Andrographis paniculata is used to treat the common cold. It is fairly effective when taken for three to five days after the symptoms first appear. However, there is limited human evidence for the effects of this herb, since research tends to focus on the combination therapy of Andrographis paniculata and Eleutherococcus senticosus, also known as Siberian ginseng, and not on Andrographis paniculata by itself.
Andrographis paniculata has also been studied for its anti-cancer effects. In vitro (outside the body) testing and animal research suggest that Andrographis paniculata has an anti-proliferative effect, meaning it is able to slow the spread of cancer cells. The herb does not appear to be able to induce cancer cell death, however.
The bioactive ingredients of Andrographis paniculata can be traced back to a single diterpene molecule called andrographolide.
Some studies have found that prolonged high-dosage Andrographis paniculata can cause toxicity in the testicles and liver. Further research is needed to confirm these effects, since some follow-up studies, using the same methods, failed to replicate the results. Andrographis paniculata is a promising supplement, though currently it is used most often to alleviate the symptoms of the common cold.