Bhunimba/Kalamegha is an Ayurvedic herb, used mainly for the treatment of diseases of the liver, having botanical name Andrographis paniculata which belongs to Acanthaceae family. This plant is found throughout India, especially in West Bengal. Generally it is found in gardens, rural areas & waste places .
Kalamegha is a small herb growing to a height of 1- 3 feet. The stem is weak and has small hairs at the top. The flowers are small and white or purplish in color. The fruits are small, round and the seeds are pale brown in color.
According to Ayurveda, Kalamegha has Pitta and Kapha pacifying properties. Therefore, it is also highly effective in treating various gastro-intestinal and upper-respiratory tract disorders. Kalamegha is also a popular immunity-booster herb and is used to prevent allergies and infections in the body.
Chemical Constituents –
Whole plant contains lactones – andrographolide , 14 – deoxy , 11 – oxo andrographolide , 14 – deoxy 11 , 12 – didehydro – andrographolide , 14 – deoxy andrographolide & meandrographolide , iridoid glucoside , 5 – hydroxyl – 3 , 78 2’– tetraancthoxyflavone, flavonoid 5- hydroxyl-7, 8 – dinecthoxy flavone glucoside ncoandrographolide,. The roots contain andrographin, panicolin, apigenin, andrographolide, flavone andrographone, flavonoid glucoside 2’5 dihydroxy-7, 8-dimethoxy flavone-2-0 ß glucoside & 3 ß hydroxy-5-stignuasa – 9 (11) 22(23) – diene.
Part used –
Whole plant of Kalmegha is used for medicinal purposes.
• Juice – 5 to 10 ml
• Powder – 1 to 3 g
• Decoction – 20-30 ml
• Reduces Chronic Inflammation:
Andrographolide, an active component found in Kalamegha, helps to reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Therefore, it is also highly effective in the management of many liver problems.
• Alleviates Nausea:
Ayurveda mentions Kalamegha or Bhunimba as an effective remedy to alleviate nausea and vomiting.
• Purifies Blood:
Kalamegha is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs to remove toxins from the blood. The Pitta balancing properties of Bhunimba further help to purify the blood.
• Eliminates Ama:
According to Ayurveda, the accumulation of Ama or harmful toxins is the root cause for a majority of diseases. Kalamegha helps to remove these toxins from the body and prevent many health complications.
• Improves Digestion:
Kalamegha is known to balance Pitta in the body. It, therefore, aids in improving the digestive fire in the body and stimulating bowel movements. It is also highly beneficial in improving appetite in the body. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of Kalamegha help to treat and prevent stomach ulcers.
• Boosts Immunity:
The immunomodulatory activity of Kalamegha or Bhunimba helps to boost the functioning of the immune system. It is considered one of the most effective herbs for boosting immunity in Ayurveda.
• Reduces Oxidative Stress:
Kalamegha is rich in antioxidants that help to fight free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress. Therefore, it is highly beneficial in the treatment of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, etc.
• Prevents Bacterial and Viral Infections:
The antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties of Kalamegha or Bhunimba helps to treat and prevent many allergies and infections in the body. According to Ayurveda, Kalamegha is a highly effective remedy for treating a common cold, flu, fever, etc.
• Treats Skin Diseases:
Owing to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, blood-purifying and Pitta-pacifying properties, Kalamegha is known to treat and prevent many skin disorders such as acne, eczema, skin boils, eruptions, etc.
• Aids in the Management of Diabetes:
Kalamegha stimulates insulin secretion and helps to lower the levels of blood glucose in the body, thereby aiding in diabetes management. In addition, Kalamegha is also rich in antioxidants that further aid in reducing the risk of diabetes complications.
• Helps in Cancer Treatment:
Kalamegha is one of the best herbs to treat cancer. It possesses anticancer activities that inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in the body.
• Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis:
According to Ayurveda, rheumatoid arthritis is caused due to the accumulation of Ama. As Kalamegha is highly effective in removing Ama from the body, it helps to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of Kalamegha or Bhunimba help in reducing pain and stiffness in joints, improving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
• Antivenom actions:
Kalmegha is a specific antidote to snake venom actions.
• Treats Postpartum problems:
Decoction of powdered herb of kalamegha can be used for post-partum burning sensation in the palm and foot.
Ayurvedic Formulations –
• Bhunimbadi Churna
• MahaTiktaka Ghrita
• Tiktaka ghrita
It is a very bitter herb and lowers blood sugar levels. Care should be taken while prescribing this to diabetic patients who are under treatment.
It might slow blood clotting.
This might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.
Mild side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhoea, etc can be experienced.
It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is a concern that it might cause miscarriages. Not enough is known about the safety of andrographis during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side, and avoid using andrographis if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
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