It is widely cultivated in Southern and Southeastern Asia, where it has been traditionally used to treat infections and some diseases. Mostly the leaves and roots were used for medicinal purposes. The whole plant is also used in some cases.
The plant grows as an erect herb to a height of 30–110 cm (12–43 in) in moist, shady places. The slender stem is dark green, square in cross-section with longitudinal furrows and wings along the angles. The lance-shaped leaves have hairless blades measuring up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long by 2.5 cm (0.98 in). The small flowers are pink, solitary, arranged in lax spreading racemes or panicles. The fruit is a capsule around 2 cm (0.79 in) long and a few millimeters wide. It contains many yellow-brown seeds. The seeds are subquadrate, rugose and glabrous. The flowering time is September to December.
The species is distributed in tropical Asian countries, often in isolated patches. It can be found in a variety of habitats, such as plains, hillsides, coastlines, and disturbed and cultivated areas such as roadsides, farms, and wastelands. Native populations of A. paniculata are spread throughout south India and Sri Lanka which perhaps represent the center of origin and diversity of the species. The herb is an introduced species in northern parts of India, Java, Malaysia, Indonesia, the West Indies, and elsewhere in the Americas. The species also occurs in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, and other parts of Asia where it may or may not be native. The plant is cultivated in many areas, as well.
Unlike other species of the genus, A. paniculata is of common occurrence in most places in India, including the plains and hilly areas up to 500 m (1,600 ft), which accounts for its wide use.
In India the major source of plant is procured from its wild habitat. The plant is categorised as Low Risk or of Least Concern by the IUCN. Under the trade name Kalmegh, on average 2,000–5,000 tonnes (2,200–5,500 tons) of the plant is traded in India.
The plant does best in a sunny location. The seeds are sown during May and June (northern hemisphere). The seedlings are transplanted at a distance of 60 cm (24 in) x 30 cm (12 in).
Andrographolide is the major constituent extracted from the leaves of the plant and is a bicyclic diterpenoid lactone. This bitter principle was isolated in pure form by Gorter (1911). Systematic studies on chemistry of A. paniculata have been carried out.
Some known constituents are:
- "14-Deoxy-11-dehydroandrographolide, Plant
- 14-Deoxy-11-oxoandrographolide, ahhiajajaiop.Plant
- 5-Hydroxy-7,8,2',3'-Tetramethoxyflavone, Plant
- 5-Hydroxy-7,8,2'-Trimethoxyflavone, Tissue Culture
- Andrographine, Root
- Andrographolide, Plant
- Neoandrographolide, Plant
- Panicoline, Root
- Paniculide-A, Plant
- Paniculide-B, Plant
- Paniculide-C, Plant"
- "Andrographis paniculata". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "Andrographis paniculata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "Traded Medicinal Plants Database".
- "List of 178 Medicinal Plant Species in high Volume Trade (>100 MT/Year)". Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.
- medicinal properties of bhunimb Nighatu adarsh[page needed]
- "Andrographis". Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 13 February 2013.
- Tewari, D; Mocan, A; Parvanov, ED; Sah, AN; Nabavi, SM; Huminiecki, L; Ma, ZF; Lee, YY; Horbańczuk, JO; Atanasov, AG (Aug 2017). "Ethnopharmacological Approaches for Therapy of Jaundice: Part I". Front Pharmacol. 8: 518. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00518. PMC 5559545. PMID 28860989.
- Hu XY, Wu RH, Logue M, Blondel C, Lai LY, Stuart B, Flower A, Fei YT, Moore M, Shepherd J, Liu JP. "Andrographis paniculata (Chuān Xīn Lián) for symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis". PLOS One. 2017 Aug 4;12(8):e0181780.
- Chao W-W., Lin B.-F. "Isolation and identification of bioactive compounds in Andrographis paniculata (Chuanxinlian) Chinese Medicine 2010 5 Article Number 17
- Hossain MS, Urbi Z, Sule A, Hafizur Rahman KM (2014). "Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wall. ex Nees: a review of ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and pharmacology". ScientificWorldJournal. 2014: 1–28. doi:10.1155/2014/274905. PMC 4408759. PMID 25950015.
- "Species Information". sun.ars-grin.gov. Archived from the original on 2004-11-10. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- Coon, JT; Ernst, E (2004). "Andrographis paniculatain the Treatment of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: A Systematic Review of Safety and Efficacy". Planta Medica. 70 (4): 293–8. doi:10.1055/s-2004-818938. PMID 15095142.
- Mishra, Siddhartha K; Sangwan, Neelam S; Sangwan, Rajender S (2007). "Andrographis paniculata (Kalmegh): A review". Pharmacognosy Reviews. 1 (2): 283–98.
- Andrographis (www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au)
- Dr. Duke's Database
- Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 978-0-7234-3410-8. Contains a detailed monograph on Andrographis paniculatus (Bhunimba) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at https://web.archive.org/web/20110519163542/http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/390-bhunimba
- Akbar, S (2011). "Andrographis paniculata: A review of pharmacological activities and clinical effects" (PDF). Alternative Medicine Review. 16 (1): 66–77. PMID 21438648.
- Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Nees Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (in Chinese) (in English)
- 穿心蓮, Common Andrographis Herb, Chuan Xin Lian Chinese Medicine Specimen Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (in Chinese) (in English)
-  Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews