Colds and influenza: A review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and nutritional considerations

Thorne Research, ساندبوينت، أيداهو, Idaho, United States
Alternative medicine review: a journal of clinical therapeutic (Impact Factor: 3.83). 03/2007; 12(1):25-48.
Source: PubMed


The common cold is the leading cause of doctor visits in the United States and annually results in 189 million lost school days. In the course of one year the U.S. population contracts approximately 1 billion colds. Influenza infection is still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, accounting for 20-25 million doctor visits and 36,000 deaths per year in the United States. Conventional therapies for colds and flu focus primarily on temporary symptom relief and include over-the-counter antipyretics, anti-inflammatories, and decongestants. Treatment for influenza also includes prescription antiviral agents and vaccines for prevention. This article reviews the common cold and influenza viruses, presents the conventional treatment options, and highlights select botanicals (Echinacea spp., Sambucus nigra, larch arabinogalactan, Astragalus membranaceous, Baptisia tinctoria, Allium sativa, Panax quinquefolium, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Andrographis paniculata, olive leaf extract, and Isatis tinctoria) and nutritional considerations (vitamins A and C, zinc, high lactoferrin whey protein, N-acetylcysteine, and DHEA) that may help in the prevention and treatment of these conditions.

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Available from: Julie Jurenka, Apr 15, 2014
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    • "Influenza viruses are highly-infectious respiratory pathogens of humans, animals, and birds that cause a serious public health problems globally with social and economic impacts1. Influenza viruses cause diseases ranging from mild respiratory illness to fatal pneumonia and contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality worldwide, but etiological diagnosis based on clinical parameters is difficult2. Rapid detection and isolation of the virus are important for public health action, such as epidemic prediction and prevention34. "
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    • "• Alzheimer's disease, angiogenesis (antiangiogenic) (Bagchi, Sen, Bagchi, & Atalay, 2004; Roy et al., 2002), anti-inflammatory (Harokopakis, Albzreh, Haase, Scannapieco & Hajishengallis, 2006; Mascolo et al., 1987), antioxidant (Cao & Prior, 1999; Kaack & Austed, 1998), antispasmodic, asthma, astringent, blood pressure control (Chrubasik et al., 2008; Hasani-Ranjbar, Nayebi, Larijani, & Abdollahi, 2009), blood vessel disorders, burns, cancer (de Benito et al., 1998; Lukash et al., 1997), circulatory stimulant, colds (Roxas & Jurenka, 2007), colic, cough suppressant, diabetes, diaphoretic (Zakay-Rones et al., 1995), diuretic (Beaux, Fleurentin, & Mortier, 1999), edema, epilepsy, fever, flavoring, fragrance , gastrointestinal disorders, gout, hair dye, hay fever, headache, Helicobacter pylori, herpes simplex virus, HIV (Konlee, 1998), immune stimulant (Barak, Halperin, & Kalickman, 2001), insomnia, joint swelling, kidney disease, laryngitis , liver disease, measles, migraines, mosquito repellant, nerve pain, osteoporosis, psoriasis, respiratory distress, sedative, skin infections, skin irritation (chafing), stress reduction, syphilis, toothache, ulcerative colitis, vomiting. "
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    • "Although this plant is commonly used in alternative treatments, to our knowledge, there is no reported study focusing on the antiallergic properties of Sambucus nigra extracts. Previous data for this extract have documented its use as an antiviral agent for colds, influenza, and herpes virus infections, owing to its immune-modulating and antioxidant effects [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To determine the prevalence of herbal treatment of allergic rhinitis. Methods. In this prospective study, patients who were diagnosed with perennial allergic rhinitis were questioned about their use of natural products/herbal therapies for their symptoms. Results. In total, 230 patients were enrolled. Overall, 37.3% of the patients stated that they had used natural products/herbal therapies at least once. Women were more likely than men to use herbal supplements (38.3% versus 32.4%). Ten different types of herbal supplements were identified, with stinging nettle (Urtica dioicath), black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), and Spirulina being the most common (12.6%, 6.1%, and 5.7%, resp.). Conclusion. This study found a high prevalence of herbal treatment usage for the relief of allergic rhinitis symptoms in Turkey. The herbal products identified in this study and in the literature are discussed.
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