This herb is actually named Andrographis paniculate and according to clinical trials can be useful for bacterial and viral respiratory infections, which would include a cold and sinus infections, as well as possible prevention of the common cold and urinary tract infections. It has also been shown to have protective benefit to the liver. Another interesting possibility is helping with ulcerative colitis. Most of the indications overlap well with traditional uses of Andrographis, which revolved around bowel symptoms, and utilization with a sluggish liver. There are also traditional therapeutic uses for respiratory and skin infections.
Studies indicate that it works by boosting immune function, enhancing liver function, and alleviating inflammation.
Andrographis may be purchased over the counter, however it is one of those herbs you may want to be cautious about. As over time can actually cause an imbalance to your system because of its energetic properties. Used correctly in an herbal formula and under supervision can provide great relief to certain conditions.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine Andrographis is considered a cold and bitter and seldom used on its own accord. It is usually mixed with other herbs to temper the potential effects it might otherwise have used by itself, particularly over long term. Traditional use of this herb has not been shown to have any toxic side effects.
TCM utilizes this herb to clear heat and resolve what is called “fire toxicity”, think about symptoms that are extremely hot and inflamed, like boils/carbuncles/abscesses, heat in the lungs and throat, or urinary tract. Another reason it is usually mixed with other herbs is because if you are experiencing symptoms such as these it’s usually from something more complex in nature and to get to the root of the problem a systematic approach will always be more purposeful.
Anytime you use a herb or supplement it’s important to know long term side effects and benefits, that’s why it is important to talk to someone who can guide your choices or help you deal with your problems at the root.