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Kiratha Kaddi (King of bitters)


Kiratha Kaddi or Andrographis paniculata has been traditionally used as a remedy for fever, cold and ailments such as flu (influenza). Native to India and Sri Lanka it finds utility in the treatment of abdominal problems, body aches, respiratory disorders, snake bites and allergic reactions.

The plant is considered beneficial in treating cardio-vascular disease and in preventing liver toxicity, thus improving functions of the heart and liver. Andrographis is sometimes used to treat sore throat, coughs, swollen tonsils, bronchitis and allergies. It also finds applications in treating an enlarged liver, jaundice, and liver damage.

Kiratha Kaddi is also used for complaints related to the digestive system including diarrhea, intestinal gas, colic, constipation and stomach ache. The traditional kashaya or kodu vokath is a decoction made by adding a heaped teaspoon to a glass of water and boiling it. Cool and drink the blackish liquid that is obtained, which is extremely bitter in taste. Children may be given less than half a glass. It is usually had once a week or fortnight to keep the digestive system in good shape.

Botanical name Andrographis paniculata
Common name King of bitters, Kalmegh
Hindi Kirayat, Kalpanath
Assamese Chirota
Bengali Chirota, Kalmegh
Gujarati Kariyatu
Kannada Nelabevu
Konkani Vhodlem Kiratyem, Kodu Voktaso Sop
Malayalam Nelavepu, Kiriyath
Marathi Kadu kirayata, Oli Kiryata, Kalpa
Marathi kadu kirayata, Oli-kiryata
Oriya Bhuinimba
Punjabi Chooraita
Tamil Nilavembu
Telugu Nelavemaa, Nelavepu
Urdu Nain-e-havandi

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