11 Health Benefits of Andrographis

11 Health Benefits of Andrographis

Andrographis (Paniculata) the so-called King of Bitters, is a plant well known for it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, but is most commonly used for lesser issues such as the common cold, sinus infections, general inflammation, pain, and detoxification.

It can be found growing like a weed by the roadsides in India, Indonesia, Java, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka [1] but is also cultivated in Southern Asia, China and some parts of Europe. The leaf and underground stem are used to make medicine.

According to Ayurveda the plant is bitter, acrid, cooling, laxative, vulnerary, antipyretic, antiperiodic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, soporific, anthelmintic, digestive and useful in hyperdispsia, wounds, ulcers, chronic fever, malarial and intermittent fevers, inflammations, cough, bronchitis, skin diseases, leprosy, colic, flatulence, diarrhoea, dysentery, haemorrhoids etc.

Botanical Name: Andrographis Paniculata
English/Common Name: Kalmegh
Ayurvedic Name: 
Bhunimbah, Kiratatiktah
Parts used: 
Whole Plant
Principal Constituents: Andrographolide

List of Andrographis benefits

1  Antibacterial

There are several studies showing the potency and antibacterial action of Andrographis. There is still some controversy over it’s affects on MRSA.  However, it has proven effective against P. Aeruginosa, a multi-drug-resistant pathogen responsible for serious illnesses associated with pneumonia and sepsis. Andrographis is also potent against tuberculosis by targeting the Mycobacterium. [2]

2  Antiviral

Andrographis paniculata extract has been used in Nordic countries to treat the common cold for several years. A study conducted at the Health Center, Hallehälsan, during the autumn of 1992, found that taking the herb significantly reduced the symptoms of the common cold, shortening the sick period. It also has fever reducing abilities. [3]

3 Anti-parasitic

Andrographis paniculata demonstrates anti-parasitic activity exhibiting efficacy against roundworms and threadworms. The herb shows significant properties against Giant roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) typically infecting humans (in vitro) [2]

Several different forms of Andrographis extracts significantly or completely inhibit the Malaria parasite (in-vitro+in-vivo) [2]

4 Anti-cancer

Not only does Andrographis suppress cancer cell division and induce programmed cell death in cancer cells, but it also promotes antiangiogenic effects in neoplastic tissues, which prevents the creation and growth of tumor-specific blood vessels that feed the tumor. Andrographolide treatment also significantly decreases the expression of proteins associated with an aggressive phenotype in many cancers. [4]

5 Liver support

Andrographis protects the liver against toxins that cause damage (carbon tetrachloride). [2] It is officially listed in the Indian Pharmacopoeia as an ingredient in twenty-six traditional Ayurvedic formulations for ailments of the liver. [4]

6 Anti-inflammatory

Andrographis and several of its diterpenoid extracts can significantly inhibit inflammation. Mice with induced acute inflammation had significantly higher survival rates taking Andrographis. [2]

7 Anti- diabetic

In rat models of diabetes, andrographolide treatment improves diabetic hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, and insulin deficiency in a dose-dependent manner, with a higher dose eliciting a greater benefit. Thus, andrographis may be useful in both diabetes and other conditions with an element of insulin resistance. [2]

8 Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions

Andrographis has been shown to diminish tender and swollen joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients in a prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The herb likewise diminished levels of rheumatoid factor (Rf), immunoglobulin A (IgA), and C4, immunological parameters associated with RA. [5] Because dysregulation in NF-κB signaling contributes to chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases such as type one diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus, using andrographis to reduce NF-κB signaling may be therapeutic in these conditions. [7]

However, Andrographis might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms, get advice and/or do more research before trying this product.

9 Anti-fungal

Results of a study found on Researchgate.net showed that the whole plant extracts have good inhibitory effects against most of the pathogenic fungal species. [6]

10 Snake bites

Not many have call for snake bite treatment. However, ten cases of viper bites were reportedly cured in 3-5 days by a compound formula that had Andrographis as the chief constituent. [2]

11 Digestive issues

It is used for digestive complaints including diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas, colic, and stomach pain. Popular in Unani Tibb Medicine, Andrographis was used for digestive concerns. It was considered a gastric and liver tonic, a carminative, and an aperient, both emollient and astringent. [8]

[1]   www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article

[2]  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

[3]  www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/

[4]  www.hindawi.com/journals/

[5]  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19408036

[6]  www.researchgate.net/publication/224964885

[7]  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619690/

[8] www.agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=PK1998000366

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Healthy Tree Frog or its contribitors.

11 Health Benefits of Andrographis
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11 Health Benefits of Andrographis
Andrographis (Paniculata) the so-called King of Bitters, is a plant well known for it's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, but is most commonly used for lesser issues such as the common cold, sinus infections, general inflammation, pain, and detoxification.
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