Chapter

Evidence and Rational Based Research on Chinese Drugs

pp 137-179

Date:

Efficacy of Andrographis paniculata in Upper Respiratory Tract Infectious Diseases and the Mechanism of Action

  • Alexander PanossianAffiliated withSwedish Herbal Institute Email author 
  • , Georg WikmanAffiliated withSwedish Herbal Institute

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Abstract

A recent interest of Western medicine has been focused on the use of herbs as treatment or adjuvant therapy in varying diseases. Particularly, the knowledge that antibiotics are often over-prescribed for common infections, thus lending towards increased bacterial resistance, has instilled interest in herbal therapy for the uncomplicated upper respiratory tract (URT) infections (Roxas and Jurenka 2006). The recent interest of Western medicine has been focused on the use of herbs as a treatment or an adjuvant therapy in a variety of diseases. Particularly, the knowledge that antibiotics are often over-prescribed for common infections, thus lending towards increased bacterial resistance, has instilled interest in herbal therapy for the uncomplicated upper respiratory tract (URT) infections (Roxas and Jurenka 2006). The leaves and aerial parts of Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Nees (Acanthaceae) have been used for prophylactic and symptomatic treatment of respiratory infections, such as common cold, influenza with fever, soar throat, acute and chronic cough, sinusitis, bronchitis, and pharyngotonsillitis (Herba Andrographidis 2002; Herba Andrographis (Chuanxinlian) 2010; Carr and Nahata 2006; Kligler et al. 2006; Poolsup et al. 2004; Coon and Ernst 2004). Commonly found in tropical and subtropical Asia (mainly in China, Thailand, and India), A. paniculata is currently one of the most used medicinal plants in Southeast Asia. It has been commonly used in TCM and Ayurvedic systems as an antipyretic treatment effective against a variety of infections diseases, including urinary infection with difficult painful urination, tonsillitis, dysentery, oedema, bacillary dysentery, bronchitis, carbuncles, colitis, coughs, dyspepsia, malarial and intermittent fever, hepatitis, mouth ulcers, sores, tuberculosis, colic, otitis media, vaginitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, chickenpox, and eczema. Plant is effective for carbuncles, sores, venomous snake bites, ulcers in the mouth or on the tongue, liver disorders, burns, and traumatic infection (Herba Andrographis (Chuanxinlian) 2010; Herba Andrographidis 2002; Akbar 2011; Kunwar et al. 2010). Efficacy for prophylaxis and symptomatic treatment of upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold, uncomplicated sinusitis, bronchitis, and pharyngotonsillitis; urinary tract infections; and acute diarrhoea has also been supported by clinical trials (Herba Andrographidis 2002).