I’ll continue to dive into the realm of herbal remedies that are potentially of use in boosting your immune system. Today, I hone in on “andrographis.” This herb has been used to treat many infectious diseases. Several preliminary reports show the beneficial effects of andrographis alone or combined with other herbs in treating the common cold.
One double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave 95 people andrographis (with ginseng and “Kan Jang”) and gave another 90 placebo for five days. Those taking andrographis showed greater relief of headache, nasal and throat symptoms, and general malaise. Moreover, fever was moderately reduced in the andrographis combination treated group.
In 46 patients, researchers gave patients an andrographis-Kan Jang combination three times a day for three to eight days. Then they followed with a 179-patient study for three days. Results showed that in the herbal group, total symptoms (pain in muscle, cough, throat symptoms, headache, nasal symptoms, eye symptoms, and fever) improved greatly as compared to those on placebo.
Another study using andrographis, Kan Jang or echinacea was conducted in 130 children between the ages of four and 11 over a period of 10 days. The andrographis group experienced significantly greater effect than the echinacea group. The respiratory symptoms were less severe in the Kan Jang group. Kan Jang sped up the recovery time; whereas echinacea did not.
Overall, cold symptoms were greatly improved when the andrographis combination was started within 72 hours of having respiratory symptoms. A preliminary study also showed that andrographis could reduce the risk of developing a common cold by 50% after two months of continuous use.
These studies show proof that andrographis seems to influence the immune system, strengthening it against viruses.