Andrographis benefits include immune system support for Lyme disease, as well as antibacterial, antiviral, upper respiratory, digestive, and inflammation support.
Andrographis paniculata is a full-bodied, bittersweet herb that grows in Asian regions. More than anything, parasites, including Borrelia burgdorferi, “fear” this herb. In fact, herbalists suggest that bitter is better, especially when it comes to treating many health conditions. The right all-natural herbs can help to strengthen the immune system, reduce oxidative stress, and enhance digestion.
Here, I’ll review various Andrographis benefits, including potential support for the treatment of Lyme disease.
Andrographis is commonly known as Andrographis paniculata, green chiretta, and the King of Bitters. It is a medicinal herb traditionally used to support treatment for digestive disorders, hypertension, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and bacterial infections. Other common names used to describe the herb include Chuan Xin Lian, Kalmegh, and Indian echinacea.
Therapies that include andrographis as an adjuvant to other treatments may reduce hospitalization and disease persistence. Andrographis benefits are often attributed to its active ingredient, andrographolides. Andrographolides contain anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, hypotensive, gastroprotective, antioxidant, and mitochondria supporting properties.
Andrographis paniculata for Lyme Disease Support
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. A national surveillance report from the Centers for Disease Control reveals that over 476,000 Americans are infected with this disease yearly.
Some of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include the following:
- Joint pain (arthritis)
- Muscle pains
- Swollen lymph nodes
Andrographis may prove effective in assisting the immune system in the very early, blood-borne stage of Lyme disease, called the planktonic stage. Andrographis may also support the health of joints and soft connective tissue that are challenged during chronic Lyme infection. The herb can help reduce inflammation at the joints and lymph nodes, issues often associated with Lyme disease.
Andrographolides have anti-borreliae properties that interfere with the bacteria’s mechanisms. The active ingredient also may support immune function, enhance liver function, and strengthen heart muscles, which may help the immune system in clearing the bacterial infection.
Andrographis paniculata has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Steven Buhner’s book Healing Lyme also suggests Andrographis may provide support for those suffering from Lyme disease.
You can learn about Linden Botanicals owner Michael Van der Linden’s personal journey with Lyme disease here. You can find more Lyme disease resources and information here.
Additional Andrographis Benefits
Other Andrographis benefits include the following:
1. Support for Treatment of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Preliminary data reveals that Andrographis paniculata can be used to support treatment for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs).
2. Klebsiella pneumoniae
Andrographis paniculata extract may inhibit the growth and biofilm formation in multi-drug resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that can cause nosocomial infections in humans.
A 2019 study published in The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine highlights potential Andrographis benefits related to controlling the growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can cause serious infections. The study showed that Andrographis has the potential to control both the growth and biofilm formation of Klebsiella pneumoniae.
3. Support for Treatment of Colds and Flu
Andrographis can be used alone or combined with Eleutherococcus senticosus to reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms. The herb contains antiviral properties against viruses such as influenza and HIV. It also increases the number of lymphocytes and provides immune system support among HIV patients.
In addition, a 2021 study published in The Journal of Natural Products provides experimental evidence in favor of Andrographis paniculata and its major bioactive component, andrographolide, for further investigation as a possible monotherapy or in combination with other effective drugs against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
4. Support for Cancer Treatment
The herb contains anti-mutagenic and anti-angiogenic properties that have the potential as an adjuvant to reduce the symptoms and severity of cancer treatment. It contains bioactive ingredients with antioxidant properties that may help to reduce oxidative stress caused by cancer drugs. A study conducted by City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, suggests that Andrographis may help to eradicate colorectal cancer cells that are resistant to chemotherapy.
5. Support for Colon Health
Andrographis benefits include colon health support, which could be beneficial for treatment of ulcerative colitis, an intestinal inflammatory disease that could result in colon cancer if not managed early. The anti-inflammatory properties of andrographolides suggest a potential therapeutic alternative against ulcerative colitis.
6. Support for Heart Health
Andrographis extract may support heart and vascular health. Preclinical research suggests that one of the phytoactives (andrographolide) can support normal blood pressure and flow of blood in veins, arteries, and capillaries. Andrographis may also support healthy liver function and cholesterol balance. These benefits and the support of healthy metabolic function make the King of Bitters a promising support to the cardiovascular system.
Try Andrographis Extract Today!
This wide range of Andrographis health benefits indicates that the herb interacts with the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous, renal, and integumentary body systems. Today, it’s generally recognized that Andrographis can support a whole healthy lifestyle approach related to issues with cardiovascular disease, the immune system, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and physical and psychological stress.
There is good reason to believe that a lifestyle-related approach to optimal health will benefit from support with Andrographis paniculata as a health supplement.
To learn more about the science behind Andrographis, a good place to start is with the Andrographis FAQ. Read up, then try a cup of healthy, all-natural Andrographis tea!