King of the Bitters.

Latin Botanical: Andrographis paniculata

Common Name(s): Andrographis

Family: Acanthaceae

Part(s) Used: Aerial parts

Qualities: Bitter, cold, dry (very cold – pair with ginger/cinnamon)

Ayurveda – Bitter, cold, dry

TCM – clear heat from blood and detoxify fire poison (Holmes) Hot (inflammatory)/Damp (toxic) combination.

Very cold – can maybe combine with a diaphoretic tea to counteract/balance cooling property


  • Bitter diterpenoid lactones (andrographolides) – ‘Danger Receptors’
  • Diterpene glucosides
  • Diterpene dimers
  • Flavonoids


  • Bitter tonic/Digestive
  • Immune enhancing (Traditionally linked with infections of respiratory system)
  • Anti-pyretic
  • Choleretic/Cholagogue – increases bile flow & gallbladder function
  • Hepatoprotective – liver tonic
  • Diaphoretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anthelmintic (esp. pin worm)
  • Adaptogen (Thomsen)
  • Antiplatelet
  • Cardioprotective (Thomsen)
  • Febrifuge


  • URTIs and the common cold + fever (acute)
  • Immune Deficiency – support immune system in both acute and chronic bacterial infections (especially topically – e.g. acne and cellulitis combined with gotu kola and echinacea)
  • Sore Throat
  • Pneumonia and URTI
  • Infections of Skin
  • Acute immunological herb – can be quick working
  • Enteric infections
  • Infective hepatitis (acute forms especially)
  • Liver congestion – intolerance to fats, poor bowel motions, poor bile flow
  • Sluggish Liver – as above
  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Infestation with intestinal worms – esp. pin worms – ACUTE DOSES
  • Gastroenteritis – with a liver component
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhoea
  • Preventing UTI’s (following shock wave lithotripsy)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dyspepsia/ Digestive weakness/ GIT Infestation
  • Recovery from convalescence
  • Diabetes type 2 (Thomsen)
  • Mould illness – help brain-fo
  • Improve cognition – stimulates neurogenesis in hippocampus – important for long & short term memory
  • Troubles with fat digestion
NOTE: Use for Borrelia, Babesia & Bartonella infections. Good for Sx of brain fog in these chronic infections. 


  • Pregnancy – Traditionally not used – Anti-fertility effects in female mice
  • Preconception – Oral leaf powder in male rats > anti-fertility effect & biochemical changes in testes – Not duplicated in standardised ethanolic dried leaf extract
  • Pregnancy was prevented with andrographis powder in female mice (Bone)
  • Antiplatelet drugs – Theoretical additive antiplatelet – observe the patient.
  • Hypoglycaemic agents –Additive effects are theoretically possible  (has hypoglycaemic activity comparable to metformin in vivo)  – monitor blood glucose, interaction may be beneficial.
  • Immunosuppressants – Reduced drug activity is theoretically possible (immunostimulant activity has been demonstrated in vivo) – use caution in the immunosuppressed.
  • Sensitive digestion – high doses can cause gastric discomfort, anorexia and vomiting. Beware in reflux cases
  • FEW CASES OF EXTREME ALLERGIC REACTION – Due to andrographalide (tablet). Warn patient.


Liquid Extract 20-40mL of 1:2 LE per week

4.0 – 6.0 grams day 

Combination: Aromatics or warming herbs – such as Ginger or cinnamon

References & Links to Articles:

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