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Travis Lemon: Bitter herb is promising for immune system

December 16, 2018

The herb andrographis has been used in the traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine for thousands of years, but recently it has shown its importance to Western natural and conventional practitioners alike. Ayurveda was the predominant system of medicine in India and surrounding areas, dating all the way back to 6,000 BCE.

Andrographis is also known as the “King of Bitters” and has been traditionally used for everything from immune support to digestive complaints. Andrographis is actually one of my herbal secret weapons during cold and flu season due to its anti-bacterial properties. My family members and I have been very happy to know that we had some andrographis capsules in the cabinet when we feel the onset of a winter bug. In one double blind study the participants taking an extract of andrographis showed continued improvement in symptoms from an uncomplicated upper respiratory infection after those on placebo remained unchanged after day three.

Recent data has shown much promise for andrographis, not only in immune support, but also for liver health, cardiovascular health, healthy brain function, adrenal health and digestive health. Andrographis is even showing some similar joint-protective and anti-inflammatory properties that could be compared to more well-known supplements like curcumin, from turmeric, or even glucosamine.

I suggest finding a supplement that uses an andrographis extract with around 80 mgs of andrographolides. Andrographolides are natural compounds that are considered the most active properties of the andrographis plant. Many natural practitioners including myself are very excited to see the continuing research on this amazing ancient plant that has so much to offer.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.