Here’s the short list—supports energy and resilience,
strengthens immune defenses, stops viruses and resistant
bacteria, protects the liver, prevents tumors and cell damage,
and the list goes on and on. Find out why it’s so important that you take
Andrographis for optimal health.
TERRY’S BOTTOM LINE:
Ancient medical practices, many still in use today, form the
basis of our own holistic health practices. They are founded in wisdom that
heals, transforms, and brings balance to the body and mind. One of the premier
herbs of the Ayurvedic tradition is Andrographis paniculata. Also known as “The
King of Bitters,” this remarkable natural medicine has many talents:
- Protects the liver
- Strengthens immune defenses
- Stops viruses and resistant bacteria
- Prevents tumors and cell damage
- Soothes digestive disorders
- Prevents pain, inflammation, and arthritis symptoms
- Supports energy and resilience
- Protects heart and arteries
Ayurvedic Wisdom and the “King of Bitters”
If you’ve noticed a common thread that binds together some
of the world’s most effective natural medicines, it is that they have been
tested in real life by practitioners and patients for thousands of years.
Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) may not be
well known to some, but this herb has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine in
India since ancient times, where it is known as the “King of Bitters” because
of its bitter taste in traditional preparations.
Like boswellia, or curcumin from turmeric, andrographis is
one of nature’s great multitaskers. While it is often associated with fighting
colds and flus (and rightly so), it is another “do-everything” herb that may
open new paths toward fighting cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Lyme’s
disease, and more.
While andrographis provides a full spectrum of compounds
that prevent or stop disease, andrographolide is considered
the most beneficial. You’ll find that research on the herb – no matter what
disease it is studying – focuses primarily on that compound.
Protects the Liver
Andrographis has been widely used for treating liver
diseases in both traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese practice. Current scientific
study bears this out. Research published in the journal PLoS One shows that
andrographolide from andrographis extract can be as effective as silymarin from
milk thistle at reducing the damage of toxins in the liver. When a liver is
continually damaged, its own efforts at wound healing can cause fibrosis (scar tissue)
as the liver kicks up production of connective tissue to an unhealthy level.
Andrographis stops the over-proliferation of cells that can lead to cirrhosis.
Extracts of andrographis have been shown to boost the
activity of glutathione and superoxide dismutase – two of the most powerful
antioxidants generated by the body. It also increased the activity of Nrf2, a
protein that can slow aging and cellular damage.
Interestingly, earlier research found that andrographolide
alone – separate from the plant’s other compounds – was not the only effective
component that protected the liver – the entire leaf extract provided its
Strengthens Immune Defense & Fights Bacteria and
Andrographis is probably best known in the West as a botanical
that boosts your immune system’s ability to defend you from viruses and
bacteria. And no wonder: andrographis helps you get over colds and flu faster
and reduces the intensity of symptoms without causing side effects.
We have a great need for effective immune
boosting interventions that don’t create side effects. Plus – and just as
crucially, we need alternative, effective ways of protecting ourselves than
antibiotics, which are quickly becoming obsolete and ineffective after decades
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, andrographis
relieved key symptoms in just two days, including fatigue, sore throat, runny
nose, and sleeplessness. By the fourth day, the andrographis group saw a
significant decrease in all symptoms, including headache, earache, phlegm
production, and coughing.
Another clinical study of individuals with upper respiratory
tract infection showed similar results. In this case, 223 patients either
received andrographis or a placebo. By the third day, there was a dramatic difference
in cough, headache, sore throat, and disturbed sleep.
Andrographis also stops dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus
aureus by preventing it from replicating. Considering how resistant
bacterial infections have become as a result of antibiotic over-prescription,
this botanical could be a much more effective form of treatment.
And, the abilities that andrographis shows for strengthening
the immune system have made it an increasingly popular herb for treating Lyme
Transmitted by ticks, infection by the Borrelia
burgdorferi bacteria first manifests itself in “bulls eye” pattern
skin lesions, but can later progress to muscle dysfunction, arthritis, facial
palsy, and more.
However, antibiotic treatment doesn’t address the need for
the body to help heal itself. In fact, Polish researchers found that patients
using antibiotics to treat the skin lesion phase of the disease, still had
heavy free-radical activity. Even though antibiotics in this case are standard
medical procedure, the resulting oxidative damage simply weakens the system
more, creating a greater opportunity for the disease to spread and do more
Over the past several years, the use of andrographis as part
of a multi-herbal treatment for Lyme disease, or in conjunction with conventional
methods, has grown.
Other research has found that andrographolide from
andrographis may also inhibit the immune-weakening actions of HIV and fight the
herpes virus that causes cold sores and fever blisters.
The immune system is a vastly complex network that affects
multiple pathways in the body. Any threats to your defenses can result in some
extremely difficult to treat conditions. But andrographis appears to rise to
almost any of these challenges.
