- As more research is done regarding so-called non-traditional healthcare, doctors and scientists are rediscovering old treatments that are increasingly supplanting today’s standard treatments with antibiotics for a number of conditions.
That includes coughs that often accompany the flu or mild chest infections, according to a recently published study in the journal Lancet.
Effectiveness of antibiotics has been reduced because of over-prescribing
Using the antibiotic amoxicillin to treat respiratory infections in patients not suspected of having pneumonia is not likely to help and could be harmful.
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Overuse of antibiotics, dominated by primary care prescribing, particularly when they are ineffective, can lead to the development of resistance and have side effects like diarrhea, rash, and vomiting. Our results show that people get better on their own. But given that a small number of patients will benefit from antibiotics, the challenge remains to identify these individuals.
Earlier research into whether antibiotics were actually beneficial in the treatment of chest infections that included symptoms of weakness, high fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, and coughing produced conflicting conclusions, especially in older adults where chest infections have the potential of causing additional complications.
Researchers randomly assigned and divided patients into two groups — one that received an antibiotic for their cough and one that received a placebo — three times daily for seven days.
The study found little measurable difference in the severity and duration of symptoms that were reported from each patient group. Similar findings occurred in older patients as well — those who were aged 60 or older, a demographic that accounted for one-third of the entire study population.
Additionally, those who took antibiotics reported having more side effects, including nausea, rash, and diarrhea, compared to those taking the placebo.
The study is particularly important, given the growing human resistance to antibiotics being seen all around the globe.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to treating mild forms of chest infections and cough, and it’s a treatment that has been around for centuries.
“Traditional Chinese medicine is especially effective in the treatment of coughs because of its careful differentiation of the various types,” wrote Bill Schoenbart and Ellen Shefi for Discovery Health.
For instance, they note that coughs due to heat produce a sticky phlegm that’s difficult to expectorate, so it is treated with cooling, moistening herbs and acupuncture directed at specific points on the body that clear heat from the lungs.
By comparison, a cough due to cold is accompanied by chills and copious mucus; it is treated with warming, drying herbs and the application of moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using moxa, or the mugwort herb.
In conclusion, most Americans tend to use over-the-counter elixirs to treat coughs, but many of them prove ineffective. Chinese therapies can help.
Written by J. D. Heyes and originally published in naturalnews.com and republished with permission.