Andrographis Could Be the Superior Cold Treatment

January 26, 2000

New York (MedscapeWire) Jan 26 Echinacea is well known for treating colds, but another herb, Andrographis paniculata, might be even better. In a new study published in Phytomedicine, andrographis was found to significantly improve cold symptoms.

This 4-day double-blind placebo-controlled trial of 158 adults with colds found that treatment with andrographis reduced symptoms such as earache, sleeplessness, nasal drainage, and sore throat. Participants were given either placebo or 1200 mg daily of an andrographis extract standardized to contain 5% andrographalides. People given the actual treatment experienced significant improvements in symptoms compared with those in the placebo group.

Andrographis is popular in Scandinavia as a cold and flu treatment. This recent study follows other positive double-blind studies of andrographis that enrolled a total of more than 250 participants. What might be the most promising news about andrographis is that it appears to both reduce cold symptoms and, when taken at a lower dose, help prevent colds echinacea does not.

Another study reported in the same issue of Phytomedicine is relevant for the cold season. This study on Melissa officinalis found that an ointment made from this herb can help cold sores disappear faster.


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