Andrographis paniculata (chuan Xin Lian) is an annual herb that can grow erect to the size of a shrub.The underground stem and leaf are used to make drug.The plant is known in north-eastern India as Maha-tita, literally “King of Bitters“, and known by various local names.
The important constituents in andrographis are diterpene lactones known as andrographolides. Andrographolides are believed to have immune-stimulating, liver-protective and anti-inflammatory. The flu epidemic of 1919 was one of the most devastating infectious outbreaks in world history, killing millions worldwide. But, in India, the astonishing prophylactic effects of andrographis paniculata was credited with stopping the deadly virus.
This plant is a strong stimulant for the immunological system, through both the antigen specific and non specific way. Andrographis has been found in lab experiments to increase lymphocyte production and proliferation, along with increasing key cytokines such as tumor TNF-alpha (necrosis factor alpha), NK (natural killer cell) function and IL-2 (interleukin-2).
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Andrographis paniculata has been shown to be a safe herb for supporting upper respiratory tract health, per analysis of 7 double-blind controlled trials (2004 Planta Medica). 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.
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 (Swedish Herbal Institute) by mouth significantly improves symptoms of the common cold when started within 72 hours of feeling sick. 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 . 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.
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). 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. The alkaloids of andrographis paniculata as well as reduce the multiplication of the, herpes, hepatitis b and Influenza viruses.
Andrographolide therapy inhibited the in vitro proliferation of different tumor cell lines, representing various types of cancers. Immunostimulatory activity of andrographolide is evidenced by increased proliferation of lymphocytes and production of interleukin-2. Andrographolide as well as improves the tumor necrosis factor-alpha production and CD marker expression, resulting in increased cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes against cancer cells, which may contribute for its indirect anticancer activity.
Andrographolide and ethanol extract of andrographis paniculata were found to have significantly growth inhibitory effects on human acute myeloid leukemic HL-60 cells after 24 h of therapy. Researchers concluded that andrographolide and andrographis extract induce cell cycle arrest and affect an intrinsic mitochondria-dependent pathway of apoptosis by regulating the expression of some pro-apoptotic markers in HL-60 cells.
A. paniculata inhibited IL-6 expression and IL-6-mediated signals in human prostate cancer cells, and suppressed tumor growth of DU145 human prostate tumors in mice. Lab experiments have showed that A.paniculata may inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells just as well as the medicine tamoxifen. In 1977, a clinical trial was done on 60 people that were affected with skin Basalioma, 41 of which had Metastasis. According to The Journal of Chinese Medicine, 12 patients, who just received extracts of A. paniculata recovered.
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
Andrographis boosts the immune system as well as exhibits antiviral activity against HSV-1. A study conducted in 2005, showed that A.paniculata has viricidal activities against HSV-1 and interferes with reproduction of the virus. Another study conducted in 2011, confirmed the herb’s inhibitory effects on replication of the virus and also found inhibitory effects on viral entry to the cell.
The effect is increased when is taken in combination with vitamin C and echinacea.The anti-viral properties of the echinacea are believed to be caused in part by the inhibition of the enzyme hyaluronidase, thereby strengthening resistance to viral infection. An in vitro study, an herbal supplement containing echinacea and benzalkonium chloride, the echinacea phytochemicals demonstrated antiviral activity against both acyclovir-resistant and susceptible strains of HSV-2.
Andrographis paniculata develops gall bladder function, increases bile flow, and has been found to be as effective as milk thistle (silymarin) in protecting the liver. Extracts of andrographis have demonstrated protection on liver from various chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride. In this clinical study A. paniculata was given in the decoction form to the patients of infective hepatitis. A marked symptomatic development in majority of the cases was observed. A statistically highly significant decrease was noted in various liver function tests. (SGOT, SGPT, serum globulin fraction of protein, alkaline phosphatase, thymol turbidity, serum bilirubin)
Familial Mediterranean Fever
Familial Mediterranean Fever is a genetic disorder that causes recurrent episodes of fever that are usually accompanied by pain in the abdomen, chest or joints. Disease onset generally occurs before the age of 30 with an earlier onset corresponding to a more severe phenotype. This disease is caused by a gene mutation that passed from parents to children. Double blind, randomized, placebo controlled pilot study, a combination product containing A. paniculata, along with eleutherococcus senticosus, glycyrrhiza glabra and schizandra chinensis (ImmunoGuard) may reduce duration, frequency and severity of attacks in children with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).
Standardized preparations in clinical studies of the common cold have supplied 48 to 60 milligram andrographolides per day, divided into 3 or 4 doses. A 300 milligram Kan Jang© tablet containing 4 % andrographolides has been taken 4 times daily for cold therapy. Andrographis paniculata tea; use 5 gr of the herb for 250 ml of hot water. Allow the mixture to stand for 10–15 minutes before drinking.