Anti-viral Andrographis (chuan xin lian)

Most of you have already read the blog on dandelion greens for hepatitis. Another “superhero” herb called Andrographis is also on the horizon for research for viral hepatitis, HIV, diabetes and even general immune system function.

This herb comes in many different forms (from powders, alcohol tincture extracts to teas and capsules) and is not recommended to be taken for long periods of time (can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, affect the stomach and cause some fertility issues – hence, should be avoided by those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant).

As a tea, dried andrographis is dosed as 1 level tsp per cup of hot water. It might be a good idea to keep a few cranberries or a dash of stevia nearby if the taste is too strong. Alcohol tinctures should be avoided in those with acute hepatitis as it may aggravate your condition. Otherwise, speak to your healthcare practitioner to find the best dose and form for you.

The active chemical ingredients in this plant (for those of you interested in how plants work) include andrographan, neoandrographolide, andrographolide, paniculide A, 14-deoxy-11-oxyandrographolide, flavonoids (in the root of the plant)and beta-sitosterol (& yes, I have way too much time on my hands…)

The main reason I bring up this herb is because it is quite prominent in Chinese medicine and even Ayurveda particularly for boosting the immune system and protecting against viral invaders. Only recently has research taken a step towards this herb to use it to its fullest potential!

It’s funny how traditionally used plants are making a comeback in our modern world: )