Andrographis paniculata

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Andrographis paniculata
Andrographis paniculata (Kalpa) in Narshapur forest, AP W2 IMG 0867.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Andrographis
A. paniculata
Binomial name
Andrographis paniculata
  • Justicia latebrosa Russell ex Wall.
  • Justicia paniculata Burm.f.
  • Justicia stricta Lam. ex Steud.

Andrographis paniculata, commonly known as creat or green chiretta,[2] is an annual herbaceous plant in the family Acanthaceae, native to India and Sri Lanka. Other common names for the plant include King of Bitter and hempedu bumi (Malay).[3]

It is widely cultivated in Southern and Southeastern Asia, where it has been traditionally 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.[4]


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.[5] It contains many yellow-brown seeds. The seeds are subquadrate, rugose and glabrous. The flowering time is September to December.[6]


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, farms, and wastelands. 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.[7]


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).

Alternative medicine[edit]

A. paniculata has been used in Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine,[8] and is promoted as a dietary supplement for cancer prevention and cure. There is no evidence that it helps prevent or cure cancer.[9]

In the traditional medicine of India, A. paniculata has also been used for jaundice therapy.[10]

A 2017 meta-analysis evaluating Andrographis paniculata to treat respiratory tract infections was inconclusive because the trials reviewed were of poor quality.[11]

A 2012 review found that A. paniculata extracts could inhibit expression of several cytochrome C enzymes and thus interfere with metabolism of other pharmaceuticals.[12] 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.[13]


A 2020 study found that Andrographis permitted chemosensitization of chemosensitive colorectal cancer cells. Two major pathways were altered by the Andrographis. One is the ferroptosis pathway, the other is the β-catenin/Wnt-signaling pathway.[14]


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 (1911). Systematic studies on chemistry of A. paniculata have been carried out.[15][16]

Some known constituents are:

  • "14-Deoxy-11-dehydroandrographolide, Plant
  • 14-Deoxy-11-oxoandrographolide, ahhiajajaiop. 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"[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Andrographis paniculata". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Andrographis paniculata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  3. ^ Samy, Joseph; Sugumaran, M.; Lee, Kate (2005). Herbs of Malaysia. Times Editions - Marshall Cavendish. p. 47. ISBN 9833001793.
  4. ^ "Traded Medicinal Plants Database".
  5. ^ Anil Kumar, Jyotsna Dora, Anup Singh and Rishikant Tripathi (2012). "A review on king of bitter (Kalmegh)". Int J Res Pharm Chem. 2 (1): 116–124. S2CID 29219947.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Board, N.I.I.R. (2003). Herbs cultivation & their utilization. Delhi, India: Asia Pacific Business Press, Inc. pp. 45–46. ISBN 81-7833-064-4.
  7. ^ "List of 178 Medicinal Plant Species in high Volume Trade (>100 MT/Year)". Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.
  8. ^ medicinal properties of bhunimb Nighatu adarsh[page needed]
  9. ^ "Andrographis". Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 13 February 2013.
  10. ^ Tewari, D; Mocan, A; Parvanov, ED; Sah, AN; Nabavi, SM; Huminiecki, L; Ma, ZF; Lee, YY; Horbańczuk, JO; Atanasov, AG (Aug 2017). "Ethnopharmacological Approaches for Therapy of Jaundice: Part I". Front Pharmacol. 8: 518. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00518. PMC 5559545. PMID 28860989.
  11. ^ Xiao-Yang Hu, Ruo-Han Wu, Martin Logue, Clara Blondel, Lily Yuen Wan Lai, Beth Stuart, Andrew Flower, Yu-Tong Fei, Michael Moore, Jonathan Shepherd, Jian-Ping Liu, George Lewith (2017). "Andrographis paniculata (Chuān Xīn Lián) for symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis". PLOS ONE. 12 (8): e0181780. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0181780. PMID 28783743.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ 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.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ 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.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Priyanka Sharma, Tadanobu Shimura, Jasjit K Banwait, Ajay Goel (2020). "Andrographis-mediated chemosensitization through activation of ferroptosis and suppression of β-catenin/Wnt-signaling pathways in colorectal cancer". Carcinogenesis.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Chao W-W., Lin B.-F. "Isolation and identification of bioactive compounds in Andrographis paniculata (Chuanxinlian) Chinese Medicine 2010 5 Article Number 17
  16. ^ Hossain MS, Urbi Z, Sule A, Hafizur Rahman KM (2014). "Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wall. ex Nees: a review of ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and pharmacology". ScientificWorldJournal. 2014: 1–28. doi:10.1155/2014/274905. PMC 4408759. PMID 25950015.
  17. ^ "Species Information". Archived from the original on 2004-11-10. Retrieved 2008-03-07.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]