Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Benefits of natural medicine to help with colds investigated

Canterbury student investigating benefits of natural medicine to help with colds

June 26, 2014

A University of Canterbury PhD health sciences student is investigating the benefits of natural medicine to help with common colds.

Sandra Clair is studying traditional medicine, an often overlooked health science topic in New Zealand. Her explorative research may be used to shape government policy and integrate conventional and traditional medicine in the public health system, in line with the World Health Organisation‘s traditional medicine strategy.

Clair is a registered medical herbalist and is the founder of natural health company Artemis Natural Healthcare. Claire grew up in Switzerland where natural healthcare is a living tradition and an integral part of modern medical practice.

She was awarded a University of Canterbury scholarship and is doing her thesis under the supervision of Associate Professor Ray Kirk, exploring the practical relevance of traditional medical plant knowledge for today's evidence-based healthcare system.

According to the World Health Organisation, plant medicines are the most prevalent medicines used worldwide with up to 86 percent of Western populations using plant medicines. They are used by people looking for either an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs or a complementing treatment.

Off the back of the Ministry of Health’s recent Med Safe changes, Clair developed a comprehensive herbal cough formula specifically for young children up to six years old. She drew from traditional clinical knowledge and scientific research into medicinal plants that have shown to be both safe and effective.

The combination of natural ingredients work to reduce symptoms and nurture the growing immune system to build long-term immune resistance, Clair says.

``The common cold is the most frequent infection in the industrialised world with children having anywhere between four to 10 colds a year. As children grow and maturing, their treatment of coughs and colds needs to be different to adults otherwise complications can arise.

``Pharmaceutical or over-the-counter cold medicines were first introduced in the 1950s, to help reduce cold symptoms such as a blocked nose or a cough. At the time it was assumed that the treatment for adults and children was the same.

``Over the past decade, pharmaceutical cough and cold medications have been implicated in a number of children’s deaths in the United Kingdom, as well as thousands of reported side effects.

``Diphenhydramine, an ingredient used in the popular Benylin children’s cough syrup, was mentioned in the cases of 27 deaths. Chlorphenamine was mentioned in reports of 11 deaths, an antihistamine commonly used in allergy prevention medication for children. Until recently, many medicines containing these ingredients were specifically labelled and sold as being suitable for children in New Zealand.

``In 2009 Medsafe New Zealand conducted a review of cough and cold medicines in children and found some pretty startling results. They found 12 chemical substances to be unsafe and ineffective for children and issued a mandatory change that oral medicines containing these substances should not be used in children under six and not recommended for children under 12.

``Natural medicine is the only alternative for children as the suitability and efficacy of herbal remedies are well documented from generations of medical use, observational and scientific studies,’’ Clair says.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Housing: English On Housing Affordability And The Economy

"Long lead times in the planning process tend to drive prices higher in the upswing of the housing cycle. And those lead times increase the risk that eight years later, when additional supply arrives, the demand shock that spurred the additional supply has reversed. The resulting excess supply could produce a price crash..." More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news