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.

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  1. SimonC

    Just tried it now, in the middle of the flu – sore throat, aching bones etc. It seems to be doing the trick and reducing the recovery time by several days.

  2. PJ in NJ

    Have been taking Kan Jang since 1998. Friends & I were vacationing in France for 3 weeks & I was to do all the driving. Two days out of Paris, I woke with a terrible sore throat, congestion, etc. This was a “driving” day. Walked to the pharmacy and did my “Berlitz at the Pharmacy” routine.
    I was given Kan Jang. We picnicked beside the river and I took a pill. In 25 minutes I said to my friends “You know, I feel like I’m perking up a bit!” We started to drive, took another pill 6 hours later, and by the time I went to bed, sore throat was gone, head was draining, no fever. Took 3 pills the next day while we were sightseeing, felt fine!!
    I have taken these pills for over 12 years at the first sign of a cold. Usually after 3/6 pills, sore throat is gone. I have everyone I know taking them: friends, family, co-workers and THEIR families!! In 12 years, I’ve only had to get two prescriptions for antibiotics: both times I got the flu shot (YES, it CAN make you sick!).
    What I like most about Kan Jang (other than that it works so FAST) is that you don’t get that horrible drying sensation in nose and throat like over-the-counter meds. And they are small enough to swallow with no trouble. Great product, can’t say enough about it!! It’s my go-to medicine. Only note is I don’t think you can take it if you have an autoimmune disease (MS, arthritis, lupus). Check w/manufacturer. Can buy it online (Amazon) or have your health food store order it.

  3. Uzet

    Concerning Kan Yang, made in Sweden:
    During our holidays in Sweden I’ve got a bad cold. The pharmacist didn’t know my medicine I used to take in such case. So, I was recommended Kan Yang, unfortunately with explanations in English and Swedish not in German :(. But I trusted the explanations and was very astonished about the effects in a really short time.
    Normally a cold takes you approx. 9 days. Not with Kan Yang. After 3 days I had no longer problems.
    My problem now is to find more information about Kan Yang and to get a new bottle in case of the next cold.

  4. Sadapo

    I have been using this product (KoldKare from iherb.com) for more than three years for a chronic sinus condition and spring allergies. KanJang was originally prescribed by my sister’s naturopath in Chicago. We could not find anywhere here in Sacramento, CA until someone suggested iherb.com which is located in southern California. Shortly after that, with the same packaging, KanJang became Kold Kare.
    I take one in the morning and one in the evening for nasal stuffiness. During the spring, with pollen, dust, and grasses, I was able to give up nasal sprays and claritin by taking two tablets two times per day. I’ve tried Andrographis from other makers and found not found one that works as well as the Kold Kare formulation. My son had flu and a high fever, I gave him 2 tablets 4 times per day with 2 teaspoons of Sambucus three times per day…fever broke in 48 hours, he felt well enough to go to school after the third day.

  5. EJW

    I live in Sweden and work from home, so I rarely come down with colds. However, the other day I got a whopper–a sore throat, a horrible runny nose and a really bad cough, so I decided to try Kan Jang because I had heard a bit about it. Kan Jang is a popular cold remedy here along with Chi San, used for extra energy. Both are produced by the Swedish Herbal Institute and come in a bottle.
    Anyway, I started on Kan Jang a day ago and was surprised by the results. My runny nose is completely gone and my cough has subsided dramatically. I also noticed that my postnasal drip that has been driving me nuts for a couple of years is gone. After the cold is gone I am hoping the Kan Jang will take care of the postnasal drip as well.
    I really recommend this product.

  6. Peg

    I tried this herb in December when I came down with a cold at Christmas time … my cold was gone after only two days.

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