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Andrographis paniculata, an established hepatoprotectant is widely used in many polyherbal formulations. The main problem with the drug is its bitterness, which causes gastric discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting on regurgitation and in turn leads to patient non-compliance. The aim of the present study was to mask the bitterness of Andrographis paniculata to encourage its use as a monoherbal hepatoprotectant preparation. The extract of Andrographis paniculata (30%w/w of andrographolide) was entrapped into micropellets of calcium alginate for bitter taste masking and the so formed pellets were evaluated for hepatoprotectant activity in paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity in rats. The micropellets containing alcoholic extract of Andrographis paniculata equivalent to 22.5mg/kg body weight of the alcoholic extract of Andrographis paniculata were given orally to animals for a period of 9 days. The activity observed was compared with alcoholic extract of Andrographis paniculata. The bitterless alginate micropellets loaded with alcoholic extract of Andrographis paniculata were found to successfully inhibit the paracetamol induced hepatotoxiciy as indicated by a decrease in AST, ALT, ALP and liver weight. The effect observed was supported by histopathological studies. It was concluded that micropellets prepared by inotropic gelation of calcium alignate can be used to mask the bitterness of Andrographis paniculata without affecting its activity.


Andrographis paniculata, Bitter Taste Masking, Ionotropic Gelation, Micropellets, Hepatoprotective, Paracetamol
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