Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years in India and is now known worldwide. Known as the “King of Bitters” because of its taste in traditional preparations, supplemental forms provide consistent dosage level of key compounds called andrographolides, and for the fact that you can skip the taste and enjoy the benefits.
Andrographis is probably best known in the West as a botanical that boosts your immune system’s ability to defend you from viruses and bacteria, however, it may help inhibit the progression of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative conditions, too.
Researchers found that andrographis and its key compound, andrographolide, inhibit the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, mostly through reducing inflammation and oxidative damage. Additionally, scientific studies have shown that derivatives from andrographis, including triacetylandrographolide, have been shown to reduce the inflammatory marker, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), which may reduce the risk of blood vessel blockage in the brain, and protect against cerebral ischemia.
Andrographis also increases the activity and expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-P), and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) stimulating some of the body’s most powerful natural antioxidants.
While the authors of this review state that more clinical work needs to be done in order to establish effective dosages, their findings are a hopeful sign that this safe and effective botanical medicine will improve lives around the world.
If you’d like to add andrographis to your own supplement regimen, choose carefully and make sure it is standardized for a consistent level of andrographolides, the key compounds in the herb considered most responsible for the many beneficial effects outlined in this review.
Bosco F, Ruga S, Citraro R, et al. The Effects of Andrographis paniculata (Burm.F.) Wall. Ex Nees and Andrographolide on Neuroinflammation in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Nutrients. 2023 Aug 2;15(15):3428. doi: 10.3390/nu15153428. PMID: 37571363; PMCID: PMC10421033.
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) affect millions of people worldwide, and to date, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are the most common NDs. Of the many risk factors for neurodegeneration, the aging process has the most significant impact, to the extent that it is tempting to consider neurodegenerative disease as a manifestation of accelerated aging. However, genetic and environmental factors determine the course of neurodegenerative disease progression. It has been proposed that environmental stimuli influence neuroplasticity. Some clinical studies have shown that healthy lifestyles and the administration of nutraceuticals containing bioactive molecules possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have a preventive impact or mitigate symptoms in previously diagnosed patients. Despite ongoing research efforts, the therapies currently used for the treatment of NDs provide only marginal therapeutic benefits; therefore, the focus is now directly on the search for natural products that could be valuable tools in combating these diseases, including the natural compound Andrographis paniculata (Ap) and its main constituent, andrographolide (Andro). Preclinical studies have shown that the aqueous extract of Ap can modulate neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses, reducing inflammatory markers and oxidative stress in various NDs. Therefore, in this review, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms by which Ap and Andro can modulate the processes of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation, which are significant causes of neuronal death and cognitive decline.