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Potentilla Extract Reduces Rotavirus Diarrhea Duration in Children

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:

Primadophilus Reuteri
Colostrum Capsules
Endura Rehydration Formula - Pineapple
Inner Health for Kids
Gastro Relief
Formula 825 - Verm-ez
Mega Zinc Powder Raspberry
Family C
Diarmed Relief
Peppermint Tea
Slippery Elm Bark Powder
Activated Charcoal

Related health information can be found here:

Food Poisoning
Antibiotic Use
Bowel Cleanse

Related articles can be found here:

Benefits of Friendly Bacteria
Colostrum supports the immune system
Repair gastrointestinal damage with Colostrum
The Benefits of Primadophilus Reuteri
Why take Primadophilus?

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our resident herbalist Leanne James with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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