The plant is called Kalmekhi in Hindi, Kalki in Sanskrit, King of bitters, and Andrographis paniculata in English. It is commonly known as Kalmegh or Kalki in Indian languages.
In India, it is used as a medicine for the treatment of several diseases like fever, cough, cold, and others.
It is found in the tropical regions throughout South and Southeast Asia, especially in the countries of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
The word "Kala" means black and "Megha" means water. Thus, we can say that "kalameghas" literally means "black waters." This name came about because of the color of the liquid inside the bottle.
Uses of Nela bevu
In India, it is used in traditional medicines. It is considered to be one of the best remedies for malaria. It is used to treat acute febrile illnesses such as dengue fever, chikungunya, typhoid, measles, chicken pox, flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, dysentery, gonorrhea, herpes, shingles, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, acne, boils, carbuncle, cellulite, cysts, fungal infection, gout, headache, jaundice, leprosy, skin diseases, chronic fever, intermittent fever and liver disorders.
In Ayurveda, "Kala Megha" is considered to be one of the best herbs for treating liver disorders. It helps in curing jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, gallstones, and fatty liver disease. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing cholesterol levels and preventing heart attacks.
A number of studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Kala Megha in treating liver disorders. For example, researchers found that it reduces the level of bilirubin in patients suffering from chronic hepatitis B. Another study showed that Kala Megha improves the functioning of the liver cells.
Moreover, Kala Megha has been shown to improve the symptoms associated with diabetes mellitus. In fact, it was found to reduce blood sugar levels by up to 40%.
How does it work?
According to Ayurvedic texts, Kala Megha contains an alkaloid compound called "andrographolide". This substance is responsible for its medicinal properties.
This herb also contains other compounds such as flavonoids, saponins, tannins, glycosides, terpenoids, steroids, essential oils, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, enzymes, and pigments.
These substances are believed to help in fighting against various types of bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and cancerous cells. It shows anti-inflammatory activities, Antibacterial activity, Antihistaminic activity, Antimicrobial activity, and Antioxidant activity.
How to use
To use Kala Megha, you just need to boil some water and add three teaspoons of dried leaves into it. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and strain out the leaves. Drink this mixture twice daily for 2 weeks. If you feel better, continue drinking it for another week.
You can take 1-2 teaspoons of this herb daily with warm water. You may also add honey or milk to make it more palatable. However, you must consult your doctor before using this remedy.
Kalmeghas side effects include hypoglycemias and raised liver enzymes. Patients suffering from diabetes type 2 should take care while taking kalmeghas. It may increase your blood pressure if taken regularly. Therefore, consult your doctor before using it. If you are pregnant, nursing, under 18 years old, or allergic to any ingredient present in Kala Megha, then avoid its consumption. If you experience any adverse reactions, discontinue its usage immediately. Do not consume this herb if you are allergic to any part of it. Do not use it if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult your physician before consuming it if you are on medication.
Dr. Vandana K.