Potentilla Extract Reduces Rotavirus Diarrhea Duration in Children
Thursday, September 4th 2003
Controlled doses of Tormentil root extract (Potentilla tormentilla) shorten the duration of rotavirus diarrhea in children, according to a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial published in the August issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
The treatment, long used in European folk medicine to manage diarrhea, also reduces the amount of fluid loss associated with the condition, say Maria D. Subbotina, MD, and colleagues, from the Children's Hospital for Infectious Diseases #3 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Investigators looked at 40 children ranging in age from three months to seven years with rotavirus diarrhea. Twenty children received tormentil root extract, 20 patients were given a placebo of Indian tea made to look and taste like tormentil. All patients received three drops of tormentil root extract or placebo per year of life, three times daily until discontinuation of diarrhea, or a maximum of five days.
In the tormentil root extract treatment group, diarrhea lasted three days compared with five days in the control group (P < .0001). Eight (40%) of 20 children in the treatment group were diarrhea-free 48 hours after admission to the hospital compared with 1 (5%) of 20 children in the control group (P < .0001). Patients in the treatment group also required less parenteral fluids than subjects in the control group.
Investigators suspect that tannins and other active ingredients contained in tormentil root have antisecretory effects that reduce the duration of diarrhea. They note that the extract is safe and should be relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
Conventional treatment of rotavirus diarrhea is based on rehydration therapy. However, the investigators note that while oral rehydration is inexpensive and accessible, it does not reduce the volume or duration of diarrhea. Available antisecretory drugs can cause serious adverse effects in children.
More than 800,000 children in developing nations die every year due to acute dehydrating rotavirus diarrhea, Dr. Subbotina and colleagues point out. "We speculate that tormentil root extract will be beneficial in decreasing morbidity and mortality in developing countries as well as decreasing the cost of care in developed countries," they write.
Source: Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2003;22:706-710
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following supplements are all useful for the Rotavirus and gastrointestinal infections:
Endura Rehydration Formula - Pineapple
Inner Health for Kids
Formula 825 - Verm-ez
Zinc Fix Raspberry
Slippery Elm Bark Powder
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