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Traditional medicines and their effects on treating and preventing influenza & influenza-like-illness: asystematic review of the literature

Throughout history influenzas have consistently qualified as one of the top killers amongst common infectious diseases and it continues today to afflict millions in spite of our vast efforts to curb its effects. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes annual deaths of between 250,000 to 500,000 due to influenza. Alternative medicines have been traditionally used to treat this illness in the past, and have begun to experience an increase in popularity these days as a complementary supplement to improve treatment of influenza’s symptoms. The use of such natural extracts as Echinacea, ascorbic acid, and “Kan Jang” aim to mitigate symptoms and increase the efficiency of the healing process. Their use, however, has been scrutinized and somewhat controversial when looking at their effectiveness. Having such wide-spread use of these treatments, it is important to understand just how beneficial these alternative routes are when treating infectious diseases like influenza. The objective of this literature review is to assess the use of these traditional medicines in the treatment of influenza and influenza-like-illnesses (ILI). In order to do this, randomized controlled trials were studied to establish any benefits these medicines might provide in the treatment of symptoms and the prevention of influenza. Treatment groups with the three different alternative medicines were respectively compared to control groups without any treatment through singular symptoms and duration of these symptoms, as well as prevention of multiple infections. / published_or_final_version / Public Health / Master / Master of Public Health

  1. 10.5353/th_b4842593
  2. b4842593
Date January 2012
CreatorsTsourmas, Nicholas Adam.
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Source SetsHong Kong University Theses
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works., Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
RelationHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)

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