Latin name: Andrographis paniculata
Chinese name: chuan xin lian
Other names: the creat, kalmegha
What is Andrographis?
Andrographis is a bitter plant native to India and Sri Lanka. Known as the “king of bitters” in Northeastern India, it is sometimes referred to as “Indian echinacea,” for its immunity-boosting properties. Because of its roots in India, it has been traditionally used in the Ayurvedic science of medicine. While the entire plant has been used for medicinal purposes, modern usage of andrographis focuses on the leaf and stem, but not the root.
What are the health benefits of Andrographis?
Andrographis was traditionally used in India and other Asian countries for its ability to stimulate the immune system and its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Today it is used to treat influenza with fever, a sore throat, an acute or chronic cough, urinary infections, and to combat the common cold. It is also used for treating respiratory and digestive infections. Scientific work is currently being done to determine andrographis’ potential in cancer treatment; preliminary research suggests that the plant’s content of andrographolide–the substance responsible for its extremely bitter taste–may hold the key to its anti-cancer properties.
Where can I find Andrographis?
Andrographis can be found online, in the offices of alternative health practitioners, and in Asian specialty stores.
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