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2018 | 72(4) | 42-50
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Place of phytotherapy in the treatment of acute infections of upper respiratory tract and upper gastrointestinal tract

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Acute infections of the upper respiratory tract and upper gastrointestinal tract (mouth and throat) are still the most common reason for reporting to the general practitioner or ENT specialist. Despite the fact that the most common causative agent of these diseases is a virus, antibiotics are still flavored in about 60-80% of patients who report to the doctor. In consensuses such as EPOS, WHO reports and other local/ / national reports, there is a need to limit antibacterial treatment for and to replace it with symptomatic and anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition to intranasal steroids and mucocutaneous decongestants, supplementary treatment should be considered which resolves persistent symptoms. Plant preparations are used here. The growing role of rational phytotherapy is emphasized, especially due to the most frequent the etiological factor of these infections, i.e. viruses. Modern phytotherapy is a part of pharmacology, and all preparations based on plants meet the standards for of medicines and are subject to standard registration procedures. The article discusses the use and mechanism of action of selected herbs, among others: sorrel, elderberry, yarrow, and horsetail in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and upper gastrointestinal tract. The phytotherapy shows good efficacy and tolerance and can be used both in children and adults in recurrent infections of the upper respiratory tract. It is worth paying attention to the combined preparations, the components of which have the effects confirmed by randomized trials and long-term registration for use in treatment, both during the first signs of cold and its further duration, and supportive as support in chronic inflammation especially of the paranasal sinuses.
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