Andrographis leaf and stem might work by stimulating the immune system. It might also prevent flu viruses from binding to cells in the body.
People commonly use andrographis for the common cold, osteoarthritis, infection of the throat and tonsils, and a type of bowel disease called ulcerative colitis. It is also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support its other uses.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Common cold. Taking andrographis by mouth, alone or as part of an herbal combination product, seems to improve cough and sore throat in some people with the common cold. It's not clear if andrographis helps to prevent colds.
- Osteoarthritis. Taking andrographis extract by mouth daily seems to reduce pain and stiffness in people with mild or moderate osteoarthritis in the knee.
- Infection of the throat and tonsils (tonsillopharyngitis). Taking andrographis by mouth daily works about as well as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce fever and pain from tonsillitis.
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Taking andrographis extract by mouth daily for 8 weeks reduces symptoms of ulcerative colitis about as well as the drug mesalamine.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if andrographis is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Andrographis is possibly safe in children when taken by mouth, short-term. Andrographis has been used in combination with other herbs for up to one month in children 3-15 years of age.
"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.
Bleeding conditions: Andrographis might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.
Surgery: Andrographis might slow blood clotting and reduce blood pressure. It might cause extra bleeding or low blood pressure during and after surgery. Stop using andrographis at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with ANDROGRAPHIS
Andrographis might lower blood pressure. Taking andrographis along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ANDROGRAPHIS
Andrographis can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking Andrographis along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with ANDROGRAPHIS
Andrographis might slow blood clotting. Taking andrographis along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Be cautious with this combination
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.