PPC HerbByte – Focus On Andrographis & Respiratory Tract Infection

Posted on November 22, 2020

Upper respiratory tract infection is one of the most common acute illnesses and is the primary reason for absenteeism from school and work. Because most upper respiratory tract infections are caused by rhinoviruses, antibiotics are not useful in their treatment. Thus, alternative treatments are needed.

While summer is upon us, there is certainly a number of people who are impacted by upper respiratory tract infections and therefore seek other treatment options to deal with the symptoms and to obtain relief.

An article featuring in the journal American Botanical Council sheds light on the usefulness of Andrographis. The study was a pooled collection of reports taken from a number of reputable databases and results presented based on the outcome of symptom relief and recovery of subjects in all studies.

The results of some clinical trials have shown that Andrographis (called chiretta in this article; Andrographis paniculata) reduces the symptoms associated with uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) such as the common cold and sinusitis. The main active constituents of this plant are andrographolide and its derivatives, which have known antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulant properties. However, no systematic review of randomized clinical trials to determine the efficacy of Andrographis have been conducted; therefore, the objective of this study was to conduct such a review to better define the efficacy of Andrographis in the treatment of uncomplicated URTIs.

The results of this review ‘support the usefulness of Andrographis in reducing the severity of uncomplicated acute upper respiratory tract infection.’ The authors noted, however, that Andrographis is only effective as a ‘symptomatic treatment’ and that antibiotics are required in cases of bacterial infection. Furthermore, the authors recommend that high-quality placebo-controlled trials of other preparations of Andrographis be conducted to confirm this plant’s efficacy and clinical relevance in the treatment of uncomplicated URTIs.

The outcome of the studies does present appealing reasons for applying Andrographis in the treatment of uncomplicated URTI’s.

The herb is found in a number of presentations which can be obtained from health food stores as capsules, tablets or liquid form. Herbal medicines indicated for cough and colds or flu like symptoms often have Andrographis as a key ingredient; however, always check the label and follow dosing instructions.

If symptoms persist or worsen always speak to your healthcare provider