Andrographis As An Immune Booster

Andrographis paniculata has the ability to interfere with viral infected cells and is one of the most strong immune enhancing herbs that there is. New researches has showed that the active constituents in Andrographis, known as andrographolides, possess immunomodulating activities. Andrographolides in the plant are thought to improve immune function such as production of white blood cells, release of interferon, and activity of the lymph system. Andrographis has shown conspicuous results against viruses in  studies, including the ability to interfere with the way virus replicates and affects DNA.

Andrographis and Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

In clinical studies, Andrographis paniculata extract has been examined for use as an immunostimulant in upper respiratory tract infections and HIV infection. Upper respiratory tract infections is a term used to define a collection of closely related diseases including the common pharyngitis, cold and influenza. The most common symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, headaches, runny nose, watery eyes, malaise and fatigue. Andrographis is a potent stimulant for the immunological system, through both the antigen specific and non specific way. Researchers have discovered that A. paniculata helps to improve the immune system by stimulating the body’s production of antibodies and macrophages, which are large white blood cells that scavenge harmful microorganisms. Andrographis, with its immune system–enhancing effects, has been shown to reduce the severity of the common cold and may prevent the onset of a cold in healthy individuals.

A new review of seven double-blind, controlled studies found that andrographis paniculata was superior to placebo in relieving subjective symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Developments in muscle pain, cough, headache, throat symptoms, nasal symptoms, eye symptoms and temperature have been reported. A double-blind study of 158 patient with the common cold found that over the course of 4 days A. paniculata helped to relieve sore throat, earache and nasal congestion symptoms, compared to placebo.  In a double-blind study of 152 people with fever and sore throat, participants received A. paniculata (3 g or 6 g) or acetaminophen. The higher dose (6 g) of andrographis paniculata decreased symptoms of throat pain and fever to about the same extent as acetaminophen. Kan Jang, a standardized extract of A paniculata and Siberian ginseng has been studied in manufacturer-sponsored clinical trials for relief of respiratory symptoms from  flu and cold. Some researchs suggests combination of  Siberian ginseng and andrographis paniculata relieves cold symptoms better than. A study shows that taking a particular andrographis extract in combination with Siberian ginseng by mouth significantly improves symptoms of the common cold when started within 72 hours of feeling sick.

HIV Infection

Andrographis is a strong antiretroviral. A. paniculata has demonstrated significant results against viruses in clinical studies, including the capability to interfere with the way virus replicates and affects DNA. New researchs has dicated that extracts of  A. paniculata may have the potential for interfering with the viability of the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and advised that Andrographis could combine with modern drugs against acquired immunodeficiency syndromes (AIDS). Researchers have found that andrographis hinders HIV from taking over a ‘control enzyme’ in specific T-cells that triggers the multiplication of the virus. This property is the same as AZT, a commonly used AIDS medication with a number of debilitating adverse effects, including a low blood count.

Andrographis paniculata prevents the virus from infecting healthy T-cells and inhibits the spread of infection, while other researches show that the herb is able to fight HIV in cells even after they have been infected. Andrographis inhibits the cyclon-dependant kinases’ phosphorilation which is induced by the viruses thus that the cellular cycle of the infected CD4 cells stops, as well as the viruse’s dissemination. A clinical study found that andrographis may inhibit HIV-induced cell cycle dysregulation, leading to a rise in CD4+ lymphocyte levels in HIV-1 infected patients.

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