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Andrographis

Andrographis

Uses

Common names:
Chuan Xin Lian
Botanical names:
Andrographis paniculata

Parts Used & Where Grown

Andrographis originated in the plains of India, and it also grows in China. The leaves and flowers are used medicinally.

What Are Star Ratings?

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.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
3 Stars
Common Cold and Sore Throat
100 mg of a standardized extract two times per day
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Andrographis contains andrographolides that have demonstrated immune-enhancing qualities in preliminary studies.3 , 4 Double-blind trials have shown that common cold symptoms improve5 , 6 and recovery is faster7 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.8 This extract was also tested for preventing colds in a double-blind study of teenagers.9 After three months, the group taking 5 mg of andrographolides twice daily had only half the number of colds experienced by the placebo group.

3 Stars
Immune Function
48 to 60 mg andrographolides in two to three divided doses daily
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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.10 , 11 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,12 , 13 respectively.
3 Stars
Infection
48 to 60 mg andrographolides in two to three divided doses per day
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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 improve14 , 15 and recovery is faster16 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.17 This extract was also tested for preventing colds in a double-blind study of teenagers.18 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 preliminary19 and double-blind20 , 21 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.

1 Star
Hepatitis
Refer to label instructions
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A series of cases of acute viral hepatitis were reported by one group in India, showing picrorhiza , combined with a variety of minerals, to be helpful in hastening recovery.22 A variety of similar reports have appeared in the Indian literature over the years, although no double-blind clinical trials have yet been published. Between 400 and 1,500 mg of powdered, encapsulated picrorhiza per day has been used in a variety of trials. Andrographis , another traditional Indian herb, has shown preliminary benefit for people with chronic viral hepatitis.23

1 Star
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions
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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.24 It is unknown whether andrographis directly killed HIV or was having an immune-strengthening effect in this trial.

1 Star
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Refer to label instructions
Learn More

Bitter herbs are thought to stimulate digestive function by increasing saliva production and promoting both stomach acid and digestive enzyme production.25 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 .26. 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.

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.1 , 2 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.

How It Works

Common names:
Chuan Xin Lian
Botanical names:
Andrographis paniculata

How It Works

The major constituents in andrographis are diterpene lactones known as andrographolides. These bitter constituents are believed to have immune-stimulating , anti-inflammatory, fertility-decreasing, liver-protective, and bile secretion-stimulating actions.27 Though some older studies suggested andrographis was antibacterial, modern research has been unable to confirm this finding.28

Several double-blind clinical trials have found that andrographis can help reduce symptom severity in people with common colds .29 , 30 , 31 , 32 , 33 Though the earliest clinical trial among these showed modest benefits, later studies have tended to be more supportive. Standardized andrographis extract combined with eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), known as Kan jang, has also been shown in a double-blind clinical trial to reduce symptoms of the common cold.34

A preliminary uncontrolled study using isolated andrographolide found that while it tended to decrease viral load and increase CD4 lymphocyte levels in people with HIV infection , at the amount used, the preparation led to side effects, including headache, fatigue, a bitter/metallic taste in the mouth, and elevated liver enzymes (which returned to normal after the medication was stopped).35 It is unknown whether the andrographolides used in this study directly killed HIV or had an immune-strengthening effect.

Andrographis has proven helpful in combination with antibiotics for people with dysentery, a severe form of diarrhea .36 It has also shown preliminary benefit for people with chronic viral hepatitis .37

How to Use It

Andrographis is generally available as capsules with dried herb or as standardized extracts (containing 11.2 mg andrographolides per 200 mg of extract). For dried herb, 500 to 3,000 mg are taken three times per day. Standardized extracts in clinical studies of the common cold have supplied 48 to 60 mg andrographolides per day, divided into three or four doses38 , 39 For indigestion , andrographis may be taken as a tea. Use 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of the herb for each cup (250 ml) of hot water. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before drinking (sip before meals).

Interactions

Common names:
Chuan Xin Lian
Botanical names:
Andrographis paniculata

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Common names:
Chuan Xin Lian
Botanical names:
Andrographis paniculata

Side Effects

Some people develop intestinal upset when taking andrographis. If this occurs, reduce the amount taken or take it with meals. Headache, fatigue, a bitter/metallic taste, and elevated liver enzymes were reported in one trial with HIV-infected people taking high doses of isolated andrographolides.40 This has not been reported in people using whole andrographis or standardized extracts at the recommended amounts. As with all bitter herbs, andrographis may aggravate ulcers and heartburn . The safety of andrographis during pregnancy and breast-feeding is unknown.

References

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

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

3. 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

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Hancke J, Burgos R, Caceres D, et al. A double-blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: decrease of symptoms and improvement in the recovery from common colds. Phytother Res 1995;9:559–62.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

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

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

14. 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.

15. Hancke J, Burgos R, Caceres D, et al. A double-blind study with a new monodrug Kan Jang: decrease of symptoms and improvement in the recovery from common colds. Phytother Res 1995;9:559–62.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. Melchior J, Spasov AA, Ostrovskij OV, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot and phase III study of activity of standardized Andrographis paniculata Herba Nees extract fixed combination (Kan jang) in the treatment of uncomplicated upper-respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine 2000;7(5):341–50.

21. 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.

22. Chaturvedi GN, Singh RH. Jaundice of infectious hepatitis and its treatment with an indigenous drug, Picrorhiza kurrooa[sic]. J Res Ind Med 1966;1:1–13.

23. 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.

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

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

26. 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.

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

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. Cáceres 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.

33. Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to asses 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.

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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.

38. 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.

39. 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.

40. 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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