Andrographis, also known as Chuan Xin Lian in Pin Yin and 穿心蓮 in Chinese, is a plant commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It is known for its ability to cool the body and clear heat, as well as its ability to resolve toxicity and dry dampness.
Andrographis is commonly used to treat a variety of TCM patterns, including:
- Heat Signs: Andrographis is effective in clearing heat and reducing fever. It is often used to treat heat signs such as sore throat, red eyes, and skin rashes.
- Lung-Heat: Andrographis is also effective in clearing heat from the lungs and can be used to treat symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, and difficulty breathing.
- Fire-Toxins: Andrographis is able to resolve fire toxins, which are caused by an excess of heat in the body. Symptoms of fire toxins include redness, swelling, and itching.
- Damp Heat: Andrographis is also effective in drying dampness and can be used to treat conditions such as diarrhea, genital discharge, and skin infections.
Despite its many benefits, there are certain contraindications to consider when using Andrographis.
- Avoid Long-term Use: Andrographis should not be used for long periods of time as it may cause damage to the liver.
- Avoid Overdose: Overdose of Andrographis may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and other side effects. It is important to follow recommended dosage guidelines.
When using Andrographis in TCM, the following treatment principles are often considered:
- Cooling: Andrographis has a cooling effect on the body and is effective in reducing fever and clearing heat.
- Resolve Toxicity: Andrographis is able to resolve toxicity and is often used to treat infections and other conditions caused by toxins in the body.
- Clear Heat: As mentioned, Andrographis is effective in clearing heat from the body and can be used to treat a variety of heat-related conditions.
- Resolve Fire Toxin: Andrographis is able to resolve fire toxins, which are caused by an excess of heat in the body.
- Dry Dampness: Andrographis is also effective in drying dampness and can be used to treat conditions such as diarrhea, genital discharge, and skin infections.
- Stop Diarrhea: Andrographis can be used to stop diarrhea and dry dampness in the body.
Andrographis has the following properties:
- Channels: Andrographis affects the following channels in the body: Large Intestine (25%), Lung (25%), Small Intestine (25%), and Stomach (25%).
- Properties: Andrographis is cold in nature.
- Tastes: Andrographis is bitter in taste.