Nilavembu Kashayam - Nilavembu Kudineer Powder Benefits - Kalmegh - Siriyanangai Uses

Nilavembu is a Tamil name meaning “Neem of the ground” for a small plant that is used for its medicinal properties. The taste is very bitter and stronger like Neem. There is no wonder why it is called as King of Bitters. It’s a small plant growing 30 cm to 120 cm in height having spear shaped leaves, small white flowers and bears fruits in the shape of capsules. The leaves and roots, sometimes the whole plant is used to cure fever, cold, allergies, respiratory problems and dengue.

Nilavembu kudineer was in demand recently with the epidemic outbreak of dengue fever in Tamil Nadu. It was grown more than usual and the Nilavembu herb along with few others was given out by the government to the public as a precaution against dengue fever and as a cure. 

The scientific name for Nilavembu is Andrographis paniculata, the herb is famous for its dengue treatment and its extremely bitter taste. The herb however, can be used to treat and cure several other ailments. Nilavembu plant is callaed as Siriyanangaini in Tamil Nadu. It is called as Kalmegh in Hindi.

There was a global flu outbreak in 1919 which is considered as one of the devastating infectious outbreaks in world history. In India, people used Nilavembu (Kalmegh, Siriyanangai) to stop the deadly flu spreading.

We use Siriyanangai plant as snake repellent. The smell of the siriyangai plant, flower prevents the snake from coming in and hence siriyanangai plant is used as snake repellent in houses and offices.

Names of Kalmegh | Nilavembu | Siriyanangai Plant in different Indian Languages

Scientific Name | Botanical Name - Andrographis paniculata.
Family: Acanthaceae
Tamil - Siriyanangai Plant | Siriyaa Nangai | Nilavembu
Marathi - kadu kirayata, Oli kiryata
Hindi - Kalmegh, Kirayat
Bengali - Kalmegh
Kannada - Nelabevu
Malayalam - NilaVepp, Kiriyathth
Telugu - Nelavamaa, Nelavepu
Punjabi - Chooraita
Gujarati - Kariyatu
English - Green Chirayta, Creat, King of Bitters, Andrographis, India Echinacea

About the taste of Nilavembu Kudineer | Nilavembu Kashayam:

Nilavembu tastes very bitter. It is actually a challenge to make the kids and even adults to consume it. You can add jaggery, palm jaggery or honey. But still the nilavembu kudineer tastes bitter. Have honey, sugar, jaggery or palm jaggery handy before consuming nilavembu kudineer. Once you drink it, take any of these sweeteners to feel good. It is easy if you can drink the nilavmebu kudineer without the kudineer touching the tongue. Just lift your head and try to pour it directly onto your throat. I used to drink it in this way and I found it as a better way to consume nilavembu kashayam.

There are lot of medicinal uses for Siriyanangai. Let us see few of them now.

Kalmegh  | Siriyanangai | Nilavembu kudineer | Nilavembu Kashayam Uses and Benefits for dengue cure:

The Nilavembu kudineer is a decoction made from a mixture of 9 herbs. While Nilavembu is the key ingredient, the other 8 are equally important with their anti-inflammatory, coolant and detoxing properties. The antipyretic property of Nilavembu fights against all types of fever especially the dengue kind. The 9 herbs are:

Nilavembu, Vettiver (Vetiveria zizanioides),
Vilamiccam ver (Vetiveria zizanioides),
Cantanam (Santalum album),
Peyputtal (Trichosanthes cucumerina),
Koraik kilanku (Cyperus rotandus),
Cukku (Zingeber officinale),
Milaku (Piper nigrum),
Parpatakam (Mollugo cerviana).

Preparation method:

Boil the 2 to 3 tsp of the nilavembu kudineer powder in one cup of water and let it reduce to half the quantity. It should be taken twice a day for 3 days to prevent any fever. 

The leaves of nilavembu plant can be used directly by grinding them in a mortar and pestle. Take 10 nilavembu leaves, 5 peppercorns, 1 small papaya leaf and a bit of turmeric. Grind it and boil in a cup of water and let it reduce into half the portion. Mix with jaggery powder and drink twice a day for three days.

Kalmegh | SiriyaNangai | Nilavembu Uses and Benefits for Swine Flu: 

 According to "Drug Therapy for Swine flu - An overview" article published in International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, you can use nilavembu for curing Swine flu infection. Crush hundred grams each of Nilavembu, Seenthil, Adathoda, Vishnu Karanthai, Parpadagam to make into a powder. Take 50 grams of the powder and heat it adding one litre of water. The infected adult should take 150 ml while a child could be given 75 ml for seven to ten days. Please note, consult a physician before consuming.

Kalmegh | SiriyaNangai | Nilavembu 
Uses and Benefits for cold treatment:

The andrographolides in Nilavembu is found to increase the immunity and trigger cells to fight against infections. 20 mg dose when taken 3 times a day is shown to reduce the cold at the beginning stages. A research by scientists in Russia has shown the effectiveness of the nilavembu herb against influenza.
Preparation method:
  • Take some fresh Nilavembu leaves and grind it with a bit of water. Strain and take 2 tsps two times a day.

Kalmegh | SiriyaNangai | Nilavembu Uses and Benefits for diabetes:

The andographolide in pure Nilavembu extract is shown to reduce the blood glucose, triglyceride and LDL level according to a study. However, it is advised to consult with your doctor when taking the Nilavembu extract as it reduces the blood sugar level and your diabetic medication would have to be adjusted accordingly.

Preparation method:
  • Take some fresh Nilavembu leaves and grind it with a bit of water. Strain and take 2 tsps two times a day.

Kalmegh | SiriyaNangai | Nilavembu Uses and Benefits for Arthritis:

The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) compound in Nilavembu is known to promote anti-inflammatory effect. Reduced inflammation in muscles and joints mean reduced pain and stiffness. 

A study says that people with Arthritis is at a 60% risk of death by heart problems. Taking Nilavembu at prescribed dosages therefore reduces the effects of arthritis and increases their life span.

Preparation method:
  • Make a decoction from the Nilavembu leaves. Strain it and drink twice a day for a week.

Kalmegh | Siriyanangai | Nilavembu Uses and Benefits for Liver problems:

Liver damage due to alcohol abuse and exposure to chemicals can be treated with Nilavembu, siriyangai, kalmegh according to a study. It aids in proper functioning of liver with its anti-inflammatory property.

Preparation method: Boil 1 tsp of Nilavembu powder | Kalmegh powder | siriyanangai powder in water and let it reduce to half. Strain and have this nilavembu kudineer | nilavembu kashayam twice a day.

Kalmegh | Siriyanangai | Nilavembu Uses and Benefits for upper respiratory tract infections:

Prescription of too much antibiotics can also cause upper respiratory problems apart from reduced immunity and exposure to dust. A study showed reduced respiratory distress when Nilavembu | siriyangai | kalmegh  extract was taken in pure form. Respiratory problems can also be avoided with the intake of Nilavembu extract.

Preparation method: Boil 1 tsp of Nilavembu powder | Kalmegh powder | siriyanangai powder in water and let it reduce to half. Strain and have this nilavembu kudineer | nilavembu kashayam twice a day.

Kalmegh | Nilavembu Dosage and Side effects:

The dosage varies according to age. Different dosage is prescribed by different people. Some manufacturers already give dosage instructions in the packing itself. You can consult your ayurvedic or homeopathy doctor for the correct dosage.  Even normal doctors can help you out. 

Over dosage might cause side effects. Also, it is said to cause heat in the body. So, it has to be taken carefully like any other natural herbs.
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