Indian echinacea, or andropraphis (Andrographis paniculata), is a bitter tasting shrub, which has been used for centuries in India, China and Thailand.
The Californian company has produced extracts standardized to 10 percent and 50 percent andrographolides by HPLC.
A study of 50 cold-ridden adults in Sweden found that the group taking an extract of andrographis (standardized to contain andrographolides) took significantly fewer sick leave days and significantly more of them experienced less severe symptoms, than placebo. The percentage of patients who found themselves recovered by day five of the treatment period was also greater in the andrographis group at 65 percent compared to 36 percent (Melchior et al. 1996/97).
A larger, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of andrographis against the common cold was carried out in Chile and Sweden involving 158 adults. The researchers reported that noticeable benefits started on day two of the treatment, that both the intensity and prevalence of the symptoms were significantly reduced by day four, and there were no adverse effects.
The research concluded that there were significant reductions in throat soreness, nasal secretion, cough intensity, cough frequency, expectoration, headache, earache, fatigue and sleep disturbance compared to placebo (Caceres et al., 1999).