Cellular damage throws our DNA replication process into
chaos and triggers tumors. Scientists have linked andrographolide from
andrographis to stopping the cycle of melanoma cancer cell growth. Based on
past statistics and the fact that the rate of melanoma has been growing for the
past 30 years, the American Cancer Association predicts that over 90,000
Americans will be diagnosed with this form of skin cancer in 2018 alone. This
is a prime reason for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors to arm
themselves with supplemental andrographis.
Similar results have been seen in studies of pancreatic
cancer cells and in glioblastoma cells, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Andrographis has also been shown to stop the growth and formation of pancreatic
tumor cells, and suppress the ability of glioblastoma multiform cells to
migrate. In each study, andrographolide worked along different pathways,
showing the versatility of this compound.
Overall, a recent review showed that this one component of
andrographis stopped tumor replication in virtually every type of cancer tested
and addressed virtually every mechanism, including inflammation, oxidation,
cell replication, and cancer cell invasion. The report concluded, “After
careful consideration of the relevant evidence, we suggest that andrographolide
can be one of the potential agents in the treatment of cancer in the near
Soothes Digestive Disorders
Andrographis works along a variety of inflammatory pathways
to soothe the effects of digestive disorders and prevent more serious
conditions. In fact, it is still very popular in India for soothing digestive
complaints. The scientific research surrounding andrographis is beginning to
discover why it works so well.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) can increase your risk of colon
cancer because of the damage caused by chronic inflammation. But andrographis
can reduce that risk and has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of UC.
Scientific research found that its key compound,
andrographolide, lowered levels of inflammatory markers and prevented further
reactions in colon cells.
Andrographis may also protect the stomach lining against
gastric ulcers. Scientific research has shown that pretreatment with an extract
of the herb increased pH balance and made the environment of the stomach less
acidic. This, along with a boost in gastric mucous production and direct
antioxidant action, reduced the risk of forming lesions in the stomach wall.
Andrographis has shown similar protective abilities for
intestinal ulcers. It preserves mucin – a protein that helps create the mucosal
lining in the duodenum – and stabilizes the balance of healthy glutathione, our
own powerful antioxidant that prevents cellular damage.
Fights Inflammation and Preserves Joints
Andrographis stops inflammatory triggers that can destroy
joint cartilage and protects cartilage components, including hyaluronic acid
and collagen. It also inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), relieving pain.
Scientific research has shown that andrographis stops
inflammatory triggers that set off an overexpression of enzymes called matrix
metalloproteinases or “MMPs” that would otherwise destroy cartilage between the
joints. When MMPs are active at normal levels, they help keep cartilage and
other joint structures supplied with fresh material, while pulling out the old.
They are like bricklayers replacing mortar. But if too much mortar is removed –
and not enough replaced, as is the case with many joint diseases, you run the
risk of arthritis and a great deal of pain. Andrographolide appears to set that
process back in balance by stopping IL-1β inflammation, and protecting the
healthy components of cartilage, including hyaluronic acid and collagen.
Other work shows that andrographolide from andrographis has
a direct action on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme activity, so it relieves
pain in much the same way as other strong natural medicines.
In a clinical study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis,
andrographis reduced joint swelling and tenderness.
Protects the Heart and Arteries
Andrographis inhibits cholesterol oxidation, directly lowers
cholesterol levels, and stops artery-blocking platelet aggregation. It also
relaxes blood vessels – which could help prevent high blood pressure. And, in
scientific research, andrographis reduced heart and blood vessel damage within
an hour after myocardial infarction.
Additionally, a clinical trial found that andrographis
extract was just as effective as gemfibrozil, a drug that reduces the amounts
of fat produced by the liver in patients with elevated triglycerides. Overall,
this botanical is a powerful medicine for the cardiovascular system.
Mental Health, Energy, and Resilience
Andrographolide from andrographis is also being studied for
its adaptogenic properties –its ability to bring our mental and physical health
into a state of homeostasis, much like rhodiola and ashwagandha.
There is leading-edge scientific research that shows that
andrographis (in some cases combined with eleuthero) may reduce the symptoms of
brain fog in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Andrographis may also work with
chemotherapy drugs in reducing breast cancer cells, so it has potential as a
co-treatment with conventional medicines.
Other laboratory research has found that andrographolide
over time can decrease reactivity to stressful situations. Clinical research
also shows that andrographis reduces fatigue in individuals with multiple
Overall, the actions of andrographis – lowering stress
levels, helping brain cells communicate more clearly, and boosting energy
levels – makes an excellent adaptogenic herb.
An Ayurvedic Answer for Complete Health
Andrographis shows astounding abilities to enhance your
life. It is simply one of the most impressive herbal multitaskers in the world,
and can help prevent or potentially reverse a multitude of diseases. For the
best results, look for a blend of extracts that concentrate andrographolides. I
believe that andrographis, like curcumin, boswellia, and grape seed extract, is
a botanical that can save lives, and I thoroughly encourage you to discover it
If you are looking to help prevent cancer, protect the
liver, reduce inflammation, or fight bacterial infection, I recommend
taking a high quality andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) that
provides a minimum of 80 mg of andrographolides per serving , the key compound