Green Chiretta (Andrographis Paniculate)

Green Chiretta (also known as Indian echinacea, or The King of Bitters, as it is one of the most bitter plants used in traditional medicine) or Botanical Name: Andrographis Paniculate, is a common annual herbaceous plant in the family Acanthaceae, native throughout tropical India and Sri Lanka.
The herb is an introduced species in northern parts of India, Java, Malaysia, Indonesia, the West Indies, and elsewhere in the Americas.
The species also occurs in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, and other parts of Asia where it may or may not be native
The plant does best in a sunny location.
The seeds are sown during May and June

Green Chiretta is widely cultivated in Southern and south-east Asia, where it has been traditionally used to treat infections and some diseases.
Mostly the leaves and roots are used for medicinal purposes, but in some cases the whole plant

The main active component of the plant is diterpenoid lactones (andrographolides), which provide more hepatoprotective activity (ability to prevent damage to the liver) than milk thistle.
This bitter tasting herb is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties.
Andrographis is most widely used to treat cold and flu symptoms.
Andrographis is also said to act as a natural immune-booster and is used for fever, constipation, upset stomach, loss of appetite, intestinal worms, skin diseases, and cancer.
In India, it has been used for malaria, when combined with the seeds of divi-divi (Guilandina bonducella)

Properties
​anti-inflammatory
analgesic (painkilling)
anti-bacterial
anti-spirochaetal
hepatoprotective (ability to prevent liver damage)
anti-diabetic (hypoglycaemic properties: lowering blood sugar)
expectorant (promotes the secretion of sputum)
Green Chiretta contains a chemical that may help reduce swelling (inflammation) and might also fight malaria.
Green Chiretta has been used in Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine and is promoted as a dietary supplement for cancer prevention and cure. There is however no evidence that it helps prevent or cure cancer
Evidence is inconclusive whether Andrographis Paniculata is of any help in treating respiratory tract infections

Studies/ Research
There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of Andrographis for most of these health benefits.
So far, scientific support for the potential benefits of Andrographis is limited.
In a research published in 2017, scientists sized up 33 previously published clinical trials and found that Andrographis appears to be beneficial for relieving symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infections when compared to other herbs, standard care, or a placebo. Andrographis was also found to shorten the duration of cough, sore throat compared to standard care.
The researchers, however, noted that well-designed clinical trials are needed.

A review published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers analysed 21 previously published studies on the use of herbal remedies in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
For ulcerative colitis, Andrographis extract was considered superior to a placebo in inducing remission or a response.
Andrographis may help to reduce fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis, according to a small study published in BMC Neurology.
When compared to participants who took a placebo, those taking Andrographis twice daily for 12 months had a significant reduction in fatigue severity.
There was no difference in relapse rate, inflammatory measures, or disability status.

Note:
Due to the limited research available, it’s too soon to recommend Andrographis as a treatment for any condition.
If you’re still considering using the herb, make sure to consult an herbalist, homeopath and or holistic, rather than self-treating and avoiding or delaying appropriate care.
Using herbs/ natural remedies on your own can worsen problems or create new ones.
Herbalists, homeopaths and holistic vets know exactly what they are doing as they are trained in the use of herbs and remedies and are able to advise you with what the right Herb/ remedy is for your pet’s condition and give you the correct dosage.

Availability
Green Chiretta (Andrographis) is available in capsule and tincture form and can be found at most health food stores.

Uses
Anti-Bacterial
Green Chiretta can be used to help with headaches, coughs and inflammation of the tear duct especially where bacteria are present, as well as acute bacterial diarrhoea.
Green Chiretta is a substantial addition to an herbal antibiotic formula and is especially useful to treat periodontal (gum) disease.

