Andrographis is used for the common cold, osteoarthritis, infection of the throat and tonsils (tonsillopharyngitis), and a type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). It is also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support its other uses.
How does it work ?
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 eleuthero 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.
- Osteoarthritis. Some research shows that taking andrographis extract daily seems to reduce pain and stiffness in people with mild or moderate osteoarthritis of the knee.
- 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). Some early research shows that taking andrographis dried extract for 12 months decreases fatigue in people with MS that are using interferon beta. Other early research shows that taking andrographolide, a chemical in andrographis, for 24 months can delay disability in people with more severe MS.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research shows that taking andrographis for 14 weeks doesn't reduce symptoms such as tender or swollen joints in people with RA.
- An inherited fever disorder (familial Mediterranean fever).
- Decline in memory and thinking skills in older people that is more than what is normal for their age.
- Flu (influenza).
- Short-term swelling (inflammation) of the airways in the lungs (acute bronchitis).
- Other conditions.
Special Precautions and Warnings
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Be cautious with this combination
- For common cold: A specific combination product (Kan Jang, Swedish Herbal Institute) containing andrographis extract, standardized to contain 4-5.6 mg andrographolide, and 400 mg eleuthero has been taken three times daily. A specific andrographis extract (KalmCold) 200 mg daily has been used for 5 days.
- For osteoarthritis: Andrographis extract 300 or 600 mg daily for 12 weeks.
- For infection of the throat and tonsils (tonsillopharyngitis): Andrographis 3-6 grams daily.
- For a type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis): Andrographis extract 1200-1800 mg daily for 8 weeks.
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