Andrographis paniculata, Andrographolide, Bhunimba, Bidara, Carmantina, Carmantine, Chiretta, Chirette Verte, Chirreta, Chuan Xin Lian, Chuanxinlian, Chuan Xin Lin, Creat, Échinacée d'Inde, Fa-Tha-Lai-Jone, Fa-Tha-Lai-Jone, Gubak, Herba Andrographitis, Indian Echinacea, Justicia paniculata, Justicie, Kalamegha, Kalmegh, Kalmegha, Kariyat, King of Bitters, Kirta, Mahalita, Nabin Chanvandi, Nemone Chinensi, Poogiphalam, Roi des Amers, Sadilata, Sambilata, Shivaphala, Supari, Takila, Vizra Ufar, Yavatikta.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationAndrographis is a plant that is native to South Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka. The leaf and underground stem are used to make medicine.
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.
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.
Some people use andrographis for sore throat, coughs, swollen tonsils, bronchitis, and allergies. It is also used for “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and 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.
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.
How does it work?Andrographis might work by stimulating the immune system. It might also prevent influenza viruses from binding to cells in the body.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Common cold. Taking andrographis alone or as part of an herbal combination product seems to improve cough and sore throat in some people with the common cold. Some research also shows that taking a combination product (Kan Jang, Swedish Herbal Institute) containing andrographis and Siberian ginseng improves symptoms of the common cold when started within 72 hours of feeling sick. Some symptoms can improve after 2 days of treatment, but it usually takes 4-5 days of treatment before most symptoms go away. Some research shows that this combination product relieves cold symptoms in children better than echinacea. Also, early research shows that taking an andrographis extract (KalmCold) alone might help treat colds. Other research shows that taking andrographis alone for 2 months might help prevent colds.
- Infection of the throat and tonsils (tonsillopharyngitis). Some research shows that andrographis 6 grams daily works about as well as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce fever and pain from tonsillitis.
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Early research shows that taking andrographis extract daily for 8 weeks reduces symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease about as well as the drug mesalamine.
Insufficient Evidence for
- High levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Early research shows that taking andrographis decreases triglycerides in people with high triglyceride levels.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS). Early research shows that taking andrographis dried extract for 12 weeks decreases fatigue in people with MS that are using interferon beta.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research shows that taking andrographis for 14 weeks does not reduce symptoms of RA when compared to another group of people taking just a sugar pill.
- Familial Mediterranean fever.
- Heart disease.
- Liver problems.
- Sinus infections.
- Skin diseases.
- Treating flu (Influenza). .
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyAndrographis is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately, short-term. It also appears to be safe when taken as a specific combination product containing andrographis extract and Siberian ginseng (Kan Jang, Swedish Herbal Institute) for up to 3 months.
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.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Infants and 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.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Andrographis is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is a concern that it might cause miscarriages. Not enough is known about the safety of andrographis during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side, and avoid using andrographis if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Fertility problems: Animal research suggests that andrographis might interfere with reproduction, but this hasn’t been shown in people. Nevertheless, if you are having trouble fathering a child or getting pregnant, it’s best not to use andrographis.
“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.
Low blood pressure: Research suggests that andrographis might lower blood pressure. This has not been seen in humans. In theory, however, andrographis might lower pressure too much if taken by people who already have low blood pressure.
Be cautious with this combination
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with ANDROGRAPHIS
Andrographis seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking andrographis along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.<br/><br/> Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ANDROGRAPHIS
Andrographis increases the immune system. By increasing the immune system, andrographis might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.<br/><br/> Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with ANDROGRAPHIS
Andrographis might slow blood clotting. Taking andrographis along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.<br/><br/> Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For treating the common cold: a combination of a specific andrographis extract, standardized to contain 4-5.6 mg andrographolide, plus 400 mg Siberian ginseng (Kan Jang, Swedish Herbal Institute) three times daily.
- For relieving fever and sore throat in tonsillitis: 3-6 grams daily.
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