Herb of The Month - Andrographis

Author: Alyce Cimino   Date Posted:1 May 2018 

Andrographis paniculata is often known by its catch phrase; ‘The King of Bitters’ and rightly so! This herb has a strong and distinctive flavour. Andrographis has a strong affinity with supporting the immune system and supports liver function.

Andrographis is a traditional Ayurvedic herb which is found in the tropic forests of India and Asia. This herb is also used in Western Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to support general health and immunity. In traditional Ayurvedic herbal medicine, Andrographis is regarded as a herb with ‘cold’ properties. It is often prescribed to alleviate conditions ‘hot’ in nature such as tonsillitis, suggesting its historical uses for immune support.

Andrographis has been used for centuries, boasting many benefits which may assist in the maintenance or improvement of general wellbeing and help promote good health.

 

Immunoprotective

Andrographis has a strong affinity with the immune system, acting as an immune system stimulant, helping to fortify the immune system and activating a healthy immune response. It has been commonly prescribed for the treatment and prevention of the common cold and is considered to be of most benefit when taken at the first onset of symptoms of the common cold.

Andrographis is known to help alleviate the symptoms experienced with the common cold and mild upper respiratory tract infections. In a 2017 study that pooled the data from 33 randomised controlled clinical trials involving 7175 participants, Andrographis was found to be more effective than a placebo supplement at relieving symptoms of cough, sore throat and other symptoms of mild respiratory infection. It also appeared to decrease both the duration of these symptoms and general recovery time.

 

Liver Tonic

Andrographis has strong bitter qualities. It is these bitter qualities that places Andrographis in the liver tonic category.   

Our liver loves bitter foods! They help to stimulate activity and gastric acids. This is why Andrographis is often prescribed to support and aid digestive processes, support liver health and as a liver tonic.

 

Other facts:

  • Andrographis can be found as a herbal supplement, herbal liquid or even as a tea (which can be particularly beneficial with a sore throat). It is often found in formulation with Echinacea and Olive Leaf.
  • Andrographis is contraindicated during pregnancy and should be avoided.
  • Andrographis is contraindicated with some medications. So always check with your doctor first before starting on a new supplements.

 

Written by Alyce Cimino

Alyce Cimino (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified Naturopath with a passion for nutrition, food as medicine and helping others achieve their health goals towards a happy and healthy lifestyle. Alyce believes health begins with delicious whole foods and in her spare time you can find her in the kitchen creating something deliciously healthy or at the beach enjoying the sunshine and ocean.

Alyce has a love for herbal teas, but all teas are better with a little raw cheesecake on the side.


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