Andrographis paniculata


Andrographis paniculata


Andrographis paniculata is an herbaceous annual plant in the Acanthaceae family. Known as Kalmegh in Ayurveda, Creat, King of Bitters, Green Chiretta or Indian Chiretta in English speaking countries, and chuān xīn lián in Pinyin Chinese. The Acanthaceae family can be found worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions, and Andrographis is native to the tropics of India and Sri Lanka. It is also commonly grown in gardens in Bengal, India. Andrographis is a significant medicinal herb in the medicinal systems from which it natively grows, though has been incorporated into the use of herbal medicines in western countries as well.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Andrographis

Digestive Support, Immune Support

What is Andrographis Used for?

Andrographis has numerous traditional uses. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used as an alterative, (supporting the routes of detoxification), stomachic (supporting digestion), and as an immune supporter. In Chinese Medicine, Andrographis is thought to enter the lung channels and channels of the digestive organs (small & large intestines, stomach). It is said to ‘dry dampness’, ‘clear heat’, and to be indicated for heat manifestations in the lungs and skin. Andrographis has been shown to provide acute support for the immune system, particularly in maintaining a normal body temperature. Both Ayurvedic and Chinese modalities utilize Andrographis for stomach complaints in children. Andrographis is also used as a digestive tonic. By being immensely bitter (note English name, ‘King of Bitters’), consumption of Andrographis supports the functions of the gallbladder which in turn supports the liver. Andrographis has become the subject of interest in modern research studies. Andrographolide, a diterpene lactone produced by Andrographis paniculata, has been shown to support a healthy immune response through the modulation of the levels of immune cells in the blood. In preliminary research, andrographolide has been shown to support normal flow and pressure of blood in blood vessels, healthy blood sugar balance, and normal liver function and lipid balance, making Andrographis a promising herb for supporting the cardiovascular system and metabolic functions. Andrographolide has also been shown to have free radical scavenging and mitochondrial protective activity as an antioxidant, with the most affinity for the kidney and liver tissues.

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Active Constituents of Andrographis

Terpenes such as andrographolide, andrographoside, andrographolactone; various flavonoids, arabinogalactan

Parts Used


Additional Resources

1. “Andrographis Paniculata .” ITIS Standard Report, Integrated Taxonomic Information System, 2011, 2. Reddy, Muntha K, et al. “A Flavone and an Unusual 23-Carbon Terpenoid from Andrographis Paniculata.” Phytochemistry, vol. 62, no. 8, 2003, pp. 1271–1275., doi:10.1016/s0031-9422(03)00051-7. 3. Rao, Y. Koteswara, et al. “Flavonoids and Andrographolides from Andrographis Paniculata.” Phytochemistry, vol. 65, no. 16, 2004, pp. 2317–2321., doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2004.05.008. 4. Xu, Chong, et al. “A New Diterpene from the Leaves of Andrographis Paniculata Nees.” Fitoterapia, vol. 81, no. 6, 2010, pp. 610–613., doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2010.03.003. 5. Chao, Wen-Wan, and Bi-Fong Lin. “Isolation and Identification of Bioactive Compounds in Andrographis Paniculata (Chuanxinlian).” Chinese Medicine, vol. 5, no. 1, 2010, p. 17., doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-17. 6. Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification, an Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families of North America. 6th Edition. 2013. Page 156. HOPS Press, LLC. Pony, MT. 7. Nadkarni, K.M. Dr. K.M. Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica. Vol. 1. 3rd Edition. Bombay Popular Prakashan. 1976. 8. Jain, S.K., DeFilipps, R.A. Medicinal Plants of India. Vol 1. 1991. P. 86. Reference Publications Inc., Algonac, MI. 9. Duke, J.A., Ayensu, E.A. Medicinal Plants of China. Vol. 1. 1985. P. 53. Reference Publications Inc., Algonac, MI. 10. Kapoor L, ed. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1990. 11. Bertoglio, J. C., et al. BMC Neurology, vol. 16, no. 1, 2016, doi:10.1186/s12883-016-0595-2. 12. Mussard, Eugenie, et al. “Andrographolide, A Natural Antioxidant: An Update.” Antioxidants, vol. 8, no. 12, 2019, p. 571., doi:10.3390/antiox8120571. 13. Xu, L.; Xiao, D.; Lou, S.; Zou, J.; Zhu, Y.; Fan, H.; Wang, G. A simple and sensitive HPLC-ESI-MS/MS method for the determination of andrographolide in human plasma. J. Chromatogr. B Anal. Technol. Biomed. Life Sci. 2009, 877, 502–506. 14. Hossain, Md. Sanower, et al. “Andrographis Paniculata(Burm. f.) Wall. Ex Nees: A Review of Ethnobotany, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology.” The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2014, 2014, pp. 1–28., doi:10.1155/2014/274905. 15. Chen, J.K., & Chen, T.T. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. 2004. Art of Medicine Press. City of Industry, CA. P. 214-215 d 1996/7; 3 (4): 315-318.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

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