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Why Bitter Is Better

"Andrographis

We want to explain why bitter is better (at least sometimes). And why we love Andrographis extract.

What Is Andrographis Good For?

Andrographis paniculata has been most widely studied for its potential to support treatment for colds, flu, and upper respiratory infections.

Andrographis, known as “King of Bitters,” belongs to the Acanthaceae family. Andrographis paniculata is currently used in traditional medicine to support treatment for the common cold, diarrhea, and fever due to several infectious causes and as a health tonic. A major bioactive component of Andrographis paniculata is andrographolide, which is known for its broad-spectrum antiviral properties.

Andrographis paniculata has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. In his book Healing Lyme, Steven Buhner suggests Andrographis may provide support for those suffering from Lyme disease.

The herb is rich in bioactive compounds with a bittersweet taste, including andrographolides that contain antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. These bioactive compounds have shown to be significant in supporting the treatment of Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is a tick-borne infection that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 476, 000 Americans get Lyme disease every year.

Andrographis paniculata is a great example of why bitter is better. The herbal extract may support immune function, strengthen heart muscles, and enhance liver function. Its anti-inflammatory properties are used to support treatment of symptoms of Lyme disease such as arthritis and muscle spasms. It may also help to protect the body from endotoxin damage.

In addition, Andrographis may help to reduce Herxheimer reactions. The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction can happen after antibiotic treatment has started for spirochetal infections like Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases.

Why Bitter Is Better

Andrographis is a full-bodied, bitter/bittersweet herb. (It is called the King of Bitters after all.) Many herbalists say that bitter is better, especially when it comes to supporting the treatment of a wide range of health conditions. Bitter foods have been shown to aid digestion, help nutrient absorption, and stimulate immune function. The right all-natural herbs can help to provide immune system support, help to reduce oxidative stress, and enhance digestion.

Phenols, flavonoids, isoflavones, terpenes, and glucosinolates are groups of phytochemicals that are known for their health benefits and are also found in bitter foods. Some bitter phytochemicals, like flavonoids, act as antioxidants that remove free radicals from our bodies. Including a variety of plant foods in our diets to ensure the availability of a full range of beneficial phytochemicals, boosting our chances to maintain a healthy antioxidant balance and stave off chronic disease.

One of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to incorporate Andrographis into your daily diet is in a healthy smoothie. Banana and cacao nibs help counterbalance the bitterness of the herb. Try this great (and very healthy) Andrographis smoothie recipe.

Learn More About the King of Bitters

To learn more about the potential health benefits of Andrographis herbal extract, a great place to start is with our Andrographis FAQ.

Read the FAQ Shop Now

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