Phytotherapy of Acute Respiratory Viral Diseases

I.B. Ershova, T.F. Osypova


Nowadays phytotherapy is increasingly being implemented into medical practice, especially for the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Acute respiratory viral infections are most common in childhood and in adults. Acute rhinitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, nasopharyngitis and acute laryngitis refer to diseases of the upper respiratory tract. The main reason for respiratory diseases in recurrent respiratory infection child is disorders of mucociliary and immune protection. The therapeutic value of medicinal plants is determined by their biologically active substances. The method of application of phytotherpy is an integral part of traditional medicine. Herbal medicine can be used at home and does not require special equipment. The main indications for the herbal medicine use in pediatrics are the initial stage of the disease as a primary method of treatment due to mild and low toxicity; as a supporting treatment for enhancing the protective forces of the child’s body during the disease deterioration. During the recovery period herbal medicine again occupies a leading position, especially in case of chronic diseases because it can be used for a long time and is well combined with synthetic drugs. The terms of appointment of herbs for children: prescription of medicinal plants for children must be individual according to indications, taking into account the child’s age; it is recommended to take into account the form and nature of the course of the main disease and comorbidities as well; at the initial stage of the treatment it is better to use some medicinal plants or species consisting of 2–3 plants and in the future a more complex composition; therapy with medicinal plants requires a long period to be used use, especially in chronic diseases; in the treatment of chronic diseases a good effect preventive courses of herbal medicine was revealed, which are appointed during seasonal exacerbations; in case of intolerance symptoms (nausea, vomiting, itching, altered defecation) after receiving medicinal plant its use should be discontinued; pediatricians should not recommend using herbs with potential toxic effects (for example, high concentrations or prolonged use of shoots of wild rosemary, tansy and other). The dosage is a very important question, which depends on the age of a child. The scheme proposed by N.P. Menshikova et al. is convenient for practice. The daily dose in terms of dry plant material is: for сhildren under 1 year old — 1/2 teaspoon, from 1 to 3 years — 1 teaspoon, 3 to 6 years — 1 dessert spoon, 6 to 10 years — 1 tablespoon, 10 and older — 1–2 tablespoons. In case of the appointment of herbal me­dicine pediatrician should take into account the characteristics of the therapeutic effects of medicinal plants, their dosing and possible side effects; it is necessary to monitor treatment to assess its efficacy and safety. In the treatment of respiratory diseases inhalation is effective, using inhalation devices. Aerosol inhalation for treatment of respiratory disease may have different effects: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, a bronchodilator, and may promote the liquefaction of sputum evacuation, improve the function of the ciliated epithelium. For the purpose of inhalations medicinal plants containing essential oils are used: Calendula, Peppermint, Chamomile, Salvia, Eucalyptus, Thyme, birch, Plantain. The first inhalation lasts for 1–2 minu­tes and later 5–10 minutes. Also ready officinal herbal drugs can be used in pediatric practice: essential oils, teas, juices. A good effect of essential oil of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Salvia and others, tincture of Calendula, Eucalyptus, Salvia, Peppermint. Relative contraindications are considered: a) allergic conditions in children, b) acute, life-threatening conditions and diseases, c) pregnancy — for medicinal plants causing changes in hormonal balance. In pediatric practice, taking into account the characteristics of acute respiratory viral infections the medicinal plants of several pharmacological groups mainly used are: plants with a tonic effect (plants containing vitamins and minerals — rose hips, black currant, sea buckthorn, citrus fruits), adaptogens and immune modulators should be used in pediatric practice with caution (Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Aralia Manchurian), plants containing biogenic stimulators — the aloe latex, kalanchoe, plant with bactericidal and bacteriostatic effect (sage leaves drug, eucalyptus switchgrass), plants with anti-inflammatory effect, containing tannins — oak bark, Potentilla rhizome, rhizome of Polygonum snake, burnet, alder cones, etc; plants containing essential oils, azulene derivatives — Chamomile flowers; plants containing mucus — Farfara leaves, Plantain; Linden flowers; plants with antipyretic and diaphoretic action — plants containing vitamins (fruits of raspberry, black currant fruit, cranberry); plants containing salicylic acid derivatives — Viola tricolor, raspberry fruit; plants with protective, emollient, expectorant action containing mucus — Farfara leaves; Linden flowers, plantain leaves are large; containing alkaloids, with antitussive effect —codeine phosphate; glaucine hydrochloride grass of Thermopsis lancet; bronchodilators plants; plants with anti-allergic effect, containing flavonoids — herb of Viola tricolor, the roots of Licorice. The article presents the re­commendation of professor O.D. Barnaulov, a pediatric phytotherapist O.A. Daniluk on herbal medicine using in children, the rules of the certain medicinal plants use by Y.I. Korshikova, dosage regimen for herbal remedies for children, proposed by N.P. Menshikova, as well as practical advice on drafting phytospecies for the treatment and prophylaxis of acute respiratory viral infections and prescribing proposed by phytotherapist O.V. Kostareva.


herbal medicine; acute respiratory viral infectionherbal medicine; acute respiratory viral infection


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