I am sure you are aware of the current level concern about the rise of antibiotics resistance and the need to find new antibiotics or alternatives. So I read with interest that a traditional indian herb is being studied by scientists as an alternative to antibiotics.
The herb, andrographis, which is known at the "king of the bitters" grows in India and Sri Lanka. It is thought to be responsible for combatting the Spanish flu epidemic that reached the Indian subcontinent in 1919.
Researchers from the University of Southampton in the UK have recruited 20 primary care facilities to participate in a trail, which will be using andrograhpis supplements. It will be tested as a natural remedy against colds and flu - and treating these commong problems like these with antibiotics is bringing the era of drug-resistant superbugs closer to reality.
Its a placebo-controlled study - which means patients could be given the real herb or a fake version - that will look at the herb's ability to treat acute coughs, sore throats and sinusitis.
The study could lead the way for a larger study involving more patients with acute respiratory infections.