Andrographis Benefits | Immune, Respiratory & Liver Support

Andrographis Health Benefits

Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) known for its very bitter taste and detoxifying effects, also referred to as "King of Bitters" and “Bile of the Earth”

Andrographis Pharmacology

Botanical Name

Andrographis paniculata & Justicia paniculata

Other Common Names

Indian Echinacea, Green Chireta, Andrographolide & Kalmegh

Part Used


Main Therapeutic Compounds

Bitter diterpene, lactones, diterpene glucosides & flavonoids

Herbal Actions

Bitter tonic
Choleretic (increases liver bile production)

Andrographis Herbal Benefits

Liver Health ||  Immune Support || Cold & Flu
Cough Relief || Digestion 

Immune Support

Andrographis is traditionally used for its immune-boosting properties and is commonly used to help manage the common cold, flu, sore throat, and upper respiratory infections. The active compound in Andrographis that is thought to be responsible for its immune-supportive effects is called andrographolide. This compound has been shown to enhance the activity of immune cells called macrophages, which help to remove cellular debris and promote tissue repair.

Respiratory Health

Andrographis is a plant that is commonly used to support respiratory health. A study published in 2004 found that andrographis extract may be effective in managing acute respiratory infections and was more effective than a placebo in reducing cold symptoms like nasal congestion, earache, and sore throat. Andrographis is one of the most widely used herbal medicines for respiratory health and is often used as a natural remedy for these types of conditions.

Liver Health

Andrographis paniculata has been shown to promote healthy liver and gallbladder function. It does this by increasing bile flow, supporting the production of a compound called glutathione, and reducing liver damage. Several studies have found that andrographolides, a compound found in andrographis paniculata, may be as effective as St. Mary's Thistle (Silybum marianum) in protecting the liver.

Andrographis Typical Use

Tea & Infusion

5-6 grams steeped in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes.

Tincture & Liquid Extract

Typical use of Andrographis tincture is 2.5mls mixed in a small amount of water or juice 1-2 times daily, or as directed by your practitioner.

Herbal Combinations

Combines well with Echinacea, White Horehound, EyebrightMullein & Thyme.

Cautions & Safety

Not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.

If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical medications, please consult your primary healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Andrographis Liquid Extract Tincture
Naturopath Herbals​​


J.T. Coon, E. Ernst: Andrographis paniculata in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review of safety and efficacy. Planta Medica. 70(4), 2004, 293–298, April. 

McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997. 

Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, et al. Use of visual analogue scale measurements (VAS) to assess the effectiveness of standardized Andrographis paniculata extract SHA-10 in reducing the symptoms of common cold. A randomized, double-blind, placebo study. Phytomedicine 1999;6:217-23. 

Madav S, Tripathi HC, Tandan SK, et al. Antiallergic activity of andrographolide. Indian J Pharm Sci 1998;60:176-8. 

Puri A, Saxena R, Saxena RP, et al. Immunostimulant agents from Andrographis paniculata. J Nat Prod 1993;56:995-9. 

Caceres DD, Hancke JL, Burgos RA, Wikman GK. Prevention of common colds with Andrographis Paniculata dried extract: a pilot, double-blind trial. Phytomedicine 1997;4:101-4. 

Thamlikitkul, V, et al.: Efficacy of Andrographis paniculata nees for pharyngotonsillitis in adults. J Med Assoc Thai. 74(10), 1991, 437–442. 

Thamlikitkul, V, et al.: Efficacy of Andrographis paniculata nees for pharyngotonsillitis in adults. J Med Assoc Thai. 74(10), 1991, 437–442.

Suebsasana, S, et al.: Analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and toxic effects of andrographolide derivatives in experimental animals. Archives of Pharmacal Research. 32(9), 2009, 1191–1200.Tang, T, et al.: Randomised clinical trial: herbal extract HMPL-004 in active ulcerative colitis – a double-blind comparison with sustained release mesalazine. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 33(2), 2011, 194–202.

Spasov, AA, et al.: Comparative controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination, Kan Jang and an Echinacea preparation as adjuvant, in the treatment of uncomplicated respiratory disease in children. Phytother Res. 18(1), 2004, 47–53.

Sheeja, K, et al.: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the plant Andrographis paniculata Nees. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 28(1), 2006, 129–140.



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PharyngotonsillitisA clinical benefit of andrographis in the treatment of pharyngotonsillitis was reported in one early RCT involving 152 volunteers (Thamlikitkul et al 1991). Symptoms of sore throat and fever were reduced at a dose of 6 g/day of a non-standardised andrographis preparation after 3 days. No subsequent research appears to have been conducted for this indication to confirm these results.Ulcerative colitisTwo RCTs have found benefits for andrographis treatment in mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.The efficacy of Andrographis paniculata (HMPL-004) in the treatment of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis was assessed in a double-blind RCT (n = 224) (Sandborn et al 2013). Two different strengths of andrographis (1200 mg, or 1800 mg per day) were compared to placebo over 8 weeks. By the end of the treatment period, a clinical response was achieved in 60% of patients receiving andrographis 1800 mg/day (P = 0.02), compared to 45% taking the 1200 mg dose and 40% of those taking placebo (P = 0.6 andrographis 1200 mg vs placebo) (Sandborn et al 2013). Therefore, only the higher strength was significantly superior to placebo whereas the lower dose of andrographis was not effective. Interestingly, the lower dose of andrographis 1200 mg (HMPL-004) daily was as effective as slow-release mesalazine (4500 mg/day) after 8 weeks in another multicentre RCT involving 120 patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis (Tang et al 2011).Rheumatoid arthritisAnti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects have been observed in laboratory and animal studies providing the basis of investigation into the effects of andrographis in rheumatoid arthritis. To date, only one clinical study has been published, producing promising results.Treatment with andrographis tablets (standardised to 30 mg andrographolide/tablet) three times a day for 14 weeks significantly reduced joint tenderness, number of swollen or tender joints and total grade of swollen or tender joints compared to placebo in a double-blind RCT involving 60 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (Burgos et al 2009). A reduction in rheumatoid factor IgA and C4 was also observed. Of note, participants were not permitted to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during the study and paracetamol was only used in cases of severe pain. Joint pain intensity decreased in the andrographis treatment group compared to the placebo group, but the difference was not statistically significant (Burgos et al 2009).