Andrographis An Immune Boosting Herb



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Andrographis An Immune Boosting Herb

Andrographis paniculata is a commonly used herb in India and China, but it is not that well known here in the West. It is known best for its immune enhancing and antimicrobial properties and it is often called ?Indian Echinacea,? but its benefits are wide ranging for a far greater number of conditions. It has many benefits for general immunity during the cold and flu season, and it may have applications for those with chronic infectious diseases, such as Lyme Disease or AIDS. It also may be beneficial for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. These last two conditions may also be triggered by infectious processes.

Stephen Harrod Buhner, who is a well-known and respected herbalist, uses andrographis as a cornerstone of his Healing Lyme Protocol. Lyme Disease is a spirochetal bacterial infection, that is extremely difficult to clear from the body in its tertiary stage. Because diagnosis and testing of this condition is very poor at present, many people never realize they have this debilitating illness until years have passed since they were infected, and the bacteria is well entrenched in their system. The bacteria also forms cysts which allow it to hide from the body?s own immune system. It also creates an overproduction of fibrin, which basically means a person with this disease produces an abnormal amount of scar tissue, and that their blood will be thick, and their blood circulation will be reduced. All of these things make this bacterial illness challenging to treat. Research in other countries has shown that the herb may stimulate fibrinolysis, preventing unhealthy blood clot formation. Andrographis may assist those suffering from Lyme, as a result of possible antimicrobial and immune enhancing activity, and also as a result of its potential ability to break down excess fibrin in the blood.

For those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, there may be underlying infectious processes that trigger the symptoms of your condition. The Epstein-Barr Virus has been implicated in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and mycloplasma infections have been implicated in Fibromyalgia. Dr. Garth Nicholsen, a practitioner of orthomolecular medicine, has successfully treated many diseases such as CFS, Fibromyalgia, and Gulf War Syndrome using therapies similar to that used to treat Lyme Disease, which primarily involved long term use of a combination of antibiotics. Some of the bacteria implicated in these conditions included mycoplasma pneumoniae, mycoplasma fermentans, and mycoplasma genitalis. Andrographis may also have activity against these potential pathogens.

Recent research has shown that the herb improves gall bladder function, increasing bile flow, and has been found to be as effective as milk thistle in protecting the liver.

Several studies have shown that andrographis may increase the body?s resistance to infection by stimulating production of antibodies and macrophages.

Andrographis extracts have also been shown to kill cancer cells, and some studies have implied that it may be as effective as tamoxifen, the commonly used drug for preventing regrowth of breast cancer cells.

Andrographis has been shown to be active against the HIV virus. It appears to prevent the virus from infecting healthy T-cells and it also appears to fight the HIV virus in cells that have already been taken over. It appears to prevent multiplication of the virus.

As you can see, andrographis is an incredible herb that may have wide ranging applications in all sorts of chronic illnesses that often do not have many simple solutions.


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Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to assess the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized double-blind-placebo study. Phytomedicine 1999;6(4): 217-223

Caceres J, et al. Prevention of common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract: A pilot double-blind trial. Phytomedicine 1997;4(2):101-104

Puri, A., R. Saxena, R.P. Saxena, and K.C. Saxena. Immunostimulant agents from Andrographis paniculata. J. Natural Products 1993;56(7):995-99

Wang, D., and H. Zhao. Experimental studies on prevention of atherosclerotic arterial stenosis and restenosis after angioplasty with Andrographis paniculata Nees and fish oil. J. of Tongji Medical University 1993;13(4):193-98

Holt, Stephen M.D., Linda Comac, Miracle Herbs: How Herbs Combine with Modern Medicine to Treat Cancer, Heart Disease, AIDS, and More, Caro Publishing Group, 1998.

Andrographis paniculata | In-Depth Review

Deng, W.L. Outline of current clinical and pharmacological research on Andrographis paniculata in China. Newsletters of Chinese Herbal Med. 1978;10:27-31

Balch, PA. Prescription for Herbal Healing, p. 21, Avery 2002.

Dr. Farah Khan is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine practicing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She offers capsules of 5:1 standardized extract of Chinese herbs at her web site: alopecia lyme disease treatment fibromyalgia at

By: Farah Khan


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Very cool. I did not know of its benefits on the liver. I just recently picked some up because of some nasty illness going around our building. Not a lot of supplements that carry it though.

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