Nilavembu kashayam or Nilavembu Kudineer is being pushed by the government of Tamil Nadu for the treatment of Chikungunya and Dengue fever. The kashayam is a mixture of nine herbs and its public use was approved during chikungunya outbreak during Jayalalithaa’s tenure. According to the Ayush Ministry, this herbal concoction has analgesic, antipyretic and anti-dengue properties. However, recently there were reports claiming that Nilavembu causes infertility. Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabaskar rubbished the report and said that it has been scientifically proved that the herbal drink is effective against different types of fever including Chikungunya and Dengue. He said that the rumors about the herbal drink causing side effects are baseless. Vijayabaskar added that the government will make arrangements for the public distribution of Nilavembu kudineer. According to a research paper called ‘platelet augmentation activity of Andrographis Paniculata extract and Andrographolide against cyclophosphamide-induced thrombocytopenia in rats’, Nilavembu (Andrographis paniculata) is safe and effective in increasing the number of platelets in rats. The research paper was published in MedCrave. 

What is Nilavembu?

Known as Kalmegh and Kirayat in Hindi, Nilavembu is a small plant, which is used for the treatment of cold, fever, dengue and cold. The whole plant or just roots and leaves are used for the treatment. Its scientific name is Andrographis paniculata. The plant is bitter in taste and it is stronger than neem or Azadirachta indica.

How is Nilavembu used to treat Chikungunya and Dengue?

A concoction of nine herbs including Nilavembu is made to cure the diseases. Nilavembu is used for its antipyretic property. The eight other herbs used in the concoction have anti-inflammatory and detoxing properties. The herbs also act as a coolant. You can also prepare Nilavembu kudineer drink. The drink is prepared by boiling a cup of water with two to three teaspoon of Nilavembu kudineer powder. Reduce the quantity to half and drink it. You need to consume Nilavembu kudineer drink thrice and day for three days. Instead of Nilavembu powder, you can also use the paste of Nilavembu leaves. Since the taste of the plant is bitter, you can add jaggery or honey to it. 

Nilavembu kudineer has to be consumed as per doctor’s instructions. Overdose of the medicine can lead to side effects like heating of the body. The herbal medicine is also used for the treatment of respiratory infections, liver problems, arthritis, cold, diabetes and swine flu.

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