Therapeutic and Traditional Uses, Benefits and Claims of Andrographis paniculata.
Posted on 18 November, 2015 by Thai Hand Medicinal Herbs and therapy massage
Andrographis has a long historical record as an ancient medicinal herb, used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
Historically, the herb has been widely used as a treatment for the common cold, flu, upper respiratory infections, and a variety of infectious diseases.
It’s a traditional herbal treatment for diseases and ailments such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, pneumonia, swollen lymph nodes, leprosy, bronchitis, sore throats, tuberculosis, chicken pox, coughs, headaches, ear infection, inflammation, burns and mumps.
Andrographis was used as a treatment for malaria, as a replacement for quinine.
This bitter shrub has shown immunity-boosting capabilities by stimulating the body’s natural immune systems. Japanese researchers have reported that the plant is effective in preventing the multiplication of cancer cells. Andrographolides in the plant are thought to enhance immune function such as in the production of white blood cells, to support the release of interferon, and to promote healthy activity of the lymphatic system.
An infusion may be made by placing one teaspoon dried andrographis leaf in a teapot or infuser and adding one cup of boiling water; steep for 5 to 10 minutes. This is most effective when sipped on an empty stomach. Use 10 to 12 grams of the fresh herb’s leaves.
Up to 6 grams of dried herb per day may be used, but the bitter taste may challenge that amount for most users. To take the edge off some of the bitter taste, follow the tea with fresh fruit or dried cranberries.
A piece of licorice root may also be effectively used as a flavor additive.
Extracts of andrographis may be used in amounts of up to 400 mg twice a day for up to 10 days with standardized extracts of 5- to 6- percent andrographolide.
Possible Side Effects and Interactions of Andrographis
As with all herbal remedies use andrographis paniculata with caution. Few side effects have been reported, making it safe for many users; there were some cases of itchy skin.
People with known gallbladder diseases should not use andrographis, nor should preparations containing licorice be used in people suffering from myasthenia gravis or those with high blood pressure or cardiac or kidney conditions.
Bitter herbs may also exacerbate existing ulcers or contribute to heartburn. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or anticipating becoming pregnant should not use this herb as it can act as an abortive.
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