How to Prevent the Common Cold
Extracts from various parts of the plants of genus Echinacea (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida) have become known primarily for their capability to strengthen the activity of an unspecified part of the immune system. North American Indians used these plants to treat febrile conditions and open wounds as well as insect or snake bites (Bauer, 1994). It has also been shown that an extract from the fresh plant, its top and root, acts as an immunostimulant when used in conditions such as the common cold, inflammatory processes, and malignant growths. The genus Echinacea contains substances similar in composition and character of effect. Pronounced immunostimulant, antibacterial, and virostatic effects have been associated primarily with polysaccharides, glycopro-teins, alkamides, echinacoside (a glycoside with a pronounced analgesic effect), and caffeic acid derivatives (cichoric acid) (Bauer, 1996 Facino et al., 1995). The phagocytic activity PMNL in healthy volunteers was...
A hardy plant, often shoulder high, this artemisia grows in stands from sea level upwards. The leaves have a wonderful, strong scent, and were widely used medicinally by Alaska Native peoples. In traditional Unangan steam-baths, the leafy stems are gently slapped against the skin. The steamed leaves can be used as a hot pack to relieve aches and pains. A tea steeped from the leaves can ease colds, sore throats, and stomachaches (Schofield 1989).
Essential oils have a high antiseptic capacity. Niaouli oil is mainly used for pulmonary infections especially for colds and bronchitis. The oil can be absorbed as a tea drink (decoction by boiling water with dried leaves), or by inhalation (three drops of commercial oil in steaming water).
Ge Gen Tang (Kudzu decoction) is composed of Ge Gen (20 per cent), Ma Huang (Herba ephedrae, 15 per cent), Gui Zhi (Ramulus cinnamomi, 10 per cent), Shao Yao (Radix paeoniae, 10 per cent), Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Officinalis Recens, 15 per cent), Da Zhao (Fructus Zizyphi jujubae, 20 per cent) and Gan Cao (Radix glycyrrhizae, 10 per cent). This formula is indicated for fever and chills without sweating, and for stiff and rigid neck and upper back. This is the type of externally-contracted symptoms caused by pathogenic factors and is defined in Chinese medicine as wind-cold, which often refers to upper respiratory infection and other disorders with upper respiratory manifestations such as rhinitis and sinusitis.
Clinical studies suggest that Spirulina is effective in melanosis and keratosis due to chronic arsenic posioning. It improves hemoglobin levels in malnourshied children and is effective in allergenic rhinitis or hay fever. A clinical trial from India, suggested a possible role of Spirulina fusiformis in
Hippocrates, prescribed honey in the treatment of colds, coughs, rheumatism, insect, serpent and animal bites, wounds and a host of other ailments. He considered honey of a great nutritive value and a must for beauty. Pythagoras (c. 532 BC), the ancient Greek mathematician, philosopher and author, in his books affirms that honey has remarkable therapeutic properties.
Some of the best-selling herbal supplements are ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, used for increasing peripheral blood flow and in senile dementia), Asian Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng, used as an 'adaptogen' to help regulate the body's reaction to various stresses), garlic (Allium sativum), used for cardiovascular health including hypercholesterolemia), echinacea (Echinacea purpurea angustifolia), used to support the immune system, especially in the prevention and treatment of colds and influenza), St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), used in the management of mild to moderate depression), and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), used in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (Fig. 6.18). Despite the widespread concurrent use of conventional medicines and herbal supplements, documented herb-drug interactions (HDIs) are still sparse and consist mainly of isolated case reports and laboratory studies. For most potential interactions of herbs and drugs that are reported, the theories are based...
In Canada, an investigation into the use of herbal products showed that the most popular herbal product recommended by both medical doctors and naturopaths was Echinacea (Einarson et al., 2000). According to a national consumer survey conducted in 1999 by Gallup Canada, 33 of the persons surveyed believed that Echinacea was a good way to treat the common cold. The Nonpre- An estimated 83 million U.S. consumers use CAM (Gertz and Bauer, 2001). Of all CAM treatments, herbal medicine has grown the fastest and Echinacea is one of the six top-selling herbal medicinal products (Ernst, 2002). Surveys in the U.S. have shown that more than 7.3 million Americans are using Echinacea, and that herbal medicine usage increased from nearly 3 of the population in 1991 to over 37 in 1998 (Briskin, 2000). A dietary supplement survey of 70 pharmacists in the U.S. showed that a majority (53 ) of pharmacists reported taking dietary supplements in which Echinacea is the top item for colds and influenza...
In another research investigation from Bangalore Rao et al, (1985) and Uthyashankar et al. (1985) performed extensive studies on the allerginicity of Parthenium hysterophorus in patients. Both skin tests and radio allegro solvent test (RAST) were performed on patients with classic symptoms of allergic rhinitis during July and December. These classical studies demonstrated that 34 of patients with classic allergic rhinits and 12 of patients with asthma were sensitive to extracts of Parthenium hysterophorus pollen. Similar studies were carried out by collecting sera from 18 patients selected on the basis of symptoms of allergic rhinitis or asthma related to the fall season and were shown to be reactive to Ambrosia species on the basis either skin testing or RAST.
In Ayurveda, the drug is classified as an expectorant. It isan integral part of Ayurvedic laxative formulation, Triphala. T. belerica is used in the treatment of the common cold, pharyngitis and constipation. Unripe fruit is a mild laxative and ripe fruit is an astringent. T. belerica seeds are used as an aphrodisiac. Oil expressed from the seed pulp is used in leucoderma and alopecia. Modern investigations have proved the laxative activity of the oil.
