Andrographis Paniculata


A. Paniculata Capsules

Bad things do come in threes. After the lassitude caused by the heat wave recently, I was swept away by a spell of glum that descended on me stealthily. When the sullenness finally lifted, I was stricken by a low grade fever that rapidly developed into a full-blown fever. It is no fun being sick, especially having a fever, because I go by the age-old adage of starve a fever and feed a cold. Starving means avoiding rice and I am what the Chinese call a rice bucket. I must have rice at least once a day!

It began on Tuesday with an uncomfortable tenderness around my abdomen. I knew a fever was impending. What did me in was the beef rendang and fish curry that I carelessly succumbed to during lunch. By nightfall, I was running a temperature and shivering. To cut a long story short, after two days of Panadols and hempedu bumi capsules, the fever has disappeared. Those few days, I subsisted mainly on rice noodles and bread only, and of course, bottles and bottles of plain water.

The scientific name for hempedu bumi is andrographis paniculata. It is also known as snake herb in Chinese. This annual herb sprouts profusely after the rainy season and grows to a height of about two feet. The leaves are dark green in colour and elongated. The entire plant tastes extremely bitter. The leaves are most commonly used, either chewed as it is, its juice extracted and drunk with honey, or air dried, ground into powder and encapsulated. It is believed to cleanse the body and blood of toxicity and reduces hypertension. The Chinese, Malays and Indians use this herb in traditional medication.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

7 thoughts on “Andrographis Paniculata”

  1. Glad to hear you’re all better now! 🙂 Don’t want to sound naggy or anything, but make sure you drink enough water!! 😉

  2. Thanks all. I drink a lot of water, at least 3 liters per day. That is on top of soups, juices and other beverages. That is as much as my body can take anyway. Thaanks again for the kind words.

  3. peter, glad to know the fever has left you but do continue to take good care of yourself, ya’ hear?

    the pic of the capsule you posted really scare me. do you know i hate taking capsule and believe it or not, i usually open up the capsule and swallow the powder! really! bitter yes, but what to do, no choice as i find it very difficult to swallow a capsule.

  4. Lucia,
    I hear you loud and clear. Swallowing capsules and tablets is not a problem for me. When I was in the hospital, I had to swallow like six or seven tablets per time several times a day. Right after my neck surgery, I could not swallow. The antibiotics were crushed and dissolved in a tablespoon of water and fed orally. That was the most horrible tasting thing I had ever tasted. I really do not mind swallowing twenty tablets instead of one spoonful of that.

  5. Oh man, I remember the crushed pill thing too well. Today, I’m an expert swallower of pill because of that. 🙂

  6. James,
    It is either the lingering taste of bitterness that stays on for hours or swallowing all that in a pill in a single gulp. We picked the right choice. 😀

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