Is Andrographis an Ayurvedic Answer for Heart Disease?

Heart disease is, like all disease, primarily a matter of inflammation and oxidation. In many cases, the peroxidation of lipids, like cholesterol, is a much greater concern than the cholesterol itself. In fact, triglyceride levels may be a more pressing problem, because they not only put you at risk of heart disease, but also for metabolic syndrome, stroke, and obesity.

Fortunately, research has shown that an herbal adaptogen, andrographis, (Andrographis paniculata) can address many of the causes of heart diseases, including inhibiting the clumping of blood platelets that can lead to clogged arteries and reducing levels of triglycerides.

Andrographis has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times in India, spread throughout Asia, and is now a favorite herb worldwide to address many health issues, including protection and fast recovery from viruses, improved liver function, and overall anti-inflammatory actions.

There have been numerous scientific and clinical studies using andrographis for cardio-related reasons, and they’ve discovered that this herb can relax the smooth muscle of blood vessels for better blood pressure and reduce damage to the heart and arteries following myocardial infarction.

This clinical trial tested an extract of andrographis and found that it was as effective as gemfibrozil, a drug prescribed to reduce the amounts of triglycerides produced in the liver for people dealing with elevated levels and the risk they can cause.

The researchers concluded that andrographis extract, at 300 mg per day was an excellent alternative to the drug for treating individuals with hypertriglyceridemia.



Phunikhom K, Khampitak K, Aromdee C, Arkaravichien T, Sattayasai J. Effect of Andrographis paniculata Extract on Triglyceride Levels of the Patients with Hypertriglyceridemia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Assoc Thai. 2015 Jul;98 Suppl 6:S41-7.

Background: Hypertriglyceridemia is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and reduction oftriglyceride (TG) level is recommended in clinical practice guidelines for the treatment. Recently, andrographolide, a main active compound of Andrographis paniculata has been shown to possess hypolipidemic effects in animals.

Objective: To investigate the TG-lowering effects of A. paniculata extract (APE) in patients with hypertriglyceridemia (TG ≥ 150 mg/dL) using gemfibrozil treatment as the reference.

Material and method: A randomized controlled clinical trial was carried out in sixty subjects with hypertriglyceridemia. They were divided into three groups and treated with low dose of APE (APE-L, andrographolide 71.64-72.36 mg/day), high dose of APE (APE-H, andrographolide 119.64-120.36 mg/day), and gemfibrozil 300 mg/day. The treatments were conducted for 8 weeks. Guidance on lifestyle modifications was provided.

Results: The primary endpoint was the mean difference ± SD (95% CI) in TG levels (baseline from the end of treatment), which were -3 ± 125.6 (-59.1, 58.5), 41.6 ± 86.3 (1.2, 82), and 57.1 ± 94.9 (12.7, 101.6) in