THE STUDY ABSTRACT: The effects of honey compared to silver sulfadiazine for the treatment of burns: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.
Evidence from animal studies and trials suggests that honey may accelerate wound healing. The objective of this review was to assess the effects of honey compared with silver dressings on the healing of burn wounds. Relevant databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of honey compared with silver sulfadiazine (SSD) were searched. The quality of the selected trials was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. The primary endpoints considered were wound healing time and the number of infected wounds rendered sterile. Nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Based on moderate quality evidence there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups, favoring honey in healing time (MD -5.76days, 95% CI -8.14 to -3.39) and the proportions of infected wounds rendered sterile (RR 2.59; 95% CI 1.58-2.88). The available evidence suggests that honey dressings promote better wound healing than silver sulfadiazine for burns.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU:
Silver sulfadiazine is a topical typically used to treat serious burns and promote healing. This review found that honey—a common ingredient found in most kitchens—healed burn wound faster and made them more sterile. Burns can be a frequent fact of life. With honey, you have an effective, on-hand method of stopping the pain and potential infections of burns within easy reach.
Source: Aziz Z, Abdul Rasool Hassan B. Burns. 2016 Aug 27. pii: S0305-4179(16)30210-8.
Natural, Effective Bronchitis Buster
THE STUDY ABSTRACT: Pelargonium sidoides for acute bronchitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
OBJECTIVE: To critically assess the efficacy of Pelargonium sidoides for treating acute bronchitis.
DATA SOURCES: Systematic literature searches were performed in 5 electronic databases: (Medline (1950 – July 2007), Amed (1985 – July 2007), Embase (1974 – July 2007), CINAHL (1982 – July 2007), and The Cochrane Library (Issue 3, 2007) without language restrictions. Reference lists of retrieved articles were searched, and manufacturers contacted for published and unpublished materials.
REVIEW METHODS: Study selection was done according to predefined criteria. All randomized clinical trials (RCTs) testing P. sidoides extracts (mono preparations) against placebo or standard treatment in patients with acute bronchitis and assessing clinically relevant outcomes were included. Two reviewers independently selected studies, extracted and validated relevant data. Methodological quality was evaluated using the Jadad score. Meta-analysis was performed using a fixed-effect model for continuous data, reported as weighted mean difference with 95% confidence intervals.
RESULTS: Six RCTs met the inclusion criteria, of which 4 were suitable for statistical pooling. Methodological quality of most trials was good. One study compared an extract of P. sidoides, EPs 7630, against conventional non-antibiotic treatment (acetylcysteine); the other five studies tested EPs 7630 against placebo. All RCTs reported findings suggesting the effectiveness of P. sidoides in treating acute bronchitis. Meta-analysis of the four placebo-controlled RCTs suggested that EPs 7630 significantly reduced bronchitis symptom scores in patients with acute bronchitis by day 7. No serious adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSION: There is encouraging evidence from currently available data that P. sidoides is effective compared to placebo for patients with acute bronchitis.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU:
Treating bronchitis can be challenge. You want symptom relief, but you’d also like to get through your days without side effects. Pelargonium sidoides, a botanical from South Africa, may provide the answer. Even with common over-the-counter medications, the coughing, wheezing, and congested chest of bronchitis can linger for up to a month. This review of Pelargonium (also known as umckaloabo) shows that it can significantly reduce bronchitis symptoms in just seven days. This speed indicates that Pelargonium is doing more than controlling symptoms—it is quelling the infection itself. Ultimately, it means you can feel much better, much faster, without the burden of feeling drowsy or revved up as you could from less effective over-the-counter treatments.
Source: Agbabiaka TB, Guo R, Ernst E. Phytomedicine. 2008 May;15(5):378-85.
Fatigue-Fighting Herbal Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
THE STUDY ABSTRACT: Andrographis paniculata decreases fatigue in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a 12-month double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study.
BACKGROUND: Andrographis paniculata (A. paniculata), a medicinal plant, has shown anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antifibrotic effects in animal models as well as clinical efficacy in different studies, including an anti-fatigue effect in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue is rated as one of the most common and disabling symptoms. In the present trial, we investigated the effect of A. paniculata on relapse rate and fatigue in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients receiving interferon beta.
METHODS: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial assessed the effects of 170 mg of A. paniculata dried extract tablet b.i.d. p.o. on relapse rate and fatigue using the Fatigue Severity Scores (FSS) over 12 months in RRMS patients receiving interferon. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, inflammatory parameters and radiological findings were also investigated. Twenty-five patients were enrolled, and twenty-two patients were ultimately analyzed and randomized to the active or placebo group.
RESULTS: Patients treated with A. paniculata showed a significant reduction in their FSS score as compared to the placebo, equivalent to a 44 % reduction at 12 months. No statistically significant differences were observed for relapse rate, EDSS or inflammatory parameters, with a trend in reducing new lesions among the A. paniculata group. One patient in the A. paniculata group presented with a mild and transient skin rash, which was alleviated with anti-histamine treatment for three weeks.
CONCLUSION: A. paniculata was well tolerated in patients and no changes in clinical parameters were observed. A. paniculata significantly reduces fatigue in patients with RRMS receiving interferon beta in comparison to placebo and only interferon beta treatment.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU:
For many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), periods of symptom remission interspersed with periods of symptom attacks—fatigue being among them—is the usual course of the disease. One of the methods of combating further progression of MS is to use injectable interferon beta drugs.
This study showed that andrographis—a widely used botanical in Ayurvedic medicine that shows promise for immune boosting—significantly reduced fatigue. Compared to placebo (which provided only the usual interferon beta treatment), those in the andrographis/interferon group showed a 44 percent reduction in fatigue during the 12-month trial. These results point to great potential in combining traditionally used herbal medications with conventional treatment that can provide definitive results and relief.
Source: Bertoglio JC, Baumgartner M, Palma R, et al. BMC Neurol. 2016 May 23;16:77.