Do you know the many benefits of andrographis? While you might not have heard of it, Andrographis is a powerful plant that can help reduce your cold symptoms as well as improve your overall health. Also known as Indian echinacea, Andrographis is a bitter tasting herb that is rich in compounds called andrographolides that have several benefits, including potent immune boosting, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits. This powerful herb can be made into a soothing tea or taken in capsule form, such as in Further Food’s Ultimate Immune Support. Read on to learn more about andrographis benefits, including andrographis immune benefits, and how to add this immune boosting herb to your diet.
Andrographis is a plant that grows in tropical and subtropical regions, as it is native to southern India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, and Pakistan. That’s why you might not have heard of it yet- it’s not growing in your backyard or neighborhood park! Andrographis benefits come from the leaves and stems have been used in herbal medicine for centuries to help treat a variety of ailments.
Across various cultures, Andrographis benefits have been recognized, specifically including its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory benefits. Other andrographis benefits include that it has liver protectant, and immune-stimulative properties. Traditional Indian systems of medicine like Ayurveda have long used andrographis herb and andrographis benefits to stimulate and protect the liver, manage fever and jaundice. Andrographis herb has also been incorporated in complementary treatments for diabetes, malaria, pneumonia and more. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the andrographis leaf is utilized as an alternative blood cleanser, a tonic, and pain reliever. Additionally, andrographis herb is said to have special properties that clear heat as well as helping to eliminate toxins that enter the lungs, stomach, and intestines.
Andrographis Provides Immune System Support
An important andrographis benefit is its impact on the immune system. In fact, these days, most people turn to andrographis herb for its stimulating effects on immune health. Andographis immune support comes from compounds within andrographis called andrographolides that increase the body’s production of white blood cells and promote healthy activity of the lymphatic system, where the B & T immune cells live. The presence and activity of B & T cells are incredibly important to a healthy and robust immune response, and andrographis does a great job at promoting their production.
Andrographis Is Helpful in Treating Upper Respiratory Infections
Another andrographis benefit and andrographis immune benefit is that it can be helpful in treating upper respiratory infections. Indeed, andrographis has been studied for its use in treating colds, flus and upper respiratory infections. This benefit comes from this plants’ antimicrobial and antiviral properties that help the body fight infections. Additionally, several clinical studies have found that andrographis is safe and effective at shortening the length of upper respiratory infections. In a study from Thailand, participants were divided into three groups, one group was given standard medical treatment, another echinacea extract, and the third group was given andrographis extract. Scientists found that those taking andrographis had less severe symptoms, as well as a faster recovery.
Andrographis Helps To Support The Liver
Another andrographis benefit is that this powerhouse plant also supports the liver! Our livers are one of the most important organs in our bodies as the liver is involved in detox, and andrographis is considered a liver stimulant, helping the liver to flush toxins out of the body. This detox function of andrographis also helps support the immune system as well. This is because once our immune systems find and attack pathogens, the liver then steps in to help flush out the toxins from our bodies. So a happy liver means a happy immune system!
Andrographis are Antioxidant-Rich and Anti-Inflammatory
Andrographis benefits come from the fact that it has high concentrations of antioxidants and that andrographis has anti-inflammatory properties. The andrographolides in this special herb are the compounds that help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. These anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to aid in blood sugar regulation, as well as help in pain reduction.
In fact, andrographis is commonly incorporated into therapies for pain associated with chronic illness such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Recent research on rheumatoid arthritis showed that andrographis benefits helped to reduce swelling and tenderness in the joints. Additionally, andrographis has been used by some doctors to help treat inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis.
How To Add Andrographis To Your Diet:
There are several ways you can add this special herb to get andrographis benefits. Andrographis comes in powders, extracts or capsules. Traditional preparation includes making herbal tea infusions, decoctions, which are a method of preparing tea by simmering the plant, as well as in powders or powdered blends Modern preparations include standardized extracts.
One easy way to reap the benefits of andrographis is to make a soothing tea. To make andrographis tea, simply add 1 teaspoon of andrographis leaves to one cup of boiling water and steep this mixture for 5-10 minutes. Another way to incorporate andrographis into your diet is to add one or two teaspoons of this powder into smoothies or capsules. Note that androgaphis does have a bitter taste, so it can be helpful to add a little honey, or some other herbs which will help to balance out the flavor.
Note that consuming andrographis alone does have strong drying and stimulating properties. That’s why many people prefer to take andrographis with other herbs to help balance out these actions. Another way to easily incorporate andrographis into your diet is through Further Food’s Ultimate Immune Support which contains andrographis, along with 26 other antioxidants (including Vitamins A, C & E, immune boosting mushrooms and herbs, including echinacea, elderberry, garlic and ginger. You can learn more Ultimate Immune Support capsules and the benefits of this powerful immune supplement here.
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Wohlmuth H. Andrographis for the common cold Botanical Pathways. 2001; 10:6-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032030/