Andrographis: Virus Fighter

Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times in India, spread throughout Asia, and is a favorite herb worldwide for many reasons, including its incredible immune-strengthening actions.

In fact, andrographis is probably best known in the West for its ability to fight viral and bacterial infections. The herb’s application for this has never been more important than it is now.

Previous clinical studies have shown that andrographis reduces the severity and duration of colds and upper respiratory tract infections, and scientific research has found that it stops the growth of dangerous bacteria.

For example, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, andrographis relieved cold symptom intensity in just two days. That means it reduced fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, and achy sleeplessness that often accompanies a cold. By the fourth day, all symptoms, including headache, earache, phlegm production, and the frequency and intensity of coughing spells were significantly reduced.

In another clinical study, individuals with upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) experienced similar fast-acting relief. In this case, 223 patients either received andrographis or a placebo. In just three days, the andrographis group reported a significant reduction in cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose, and disturbed sleep. People in the placebo group, on the other hand, didn’t improve at all. In fact, for some, symptoms got even worse, while those in the andrographis group continued to improve. By the fifth day, andrographis was over twice as effective as the placebo.

The botanical enhances our own virus fighters, including T-cells and natural killer cells, which is one of the reasons it is so effective – it stops the ability of viruses to invade cells and use the host material to replicate itself.

If you are thinking about bolstering your immune defenses, look for andrographis that delivers a strong dose of andrographolides, key compounds that are credited with the herb’s best effects.


Gupta S, Mishra KP, Ganju L. Broad-spectrum antiviral properties of andrographolide. Arch Virol. 2017 Mar;162(3):611-623. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-3166-3. Epub 2016 Nov 28. PMID: 27896563.

Andrographolide, a diterpenoid, is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. It can be isolated from various plants of the genus Andrographis, commonly known as ‘creat’. This purified compound has been tested for its anti-inflammatory effects in various stressful conditions, such as ischemia, pyrogenesis, arthritis, hepatic or neural toxicity, carcinoma, and oxidative stress, apart from its anti-inflammatory effects, andrographolide also exhibits immunomodulatory effects by effectively enhancing cytotoxic T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, phagocytosis, and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). All these properties of andrographolide form the foundation for the use of this miraculous compound to restrain virus replication and virus-induced pathogenesis. The present article covers antiviral properties of andrographolide in variety of viral infections, with the hope of developing of a new highly potent antiviral drug with multiple effects.