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How Andrographis Benefits Your Immune System

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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, this bitter tasting herb is rich in compounds called andrographolides that have potent immune boosting, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits. This herb can be made into a tea or taken in capsule form, such as in Ultimate Immune Support. Read on to learn more about andrographis benefits and how to add it 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! The leaves and stems have been used in herbal medicine for centuries to help treat a variety of ailments.

Across cultures, Andrographis is purported to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory,  liver protectant, and immune-stimulative properties. Traditional Indian systems of medicine like Ayurveda have long used Andrographis benefits to stimulate and protect the liver, manage fever and jaundice, and have been incorporated in complementary treatments for diabetes, malaria, pneumonia and more. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the leaf is utilized as an alternative blood cleanser, a tonic, and pain reliever. It is said to have properties that clear heat as well as help eliminate toxins that enter the lungs, stomach, and intestines.

 

Andrographis Benefits

Andrographis Provides Immune System Support

These days, most people turn to Andrographis for its stimulating effects on immune health.  Compounds within andrographis called andrographolides 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 is that it can be helpful in treating upper respiratory infections. 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. 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 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

This powerhouse plant also supports the liver! Our livers are one of the most important organs  involved in detox, and andrographis is considered a liver stimulant, helping the liver to flush toxins out of the body. This detox function 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 as well as anti-inflammatory properties. The andrographolides in this special herb are the compounds that help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. These 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 fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Recent research on R.A. showed that  Andrographis helped 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:

Andrographis comes in powders, extracts or capsules. Traditional preparation includes herbal tea infusions, decoctions (a method of preparing tea by  simmering the plant), and powders. Modern preparations include standardized extracts.

You can make a simple tea by adding 1 teaspoon of Andrographis leaves to one cup of boiling water and steeping this mixture for 5-10 minutes. You can also incorporate the powder into smoothies or capsules. Androgaphis does have a bitter taste, so it helps to add little honey, or other herbs to balance out the flavor.

Note that consuming Andrographis alone does have strong drying and stimulating properties. Many people prefer to take Andrographis with other herbs to help balance out these actions. Further Food’s Ultimate Immune Support contains Andrographis, along with 26 other vitamins, mushrooms and immune boosting herbs. You can learn more here.

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References: 

Wohlmuth H. Andrographis for the common cold Botanical Pathways. 2001; 10:6-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032030/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5544222/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31614480/

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