An observational study looks at the medical benefits of Cretan herbs on upper respiratory tract infections

Following the recent commercial release of an extract derived from three Cretan medicinal herbs, Greek researchers conducted a study on its ameliorative effects on upper respiratory tract infections. They presented additional evidence supporting the therapeutic effects of dictamnus, sage, and thyme on respiratory health.

The University of Crete conducted the study. The results were published in the scientific journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Earlier research efforts discussed the use of traditional herbs found in the Greek island of Crete. The local population used dictamnus, sage, and thyme to treat upper respiratory tract illnesses.
  • The new observational study lasted seven days and covered patients in Heraklion, Crete. The participants visited selected pharmacies, were diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection and agreed to take the herbal extract as their mode of treatment.
  • Researchers recorded the general, local, and total symptoms of patients during the first, fourth, and last day of a week. They determined the effectiveness of the herbal therapy based on the reduction of symptoms indexes during the observation period.
  • The researchers found that the mean scores of general, local, and total symptoms went down throughout the week. The percentage of participants who expressed feeling feverish dropped from 82.1 percent during day one to 2.0 percent on day seven.
  • According to regression models, taking supplementary medication did not appear to affect the severity of the symptoms. Nor did it affect the day patients reported experiencing a complete absence of symptoms.

The researchers concluded that their experiment supported the findings of an earlier double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving the same herbal extract, confirming the effectiveness of Cretan herbs as a therapy for certain respiratory illnesses.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Anastasaki M, Bertsias A, Pirintsos SA, Castanas E, Lionis C. POST-MARKET OUTCOME OF AN EXTRACT OF TRADITIONAL CRETAN HERBS ON UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS: A PRAGMATIC, PROSPECTIVE OBSERVATIONAL STUDY. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1978-7.

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