Andrographis paniculata is often referred to as “Indian Echinacea” and has become increasingly popular across America and many parts of Scandinavia in recent years. It is best known for being a preventative treatment for the common cold. We are now aware that this herb has fantastic potential to deal with a far wider range of diseases. Andrographis paniculata was used in India and has been credited with stopping the spread of the deadly global flu epidemic of 1918 in the country. The epidemic struck pretty much every country around the world and killed 50 million people.
Scientific research has shown that andrographis paniculata has many potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-viral effects. It is also known to boost the immune system, prevent blood clots, protects against cancer and can help to maintain efficient digestive functioning. This specific herb is actually an annual plant that is mainly characterized by its white purple or spotted purple flowers. It mainly flourishes in south-east Asia, China and India. Herbalists from these countries have known about the effects of andrographis paniculata for thousands of years and it has been typically used to treat upper respiratory infections, sore throat, fever and herpes. It has even been used in cases of malaria, dysentery and snakebites.
Andrographis paniculata, as mentioned, has recently become extremely popular across America and Scandinavia. It is known to be prominent in at least 26 different Ayurvedic medicines that are used to treat liver disorders. The herb is also known to increase bile flow, can improve the function of the gall bladder and is very effective in protecting the liver. It is currently used in the Western world as an over the counter alternative remedy for the common cold. It is known to be able to dramatically reduce the severity of the symptoms of a cold.
When this herb is used as a preventative measure for the common cold, it is actually able to increase the body’s resistance to infection. This is achieved by stimulating the production of antibodies and macrophages. There have been numerous scientific studies conducted on the effectiveness of andrographis paniculata compared to a placebo. During every single study it has been found that andrographis paniculata can far better protect against a cold and infection than any placebo.
More recently scientists have focused on how andrographis paniculata may cope when being used as a treatment for certain killer ”diseases” such as AIDS, cancer and heart disease. We are aware that one of the main constituents in this herb is andrographolide, which is a herbal medicine with a bitter taste. It has been well documented that certain bitter herbs have a great affinity with the heart, liver and gall bladder. They are also known to have a cooling effect on the body and can actually reduce a temperature.
Recent studies in China have also proved that andrographis can be extremely effective in preventing the formation of blood clots. We are now also aware that it is able to prevent the re-clogging of arteries after angioplasty. This is a specific technique that is typically used to treat blocked arteries. The technique involves inserting a balloon into the blood vessels, which would then be inflated to actually widen the artery. Andrograpis is also able to activate fibrinolysis, which is a bodily process that is able to dissolve blood clots and can also lower blood pressure.
Andrographis paniculata has been highly successful in many laboratory tests and may actually be able to inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells. In fact it is believed that this herb will do just as well as the drug tamoxifin. The anti-viral activities of these herbs can also prevent the HIV and AIDS virus infecting healthy T cells, and it may also be able to inhibit the spread of infection. The herb is also showing great promise in potentially being able to relieve diarrhoea that is typically associated with E. coli bacterial infections. So it appears that andrographis paniculata may actually perform just as well as many conventional drugs, but without you ever having to worry about any harmful side effects.
Andrographis paniculata can be taken as a normal medicine and the suggested dosage is 400 mg twice a day. It is not recommended that you take this herb for any longer than 10 days in a row, but no adverse effects have actually been noted from patients who have used this herb for a longer period of time. Although andrographis paniculata has been proven to be safe for human consumption, scientific studies conducted on animals may suggest that this herb has the potential to impair fertility. There are yet to be any specific studies carried out on the effects of this herb on young children and pregnant or nursing women.