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Supporting Immunity with Andrographis

By Jillian Finker, ND

To bolster immunity and bring down inflammation, holistic practitioners may suggest taking Andrographis.

An essential remedy used for centuries by practitioners of both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Andrographis paniculata has been shown to have several mechanisms of action in the body, including the following:

  • stimulating the body’s innate and adaptive immune defenses when foreign invaders are identified in the body

  • supporting a healthy inflammatory response and mitigating excessive inflammation by blocking free radical activity in the body

These powerful actions come from a plant that produces unassuming, delicate white-and-purple flowers that bloom from the ends of tiny stems attached to tall, skinny stalks. The herb is quite bitter, so it is not often used in teas unless it’s been carefully blended with other herbs to improve the flavor profile and medicinal benefit. A capsule or tincture is the most common way to use andrographis.

Andrographis may be used preventatively as well as during an active infection. It’s best to use this botanical while under the care of a naturopathic doctor who can make appropriate recommendations for how much and how often to take it.

Dr. Jillian Finker is a naturopathic doctor and certified nutrition specialist. She’s the owner of Finker Wellness, located at 2308 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore, NY. For appointments and information, call 516-765-3272 or visit

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