Andrographolide is a labdane diterpenoid that is the main bioactive component of the medicinal plant Andrographis paniculata. Andrographolide is an extremely bitter substance extracted from the stem and leaves of the andrographis paniculata. When in bloom, Andrographis exhibits small white flowers. The plant is grown for medicinal purposes in China and India. Andrographolide has been shown to be effective against certain cancers and is an effective purgative.
Andrographolide is a diterpenoid lactone. Two forms of lactones rings are present, two are present in the methylene dioxy group, while the fifth is present as an alcoholic group of tertiary character.
It is used in Ayurvedic formulations for its laxative, antipyretic, antiperiodic, anti-inflammatory , expectorant, anthelmintic, digestive and stomachic properties. It is also used for general debility, dyspepsia, ulcers and dysentery amongst adults. The hepato-protective action of andrographis paniculata has also been suggested to be due to the presence of andrographolide and this has been confirmed by many scientific studies.