“When I call upon andrographis, I’m absolutely thinking, hit hard, hit fast, banish colds, flu – those respiratory diseases,” says Brian Keenan, ND, of the Institute for Natural Medicine. “This is one of those herbs that will make people who don’t believe in herbal medicine pay attention,” he adds. “If they’ll take it.”
What Andrographis Does
Andrographis increases the number of white blood cells that patrol the human body to detect and eliminate pathogens, and it energizes immune cells to more effectively get rid of bad bugs. The herb also has some direct antiviral and antibacterial effects. And once a battle is over, it helps the immune system clean up leftover debris.
When you take andrographis, “It’s like giving a cup of coffee to your white blood cells and saying, ‘go get ’em,’” says Keenan. “And they feel like ‘I had a good cup of joe; I’m going to go for a jog.’”
Proven Respiratory Benefits
Andrographis has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb. In recent decades, more than 1,500 scientific articles have been published on its mechanisms and benefits, with respiratory infections, such as colds and flu, being a major focus of research.
Reviews of studies with a total of more than 2,000 people have concluded that andrographis is safe and effective in preventing colds; reducing the severity of respiratory symptoms from colds, sinusitis, and flu; and speeding recovery.
When to Take Andrographis
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