Andrographis for upper respiratory tract infection.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Respiratory tract diseases (Research)
Respiratory tract diseases (Care and treatment)
Respiratory tract diseases (Drug therapy)
Author: Finney-Brown, Tessa
Pub Date: 03/22/2010
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Spring, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Accession Number: 223823991
Full Text: Singh SR, Kumar R, Yadav P, Negi S, Saxena M, Joshua V et al. 2010. A randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical evaluation of extract of Andrographis paniculata (KalmCold[TM]) in patients with uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infection. Phytomed 17;178-85.

Indian, Thai and Chinese traditional medicine supports the use of Andrographis paniculata, also known as the King of Bitters for the treatment of conditions such as uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Given that allopathic medications focus predominantly on symptom amelioration rather than treating the condition, effective herbal treatment may help to reduce the economic and social burden of this disease on the community (through decreased numbers of sick days from school and work).

Andrographis contains andrographolide, a component that has shown effective immunostimulant and antiinflammatory properties that may assist in relieving uncomplicated URTI. The trial in question utilised a randomised double blind placebo controlled design to evaluate the efficacy of KalmCold[TM], a spray dried combination of alcohol and water extracts of Andrographis (standardised to 38.40% total andrographolides w/w) on the symptoms of URTI. There were 223 male and female participants (aged 18 to 60 years) who were suffering from symptoms of coryza. Those with serious health conditions, taking other medications, pregnant or lactating, who were ill for longer than three days, who had allergies, or who were addicted to alcohol, cigarettes or pan masala chewing were excluded.

After being randomly placed into a treatment or placebo group, the participants were told to take 100 mg of extract in capsule form (or placebo) once after breakfast and once after dinner for a period of five days. Follow up assessment was made on day three and day five of the trial. Symptoms were assessed on day one as a baseline. The outcome measures were: self rated grading (on a visual analogue scale of 1 to 100) of the severity of cough, expectoration, nasal discharge, headache, fever, sore throat, earache, malaise/fatigue and sleep disturbance. From day one to three, all symptoms showed significant decreases in both groups. However from day three to five many of the scores in the placebo group remained static or displayed an aggravation (such as sore throats and sleep disturbance). In the active group from day three to five there was a significant improvement in all symptoms bar earache. On a between group analysis the Andrographis group displayed an overall reduction in symptoms scores compared with placebo group.

Side effects were minor and predominantly gastrointestinal. In a comparison of overall efficacy of the Andrographis extract over placebo, Androgrpahis was 2.1 higher in reducing symptoms of URTI. The authors suggest that these effects were due to the antipyretic, immunostimulant and anti-inflammatory activities of the herb.

Tessa Finney-Brown MNHAA
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