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Andro-G - The King of Bitters

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Andrographis paniculata (Andro-G), commonly known as King of Bitters or Kalmegh, is a bitter-tasting medicinal plant native to peninsular India and Sri Lanka and is also distributed in different regions of Southeast Asia, China, America, West Indies and Christmas Island. In different countries, it is also known as King of Bitters (English), Hempedu Bumi (Malay), Chuan Xin Lian (Chinese), Mahatikta (Sanskrit), Kiryato (Gujarati), Mahatita (Hindi), Kalmegh (Bengali), or Fah Talai Jone (Thai).

Andrographis is cultivated because of its well known medicinal value and it grows well in most soil types thus it is widely distributed. The aerial parts, roots, leaves and whole plant of the Andrographis have been widely used as traditional medicine in ancient oriental and ayurvedic medicine to treat many maladies. For centuries, it has been used by traditional medical practitioners to treat infectious diseases and associated fevers, colds and flu. It is also used in folk medicine to treat snakebites. Andrographis is promoted in supplemental form for cancer prevention or treatment, and to counter chemotherapy toxicity in humans.

Nutrients & Bioactive Compounds in Andrographis

Andrographis has various compounds in its aerial parts, leaves and roots and these are often used in extracting its active principles.

The notable bioactive compounds in Andrographis include:

  • Terpenoids (Diterpene lactones - Eg. Andrographolide) which account for a large proportion of its components and therapeutic activity

  • Flavonoids (flavones)

  • Noriridoides

  • Xanthones

  • Polyphenols

  • Trace elements (chromium, manganese, cobalt, zinc, selenium etc) and macro-element (potassium and calcium)

Benefits of DXN Andro-G

1) Anti-viral & anti-bacterial activity

Andrographolide (AG), one of the main active components of the herb Andrographis paniculata, has been used for many years for anti-inflammatory and antibacterial infections. AG has an anti-bacterial effect on a wide variety of bacteria, which is reflected in the inhibition of bacterial pathogenic factors (damage the integrity of bacterial cells and prevent further proliferation of bacteria) and the regulation of immunity to downregulate infectious inflammation caused by bacteria. Therefore, Andrographis has been found effective in helping to optimise recovery from bacterial infections including pneumonia, acute upper respiratory tract infections, skin infections, abscesses, mastitis, food poisoning and many more.

2) Anti-inflammatory properties

Andrographis paniculata extracts exhibit anti-inflammatory activity that is commonly attributed to Andrographolide (AG). AG appears to be rapidly absorbed and is well tolerated by humans with no serious adverse effects. Intriguingly, AG has been reported to exhibit gastro-protective and ulcer preventive effects. Some studies suggest potential benefit of Andrographis for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis. Hence it also provides analgesic effects as it relieves pain from the inflammation area.

Moreover, Andrographis is also found to have anti-gout effect by lowering uric acid levels and suppressing pro-inflammatory mediator production due to the AG content, that might be beneficial in the treatment of gouty-inflammation.

3) Promotes healthy liver and gall bladder function

Andrographis is particularly effective against alcohol induced liver toxicity and supports high levels of glutathione in the liver, one of the liver’s main mechanisms for self-protection. The bitter compounds stimulate bile flow which promotes healthy liver function. Andrographolide (AG) has demonstrated protection to the liver in many studies, and effectiveness against infective hepatitis. In one study, Andrographis paniculata was given to patients with infective hepatitis and a statistically highly significant decrease was noted in various subsequent liver function tests.

Andrographis enhances gall bladder function, by stimulating the contraction of gall bladder and increases flow of bile, bile salts and bile acid. Hence, it can prevent the build-up of gall stones and possibly help to dissolve gall stones.

4) Anti-tumour effects

In recent years, increasing number of studies have revealed that Andrographis treatment leads to inhibition in cell proliferation and high rates of apoptosis (cell death) in a variety of human cancer cells. Such observations were further supported by its ability to also regulate oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest, necrosis, autophagy, inhibition of cell adhesion, migration, invasion and anti-angiogenic activity.

5) Potent antioxidant activity

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are oxygenated chemical species such as free radicals, oxygen ions, and peroxides. They are continuously produced by ionizing radiation such as sunlight, as well as byproducts of cellular metabolism. These compounds, when they are found in excess in the cells and go beyond the cellular defense systems, lead to a phenomenon called oxidative stress. They become toxic, and are important factors for many diseases such as diabetes, chronic inflammation and cancer. Andrographolide (AG) contributes to antioxidant defenses by reducing production of ROS and neutralizing free radicals.

Mitochondria are organelles whose main function is to generate energy to the cells. During energy production, there can be formation of superoxide and cause damage to DNA and cell membrane. AG protects integrity of mitochondria and also has anti-tumor activity in cancer cells via mitochondria. In fact, recent studies have shown that AG causes cell death involving mitochondria in colorectal cancer cell line and liver cancer cells.

6) Natural immuno-modulator

Bioactive compounds of Andrographis modulates immune components and acts synergistically with the immune system to improve its overall defending ability. AG is able to modulate the innate immune response by regulating activation of macrophages, and regulate specific antibody production as well as antigen-specific IL-4 producing splenocytes. Results from many studies has shown evidences for using andrographolide as an potential immunomodulatory drug in the therapy for immune disorders, including allergies, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases.

In summary, Andrographis provides various purported health benefits, which include:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects

  • Helps with pain relief

  • Modulates immune system, protects against allergies, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases

  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects

  • Lowers uric acid level and prevent gout

  • Stimulates bile flow and may dissolve gallstones

  • Protects against alcohol-induced liver toxicity and liver hepatitis

  • Increase recovery from lung infections, skin infections, wound healing or food poisoning

  • Protects against upper respiratory infections

  • May prevent growth of tumour and cancer

  • Potent antioxidant


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