2Since ancient times Nilavembu (A. paniculata ) has been used as a traditional remedy for treating various ailments in Siddha and Ayurvedic systems of medicine as well as in tribal medicine, Unani, Homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine.

Commonly known as Kirayat in Hindi and as Andrographis or King of bitters in english. In Ayurveda it is called Kalmegh or Kalamegha, meaning “dark cloud”. Most vernacular names of Andrographis come from its strong bitter taste. Meaning of Nila-Vembu is “Neem of the ground” as the plant has strong bitter taste as that of the Neem tree, defying its small size. In Malaysia it is called Hempedu Bumi which means “Bile of Earth”.

Nilavembu can easily be found in both planes and hilly regions of India. It is a herbaceous annual or sometimes biennial plant found in abundance in Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China but it is native to Southern India and Srilanka. It is an introduced species for Northern parts of India.

Nilavembu is one of the most popular medicinal plants used traditionally for the treatment of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcer, leprosy, bronchitis, skin diseases, flatulence, colic, influenza, dysentery, dyspepsia and malaria for centuries in Asia, America and Africa continents. In China, India, Thailand, and Malaysia, this plant has been widely used for treating sore throat, flu, and upper respiratory tract infections. Every part of the plant can be used as medicine.

Traditional uses of Nilavembu :

  1. Andrographis or Nilavembu has been extensively used in traditional Indian medicine Ayurveda and Siddha for the treatment of common cold and fever.
  2. It is considered extremely effective in case of Malaria, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and swine flu owing to its antipyretic properties. It is known to stimulate immune system and prepare the body to fight against infections.
  3. It is considered to be safe for children and is used  during cough, common cold, fever and indigestion. It is also used to treat dysentery and intestinal worms in children.
  4. Nilavembu is a well known for its potent antimicrobial, anti-parasitic and anti fungal properties which makes it useful in the treatment of various diseases caused due to such infections.
  5. It is also said to be effective in case of skin eruptions like acne, pimples, boils gonorrhea, eczema, scabies etc.
  6. This herb is known for its extremely bitter taste and works as an amazing antioxidant and blood purifier. This further enhances its effectiveness in the treatment of skin diseases.
  7. Nilavembu is also used for the treatment of high blood pressure, bronchitis, diabetes, ulcers, Indigestion and flatulence.
  8. According to ancient Chinese medicine Nilavembu, (Chuanxinlian in Chinese) is cold by nature and is used to remove heat from blood especially from the renal tract.
  9. The bitter herb is also used for the treatment of Jaundice and various other liver disorders owing to its hepato-protective properties. It is said to repair damaged liver and protects it against toxins.
  10. According to some tests, usage of Nilavembu reduces the formation of cancerous cells. There has been a mention of Nilavembu being anti-angiogenic.
  11. Nilavembu is a natural anti-inflammatory useful for treating arthritis and gout.
  12. Nilavembu extract has been tested in various clinical trials to be used as immune stimulant for upper respiratory tract infection.
  13. It is also known to be effective in reducing fatigue in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

How to use:

• A simple decoction made of Nilavembu leaves or powder helps in treating many diseases
• Paste made out of fresh leaves can be applied directly on skin eruptions and allergic skin reactions.


• Though Nilavembu is considered safe even for kids some studies indicate its adverse effect during pregnancy and hence it should be avoided by pregnant women.
• The herb may cause lose motions or rashes in some people. In such instances it should be immediately discontinued.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purpose only intended not an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any herbal remedies. Read more about our disclaimer https://www.yogisherbs.com/medical-disclaimer/

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