Andrographis paniculata

fleurandrographis2

Botanical Name: Andrographis paniculata

Common name: Chiretta, King of Bitters, Kalmegh (Bengali, Hindi), Kirata (Sanskrit), chuan xin lian (Chinese) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

Family: Acanthaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 361)

Parts used: Whole herb (including root) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Constituents

  • Diterpenoid lactones (“andrographolides”): Algycones and Glucosides
  • Diterpene dimmers
  • Flavonoids
  • Xanathones (root)

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Actions

  • Bitter tonic
  • Choleretic
  • Immunostimulant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Antipyretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiplatelet
  • Antioxidant

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

History

Used medicinally in Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine and throughout South-East Asia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

In Chinese medicine the herb is considered bitter and cold (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

Traditional thereaputic use includes

  • Loss of appetite
  • Atonic dyspepsia
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Bowel complaints in children
  • Sluggish liver
  • Diabetes
  • General debility
  • Convalescence after fevers
  • Respiratory and skin infections

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Indications (contemporary)

  • Bacterial and viral infections
    • Common cold
    • Acute sinusitis
    • Pharyngotonsillitis
    • Enteric evidence
  • Prevention of urinary tract infections
  • Prophylaxis of common cold
  • Familial Mediterranean fever
  • Ulcerative colitis

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

Preparation

  • Decoction (dried or fresh herb)
  • Infusion
  • Fluid extract
  • Tablet or capsule
  • Succus (leaf juice)

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Dosage

Preventative dose (adult): 2-3g or equivalent per day

During infection: 6g/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Cautions

High doses may cause gastric discomfort, loss of appetite and vomiting (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 370)

 

Contradictions:

  • Pregnancy, notably early pregnancy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 369)
  • States of hyperacidity (i.e. duodenal ulcers or gastrointestinal reflux) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 369).

 

Combinations

As Andrographis is considered “cold”, is it traditionally combined with warming herbs such as ginger, Astragalus and tulsi (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 361).

 

REFERENCE
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Image: Imbert, P. (2011). Andrographis, Between tradition and modernity. Retrieved from: http://www.entretiens-internationaux.mc/andrographis-between-tradition-and-modernity-61.html

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