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What is Andrographis?
Andrographis paniculata (usually just referred to as andrographis), is a plant native to South Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka, and China. It belongs to the Acanthaceae family and has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic, Siddha, and Chinese medicine for its various medicinal properties. The key bioactive compound in andrographis is called andrographolide, which has been credited with numerous health benefits.
Andrographis is primarily known for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to treat various conditions, including the common cold, flu, respiratory infections, fever, and sore throat. Additionally, it has been found to have potential benefits in treating digestive issues, liver health, and some chronic inflammatory conditions.
What Health Benefits Have Been Shown for Andrographis?
- Immune system support: Andrographis is known for its immune-boosting properties. It’s been found to help enhance the body’s immune response, making it effective in preventing and treating colds, flu, and respiratory infections.
- Anti-inflammatory effects: The bioactive compound andrographolide has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. It may help alleviate symptoms in conditions related to inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Antioxidant properties: Andrographis contains compounds with antioxidant properties. These help neutralize free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.
- Liver protection: Some studies have shown that andrographis can help protect the liver from toxins and support liver health, likely because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Antimicrobial effects: Andrographis has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against various bacteria, fungi, and parasites, making it a potential natural remedy for certain infections.
- Antiviral activity: Some research indicates that andrographis has antiviral properties, particularly against viruses such as herpes simplex virus, dengue virus, and HIV
- Anticancer properties: Preliminary research has shown that andrographolide, the primary bioactive compound in andrographis, may exhibit anticancer effects by inhibiting tumor growth and promoting apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
- Blood Thinners: Andrographis might slow down blood clotting. If you take blood thinners like Warfarin or Aspirin, it could make the effect of these medications stronger, increasing the risk of bruising or bleeding.
- Blood Pressure Medications: Andrographis might lower your blood pressure. If you’re already taking medications for high blood pressure, using Andrographis could lower your blood pressure too much, which is not good for your health.
- Immunosuppressants: These are medicines that help reduce the body’s immune response, like when someone has an organ transplant or an autoimmune disease. Andrographis might stimulate the immune system, so it could make these medications less effective.
- Diabetes Medications: Andrographis might lower your blood sugar. If you’re taking medications for diabetes, using Andrographis might cause your blood sugar to drop too low, which could be dangerous.
- Liver Medications: Some medications are broken down by the liver, and Andrographis might affect how the liver processes these drugs. This could change how well the medications work or increase the risk of side effects.
- Anticoagulant or Antiplatelet Supplements: These supplements help slow down blood clotting, just like some blood thinning medications. Examples include Ginkgo Biloba, garlic, and fish oil. If you’re taking Andrographis along with these supplements, it could increase the risk of bleeding or bruising.
- Supplements for High Blood Pressure: Some supplements are used to help lower blood pressure, like Coenzyme Q10, L-arginine, or fish oil. Andrographis might also lower blood pressure, so combining it with these supplements could cause your blood pressure to drop too much, which isn’t healthy.
- Immune System Boosting Supplements: Supplements like Echinacea, Astragalus, or Reishi mushrooms are used to support the immune system. Since Andrographis might stimulate the immune system, taking it with these supplements might lead to an overactive immune response, causing problems in some cases.
- Blood Sugar Lowering Supplements: Some supplements can help reduce blood sugar levels, like cinnamon, fenugreek, or bitter melon. Andrographis might also lower blood sugar, so combining it with these supplements could cause blood sugar to drop too low, which could be dangerous.
- Liver Supporting Supplements: Supplements like milk thistle, dandelion, or artichoke are often used to support liver health. Since Andrographis might affect how the liver processes certain substances, it could interact with these supplements and change their effects.
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Andrographis is an herb traditionally used by herbalists in China, India, and Southeast Asia. Recent scientific research has indicated that the active constituents in andrographis, known as andrographolides, may help to support a healthy and balanced immune system response.
Take 1 capsule 2 to 3 times daily as needed.
Serving Size: 1 Veg Capsule
Amount Per Serving
Andrographis Extract … 400mg
(Andrographis paniculata)(Aerial Parts)
(min. 10% Andrographolides)
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.
Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.
Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.