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Nutritional Supplement

Andrographis

  • Immune System Support

    Common Cold and Sore Throat

    Andrographis contains bitter constituents that are believed to have immune-stimulating and anti-inflammatory actions.
    Common Cold and Sore Throat
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    Andrographis contains andrographolides that have demonstrated immune-enhancing qualities in preliminary studies.11,12 At least one double-blind trial has shown that common cold symptoms improve13,14 and recovery is faster15 when a standardized extract providing 60 mg per day of active constituents is taken in three divided doses, beginning as soon as possible after symptoms appear. In addition, preliminary research in Russia suggests andrographis extract may be effective for the treatment of influenza.16 This extract was also tested for preventing colds in a double-blind study of teenagers.17 After three months, the group taking 5 mg of andrographolides twice daily had only half the number of colds experienced by the placebo group.

     

    Immune Function

    Andrographis, with its immune system–enhancing actions, has been shown to reduce the severity of the common cold and may prevent the onset of a cold in healthy people.
    Immune Function
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    Andrographis extract, either alone or combined with eleuthero extract, has been shown in a double-blind trial to successfully reduce the severity of the common cold.18,19 A double-blind study also suggests andrographis extract may prevent the onset of a cold in healthy people. These actions are thought to be due to the immune system enhancing actions of the active constituents known as andrographolides and eleutherosides,20,21 respectively.

    Infection

    Andrographis supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
    Infection
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    Herbs that support a person’s immune system in the fight against microbes include the following: American ginseng, andrographis, Asian ginseng, astragalus, coriolus, eleuthero, ligustrum, maitake, picrorhiza, reishi, schisandra, and shiitake.

    Double-blind trials have shown that common cold symptoms improve22,23 and recovery is faster24 when andrographis extract containing 48 to 60 mg andrographolides is taken in three or four divided doses daily, beginning as soon as possible after symptoms appear. In addition, preliminary research in Russia suggests andrographis extract may be effective for the treatment of influenza.25 This extract was also tested for preventing colds in a double-blind study of teenagers.26 After three months, the group taking 5 mg of andrographolides twice daily had only half the number of colds experienced by the placebo group.

    Other preliminary27 and double-blind28,29 research has shown similar benefits for treating the common cold from a combination of andrographis extract and an eleuthero extract containing 2.0 to 2.4 mg per day eleutherosides.

    HIV and AIDS Support

    A trial of isolated andrographolides, found in andrographis, showed that they decreased viral load and increased CD4 lymphocyte levels in people with HIV infection.
    HIV and AIDS Support
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    A preliminary trial of isolated andrographolides, found in andrographis, determined that while they decreased viral load and increased CD4 lymphocyte levels in people with HIV infection, they also caused potentially serious liver problems and changes in taste in many of the participants.30 It is unknown whether andrographis directly killed HIV or was having an immune-strengthening effect in this trial.

  • Digestive Support

    Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity

    Andrographis acts as a digestive stimulant and may be helpful for indigestion.
    Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
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    Bitter herbs are thought to stimulate digestive function by increasing saliva production and promoting both stomach acid and digestive enzyme production.31 As a result, they are particularly used when there is low stomach acid but not in heartburn (where too much stomach acid could initially exacerbate the situation). These herbs literally taste bitter. Some examples of bitter herbs include greater celandine, wormwood, gentian,dandelion, blessed thistle, yarrow, devil’s claw, bitter orange, bitter melon, juniper, andrographis, prickly ash, and centaury.32. Bitters are generally taken either by mixing 1–3 ml tincture into water and sipping slowly 10–30 minutes before eating, or by making tea, which is also sipped slowly before eating.

What Are Star Ratings?
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Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Andrographis has long been used in traditional Indian and Chinese herbal medicine. The most common reported uses were for digestive problems (as is the case with most non-toxic bitter herbs such as andrographis), snakebite, and infections ranging from malaria to dysentery.33,34 Interestingly, some of these uses have been validated by modern scientific research. Although the roots were sometimes used in traditional medicine, the leaves and flowers are now more commonly used.

References

1. Bone K. The story of Andrographis paniculata, a new “immune system” herb. Nutrition & Healing 1998;Sept:3, 4, 8, 9 [review].

2. Leelarasamee A, Trakulsomboon S, Sittisomwong N. Undetectable anti-bacterial activity of Andrographis paniculata (Burma) Wall. ex ness. J Med Assoc Thai 1990;73:299-304.

3. Thamlikitkul V, Dechatiwongse T, Theerapong S, et al. Efficacy of Andrographis paniculata, Nees for pharyngotonsillitis in adults. J Med Assoc Thai 1991;74:437-42.

4. Melchior J, Palm S, Wikman G. Controlled clinical study of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract in common cold-a pilot trial. Phytomedicine 1996;3:314-8.

5. Hancke J, Burgos R, Caceres D, Wikman G. A double-blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: Decrease of symptoms and improvement in recovery from common colds. Phytother Res 1995;9:559-62.

6. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to assess the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized double blind-placebo study. Phytomedicine 1999;6:217-23.