Leukotriene formation and (6) antioxidant activity (Barrett, 2003 Bauer, 2000). Echinacea has been frequently used in preventing and treating uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infections. Its efficacy has been reported in a number of clinical trials, although some results of its effectiveness are inconclusive and inconsistent (Barrett et al., 2002 Bone, 1997a, b Brinkeborn et al., 1999 Melchart et al., 1998, 2001 Schulten et al., 2001 Schwarz et al., 2002 Turner et al., 2000 Turner, 2001, 2002).
In 1906, Clemens Von Pirquet, M.D., the noted Austrian pediatrician, coined the term allergy from the Greek alios (meaning changed or altered state) and ergon (meaning reaction or reactivity) to describe patients with excessive physiologic responses to substances in their environment. Currently, 50 million Americans suffer from allergies on a yearly basis, with allergy ranking as the fifth leading cause of chronic disease, and more than half of U.S. citizens test positive for one or more allergens.1 In fact, 16.7 million office visits to health care providers are attributed to allergic rhinitis alone.2 At all ages, allergic rhinitis without asthma is reported by nearly 90 people of every 1,000.3 In 1996, estimated U.S. health care expenditures attributable to sinusitis were more than 5.8 billion.4 Two recent estimates of allergy prevalence in the United States were 9 and 16 ,5 while the prevalence for specific allergic conditions, such as allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis, have...
Both methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and hyaluronic acid are essential for maintaining connective tissue integrity, and thus for ensuring the rigidity and firmness of the underlying cellular matrix of the airway walls. MSM has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Anecdotal evidence suggests that MSM may be effective for addressing many conditions, including snoring and allergic rhinitis.61 Hyaluronic acid, a glycosaminoglycan, could be considered for treatment of snoring and augmentation of airway connective tissue integrity.62 Because of hyaluronic acid's visco-elastic quality, this substance may work to strengthen the connective tissue surrounding the airway and decrease obstructions.
The oil is used internally for the treatment of coughs and colds, against stomach cramps, colic and asthma the dose is one to five drops. It is used externally for the relief of neuralgia and rheumatism, often in the form of ointments and liniments. External application of a few drops on cotton wool for the relief of toothache and earache.
Inhalative allergies are elicited predominantly by pollen of various plant species. A large number of grass, weed, and tree species shed their pollen in high concentrations during the pollen season, leading to allergic symptoms such as hay fever, rhinitis, and even bronchial asthma 27 . The last two decades were marked by large advances in the characterization of pollen-derived allergenic proteins.
Over the years, Echinacea has become one of the most popular herbal remedies in pregnancy primarily due to its medical indications. Used both systematically and topically, it has been reported to improve the body's defenses against viral and bacterial infections, as well as to prevent and treat common cold flu season illnesses, all of which are very common ailments during pregnancy (Melchart et al., 1994 Hoheisel et al., 1997 Grimm and Muller, 1999). The three major groups of constituents among several responsible for these effects are alkyl amides, caffeic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides (Facino et al., 1995 Combest and Nemecz, 1997).
Echinacea was introduced in the U.S. market in 1871 by a patent medicine vendor in Nebraska (Tyler, 1993). Traditional medicinal uses of this species include an immunostimulant for flu and colds, wound healing, and throat infections. Most frequent major therapeutic and prophylactic applications are for chronic and recurrent infections of respiratory and urogenital organs, chronic inflammations allergies, tonsillitis and sinusitis, infected wounds, eczema and psoriasis, chronic bronchitis and prostatitis, and malignant diseases (Bauer and Wagner, 1991). Both cortisone-like
5 A bowl of hot water with drops of EO, usually used for soaking feet or used as a bidet. Again the EO will not mix with the water. This is useful for respiratory conditions and colds, where the EO can be breathed in when the head is over the container and a towel placed over the head. This is an old way of treatment and has been used successfully with Vicks, Obas oil, Eucalyptus oils for numerous years.
Many explanations are offered to account for the noticeable increase in the incidence of both seasonal rhinitis and asthma, especially in the ever increasing urban populations of world, such allergy susceptibility is now extending at both ends of the age range. Whatever the initial cause of these observed and recorded increases, it is obvious that the natural inborn and developed immune system is being severely weakened. Aeroallergens can vary in intensity among populations, as with individuals, due to change in and fluctuations of local and regional weather patterns and geographical location, latitude and elevation. In addition, seasonal patterns, more clearly marked in higher latitudes, play an important part in the periodicity of asthma and 'hay fever' - hence the medical term 'seasonal rhinitis'. Atopic reactions such as asthma and 'hay fever' are important. With asthma, the reaction may be so serious as to be life threatening. In the case of seasonal rhinitis, the economic...
The primary active constituents of butterbur (Petasites hybridus) are the sesquiterpene compounds, petasin, and isopetasin. Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of Butterbur in allergic rhinitis. These studies have shown that butterbur supplementation significantly reduced the levels of histamine and leukotrienes.43 A prospective open trial with 64 adults and 16 children with asthma evaluated the effects of butterbur supplementation for two months. In this study, the number, duration, and severity of asthma attacks decreased. Peak flow, forced expiratory volume (FEV1), and all measured symptoms also improved. In addition, more than 40 of patients using asthma medications at baseline reduced intake of these medications by the end of the study.44 In a randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled study, 16 atopic asthmatic patients on a constant dose of inhaled corticosteroids were supplemented with 25 mg butterbur twice daily for one week. Exhaled nitric oxide was significantly reduced...
If flavonoids cannot be classed as vitamins, at least they have begun to be considered as pharmacological and therapeutic agents that can be used in the treatment of capillary fragility and related disorders. Among the many other clinical applications proposed for flavonoids, it is worth noting its use, although of undemonstrated effectiveness, in the treatment of the common cold.