What is Andrographis Paniculata Extract?
Andrographis paniculata is one of 2,500 species of plants belonging to the Acanthaceae family, many of which are native to India and south Asia. While this plant is known by various common names, the nomination of “King of Bitters” stands out since it bears testimony to the highly acrid taste all parts of the plant impart. In southern India, the herb is dubbed after the Telugu word for «ground,» while the Malaysians affectionately call it hempedu bumi, which translates to mean, “bile of the earth.”
There are more distinguishing attributes to this plant than its pungent flavor, however. For one thing, it is one of the few species of Andrographis that possess medicinal properties. For another, this plant represents a range of therapeutic applications far broader than most single herbal remedies. In fact, andrographis paniculata plays a featured role in several traditional systems of healing, including those of India, Thailand, and China. A mere sampling of the plant’s pharmacological properties include analgesic, cardioprotective, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and immunomodulating effects.
Chemical constituents of Andrographis Paniculata Extract
The main active ingredients of this plant are andrographolides, which due to their chemical structure; belong to the diterpene lactones group. The biggest amount of andrographolides is found in the leaves thus giving the plant a bitter taste.
The leaves also contain other diterpene lactones, such as: neoandrographolide, andrographiside, 14-doexy-11, 12-didehydro andrographolide, etc., flavonoinds viz., oroxylin, wogonin, andrographidines A, B, C, D, E, F.
Benefits of taking Andrographis Paniculata Extract supplements:
The anti-inflammatory effect occurs because the dehydroandro-grapholides stimulate the production of ACTG in the hypophysis. The ACTG increases the synthesis and release of corticosteroids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Dehydroandro-grapholides have a direct inhibitor effect over NF-kapa beta-, which is an important transcriptional factor related to the inflammatory response.
Andrographis paniculata is a powerful stimulant for the immunologial system, through both the antigen specific and non specific way.
It optimizes the expression of the genes that codify the cytokines’ receptors, and the synthesis of the histocompatibility molecules, type I and II; in this way, it improves the interaction between the competent cells.
As it has been noted, malign cells appear when some cells do not respond to the signals that intend to limit their growth. When cells mature properly, they define their specialization in order to perform their respective functions. The carcinogenic cells are those that do not mature, and are similar to the embryonal cells. The more immature they are, the more aggressive the tumor will be.
Scientist used Andrographis paniculata in a test done with mice. They discovered that the terpenes from the plant caused the differentiation in Leukemia cells, making them to be more mature, and therefore, less aggressive.
The extract of Andrographis paniculata, as well as causing the differentiation in cancerous cells, is also cytotoxic to those cells. This was demonstrated when it acted against the Epidermidal Carcinoma cells of the skin as well as some Lymphocytic Leukemia cells.
In 1977, a clinical research was done on 60 patients that were affected with Skin Basalioma, 41 of which had Metastasis. According to “The Journal of Chinese Medicine”, 12 patients, who just received extracts of Andrographis paniculata, recovered.
In 1996, some tests showed that the extract blocked, in a very secure way, the development of Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer and Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The scientist, based on the results of the effect of Andrographis paniculata over breast cancer cells, considered that the extract probably inhibits the synthesis of DNA in the carcinogenic cells.
Andrographis paniculata is a powerful antiretroviral.All the viruses, including HIV, cannot reproduce without using the replication machinery of the cells. The HIV virus sticks to the cell, using CD4, CCR5 and CXCR4 molecules on its surface. The viruses tend to concentrate in the brain tissues and in the immunocompetent cells, which have those molecules, mainly CD4. When entering the cell, the viruses use a key enzyme to multiply themselves and this is called Reverse Transcriptase. The inhibitors of this enzyme are considered the most important agents used against AIDS; however, these drugs are very toxic. The alkaloids of Andrographis paniculata increase the action of the inhibitors over the Reverse Transcriptase, so that the dosage of the inhibitor drug can be reduced.
Andrographis paniculata inhibits the cyclon-dependant kinases’ phosphorilation which is induced by the viruses so that the cellular cycle of the infected CD4 cells stops, as well as the viruse’s dissemination.
The alkaloids of Andrographis paniculata also reduce the multiplication of the Hepatitis B, Herpes and Influenza viruses.
- Cardioprotective and antithrombotic
Andrographolides reduce the procoagulant potential and improve the rheological properties of the blood. A research was done with rabbits that had an angioplasty. It was noticed that those who had received, orally, 3 days before and 4 weeks after the surgery, the Andrographis paniculata extract, showed, in 70% of the cases, stenosis of the Lymphatic Vessel. Those that did not receive the extract, in 100% of the cases, developed restenosis.
It has been noticed that Andrographis paniculata reduce the size of the Myocardium in a very significative way. This is due to its capacity to activate the Fibrinolysis and to reduce the platalet’s aggregation.
Andrographolides also exert a spasmolytic and beta-blocker effect. They help to reduce the arterial pressure and have a vessel-dilatator effect, because they increase the synthesis of the Nitric Oxide (NO) carried out by the endothelial cells.
Side effects and safety of Andrographis Paniculata Extract
Some may develop intestinal upset. If so, reduce the amount or take it with meals. In addition, the possibility of a headache or fatigue may occur. Classified as a bitter herb, andrographis may aggravate ulcers and heartburn. As a result, a bitter or metallic taste has been reported when taking the herb by some people. HIV-infected people taking high doses showed an increase in liver enzymes in one trial. This has not been reported in people using whole andrographis or standardized extracts at the amounts recommended on the previous page. The safety of using andrographis during pregnancy or breast-feeding is unknown.
We are not aware if there are any negative side effects associated with drug interactions and andrographis. None have been reported as we know; however, keep in mind that prescription drug interactions with the human body in general, are commonplace.
Dosage of Andrographis Paniculata Extract supplement:
A typical dosage of andrographis is 400 mg 3 times a day. Dosage as high as 1,000 to 2,000 mg 3 times daily has been used in some studies. Andrographis is usually standardized to its content of andrographolide, typically 4% to 10%. Note that virtually all published studies of andrographis have involved a single proprietary product. It is not clear that the results of these studies apply to products using different andrographis sources, or different methods of extraction.
It is a topic that should be talked with a medical doctor or your personal physician about the dosage. Only a doctor can give medical advice about how much of the supplement you should take. Based on the use of this site is for reference only, you should be sure to talk to your doctor before trying anything extreme.