What is it?
Andrographis is a South Asian herb used to treat cold and upper-respiratory infections, as well as possibly the flu. Sometimes called Indian echinacea, it has long been used in Ayurvedic practice and traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate the immune system and fight infection.
Use it for
Relieving symptoms and shortening the duration of upper-respiratory infections. May also reduce symptoms of flu and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A review published in 2017 in PLOS One journal analyzed 33 studies and concluded that andrographis alleviated cough, sore throat and other cold symptoms better than a placebo and that it shortened the duration of illness, although exact times varied. Researchers also noted that not all the studies were well-
constructed, so further research is needed. Another review, published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, found that the herb has promise in treating IBD/Crohn’s disease.
How to take it
Andrographis is available in capsule, tincture and extract form, although most clinical trials have used an extract. There is no single recommended dose, so consult your health practitioner before taking.
If you’re taking other medications, consult your doctor before trying andrographis. Some evidence suggests it can interfere with chemotherapy, and blood-pressure and blood-thinning drugs.