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According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the active ingredient in andrographis is andrographolides. Due to the andrographolides, andrographis has potent anti-inflammatory and antimalarial properties. It also has antimicrobial properties, meaning it can help to fight off and prevent infections from harmful microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. In addition, andrographis is a powerful antioxidant and it can help to prevent free radical induced damage to your cells and DNA
Andrographis may also help to prevent and treat cancer, and preliminary studies done in test tubes found that extracts of andrographis help to treat stomach, skin, prostate and breast cancer. Due to the herb’s antiviral properties, andrographis is used to treat herpes and it is also currently being studied as a treatment for Aids and HIV as well. Andrographis also promotes heart health and can help to prevent the formation of blood clots as well as to dissolve already formed blood clots. In addition, the herb relaxes smooth muscles in the walls of blood vessels and thereby helps to reduce high blood pressure.
Andrographis is used to promote gallbladder and digestive health. It also helps to support and strengthen the liver and it is used in combination with other herbs in several Ayurvedic formulations to treat liver disorders. Finally, andrographis extracts taken orally have been found to help neutralize the poisonous effects of snake venom.