With colds and flues a year around threat to our health, it is important that we do all we can to maintain strong immunity. Our immune system will protect us from pathogens that cause disease provided we provide it with the many nutrients needed for its maintenance.  While a nutrient dense diet is the most critical factor in maintaining effective immune function and protection from disease causing organisms, there are a variety of herbs that have been shown to aid the immune system in protecting the body.  One of those herbs is andrographis.

       While not as well known as such immune boasting herbs as echinacea, elderberry and astragalus, andrographis has been used in Asian countries for centuries to prevent colds and flu and to treat many other health problems as well. Many studies have shown andrographis to be effective in quickly relieving the symptoms associated with colds and flu.   

       A study in India showed that people with colds who were treated with andrographis had their symptoms subside within three days while a control group which was not given andrographis was still experiencing most of their symptoms after five days. A Swedish research group found that those taking andrographis had their symptoms subside in one-half the time of those who did not use andrographis. In another study involving 223 patients, those given andrographis experienced a significant reduction in cough, headache, sore throat and sleeplessness in just three days as compared to a group who was not given this herb. 

Additional benefits of andrographis:

       In addition to its immunological effects, andrographis had been shown to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of health problems. Studies have shown that the major component of andrographis called andrographolide, is effective in preventing cancerous tumor replication. So effective has been this component of andrographis that pharmaceutical companies are looking to produce a synthetic version of this compound.   

       Like herbs such as turmeric and boswellia, andrographis has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects in the body and is helpful in reducing pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory problems.  Andrographis has been seen to be effective in detoxifying the liver and helping to repair liver damage.   

       Research had shown andrographis to be good for the heart and the arterial system. This herb inhibits the oxidation of cholesterol in the arteries. Oxidized cholesterol is a primary cause of plaque buildup in the arteries. Andrographis has also been shown to stop platelet aggregation in the arteries which is important for the prevention of heart attack and stroke.  One study showed that andrographis reduced heart and blood vessel damage within an hour after myocardial infarction.

Our Recommendation:

       With the many benefits associated with andrographis, it is an herb that you may want to add to your supplement program. We recommend the product from Terry Naturally called Andrographis EP 80 Extra Strength. This product provides 400 milligrams of andrographis in one capsule and includes 80 milligrams of andrographolide, the component of andrographis that has been the most studied and appears to be a primary factor in the way andrographis works in the body.