Botanical name: Andrographis paniculata Family: Acanthaceae (Barleria family)
Synonyms: Justicia paniculata
Kariyat is an erect annual herb extremely bitter in taste in all parts of the plant. It grows erect to a height of 1-4 ft in moist shady places with smooth leaves and white flowers with rose-purple spots on the petals. Stem dark green, 0.3 - 1.0 m in height, 2-6 mm in diameter, quadrangular with longitudinal furrows and wings on the angles of the younger parts, slightly enlarged at the nodes; leaves glabrous, up to 8.0 cm long and 2.5 cm broad, lanceolate, pinnate; flowers small, in lax spreading axillary and terminal racemes or panicles; capsules linear-oblong, acute at both ends, 1.9 cm x 0.3 cm; seeds numerous, sub quadrate, yellowish brown.
Medicinal uses: Since ancient times, Kariyat is used as a wonder drug in traditional Siddha and Ayurvedic systems of medicine as well as in tribal medicine in India and some other countries for multiple clinical applications. The therapeutic value of Kalmegh is due to its mechanism of action which is perhaps by enzyme induction. The plant extract exhibits antityphoid and antifungal activities.
Identification credit: Prashant Awale
The flower labeled Kariyat is ...