Yup, you might be down with a cold or flu. An average person gets sick 2-4 times every year. Cold and flu affect your respiratory system, the organs involved in breathing. These include your lungs, nose, and throat. That’s almost a month of fevers, chills, stuffy nose, muscle aches, coughs, and sinus pressure.
They are caused by viruses. The flu is caused by influenza virus, while colds might be caused by any of several viruses, including rhinovirus and coronavirus. The symptoms you feel are a combination of the virus itself and your body’s immune system trying to fight the virus.
Why Isn't Any “Cure” For Cold?
Polio, smallpox, hepatitis A and B are all serious viruses humanity learned to subdue with effective solutions. Even the flu, which can shift and mutate each year, has a vaccine. And yet, there’s no remedy for the lowly cold. The answer is that there’s at least 160 different strains, or serotypes, of rhinovirus. t’s incredibly difficult to create a vaccine or drug that will target all of those strains.
The common cold might be a nuisance that causes most people to lay up for a few days, but it can seriously exacerbate chronic respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis.
How About Antibiotics?
Antibiotics don’t help most respiratory infections, and they can even be harmful. Antibiotics fight infections caused by bacteria. But most respiratory infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics can’t cure a virus.
All colds and flu.
Almost all sinus infections.
Most bronchitis (chest colds).
Most sore throats, especially with a cough, runny nose, hoarse voice, or mouth sores.
Antibiotics Have Risks
Antibiotics can upset the body’s natural balance of good and bad bacteria.
Antibiotics can cause:
Nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea.
Life-threatening allergic reactions.
No medicines can "cure" colds and flu. However, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that can ease the discomfort caused by the symptoms of colds and flu. Some of the common medicines that are used to ease the discomfort from specific cold and flu symptoms are paracetamol to reduce fever and pain, and antihistamines to dry out the nose. However, Taking too much paracetamol can damage your liver. Paracetamol doses should not exceed 4 grams per day. Individuals with liver damage or liver problems should not exceed 2 grams of acetaminophen per day. Antihistamines e.g. diphenhydramine makes you sleepy. While there is non-drowsy alternatives, but they are less effective as to reduce cold and flu symptoms. Some will also take oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine to relieve a stuffy, clogged nose. However, insomnia, nervousness, and irritability can occur when taking these drugs. Those who are pregnant or have uncontrolled high blood pressure should avoid pseudoephedrine products. Other medications include nasal steroids ( to relieve a runny nose or sinus pressure), antitussives (to reduce coughing) and local anaesthetics lozenges (to relieve a sore throat) carry certain precautions and side effects.
What Are Other Ways To Treat And Prevent The Cold Or Flu?
If you’re past the point of prevention and on your third box of Kleenex this week, here is one of the latest natural remedy to help your immune system treat upper respiratory infections like cold and flu.
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. Over decades of specific research on the wonder herb on its immune support properties led to the development of AP-Bio™.
In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical, AP-Bio™ was effective in reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection. A total of 223 patients of both genders were randomised into two groups, which received either 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 AP-Bio™ treated group, all symptoms showed a decreasing trend. AP-Bio™ was 52.7 per cent or 2.1 times more effective than placebo on various symptoms of cold and flu. AP-Bio™ was well tolerated.
The ingredients in Andrographis leaves contain immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. What does that mean? Well, when you get sick, your first line of defence is a type of immune cell called a macrophage. In Greek, macrophage means “big eater.” These big eaters chomp up viruses and help stimulate the rest of your body’s immune system. The active ingredient in this plant’s leaves helps increase the motility of these big eaters. Andrographis also help your spleen stimulate lymphocyte production. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells that serve as our bodies’ soldiers on the front line to fight infection. “Stimulating production” translates to revving your body’s response up faster! To reduce inflammatory symptoms such as fever, sore throat, coughing and aches, AP-Bio™ inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators, thus decreases inflammation, reduces severity of common cold symptoms.
We recommend treatment within 48 hours of symptom onset and you should see improvement within 2 days of treatment of the cold and flu.
The approved use of Andrographis for COVID-19
In August 2020, the Department of Thai Traditional & Alternative Medicine reported that Andrographis paniculata could be effective in treating COVID-19 based on the results of a preliminary research. The trial entered the Phase 2 of the research involving 60 volunteers in September 2020.
According to a report by Bloomberg recently, Thailand's Health Ministry claimed that Andrographis paniculata, also known as Hempedu Bumi locally, has been proven to be effective as an alternative treatment to reduce the severity of COVID-19. Studies have shown that the plant extract can curb the virus and reduce the severity of the inflammation. Human clinical trials also showed that the patients' conditions improved within three days of treatment and without any side effects. This herb should be taken within 72 hours after the infection is confirmed positive.
While waiting for the vaccine to arrive, Thailand's Health Ministry has approved the use of this herbal extract in the treatment of early stages of the disease. This will be a cost effective alternative in the treatment of early symptoms of COVID-19 and at the same time providing relief to the patients. The herbal extract will be available in five government hospitals and will be expanded to other hospitals as well.
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is the brand of Andrographis Paniculata, a trademark of Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd.