King of Bitters
King of Bitters, also called Andrographis, is a traditional Chinese, Southeast Asian and Indian herb, and used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine.
The herb has been revered for treating infectious diseases and highly regarded also as having a preventative effect from many diseases, due to its powerful immune strengthening benefits. The global flu epidemic of 1919 was one of the most devastating infectious outbreaks in world history, killing millions worldwide, in many countries. However, in India, the amazing prophylactic benefits of Andrographis was credited with stopping the deadly virus. It is a potent stimulator of the immune system by two direct ways …
Adaptogen (helps to normalise a physical function, depending on what the individual needs, e.g. it will lower high blood pressure, but raise low blood pressure; Antibacterial (fights bacterial activity); Antibiotic; Analgesic (pain reliever); Anti-inflammatory (reduces swelling); Antioxidant (helps in protecting the body from free radical damage); Anti-diabetic; Anti-acne (protects skin from pimples); Anti-carcinogenic (activity against different types of cancer, and leukemia; Anti-thrombotic (blood clot preventative); Anti-viral (inhibits viral activity); Anti-microbial (significant activity in fighting the common cold, flu, respiratory infections); Antiperiodic (counteracts periodic/intermittent diseases such as malaria); Antipyretic (reduces fever, usually caused by multiple infections or toxins); Bitter tonic; Blood purifier; Cardio-protective (protects heart muscles); Choleretic (alters the properties and flow of bile); Digestive (promotes digestion); Depurative (acts to clean and purify the body, particularly the blood); Expectorant (promotes mucus discharge from respiratory system); Hepato-protective (helps to protect liver and gall bladder functions); Hypoglycemic (blood sugar reducer); Immuno-stimulant; Laxative; Prophylactic (helps prevent disease); Sedative; Thrombolytic (blood clot buster); Vermicidal (used to kill intestinal worms and helps support the intestines).
On a world wide web site, I noted a doctor s personal opinion, recommending: when taken in tablet form – to take for 14 days at a time and then break for awhile, as he felt there may be a risk of overstimulating the immune system with certain herbs, perhaps in rare cases leading to aggravating autoimmune conditions. Friends, who are familiar with this herb from living in the Solomon Islands, regularly make Andrographis as a tea, usually drinking it on an empty stomach before a meal. They infuse 2-3 leaves in 1 D2 a cup of boiling water, swallowing it down pretty quickly and follow it with something sweet, like a couple dried cranberries (sultanas, or fresh fruit could also be used). An alternative way to take the edge off the severe bitterness, would be to add several tiny pieces of natural licorice root (as it has natural sweet properties). Combining the bitter herb with licorice would be most advantageous, as licorice has a beneficial action through the 12 meridians, reaching organs, muscles and nerve cells, and also having the effect of lengthening the period of time that a tonic formula (like Andrographis) will act in the body.