Indian Gentian

Indian Gentian (Andrographis paniculata) and has been renowned in India for thousands of years for its detoxifying and anti-infectious properties. Known as “the king of the bitters,” (because of its extremely bitter taste), Indian Gentian is a tropical shrub with delicate pink-purple flowers that produce small fruits containing six to twelve flattened seeds.

Every part of the plant has medicinal properties, and it is commonly prescribed to treat:

  • Colds and sore throat
  • Detoxification
  • Flu
  • Fevers
  • Immune dysfunction

Indian Gentian is beginning to get attention in the West for its ability to reduce flu and cold symptoms and hasten recovery. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that the herb also confers protection against a wide variety of infections, including malaria, parasites, and retroviruses. Other scientific research also supports Indian Gentian’s traditional use as treatment for liver disease.

In terms of the doshas, Indian Gentian contains the bitter taste and has a drying, cooling effect on the body, which can aggravate Vata. The herb pacifies both Pitta and Kapha doshas.

How to Use Indian Gentian

To treat cold symptoms, Indian gentian should be taken at the earliest signs of symptoms and continued for one week. The dose used in most published studies is 340 mg three times daily for five days.

As part of a detoxification program, Indian Gentian should be taken for two weeks at most (unless monitored by a health care practitioner) because its detoxifying effects can deplete the body if taken for an extended period.

Learn more about Ayurveda here.