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Monday, 6 January 2014

Herbal Andrographis and Immunity

Andrographis paniculata is also known as Andrographis is a herbaceous plant, genus Andrographis, belonging to the family Acanthaceae, native to India and Sri Lanka. It has been used in traditional Siddha and Ayurvedic in treating the common cold, flu, upper respiratory infections, infectious diseases, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, pneumonia, swollen lymph nodes, leprosy, bronchitis, sore throats, tuberculosis, chicken pox, etc.
The immune system is the set of cells and their activity against antigens or infectious agents that comprises of the body's defense system against diseases. The immune system does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infections. Beside foods and nutritional supplements, herbs also play a important role in helping the immune system defend against viruses and bacteria attacks.

The Ingredients
Beside the main ingredient andrographolides, giving the plant a bitter taste, other ingredients includediterpene lactones, such as: neoandrographolide, andrographiside, 14-doexy-11, 12-didehydro andrographolide, etc., flavonoinds viz., oroxylin, wogonin, andrographidines A, B, C, D, E, F.

The Benefits
HN-02, an extract containing a mixture of andrographolides, found in Andographis paniculata, not only significant increases in total WBC count in mice during 30 days of treatment with HN-02, but alsoenhances the immune function, possibly through modulation of immune responses altered during antigen interaction, and to reverse the immunosuppression induced by cyclophosphamide (CYP). Other in the study of modulation of immune responses in tumor cell destruction, treatment of Andrographis paniculata extract (APE) and isolated compound andrographolide (ANDLE) significantly elevated the production of interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma and and IFN-gamma by T cells in normal and Ehrlich ascites carcinoma-bearing animals.

The Side effects
1. Antifertility
Dry leaf powder of A. paniculata increases the risk accumulating of glycogen and cholesterol in the testis, and increased activities of lactate dehydrogenase in testis and alkaline phosphatase in testis and ventral prostate, thus reducing the risk of fertility.
 2. People with gallbladder disease may want to consult with their doctor before using because of the herb stimulating gallbladder contraction effect.

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References 
(1) Antifertility effect of Andrographis paniculata (Nees) in male albino rat" by Akbarsha MA, Manivannan B, Hamid KS, Vijayan B., posted in (PubMed)
(2|) Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of an extract of andrographolides from Andographis paniculata by Naik SR, Hule A.(PubMed)
(3) Modulation of natural killer cell activity, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, and antibody-dependent complement-mediated cytotoxicity by andrographolide in normal and Ehrlich ascites carcinoma-bearing mice by Sheeja K, Kuttan G.(PubMed)
(4) Activation of cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses and attenuation of tumor growth in vivo by Andrographis paniculata extract and andrographolide by Sheeja K, Kuttan G.(PubMed)