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King of Bitter & Super Herb | Chiretta | Chiryata | Kalmegh | Andrographis Paniculata

Andrographis Paniculata is one of the most popular and essential herbs in the Indian Ayurvedic system. It has a number of popular names like Chiretta, Chiryata, Kalmegh, Ardhatikta, Bhunimba, Chiratika, Chiratitka, Haima, Jvarantaka, Kairata, Kandatiktaka, Kiranta, Kirataka, Kirata, Tikta, Naditikta, Naipala, Nepalanimba, Nidrari, Ramasenka, Sannipatha, Sutiktaka, Trinanimba, Indian Balmony, kirata Tikta, and Haima. The reference of the name Chirata is found in Charak Samhita, the ancient text of Ayurveda. Chiretta is native to India and Sri Lanka and commonly used in the Indian subcontinent region.

A wide array of studies has been conducted by researchers on the medicinal properties of Chiretta mostly according to traditional medical practitioners in the Ayurvedic system. Phytochemical studies have revealed that Chiretta contains diverse compounds including labdane diterpenoid lactones, flavonoids, and miscellaneous compounds. It has been shown to possess a wide spectrum of pharmacological properties.

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Medicinal use of parts of Chiretta

  • Whole Plant | Snakebite and insect sting treatment, dyspepsia, influenza, dysentery, malaria, and respiratory infections.

  • Leaf | Fever, colic pain, loss of appetite, irregular stools and diarrhea, common cold, cough, fever, hepatitis, tuberculosis, mouth ulcers, bronchitis gastrointestinal disorder, and sores.

  • Aerial part | Common cold, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, malaria and snakebite, urinary tract infection.

  • Root | Febrifuge, tonic, stomachic, and anthelmintic.

How Chiretta is used in various conditions in parts of India

  • Malaria | About 20 g of the whole plant is pounded, mixed in water, filtered, and given internally. Alternatively, the plant is cut into small pieces and kept overnight in 100 mL of water. About 40 mL of the cold infusion obtained is given internally, twice a day (Shevaroy Hills, Malayali).

  • Post-natal care | About 25 g of the powdered herb is boiled in 400 mL of water, reduced to 50 mL. cooled filtered and given internally to arrest unusual thirst. This decoction is also given to alleviate burning sensation in the palm and foot of the subject (Shevaroy Hills, Malayali).

  • Dysmenorrhoea | About 10 g of the leaf together with 3 black peppers is grounded well and given once a day for 7 d (Kolli Hills, Malayali).

  • Intestinal worm infestation | A total of 2 g each of root and stem along with 7 mustard are made into a paste, mixed in mother's milk and given internally. Alternatively, a paste made of 5 fresh leaves or juice extracted from 5 g of the root is mixed in hot water and given internally (Kolli Hills, Malayali).

  • Eczema | Powdered herb is mixed in oil and applied to the lesions. About 2 g of powder is also given internally once a day for 40 d (Pachamalais, Malayali).

  • Leucoderma | A total of 2 g of the powdered herb is given, once a day for 40 d (Panchamalais, Malayali).

  • Jaundice | Water extract of 10 g of the herb together with equal quantities of stem bark extracts of Azadirachta indica and Holarrhena antidysenterica, which is heat-treated by dropping a hot sonte, is given 3 times a day for 6 d, in a dose of 30 mL (KolliHills, Malayali).

  • Abscess | About 10 g of leaf paste is given internally. Some paste is also applied externally (Shevaroy Hills, Malayali).

  • Gonorrhea | Powdered herb mixed in oil is applied externally. Alternatively, plant juice is applied on the wounds. In addition 2 g of the powder is also given internally (Shevaroy Hills, Malayali).

  • Infected wounds | The herb is grounded into a paste together with turmeric and applied externally. Alternatively, the leaf paste is smeared on the affected parts and kept for two days (Kolli Hills, Malayali). Juice extracted from 100 g of herb is given internally (Shevaroy Hills, Malayali).

By Dinesh Valke from Thane, India - Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The robust use of the different parts of Chiretta plant in folk medicine, especially, in Asia led scientists to study its pharmacological properties to validate its use as a therapeutic agent in the remedy of various ailments. Several studies showed that this plant exhibited various biological activities such as below activities.

  1. Anti-microbial

  2. Anti-inflammatory/anti-allergic

  3. Anti-oxidant

  4. Immunostimulant

  5. Cytotoxicity

  6. Anti-diabetic

  7. Anti-protozoan

  8. Insecticidal

    1. Anti-infective

    2. Anti-angiogenic

    3. Hepato-renal protective

    4. Liver enzyme modulation

    5. Sex hormone function/modulation

    6. Toxicity

Dosage of Chiretta

An appropriate dose of Chiretta for use as treatment depends on several factors such as age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Chiretta. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your physician or other healthcare professional before using.


  • Buy only branded products with good Ayurvedic & Herbal medicine experience, preferably with roots in India

  • Do not exceed the recommended dose.

  • Avoid use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • It should be avoided by people with gastric or duodenal ulcers.

  • The bitterness of Chiretta may induce vomiting in some people.

  • Do not medicate yourself with this herb; only use it under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

  • Chirata lowers the blood sugar, so it should be taken with the right prescription.

  • Stop using Chirata as a medicine at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Where can you buy it?

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