What is Andrographis paniculata?

Andrographis paniculata is a herbal medicine which can be taken in tablet form. Tablets can only be bought online. Only one RCT has been conducted, which showed that the outcome is the same as with the placebo for participants with rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Family: Herbal medicine of the Acanthaceae family, native to Asia
  • Scientific name: Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f) Nees
  • Other names: Andrographis, Chuan Xin Lian, Kalmegh, king of bitters

Andrographis paniculata is a herb which is grown throughout the world. It’s harvested when small clusters of white flowers begin to bloom. You can but it through UK websites.

How does it work?

Laboratory studies and studies on humans suggest that andrographis may act against infections and viruses, and relieve diarrhoea, fever and pain.

Is it safe?

In studies on humans, Andrographis has only been associated with rare and minor side-effects; however, a small number of cases of urticaria (a skin reaction characterised by sudden wheals or papules, accompanied by severe itching) have been reported.

The trial reported in this section used 30 mg andrographalides, three times a day. Taking large doses of Andrographis may cause gastric discomfort, vomiting and loss of appetite.

You should be cautious about taking Andrographis if you take any of the following drugs because Andrographis may interact with them

  • paracetamol/acetaminophen
  • anticoagulants
  • anti-hypertensives
  • immunosuppressants
  • insulin/oral hypoglycaemic agents.

Trials for rheumatoid arthritis

Sixty people with rheumatoid arthritis were given either Andrographis paniculata tablets containing 30 mg of andrographolides or placebo tablets containing lactose three times a day for 14 weeks.

  • Although there was some improvement in joint tenderness and function in the Andrographis group, there were no differences in the outcomes compared to placebo.
  • Three of the participants in the Andrographis group reported headaches.