Benefits Of Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) For Health

Benefits Of Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) For Health


Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata)


Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) is known as other names: Andrographis Paniculata, Andrographolide, Andrographis, Bhunimba, Bidara, Carmantina, Carmantine, Chiretta, Chirette Verte, Chirreta, Chuan Xin Lian, Chuan Xin Liang, Chuanxinlian, Chuan Xin Lin, Fah Tolai, Kalmegh, King Of Bitters, Creat, Échinacée d’Inde, Fa-Tha-Lai-Jone, Fa-Tha-Lai-Jone, Gubak, Kiryat, Herba Androgra...

Andrographis grows erect to a height of 30–110 cm in moist, shady places. The slender stem is dark green, squared in cross-section with longitudinal furrows and wings along the angles. The lance-shaped leaves have hairless blades measuring up to 8 centimeters long by 2.5 wide. The small flowers are borne in spreading racemes. The fruit is a capsule around 2 centimeters long and a few millimeters wide. It contains many yellow-brown seeds.

Benefits Of Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) For Health
Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) Picture

In Ayurvedic medicine, Andrographis, commonly known as Kalmegh or "King of Bitters" has long been used as a bitter tonic, stomachic, antipyretic, and laxative. The leaves are juiced to make some traditional Ayurvedic medicines. In traditional Chinese medicine Andrographis is considered bitter and 'cold' and is used to clear heat from the blood (especially in the lungs, throat and urinary tract). Since it is considered a 'cold' herb in traditional medicine and cultures, it is primarily suited to treating 'hot' conditions which may include various acute conditions.

The herb known as the andrographis is found growing in the forests and wastelands of Asian countries such as China, India, Pakistan, and Thailand-it is an erect and branched herb mostly seen in the wild. Herbal and medicinal use is made of the harvested leaves and stems. The plants are usually harvested in late summer in most countries. China and Thailand have cultivated this plant extensively and the cultivation of this medicinal herb also occurs to a certain degree in the East and West Indies.


Benefits Of Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) For Health


The remedial and beneficial effects of herbal remedies made from the andrographis herb are useful for the treatment of the following specific health problems.

The traditional use of the andrographis has an extensive historical record and this herb is considered an ancient medicinal herb especially because of its continued use down the ages in Asian societies. Disorders such as upper respiratory infections, mild to severe fevers, diseases such as herpes, persistent sore throat, and different chronic disease and a variety of infectious diseases have been treated using this herbal remedy down the centuries in Asia. The prevention and treatment of the common cold is the most common use for this herb in Scandinavian countries. 

Andrographis is frequently used for preventing and treating the common cold and flu (influenza). Some people claim andrographis stopped the 1919 flu epidemic in India, although this has not been proven.

Benefits Of Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) For Health
Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) Picture

The herbal remedies prepared from the andrographis herb have been successfully used in the treatment of atherosclerosis and heart attack in many different patients. The ability of the andrographis herbal remedy in he prevention of blood clot formation have been shown in many clinical studies conducted in China, in addition, the andrographis remedy also helps prevents the condition known as restenosis, or "re-clogging," of arteries following an angioplasty-these results were observed in many patients under the study. The main property of the herb is in its ability to change the way the inner linings of the blood vessels function, the herb changes the way, tissues respond to incoming calcium; this helps them to stay open for long periods of time-a factor important to the healing process.

Andrographis is also used for a wide assortment of other conditions. It is used for digestive complaints including diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas, colic, and stomach pain; for liver conditions including an enlarged liver, jaundice, and liver damage due to medications; for infections including leprosy, pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, malaria, cholera, leptospirosis, rabies, sinusitis, and HIV/AIDS; and for skin conditions including wounds, ulcers and itchiness.

The remedies made from andrographis have also been used in the treatment of cancer in patients. Research done on cancer cells indicates that when a cancerous cell is made to mature or differentiate early, it loses the ability to multiply out of control resulting in a tumor. The use of andrographis during recent researches produced favorable results, these observations during the particular study suggests that the andrographis herb possesses very potent cell differentiation inducing properties over leukemia cells. In addition, the extract of cells from the leaves of the andrographis has potent cytotoxic-cell killing-effects against cancer cells and controls the growth of tumors. Reports from the studies conducted by Japanese researchers also shows that the remedies made from the andrographis are capable of stopping stomach cancer cells from multiplying in an uncontrollable rate. Positive results using the herbal remedy have also been seen in the treatment of skin cancer, and in treating prostate and breast cancer cells, and some success has also been observed in the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in several patients.

Some people use andrographis for sore throat, coughs, swollen tonsils, bronchitis, and allergies. It is also used for prevention of heart disease and diabetes.

Other uses include treatment of snake and insect bites, loss of appetite, kidney problems (pyelonephritis), hemorrhoids, and an inherited condition called familial Mediterranean fever.

Andrographis is also used as an astringent, bacteria killing agent, painkiller, fever reducer, and treatment for worms. Andrographis remedies have also been used in treating various forms of diarrhea and other forms of intestinal disorders or problems.

Some Internet vendors offer andrographis products that contain extra amounts of an active ingredient called andrographolide. Some of these products are almost 30% andrographolide. However, be careful; the safety and effectiveness of andrographis preparations with high andrographolide content are unknown.

Benefits Of Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) For Health
Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) Picture

Andrographis (Andrographis Paniculata) Side effects and cautions


Andrographis can cause side effects such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, headache, runny nose, and fatigue. When used in high doses or long-term, andrographis might cause swollen lymph glands, serious allergic reactions, elevations of liver enzymes, and other side effects.

Andrographis might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.

The use of all remedies made from the andrographis must be avoided by pregnant and nursing women because of potential side effects and the herb is known to reduce the fertility of both men and women if used continuously for a long period of time.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Andrographis might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using andrographis.