Q. I am curious about a natural dietary supplement. It is Kan Jang (Andrographis paniculata) from the Swedish Herbal Institute. What is your opinion of using this to treat colds and prevent respiratory infections during the cold and flu season?
A. The Chinese herb Andographis boosts immune response in animals (International Immunopharmacology, April, 2007). A review of treatments for colds concluded that Andrographis and Eleutherococcus extracts are helpful (Alternative Medicine Review, March 2007). Kan Jang contains standardized extracts of both herbs.
There’s more information about Kan Jang and other natural approaches in our Guide to Cold Remedies.