This plant, native to India and Sri Lanka, is considered the herb for combatting winter ailments (colds, ‘flu, pharyngitis, sore throat), though recent studies suggest its therapeutic properties go far beyond such applications. Andrographis paniculata
, from the Acanthaceae family, grows on the plains of Southern Asia, particularly in Indonesia, India, China and Thailand. Closely related to Echinacea, this annual plant is indeed more commonly known as «Indian Echinacea ».
Traditional use for winter ailments Andrographis paniculata
has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Asian systems of medicine such as Chinese and Ayurvedic, to treat fever and respiratory infections. Its efficacy in this respect has been confirmed by clinical trials.
Indeed, the World Health Organisation has recognised its effectiveness in preventing and treating uncomplicated respiratory infections (colds, sinusitis, bronchitis and pharyngitis). It reduces both the symptoms and duration of these seasonal ailments.
A study of 152 subjects with pharyngitis revealedAndrographis
to be as effective as paracetamol at reducing fever and sore throat.
thus provides all-round ENT and respiratory tract support and may even have protected the Indian population from the Spanish ‘flu pandemic in 1919. This immune system booster is also a powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent.
As Scandinavian studies have shown, its andrographolid content is responsible for its immune-stimulant, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, liver-protective and choleretic properties.
ParActin® is an extract of Andrographis standardised to more than 50% andrographolid, 14-deoxyandrographolid and neoandrographolid. It is the most concentrated and scientifically-supported extract on the market.
Powerful anti-inflammatory benefits for joint health
Preliminary research has shown that ParActin® improves inflammatory response by naturally activating PPAR-gamma, thus inhibiting NF-kappa B activity (a key regulator of inflammatory response mechanisms), which reduces natural production of the pro-inflammatory proteins and cytokines associated with pain and redness (especially IL-2, COX2, TNF, interferon-gamma and PGE-2).
In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Clinical Rheumatology
in 2009, 60 rheumatoid arthritis patients were given either 100mg of ParActin® or a placebo, three times a day for 14 weeks. ParActin® was found to significantly decrease swelling and pain in the joints and its ability to reduce the rheumatoid factor, IgA and IgM was clearly demonstrated, indicating reduced cartilage damage.
The results of another clinical study involving eight patients with various rheumatoid problems were published in Innovative Rheumatology
in January 2013. Administration of 300mg of ParActin® a day for three and a half years resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of swollen and painful joints as well as an improvement in quality of life. In addition, researchers noted significant decreases in the rheumatoid factor, rate of erythrocyte sedimentation, pain and C-reactive protein.
Even though inflammation is the body’s first response to attack, scientists now recognise it as a key element of most major diseases: asthma, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
ParActin® may therefore have applications in these various diseases.
Potential for preventing osteoporosis
With regard to bone health, in vitro
studies have also shown that ParActin® both inhibited NFAT activity, a transcription factor associated with bone erosion, and stimulated bone mineralisation via expression of Cox-2, offering potential benefits in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Improves learning and memory
In mouse studies, ParActin® produced a clear improvement in learning and memory and thus seems able to reduce cognitive decline associated with spatial performance.
These studies also demonstrated its ability to reduce hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins which stabilise microtubules and are abundant in the brain. When tau proteins become defective and are no longer able to perform this role properly, the result can be dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In preventing hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins, ParActin® also reduces long-term depression (LTD) by inhibiting the glycogen synthase kinase-3β and thus counteracts neuronal cell deterioration.
In two-month old mice, administration of ParActin® over four weeks even increased the development of new neurons.
Various studies have also shown that ParActin® :
• supports liver function, by ensuring healthy functioning of the digestive system and enabling effective detoxification, particularly in the case of jaundice;
• has antioxidant potency thus inhibiting the generation of free radicals and preventing cell changes linked to oxidative damage;
• may enable blood glucose and insulin metabolism to be normalised.
For optimal efficacy, the recommended daily dose is 3 x 100mg capsules of ParActin® spread over the day.