7. Melchior J, Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot and phase III study of activity of standardized Andrographis paniculata Herba Ness extract fixed combination (Kan jang) in the treatment of uncomplicated upper-respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine 2000;7:341-50.

8. Calabrese C, Berman SH, Babish JG, et al. A phase I trail of andrographolide in HIV positive patients and normal volunteers. Phytother Res 2000;14:333-8.

9. Thanagkul B, Chaichantipayut C. Double-blind study of Andrographis paniculata Nees and tetracycline in acute diarrhea and bacillary dysentery. Ramathibodi Med J 1985;8:57-61.

10. Chaturvedi GN, Tomar GS, Tiwari SK, Singh KP. Clinical studies on kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) in infective hepatitis. J Int Inst Ayurveda 1983;2:208-11.

11. Panossian A, Davtyan T, Gukassyan N, et al. Effect of andrographolide and Kan Jang--fixed combination of extract SHA-10 and extract SHE-3--on proliferation of human lymphocytes, production of cytokines and immune activation markers in the whole blood cells culture. Phytomedicine 2002;9:598-605

12. Rajagopal S, Kumar RA, Deevi, DS, et al. Andrographolide, a potential cancer therapeutic agent isolated from Andrographis paniculata. J Exp Ther Oncol 2003;3:147-58.

13. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to assess the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized double blind-placebo study. Phytomedicine 1999;6:217-23.

14. Hancke J, Burgos R, Caceres D, Wikman G. A double-blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: Decrease of symptoms and improvement in recovery from common colds. Phytother Res 1995;9:559-62.

15. Melchior J, Palm S, Wikman G. Controlled clinical study of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract in common cold-a pilot trial. Phytomedicine 1996;34:315-18.

16. Kulichenko LL, Kireyeva LV, Malyshkina EN, Wikman GA. Randomized, controlled study of Kan Jang versus amantadine in the treatment of influenza in Volgograd. J Herb Pharmacother 2003;3:77-93.

17. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Prevention of common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract: a pilot double blind trial. Phytomedicine 1997;4:101-104.

18. Poolsup N, Suthisisang C, Prathanturarug S, et al. Andrographis paniculata in the symptomatic treatment of uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infection: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Clin Pharm Ther 2004;29:37-45.

19. Coon JT, Ernst E. Andrographis paniculata in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review of safety and efficacy. Planta Med 2004;70:293-98.

20. Li XY. Immunomodulating Chinese herbal medicines. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 1991;86 Suppl 2:159-64.

21. Davydov M, Krikorian AD. Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. (Araliaceae) as an adaptogen: a closer look. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;72:345-93.

22. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to assess the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized double blind-placebo study. Phytomedicine 1999;6:217-23.

23. Hancke J, Burgos R, Caceres D, Wikman G. A double-blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: Decrease of symptoms and improvement in recovery from common colds. Phytother Res 1995;9:559-62.

24. Melchior J, Palm S, Wikman G. Controlled clinical study of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract in common cold-a pilot trial. Phytomedicine 1996;34:315-18.

25. Kulichenko LL, Kireyeva LV, Malyshkina EN, Wikman GA. Randomized, controlled study of Kan Jang versus amantadine in the treatment of influenza in Volgograd. J Herb Pharmacother 2003;3:77-93.

26. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Prevention of common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract: a pilot double blind trial. Phytomedicine 1997;4:101-104.

27. Spasov AA, Ostrovskij, OV, Chernikov MV, Wikman G. Comparative controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination, Kan Jang and an Echinacea preparation as adjuvant, in the treatment of uncomplicated respiratory disease in children. Phytother Res 2004;18:47-53.

28. Melchior J, Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot and phase III study of activity of standardized Andrographis paniculata Herba Ness extract fixed combination (Kan jang) in the treatment of uncomplicated upper-respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine 2000;7:341-50.

29. Gabrielian ES, Shukarian AK, Goukasova GI, et al. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis. Phytomedicine 2002;9:589-97.

30. Miller S. Synopsis of PN355 Androvir study. Unpublished study. Seattle: Bastyr University, 1997.

31. Schulz V, Hänsel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician's Guide to Herbal Medicine. 3rd ed, Berlin: Springer, 1998, 168-73.

32. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 425-6.

33. Nadkarni AK, Nadkarni KM. Indian Materia Medica vol 1. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1976, 101-3.

34. Bensky D, Gamble A, Kaptchuk T. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica Revised Edition. Seattle: Eastland Press, 1993, 95.

35. Poolsup N, Suthisisang C, Prathanturarug S, et al. Andrographis paniculata in the symptomatic treatment of uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infection: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Clin Pharm Ther 2004;29:37-45.

36. Coon JT, Ernst E. Andrographis paniculata in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review of safety and efficacy. Planta Med 2004;70:293-98.

37. Calabrese C, Berman SH, Babish JG, et al. A phase I trail of andrographolide in HIV positive patients and normal volunteers. Phytother Res 2000;14:333-8.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.