Andrographis is a plant that is native to South Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka. The leaf and underground stem are used to make medicine.
Andrographis is frequently used for preventing and treating the common cold and flu (influenza). Some people claim andrographis stopped the 1919 flu epidemic in India, although this has not been proven.
Andrographis is also used for a wide assortment of other conditions. It is used for digestive complaints including diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas, colic, and stomach pain; for liver conditions including an enlarged liver, jaundice, and liver damage due to medications; for infections including leprosy, pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, malaria, cholera, leptospirosis, rabies, sinusitis, and HIV/AIDS; and for skin conditions including wounds, ulcers and itchiness.
Some people use andrographis for sore throat, coughs, swollen tonsils, bronchitis, and allergies. It is also used for “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
Other uses include treatment of snake and insect bites, loss of appetite, kidneyproblems (pyelonephritis), hemorrhoids, and an inherited condition called familial Mediterranean fever.
Andrographis is also used as an astringent, bacteria killing agent, painkiller, fever reducer, and treatment for worms.
Some Internet vendors offer andrographis products that contain extra amounts of an active ingredient called andrographolide. Some of these products are almost 30% andrographolide. However, be careful; the safety and effectiveness of andrographis preparations with high andrographolide content are unknown.
How does it work?
Andrographis might stimulate the immune system. It may improve the blood cell counts in people with HIV, and help with allergies.
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