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Andrographis is a shrub found throughout India and other Asian countries that is sometimes called "Indian echinacea." It has been used historically in epidemics, including the Indian flu epidemic in 1919 during which andrographis was credited with stopping the spread of the disease. 1
Over the last decade, a proprietary extract of andrographis (currently sold in combination with eleutherococcus) has become popular in Scandinavia as a treatment for colds . It is beginning to become available in the United States as well. Reasonably good evidence tells us that either form of this extract can reduce the severity of cold symptoms. It may also help prevent colds.
Although we don't know how andrographis might work for colds, preliminary evidence suggests that it might stimulate immunity, 2 potentially making it useful for general immune support .
Andrographis combined with eleutherococcus , licorice , and schisandra has shown promise for a genetic disease called familial Mediterranean fever. 3 4 Preliminary studies in animals weakly suggest that...
Andrographis has not been associated with any side effects in human studies. In one study, participants were monitored for changes in liver function, blood counts, kidney function, and other laboratory measures of toxicity. 5 No problems were found.
However, some animal studies have raised concerns that andrographis may impair fertility. One study found that male rats became infertile when fed 20 mg of andrographis powder daily. 6 In this case, the rats stopped producing sperm and showed physical changes in some of the testicular cells involved in sperm production. Researchers also detected evidence of degeneration of other anatomical structures in the testicles. However, another study showed no evidence of testicular toxicity in male rats that were given up to 1...