Common Cold vs. Andrographis


As the weather gets colder we all tend to spend more time indoors trying to stay warm and avoid catching a cold.

Colds are very common and for some, often unavoidable. Children experience between 5-10 colds a year, while adults experience 2-4 colds each year.

 Colds are contagious during the first two to three days of infection. A cold generally affects your nose, throat and upper airways with common symptoms including cough, fever, sore throat, sneezing, blocked or runny nose and overall congestion. Often, we are told that bed rest is best, however let’s face it, today with our busy lifestyles, bed rest is often not the most preferred treatment we would all want, or in some cases can do.

There is however, one herbal ingredient which can be used at this time called Andrographis. Andrographis can shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms as well as assist in the prevention of the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections.

Interestingly, Andrographis has long been used in traditional medicine systems in numerous countries for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, Andrographis is considered a ‘cold’ herb and is used to rid the body of heat, such as in, fevers and acute infections, and to dispel toxins from the body. In Ayurvedic medicine it is used as a bitter tonic, to stimulate digestion and as a treatment for a wide range of conditions. In recent years, Andrographis has gained popularity in Western countries as a treatment for upper respiratory tract infections and the common cold.

So how does Andrographis work?

One of the main constituents responsible for the immunostimulant activity is andrographolide found in the leaves of Andrographis. As a major active constituent, andrographolide exhibits a broad range of biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antivirus. Clinical evidence showed that Andrographis could reduce the severity and duration of the following symptoms: 1

  • Cough
  • nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • headache
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • malaise/fatigue
  • sleep disturbance associated with upper respiratory tract infection

Not only is Andrographis a perfect treatment for the common cold and Upper respiratory tract infections it is also a must if you would like to boost your immune system prior to the cold season.

Andrographis has immunostimulatory actions which assist in improving and strengthening your immune system to assist in general health and wellbeing.

Keep in mind Andrographis can be taken and utilised all year round.

January -April

  • To improve your immunity Andrographis is recommended to be taken 3 months prior to the cold season.


  • Adults generally experience a cold 4 times a year. It is best to begin taking Andrographis when the first signs of infection begin to appear.

August- November

  • Andrographis may assist in spring when the symptoms of uncomplicated sinusitis begin to show.
  •  Andrographis is known as the “King of the Bitters “in traditional western herbal medicine and it can be taken prior to breakfast to stimulate digestion.

So why not add Andgropahis to your Herbal first aid kit .With so may benefits it wil be your key ingredient for health and well being all year round.


1.Saxena RC et al(2010) A randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical evaluation of extract of Andrographis paniculata (KalmCold) in patients with uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine. Mar;17(3-4):178-85.

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