Therapy with phytopharmaceuticals is a treatment option for seasonal, viral respiratory infections

Romanshorn (ots) – Both the acute respiratory infections that occur frequently in the cold season and the current spread of the new coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 make it clear: The need for active ingredients that can help against viruses and in the best case do not lead to resistance , is very big. It is known that antibiotics do not work against viruses, but only against bacteria. One of the reasons why viruses are so difficult to fight is because they can change their genetic information in a very short time. Therefore, for example, the flu vaccination must be repeated every year. In the case of the novel lung disease COVID-19, a vaccine is not expected until the summer of 2021 at the earliest [1]. “When looking for effective alternative treatment approaches, it is worth taking a look at nature,” says Dr. Dr. Erwin Häringer, doctor for naturopathy and general medicine, Munich. Because various plant substances, such as tannins, essential oils or mustard oils, showed a pronounced antiviral effect in laboratory tests. Mustard oils in particular are among the very well-studied medicinally active plant substances. With regard to their activity against viruses, scientific studies in the 1950s already showed that mustard oils from nasturtium and horseradish can effectively inhibit the multiplication of influenza viruses [2,3]. The mustard oil mixture also fights the most common cold viruses and has been proven to reduce the frequency of colds by around 50 percent [4]. “Therefore, treatment with mustard oils is always worth trying for seasonal viral infections of the respiratory tract,” says Häringer.

The current spread of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the associated uncertainty among the population has prompted the WHO to dispel myths about the new lung disease COVID-19. For example, the rumor is rebutted that a flu shot also protects against the new corona virus [5]. Due to their great versatility, viruses can adapt to new environmental conditions in a very short time and, for example, develop resistance to possible new therapies very quickly. The development of a vaccine against COVID-19 is therefore time consuming. Two Swiss biotech companies are also researching new substances. However, it could take years for the drug to be on the market [6]. In this context, the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) points out that the development of new antivirals is difficult to plan anyway, since it cannot be predicted which virus will appear next and which will pose a risk to humans [7].

Mustard oils have a triple effect – against viruses, bacteria and anti-inflammatory

Different plants produce substances with which they defend themselves effectively against viruses, bacteria and fungi. These substances include mustard oils from nasturtium and horseradish. Mustard oils have been used in natural medicine for centuries to treat respiratory and urinary tract infections. It was discovered early in laboratory tests that mustard oils from nasturtium and horseradish inhibit the multiplication of influenza viruses [2,3].

In clinical studies with adults and children, the efficacy and tolerability of the plant medicine for acute bronchitis, acute sinusitis and cystitis compared to various antibiotics [8,9] proven. As the mustard oil mixture has been proven to reduce the frequency of colds by around 50% [4], it is also a recommended treatment option to extend the symptom-free time for frequently recurring respiratory infections. The mustard oils not only fight viruses, they are also antibacterial [10-16] and anti-inflammatory [17-25]. Because of the triple effect of the plant substances – antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory – unpleasant cold symptoms are quickly relieved and possible bacterial super infections are counteracted.

“Due to the extensive mechanism of action of mustard oils, the development of possible resistance mechanisms against these plant substances is made significantly more difficult for viruses and bacteria. Further investigations are therefore of great interest and have already been started,” explains Häringer.

“Don’t get infected” – what else can you do?

Many people are currently concerned about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. How do I behave in everyday life to avoid virus transmission? The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) gives Illnesses/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/so-schuetzen -wir-uns.html appropriate advice. In general, we recommend the measures that are generally advisable for all infectious diseases, such as influenza and other respiratory diseases. These include compliance with (cough and sneeze in a handkerchief or armpit), a good https: //www.infektionschutz .de / haendewaschen.html (soap your hands several times a day and wash off; each for about 20-30 seconds) and (about 1 to 2 meters). When greeting people, shaking hands should also be avoided. Acute sufferers should stay at home to recover if possible so that the virus is not spread further.

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