Other Name: King of Bitters, Andrographis

Andrographis paniculata, is a traditional Chinese, Southeast Asian and Indian herb that was used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used extensively to treat infectious disease and highly regarded also as having preventative effect due to its powerful immune strengthening benefits.

Andrographis paniculata has white-purple flowers; its leaf and underground stems are used to make medicine.

Health Benefits of Andrographis:

  • Andrographis help prevent and treat common cold. It has been shown that when it is combined with Siberian ginseng it can help improve symptoms of common cold when taken within 72 hours of beginning of cold symptoms.
  • Andrographis has the same effect as acetaminophen in the treatment of fever and sore throat.
  • Andrographis help stimulate the immune system, and may improve blood cell counts in people with HIV.
  • Andrographis extracts when taken orally can help neutralize the poisonous effects of snake venom.

Kan Jang – a combination of andrographis and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus) medicine.

Recommended Dosage:

  • For Common Cold – 100 mg daily of a standardized extract.
  • The therapeutic dose of andrographis is 400 mg, twice daily, for up to 10 days.

Side Effects of Andrographis:

  • Digestive upset, but this can be prevented by taking andrographis with meals or at a lower dose. In one study patients with HIV taking a very high dose reported headache, fatigue, metallic taste and elevated liver enzyme.
  • Andrographis is safe when taken in a short period of time (up to one month).


  • Andrographis should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers.
  • Animal research suggests that andrographis might cause fertility problems; if you are planning to get pregnant don’t use this herb.
  • Don’t take andrographis when you have auto-immune disease, because this herb can make the immune system become more active, and therefore may increase the symptoms of the disease.
  • Andrographis has blood thinning properties; this might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Health Benefits of Andrographis