Andrographis Paniculata Extract - Side Effects, Benefits, Common Colds

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Andrographis Paniculata Extract - Side Effects, Benefits, Common Colds

History and Uses
Andrographis is a flowering plant that grows abundantly in southeast China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Thailand.  Most of its uses and positive side effects are backed by scientific studies.

It has been used in ayurvedic medicine (treating the body as a whole by restoring the balance and harmony of the individual) for approximately 5,000 years.  Uses include:

  • Helps reduce fever (4,5,6),

  • Blood clot support (7,8,9),

  • May aid the pain threshold,

  • Helps protect the liver and gall bladder (10,11),

  • Support issues associated with common colds (1,12),

  • Interferes with key enzymes that result in viral reproduction showing positive side effects and  benefits to AIDS / HIV sufferers along with those who have herpes/cold sores (13).

  • May abort pregnancies [warning for those who are pregnant] (2,3),

Andrographolides (the primary medicinal component of Andrographis) enhances the immune system by increasing white blood cell count.  In addition, it releases interferon and increases activity of the lymph system.  Interferon is a protein made by cells in response to viruses which, may in turn, make it an antiviral agent (14,15).

Andrographolides have a short half-life -- approximately two hours.  "Half-life" refers to how long the compound is in the body before it becomes half strength of what it was before it entered the body.  It is then broken down into other forms (metabolites) and excreted by urine, feces, respiration, and sweat.  Short half-life compounds have to be consumed often since they leave the body rather quickly.  Some studies (16) show andrographolide is removed from the body within eight hours.  As a result, it is recommended that you consume andrographis every 5-6 hours for whatever health issue is being addressed.

Side Effects:
Some may develop intestinal upset.  If so, reduce the amount or take it with meals.  In addition, the possibility of a headache or fatigue may occur.  Classified as a bitter herb, andrographis may aggravate ulcers and/or heartburn.  As a result, a bitter or metallic taste has been reported when taking the herb by some people.  HIV-infected people taking high doses showed an increase in liver enzymes in one trial.  This has not been reported in people using whole andrographis or standardized extracts at the amounts recommended on the previous page.  The safety of using andrographis during pregnancy or breast-feeding is unknown.

We are not aware if there are any negative side effects associated with drug interactions and andrographis.  None have been reported as we know, however, keep in mind that prescription drug interactions with the human body in general, are commonplace.

Warnings Information:

  • For dietary supplement use only,
  • Keep andrographis paniculata extract out of reach of children,
  • Do not exceed recommended dosage,
  • If you have negative side effects, discontinue use immediately,
  • When using, please inform your physician,
  • If you are pregnant, lactating or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using this or any other nutritional supplement,
  • If side effects of an allergic reaction occur, discontinue using andrographis paniculata extract immediately.
  • Take andrographis paniculata extract only as directed.

Pg 1 - Dose/Ingredients | Planetary Formulas Information

Pricing Information:  Andrographis Paniculata | BHT | L-lysine

Note:  Kan-Jang is another name for Andrographis paniculata.

(1)  Burgos R.A., and D.D. Caceres. A double-blind study with a new mono drug: Kan-Jang:  Common colds.  Research performed at the University of Chile, Departments of Pharmacology and School of Public Health, Santiago, Chile and funded by the Swedish Herbal Institute.  August 1994.

[Patients were divided into two groups with one group taking 1,200 mg/day (standardized to 4 percent andrographolides -- 48 mg.) of Kan Jang.  The researchers concluded that treatment with Kang Jang supported patients with the common cold.]

(2)  Yin, J., and L. Guo. 1993. Contemporary traditional Chinese medicine. Beijing: Xie Yuan.

(3)  Zoha, M.S., A.H. Hussain, and S.A. Choudhury. 1989. Antifertility side effects of Andrographis paniculata in mice. Bangladesh Med. Res. Council Bull. 15:34-37.

(4)  Deng, W.L. 1978. Preliminary studies on the pharmacology of the Andrographis product dihydroandrographolide sodium succinate. Newsletters of Chinese Herbal Med. 8:26-28.

(5)  Madav. H.C., T. Tripathi, and S.K. Mishra. 1995. Analgesic, antipyretic, and antiulcerogenic positive side effects of andrographolide. Indian J. Pharm. Sci.  57 [3]:121-25.

(6)  Vedavathy, S. and K.N. Rao. 1991. Antipyretic activity of six indigenous medicinal plants of Tirumala Hills, Andhra Pradesh, India.  Ethnopharmacology 33:193-96.

(7)  Huang, L.Y. 1987. The effects of andrographolides on experimental blood deficiency of cardiac muscle.  Chinese Herbal Med. 18(7): 26-28.

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

(9)  Zhao, H., and W. Fang. 1990.  Protective positive side effects of Andrographis paniculata Nees on post-infarction myocardium in experimental dogs. J. of Tongji Medical University 10(4):212-17.

(10)  Kapil, A., I.B. Koul, S.K. Banerjee, and B.D. Gupta. 1993.  Antihepatotoxic effects of major diterpenoid constituents of Andrographis paniculata. Biochemical Pharmacology 46(1):182-85.

(11)  Shukla, B., P.K.S. Visen, G.K. Patnaik, and B.N. Dhawan. 1992.  Choleretic effect of andrographolide in rats and guinea pigs.  Planta Med. 58:146-48.

(12)  Caceres D.D., J.L. Hancke, R.A. Burgos, and G.K. Wikman. 1997.  Common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract:  A pilot double-blind trial. Phytomedicine. 4(2): 101-4.

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

(14)  Signal Transduction Companies (editorial). Genetic Engineering News 16(1), 1 January 1996.

(15)  Tang, W., and G. Eisenbrandt. 1992. Chinese drugs of plant origin: Chemistry, pharmacology, and use in traditional and modern medicine. New York: Springer-Verlag.

(16)  Jean Barilla, M.S., 1999. Andrographis paniculata: Can herbs fight common ailments, canc, and chronic viral infections?  A Keats Good Health Guide, p. 17-20.

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