Siddha Nilavembu

Action ► Blood purifier and bitter tonic (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India); used in skin diseases. Other properties: antiinflammatory (experimentally, the benzene extract was comparable with phenylbutazone and betamethasone in induced arthritis); hypoglycaemic (xanthone, swerchirin, lowers blood sugar), astringent, stomachic (in dyspepsia and diarrhoea); antimalarial (before the discovery of Peruvian bark), anthelmintic; antiasthmatic, bechic; and as a liver tonic (several active principles are hepatoprotective).

The herb contains oxygenated xan-thone derivatives, including decus-satin, mangiferin, swerchirin, swer-tianin, isobellidifolin; iridoids including chiratin, alkaloids including gen-tianine, gentiocrucine, enicoflavine and glycosyl flavones.

Antitubercular activity has been claimed in xanthones. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Green chiretta is equated with Andrographis paniculata Nees, Acantha-ceae.

Dosage ► Whole plant—1-3 g powder; 20-30 g for decoction. (API, Vol. I.)

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