I thought it timely as I sit here with my box of tissues, herbal tablets and a lovely bespoke liquid herbal formula supporting my body to fight off this dastardly head cold, that I discuss the attributes of Andrographis paniculata, commonly known as Andrographis.

Andrographis or King of Bitters as it is also known, is an Ayuvedic herb, used medicinally throughout India. Its well documented use in Western Herbal Medicine extends to acute upper respiratory tract infections and fever. It also has clinically demonstrated benefit in hepatitis and enteric infections.

But back to my cold, Andrographis being a ‘cold’ herb is combined with ‘warm herbs’ such as Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea and E. angustifolia) as well as Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum or O. sanctum).

These three herbs and the essential oil of Holy Basil complement each other in a very potent formulation with the following actions:

  • enhanced immune function
  • relief of mucous congestion
  • enhanced response to stress

Andrographis Complex combines all three herbs in tablet form and is a practitioner only medicine, meaning that it can only be prescribed to a patient who has been thoroughly assessed by a herbal medicine practitioner.

I’m sure you can understand why this has been part of my protocol for alleviating the symptoms of my cold but also supporting my immune system to deal with the virus. I try to maintain as warm a body temperature as I can, as this also helps fight off pathogens. The use of fever is a subject for another blog, but it is important to recognise our bodies own defence mechanisms and to support them in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to get well again.

If you are looking for ways to prevent or treat colds and flu this winter, book an appointment with me and we can discuss the use of Andrographis or other herbs which may suit better. Appointments are available on Friday mornings and most Saturdays. Please contact me.

Bibliography reference:  Mediherb APP #15 2010