To Treat Periodontal (gum) Disease
Make a paste using one tablespoon of powdered Green Chiretta.
It is extremely bitter so you might want mix it with half honey and half water or aloe gel (which also helps to soothe irritated gums) for the liquid portion of the paste to make it more acceptable for your dog to make a paste, till it reaches a good consistency to rub onto your dog’s gums

Diabetes
Green Chiretta lowers blood sugar levels making it a good choice for treating diabetes.
When used for this reason please work closely with your vet, the dose of other meds might need to be lowered or even eliminated as your dog’s optimum glucose balance might have been reached.

Immune Support and Cleansing
Green Chiretta is known for stimulating and strengthening the immune system, stimulating the flow of bile for a healthy liver function, blood cleansing, sudorific (stimulates sweat glands.

Tick Diseases
Green Chiretta may be the best primary herb in treating Lyme, through many clinically proven therapies.
It is anti-spirochaetal, crosses the blood-brain barrier (a bio-protective structure that protects the central nervous system, brain and spinal cord from being compromised), and it helps to clear infections from the body.
It’s also an anti-inflammatory, which helps with joint pain that most Lyme-positive dogs will show at times.
The best use may be to prevent infection by making an Andrographis paste blended with green clay and applying it to tick bites, as Green Chiretta tastes terrible.

Topical Tick Disease Prevention
To prevent tick disease, make a paste using Green Chiretta (Andrographis) tincture mixed with green clay.
Apply it to the bite area to help prevent an active infection (if it will stay on your dog, cover with a piece of gauze held on with medical tape).
You can also apply the Green Chiretta (Andrographis) tincture directly on the tick bite site by soaking a cotton ball and taping it on with a plaster/ tape or holding it in place for a few minutes.

Internal Tick Disease Treatment​
I would only recommend this if it’s been diagnosed by your vet and only with the expertise of a holistic vet and not be done on your own accord
To treat tick disease internally with Green Chiretta, it’s best combined with other herbs depending on your individual dog’s symptoms. Consult with a holistic vet for the right blend for your dog.
Due to the bitter taste, capsules may be the best choice if you want to use it internally.

Other Uses
Clinical trials show Green Chiretta is useful for treating leptospirosis.
It also protects the heart and inhibits staphylococcus infection.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Green Chiretta for these uses

  • Worm infestations.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Skin diseases.
  • Cancer

Side effects and safety
Green Chiretta is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth however, there isn’t a lot of information available to know if Green Chiretta is safe in larger medicinal amounts, the only information that I have found is that in large doses Green Chiretta may cause digestive upset and a small percentage of people using Green Chiretta experience skin rash or hives.
Take caution when giving Andrographis if you give any of the following drugs because Andrographis may interact with them

  • paracetamol/acetaminophen
  • anticoagulants
  • anti-hypertensives
  • immunosuppressants
  • insulin/oral hypoglycaemic agents.

Warning:
There is currently no information for Green Chiretta’s interactions with other medication.
There is not enough reliable information about the safety of giving Green Chiretta to pregnant or nursing bitches. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Green Chiretta might lower blood sugar levels.
Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and monitor the blood sugar carefully if your dog has diabetes and use Green Chiretta as a medicine.
Green Chiretta can make ulcers in the intestine worse.
Green Chiretta might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop giving Green Chiretta at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Green Chiretta may trigger adverse effects like headache, fatigue, allergic reactions, nausea, and diarrhoea.
Andrographis should not be administered intravenously, acute kidney injury has occurred after intravenous use of Andrographis compounds.

Sources
The Scientific World Journal Volume 2014, Article ID 27490
Boorsma W. Meds Lands Plant. 1996;18:63-66.
PubMed.gov, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
Kleipool R. Constituents of Andrographis paniculata Nees. Nature. 1952;169:33-34.14910682
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) [database online]. Beltsville, Maryland: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://www.ars-grin.gov/.
Science Direct https://www.sciencedirect.com/
NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
WebMD https://www.webmd.com/
Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrographis_paniculata
VeryWellHealth https://www.verywellhealth.com/
Book: Healing Lyme by Stephen Harrod Buhner