Andrographis paniculata, also known as Kalmegh which means ‘King of bitters’. Andrographis has a long history of use as an ancient medicinal herb, used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
Today Andrographis has become popular treatment for the common cold. Research shows that it can reduce the severity of cold symptoms and can also help to prevent colds. The major constituents in Andrographis are diterpene lactones known as andrographolides.
These constituents are extracted from the leaves of the Andrographis herb and are extremely bitter, hence its name ‘King of bitters’. Andrographolides are believed to have immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, liver-protective, and bile secretion-stimulating actions. As an immune stimulator Andrographis is thought to increase the body’s resistance to infection by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
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 has even been used as a treatment for malaria, as a replacement for quinine.
It is a traditional herbal treatment for 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.
Studies indicate that Andrographis works by reducing the symptoms and duration of the common cold. If you are susceptible to catching a cold it is recommended to either take an Andrographis supplement as a preventative during winter, or to take it at the first sign of a cold to prevent it taking hold.
An Andrographis complex often combines herbs such as Echinacea and Olive leaf for treatment of acute and chronic infections. For gastrointestinal and liver disorders Andrographis combines well with St Mary’s Thistle.
Andrographis is available in the form of Andrographis extract, tablets and capsules.
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