Alternative medicine A. paniculata
has been used in Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine
, and is promoted as a dietary supplement for cancer prevention and cure. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has stated that there is no evidence that it helps prevent or cure cancer. Other uses of A. paniculata
are linked to its antibacterial and antioxidant properties, largely derived from the one of the active phytochemicals andrographolide.
Research shows andrographolide is also anti-inflammatory and modifies the toll-like receptor
-dependent pathway which is part of the body's innate immune response to bacterial and viral infection, and it also suppresses NF-κB activation and COX-2 molecules as further illustration of its anti-inflammatory potential.
There is a growth in interest in A. paniculata
as it might provide a safe and effective alternative to the prescription of antibiotics
, as antimicrobial resistance
from the over-prescription of these drugs is a major threat to global public health. In a systematic review that identified and analysed 33 randomised controlled trials of 7175 patients with upper respiratory tract infections
, the use of the herb Andrographis reduced the severity of cold and flu symptoms compared to a placebo (4 studies) and was more effective than the patients normal care regimen in other studies (12 studies). Out of 7175 patients identified in this review, there were 7 individual cases of adverse events including constipation or headache, although it must be noted many trials do not report these events at all. In a study of patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis
, andrographis extract was as effective and offered a safer treatment option for patients after eight weeks of use compared to standard medication.
Treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis
with the active component andrographolide (28 patients) compared to a placebo (30 patients) for 14 weeks saw no significant difference in overall measures of pain intensity (by VAPS, visual analogue pain scale), but there were improvements in the grading of the tenderness of joints and reductions in other biological measures including rheumatoid factor and immunoglobulin A. The authors concluded that A. paniculata could be a "natural complement" for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but a larger study of longer duration would be a logical next step
© Antoni Uni, el primero UniCo de l'Escala 2018