike other species of the genus, A. paniculata is of common occurrence in most places in India, including the plains and hilly areas up to 500 m (1,600 ft), which accounts for its wide use.
In India the major source of plant is procured from its wild habitat. The plant is categorised as Low Risk or of Least Concern by the IUCN. Under the trade name Kalmegh, on average 2,000–5,000 tonnes (2,200–5,500 tons) of the plant is traded in India.
The plant does best in a sunny location. The seeds are sown during May and June (northern hemisphere). The seedlings are transplanted at a distance of 60 cm (24 in) x 30 cm (12 in).
- creat (English)
- green chiretta (English)
- king of bitter.
- phtuhs' (smau) (phtuhs'="explosion", smau="grass", referring to sound of its ripe fruit opening, Khmer language)
- prâmat' mnu:hs (smau) (="human gall grass", probably alluding to its folk-medical use, Khmer language)
- ฟ้าทะลายโจร (RTGS: fa thalai chon) ('heaven spills onto the robber', Thai language)
- 穿心莲, chuan xin lian (Standard Chinese)
- roi des amers (French)
A. paniculata has been used in Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine, and is promoted as a dietary supplement for cancer prevention and cure. There is no evidence that it helps prevent or cure cancer.
A. paniculata has also traditionally been used in India and China for the common cold and influenza. A 2017 (pre COVID-19) meta-analysis evaluating Andrographis paniculata for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) indicated possible support for its efficacy and safety, but cautioned that the trials reviewed were of poor quality and thus not conclusive.
Amid Thailand's COVID-19 outbreak in December 2020, the country's health ministry approved the usage of the plant extract for a pilot alternative treatment program. In July 2021, the Cabinet of Thailand approved the use of green chiretta to treat asymptomatic COVID patients after the Thai Corrections Department said the drug was beneficial in prison inmates. The herb was administered to about 11,800 infected inmates and 99% of them recovered. Claims as to its efficacy as a COVID therapeutic are contentious and in dispute.
A 2012 review found that A. paniculata extracts could inhibit expression of several cytochrome C enzymes and thus interfere with metabolism of other pharmaceuticals. A 2019 review finds that A. paniculata compounds have poor solubility and relatively low potency, and that a semi-synthetic injectable derivative can cause sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions.
In Cambodia the dried root macerated in alcohol is consumed as an aperitive, while the seeds make a black jelly called chahuoy khmau.
Andrographolide is the major constituent extracted from the leaves of the plant and is a bicyclic diterpenoid lactone. This bitter principle was isolated in pure form by Gorter in 1911. Systematic studies on chemistry of A. paniculata have been carried out.
Some known constituents and are:
- 14-Deoxy-11-dehydroandrographolide, Plant
- 14-Deoxy-11-oxoandrographolide, Plant
- 5-Hydroxy-7,8,2',3'-Tetramethoxyflavone, Plant
- 5-Hydroxy-7,8,2'-Trimethoxyflavone, Tissue Culture
- Andrographine, Root
- Andrographolide, Plant
- Neoandrographolide, Plant
- Panicoline, Root
- Paniculide-A, Plant
- Paniculide-B, Plant
- Paniculide-C, Plant
- "Andrographis paniculata". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
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- Samy, Joseph; Sugumaran, M.; Lee, Kate (2005). Herbs of Malaysia. Times Editions - Marshall Cavendish. p. 47. ISBN 9833001793.
- Pauline Dy Phon (2000). Plants Utilised In Cambodia/Plantes utilisées au Cambodge. Phnom Penh: Imprimerie Olympic. pp. 14, 15.
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- "Thailand Clears Use of Herbal Medicine for Covid-19 Treatment". Bloomberg. 30 December 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
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- Rammohan Subramanian, Mohd. Zaini Asmawi, Amirin Sadikun (2012). "A bitter plant with a sweet future? A comprehensive review of an oriental medicinal plant: Andrographis paniculata". Phytochemistry Reviews. Springer. 11 (1): Phytochemistry Reviews. doi:10.1007/s11101-011-9219-z. S2CID 18018227.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Yan Dai, Shao-Ru Chen, Ling Chai, Jing Zhao, Yitao Wang & Ying Wang (2019). "Overview of pharmacological activities of Andrographis paniculata and its major compound andrographolide". Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 59 (sup1): S17–S29. doi:10.1080/10408398.2018.1501657. PMID 30040451. S2CID 51715899.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Chao W-W., Lin B.-F. "Isolation and identification of bioactive compounds in Andrographis paniculata (Chuanxinlian) Chinese Medicine 2010 5 Article Number 17
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- "Species Information". sun.ars-grin.gov. Archived from the original on 2004-11-10. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Andrographis paniculata.|
- Andrographis (www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au)
- Dr. Duke's Database
- Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 978-0-7234-3410-8. Contains a detailed monograph on Andrographis paniculatus (Bhunimba) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at https://web.archive.org/web/20110519163542/http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/390-bhunimba
- Akbar, S (2011). "Andrographis paniculata: A review of pharmacological activities and clinical effects" (PDF). Alternative Medicine Review. 16 (1): 66–77. PMID 21438648.
- Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Nees Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (in Chinese) (in English)
- 穿心蓮, Common Andrographis Herb, Chuan Xin Lian Chinese Medicine Specimen Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (in Chinese) (in English)
-  Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews