People living in colder climates have probably already battled cold or flu during one winter or rainy season. Although not a complicated illness in general, common cold is certainly a nuisance. Common cold and flu do not have specific cure, but current treatments may reduce the symptom, bring relief or shorten the duration of sickness. Several varieties of natural remedies are available to help relieve the symptoms of the common cold. One natural method is to take Pau d’Arco for common colds. Pau d’Arco contains active components that have anti-viral properties to destroy the microorganism, which causes cold or flu.
Medically termed “acute coryza”, the common cold is an irritation of the upper respiratory tract caused mainly by rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. The common cold occurs more frequently than any other illness. A person may suffer from flu or cold several times a year. It may last for 3 -10 days. The early symptoms of cold are a sore throat and nasal congestion. Even though the onset of illness starts in the throat and nose, the virus is already spreading on all parts of the body. Later on, a runny nose, headaches, fever, chills, sneezing, body pains and loss of appetite follow.
Although a common cold results from contact with the virus, it strength may depend on the person’s level of immune resistance and ecological factors. Other contributing factors include exposure to cold, mental depression, lack of sleep, fatigue, inhalation of irritating substances, dust and sudden changes of temperature. Since common colds are caused by over a hundred of different viruses, antibiotic therapy is proven ineffective as treatment of common cold although many physicians prescribe them in treating secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. With this, the use of herbal remedies such as Pau d’Arco for flu and common colds is known to help alleviate the symptoms.
The use of Pau d’Arco for the common cold has proven to be effective, what with the plant’s innate antiviral activity. Lapachol, its active component, can combat a wide range of viruses extending from minor common colds to those responsible for HIV/AIDS. It has been revealed to actively inactivate, destroy or inhibit the growth of harmful viruses including polio virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, avian myeloblastosis virus, rauscho murine leukemia virus, rous sarcoma virus and herpes virus hominis types I and II. Many other viruses are also inactivated by lapachol’s napthaquinones (N-) and anthraquinones (A-) factors.
The N-factor, beta-lapachone, inhibits the virus cell’s enzyme, which directly influences DNA and RNA synthesis. It is a strong inhibitor of reverse transcriptase enzyme, involved in DNA/RNA relationships. When these processes are deactivated, the virus is prevented from taking over the reproductive processes of the cells and hence cannot multiply and infect other cells.
Taking Pau d’Arco for common colds and flu can be an effective alternative treatment. The plant also helps boost the immune system. Other health measures when treating a common cold are deep breathing and fresh air, a mild sunbath, sound sleep, brisk walk and the use of proper clothes appropriate to the necessities of the season to reverse the effect of temperature and weather changes.