The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has brought back the focus on improving immune health like never before. There is an increase in demand for several immune strengthening supplements, from vitamins to botanicals
Among botanicals, Andrographis paniculata has been in use for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese traditional medicine. This ancient weedy shrub native to India and Southern Asia has become one of the best-selling cold remedies in several countries.
Natural Remedies, one of the leading research-driven herbal healthcare companies from India, has done extensive research on this herb, which has led to the discovery of their standardized extract, Kalmcold, or AP-Bio. In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical, Kalmcold /AP-Bio was effective in reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection. ( Phytomedicine, 2010)
The assessment involved quantification of symptom scores by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Nine self-evaluated symptoms of cough, expectoration, nasal discharge, headache, fever, sore throat, earache, malaise, fatigue, and sleep disturbance were scored. A total of 223 patients of both genders were randomised into two groups, which received either KalmCold / AP-Bio (200 mg/day) or placebo in a double-blind manner. In both the treatments, mean scores of all symptoms showed a decreasing trend from day one to day three.
From day three to day five, most of the symptoms in the placebo-treated group either remained unchanged or got aggravated, whereas in the KalmCold / AP-Bio treated group, all symptoms showed a decreasing trend.
"We have received encouraging feedback from our customers using AP-Bio in their immunity formulations. They all point to not only the efficacy of this ingredient but also to its onset of action. It was generally observed that formulations with AP-Bio provide relief from cold symptoms within the first three days, which is impressive for a botanical, and it's well-tolerated," said Abey Thomas, Senior Marketing Manager at Natural Remedies. He added that there are several formulations in the market containing AP-Bio and Echinacea purpurea along with Sambucus nigra.
We are on the verge of completion of a new clinical study on AP-Bio to further substantiate the benefits of the ingredient during cold and flu season
In another study, a standardized extract of Andrographis reduced the cold symptom severity of 158 adults with cold. Participants given 1,200 mg daily of Andrographis experienced significant improvements by the second day of treatment and improved further by day four, compared with participants who received a placebo. (Phytomedicine, 1999)
There is no limit to the depth of scientific research possible on this wonder herb, and Dr Deepak M, Head of Research and Development from Natural Remedies, shares his plans for expanding the science on AP-Bio." We are on the verge of completion of a new clinical study on AP-Bio to further substantiate the benefits of the ingredient during cold and flu season. In addition, we are also in the process of initiating a new clinical study in healthy volunteers to study the effects of AP-Bio on parameters pertaining to innate and adaptive immunity”.
AP-Bio is manufactured by the company's signature sourcing program, 'Herb Secure,' which enables the herb to be sustainability sourced with full control over its quality and supply chain.
Suresh Lakshmikanthan, Head of Global Human Health Business, Natural Remedies, summarises the benefits of the herb and the company's vision for AP-Bio: "Andrographis Paniculata, commonly known as the ‘King of Bitters’ is an important medicinal plant in both Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine. The plant is known for its many medicinal properties. At Natural Remedies, for over a decade our research on this wonder herb on its Immune support properties led to the development of AP-Bio/KalmCold."
"All our brand partners, especially in Australia and Europe, have seen their product perform well consistently with higher customer satisfaction, as they repeatedly come back asking for their immune support product. That's the testimony to the science, efficacy, and higher value proposition offered by AP-Bio," Lakshmikanthan explained. "Our commitment to all our brand partners is that we are continuing to strengthen our understanding of this wonderful herb through new research work and validating them through new clinical trials."
Over the years, Natural Remedies has also strengthened its supply chain by integrating backward with farming partners for consistent supplies. Today Natural Remedies is one of the few companies globally to have successfully achieved seed to shelf capabilities of the Andrographis supply chain.
In the light of available scientific evidence and traditional usage, Andrographis seems to be an excellent solution for the much-needed immunity support.