Adams Herbs



(Andrographis paniculata)

Powerful, immensely bitter, broad-spectrum antimicrobial

OTHER NAMES: “King of Bitters”


USED IN: Immmune Dragon Super Brew

NOTES: Andrographis is an official medicine for the treatment of infection and inflammation in China. It is also prominent in Ayurvedic medicine for the same purpose. And it’s finally gaining some traction here in the U.S. Maybe Echinacea is supported by the big studies with the impressive funding ($2.1 million from the NIH – woohoo!), but Andrographis is supported by studies where the herb actually works.

Well, sort of. Most of the really impressive research involves a patented combo of 90% Andrographis and 10% Eleuthero root, which no longer seems to be available in the United States. I think it’s safe to assume that Andrographis is doing most of the heavy lifting here.

The research, which involves at least a half-dozen double-blind human trials, shows a consistent reduction in cold symptoms. Symptoms are less severe, and they don’t last for as long. They’re less likely to progress to the flu. This has been shown both using low doses daily doses as a preventative, and higher doses as an intervention. Research has involved both healthy adults, and children under age ten. The only real weakness the research shows is, in one trial, an inability to touch symptoms in the lungs.

Stepping beyond cold and flu, Andrographis’s antimicrobial properties may be very broad indeed. There is test tube evidence that it’s useful against protozoal infections, and animal research showing it can dramatically reduce malaria. In India it is used for the stomach flu. And Andrographis is one of the four herbs central to Stephen Buhner’s very effective Lyme protocol.

Andrographis is used in a number of Ayurvedic formulas for liver disease. Its bitterness is a reflexive stimulant of upper GI tract activity, promoting digestion. Andrographis is known as “King of Bitters” in colloquial Hindi. The reasons for this will be obvious to anyone tasting it! (Although I cannot resist recommending the plant Picrorhizza kurroa to connoisseurs of true, thermonuclear bitterness).

Andrographis is traditionally considered a very cooling herb, so it is usually combined with warming herbs such as Ginger. In the IDSB, its cooling nature is counterbalanced by two spicy radishes: Horseradish and Wasabi. This is not a traditional combination, and Ginger is better at building core heat. But on a short-term, superficial level, the two radishes will work just fine, and they contribute more to the larger formula.

SAFETY: Andrographis is very safe for the rest of us, but it should NOT be taken during pregnancy. It will also reversibly decrease fertility in both men and women.

DOSING: Most Andrographis products are standardized, and in different ways from each other, so it’s hard to generalize about dosing. For products standardized to andrographalides, 50 mg a day is pretty standard. For crude herb, 3 grams a day is good. With both, it’s possible to go substantially higher. For example, in Stephen Buhner’s Lyme protocol, he recommends ramping up – slowly – to 360 mg andrographalides a day.



© 2009 Adam Herbs. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use common sense. Don't jump into a full therapeutic dose of anything the first day. Trust your experience more than someone's learned opinion. If you're dealing with something scary or serious, work with a professional. If the professional appears incompetent, find a better one.