Andrographis Leaf

Andrographis, commonly known as kalmegh (meaning ‘king of bitters’), is grown in hedgerows and gardens in India where it is highly valued by the local people as a medicine. It has often been used as a substitute for the bitter herb Swertia chirata, and as such also has the Indian common name of chirayta. At one point, Andrographis was advertised in England as a substitute for quinine (possibly due to its bitterness). However, this was discontinued due to a lack of antimalarial activity (although new research studies demonstrate there is such activity in experimental models). The whole herb, including the root, has been used for medicinal purposes in India, but use of the leaf or aerial parts is more common. As well as in Ayurveda, Andrographis is found in the materia medica of other traditional medical systems, particularly those of China and south-east Asia.
Andrographis, an Asian herb used in the Ayurvedic medicine and TCM, has been used traditionally as an anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antiviral, antioxidant, and immune-enhancing herbal medicine.116 In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate immune enhancing activity and immunomodulating effects including its ability to stimulate both antigen-specific and nonspecific immunity, reduce inflammation, relieve fever and sore throat, and reduce incidence of common cold and upper respiratory infection in children and adults.117–119117118119 Andrographalide, a constituent of the herb, has demonstrated anticancer activity. One study demonstrated specific anti-HSV activity using isolate diterpenes from the herb.120 Western herbal medicine uses this herb in combination with other immunomodulating herbs, and in multieffect comprehensive formulae for patients who experience recurrent herpes outbreaks and who also have a tendency toward frequent colds and infections generally, and who also may be run down and depleted. It is excellent combined with adaptogens for overall immune support.