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upper respiratory infection

Natural Remedies for Upper Respiratory Discomfort

Respiratory discomfort is undoubtedly the most common problem in humans. By extension, they can also be very disturbing, frustrating and very inconvenient. Specifically, I am referring to mild and chronic dry coughs, sore throats, sneezing, and nasal congestion (2). Whether as a monotherapy or as a complex component in pharmaceutical formulations, natural medicines are the first choice. The recurrence and familiarity of respiratory discomfort, such as the common cold, quickly makes it seem like a public nuisance rather than a health threat. However, these infections can sometimes lead to death in the elderly and immunocompromised individuals (3).

Children experience an average of 4 to 6 symptomatic colds per year, while adults experience 2 to 3 symptomatic colds per year. Also, susceptibility to upper respiratory discomfort varies from person to person, depending on their immune system and many other factors. It can be said that viruses or bacteria are the main cause of most upper respiratory tract discomfort. Only in rare cases, the infection is caused by fungi or worms (5). Typical symptoms of upper respiratory distress include cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, low-grade fever and sneezing. In the case of certain infections, such as the common cold, patients may experience coughing and runny nose for up to 14 days, even after other symptoms stop.

It is worth pointing out that, just because there are hundreds of these viruses, immunization is not feasible in controlling upper respiratory discomfort. Ultimately, the only solutions were:

A. turning to treatments preferably, natural medicine with symptom-reducing benefit, and potent effect on lung health.  B. engaging in prevention, behavioral strategies in response to the contagious and environmentally-prone nature of these infections (6). Consequently, it is advisable to imbibe a culture of regular hand washing, frequent exercise, and avoidance of spew dirt, soot, or any form of indoor/outdoor compromised air quality (6).

Natural medicines are derived from beneficial plants that have been used for a long time and evaluated as "effective and proven" by randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Given the clinical efficacy of these traditional therapies, they can be used as an alternative or in addition to traditional therapies, such as antihistamines, decongestants, for upper airway discomfort.


The Echinacea plant is a native of North America. It has been scientifically noticed due to its roots recording high bioavailability and immunoactivity. Today a lot of clinical studies and randomized trials have been conducted into its biological plausibility. With most of the results coming out green, echinacea extracts are now widely used in America, Europe, for the immune boost for the prevention and treatment of the common cold. Notable among these studies is a-24 randomized trials involving more than 3000 participants (7).

 These trials aver that echinacea can palate the hash symptoms of common colds and other upper respiratory infections (URIs). Although some of these studies recorded specific allergic reactions; however, the use of echinacea suggests no dose-dependent adverse effects or major drug interaction concerns (7). Echinacea is also available in tablets, tinctures, capsules, extracts, and tea forms. Needful to say that echinacea enhanced ointments are also effective for tropical treatment.


Astragalus has important antioxidant properties and provides a healthy barrier for the lungs (8). Astragalus is also a key herb in traditional Chinese medicine (9). It is often mixed with other herbs to formulate to treat various degrees of health problems, maintaining the health of the heart and liver to the kidneys.

 Today, in the treatment and prevention of common colds, Astragalus has had dozens or even hundreds of recovery records. As a healthy anti-inflammatory drug, Astragalus can help respiratory tissues to protect against dry air and air pollutants (10). Such asSwisse – Natural Herbal Cleansing Lung TabletsSupplements like Astragalus use Astragalus as a comprehensive ingredient and are used with other vitamins and herbal extracts.

3.Bee Propolis

Propolis, also known as "bee propolis," has natural antimicrobial properties and antimicrobial activity that help relieve mild coughs and soothe sore throats. The substance extracted from the hive consists of a mixture of beeswax, resins, sap, plant compounds and the bees' saliva. Propolis also has immune-boosting and detoxifying properties (11). Its botanical composition contains up to 10% essential oils and 5% bee pollen along with hundreds of other beneficial natural compounds. Children may often find that propolis is a good choice for treating throat and mouth infections.


Spirulina is a non-toxic Arthrospira bacterium. It is also a type of cyanobacteria and is often a vegetarian source of protein and vitamin B12. Spirulina has potent antioxidant effects on lung health (12). A 2015 study on the effects of spirulina on bronchial discomfort confirmed that long-term supplementation with spirulina helped improve the management of bronchial discomfort (13). This study also noted faster recovery when the drug and spirulina were used together (13). This study and other related results explain why an increasing number of supplements use spirulina to reduce symptoms of nasal allergy, such as sneezing and nasal congestion.

Swisse – Natural Herbal Clearing Lung Tablets 90 Tablets


  1. Campbell, H. Acute respiratory infection: a global challenge. [book auth.] pp. 281-283. 73 (4). sl : Arch Dis Child, (1995),.
  2. R. Eccles, O. Weber. Common cold. Basel, Switzerland : Birkhauser Verlag,, 2009.
  3. LC Jennings, TP Anderson, KA Beynon, A. Chua, RT Laing, AM Werno. Incidence and characteristics of viral community-acquired pneumonia in adults. pp. 42-48: Thorax, (2008),. 63.
  4. GM Allan, B. Arroll. Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence. pp. 190-199: CMAJ,, 2014. 186 (3).
  5. Heymann, David. Control of communicable diseases manual: an official report of the American Public Health Association. the American Public Health Association. : APHA Press, 2015. ISBN 9780875530185..
  6. Carter, JM Hand washing decreases the risk of colds and flu. p. A11: J Natl Med Asso, 2002. c, 94 (2).
  7. M. Karsch-Volk, B. Barrett, D. Kiefer, R. Bauer, K. Ardjomand-Woelkart, K. Linde. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. p. CD000530 : Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2014. 2.
  8. herbs, Sinclair S. Chinese. A clinical review of Astragalus, Ligusticum, and Schizandrae. sl : Altern Med Rev, 1998. 338-44..
  9. Upton, R. Astragalus Root: analytical, quality control, and therapeutic monograph. Santa Cruz, CA: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia,, 1999. pp. 1-25.
  10. D. McKenna, K. Hughes, K. Jones. Astragalus. Altern The Health Med, : 8 (6), 2002. pp. 34-40.
  11. KATIE WELLS. Bee Propolis Benefits to Fight Everything From Colds to Cancer. wellnessmama. [Online] 05 04, 2018. [Cited: 06 28, 2020.] https://wellnessmama.com/366380/propolis/.
  12. Examine. [Online] https://examine.com/supplements/spirulina/.
  13. R. U. Labhe, U. V. Mani, U. M. Iyer, M. Mishra, K. Jani &A. Bhattacharya. The Effect of Spirulina in the Treatment of Bronchial Asthma. Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional & Medical Foods . [Online] 07 06, 2015. [Cited: 06 28, 2020.] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J133v03n04_06#:~:text=Significant%20improvement%20in%20lung%20function,treating%20mild%20to%20moderate%20asthma..
Michael F. O
Author: Michael F. O

Michael FO is a ravenous health writer with over five years of experience. He has to himself a chain of certification ranging from a university degree in Biochemistry to other professional honors. Th...

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