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  • Rice Bitter (Andrographis Paniculata )-Jamaican herb use for many illnessesd

    Andrographis Paniculata Herb Description

    Andrographis is an herbal medicine derived from the Andrographis Paniculata shrub grown the moist, shady areas of India, China and throughout Southeast Asia. It is commonly referred to as ‘Indian Echinacea’ and is a popular Ayervedic and Chinese household remedy for the common cold, digestive issues, upper respiratory tract infections, flu and other sicknesses typified by fever. Although its use dates back easily a thousand years in these ancient medical traditions, there is a more recent historical reference to its potency. In the Indian flu epidemic of 1919, the herb Andrographis is credited with the reversal of its onslaught. More recently, it popularity has spread to Scandinavia, where its dosages have been standardized and it has been widely recommended by doctors for two decades as a common remedy in treating these same winter ailments.

    As research increases, so is our understanding of Andrographis’ many activities and indications are that it may even play a role in cardiovascular andcancer treatments.

    Andrographis Paniculata Benefits & Key Uses

    Clinical Applications

    Andrographis and its various components have demonstrated a variety of effects in the body. Aspects stimulate the general immune activities, others inhibit the body’s inflammatory mechanism and still others demonstrate not only anti-microbial abilities, but also are instrumental in killing certain tumor cells. Studies have also indicated that the active chemical, Andrographolide, helps to stop the clumping of blood platelets which is the clotting process that can lead to heart attacks.

    How It Works

    Colds, Flu, Sinusitis: Andrographis compounds have shown antivirus properties which appear to inhibit glycoprotein’s in the virus. This impedes the viruses ability to invade cells in the body and replicate. It’s andrographolide are currently being studied for the antiviral effects they have on avian bird flu virus, ebola virus and HIV.

    It also has a major effect activating the general defense functions of the immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies as well as non-specific immune responses such as increased macrophage phagocytosis, rather than by any direct anti-microbial activity.

    Clinical studies have demonstrated it’s efficacy fighting colds, flu, sinusitis, pharyngotonsillitis, familial mediterranean fever and upper respiratory tract infections. It also has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of colds by 2.1 time and prevent flu and complications.

    Anti-inflammatory: There appears to be a significant presence of flavanoids in the Andrographis Paniculata herb, which always have an anti-inflammatory affect. In vitro studies have shown that the flavinoid activities supressed the genetic expression of neutrofils, an inflammatory agent. Similarly, studies have indicated that a variety of inflammatory proteins, including COX-2, are reduced by the presence of Andrographoloid.

    Anti-tumor: In vitro andrographolide studies indicate an immuno-stimulating activity as well as a marked inhibitory effect. Its presence increases proliferation of lymphocytes and production of interleukin2, TNF-alpha production and cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes against certain cancer cell lines, as well as demonstrating potential direct anti-cancer activity by the induction of cell-cycle inhibitory protein p27 and decreased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase.

    Andrographis Paniculata Side Effects & Safety

    Andrographis Paniculata has been widely tested and is considered safe with few if any minor side effects at commonly prescribed levels. In clinical trials with children between 4 and 11 Andrographis was effective and safe. Side effects occurred in HIV trials at a dose of 10 mg of andrographolides per kg of body weight or roughly 12 time the recommended dosage.

    Tea: For digestive problems, a typical dose is one teaspoon of herb per one cup of water, steeped for 5-10 minutes, taken with meals


    Pregnant women or those trying to conceive should avoid Andrographis animal studies have shown the possibility of contraceptive effects at high dosages. Safety during lactation is not known. Andrographis may increase glucose metabolisation which could unduly enhance blood sugar lowering medication. Use cautiously in patients taking anticoagulant agents such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, or with anti-platelet agents such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) due to possible platelet aggregation inhibition by Andrographis.  





    1) Kulichenko LL, Kireyeva LV, Malyshkina EN, et al. A randomized, controlled study of Kan Jang versus amantadine in the treatment of influenza in Volgograd. J Herb Pharmacother 2003;3(1):77-93.

    2) Gabrielian ES, Shukarian AK, Goukasova GI, et al. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis. Phytomedicine 2002;9(7):589-597.

    3) Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, Sandberg F, Wikman GK. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to asses the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized double blind-placebo study. Phytomedicine. 1999 Oct;6(4):217-23.

    4) Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Prevention of common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract: A pilot double blind trial. Phytomedicine 1997;4:101-104.












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