Today we welcome Dr. Francesco Milano, expert in Nutrition, to our blog. Graduated in Biology and Biomedical Applications at the University of Parma, he obtained the PhD in Biology and Molecular Pathology at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the same university. Winner of numerous scholarships and author of several publications.
He will help us to deepen the issues of greatest interest with his professionalism. The first article we publish concerns the natural remedies that can be useful to better face this season.
Natural remedies in the prevention and treatment of seasonal ailments
Autumn often brings with it sudden changes in temperature and sudden showers which, often coinciding with a full return to work, often leads to the appearance of small ailments such as sore throat, nasal congestion and respiratory diseases. The psychophysical stress to which we are called can cause a weakening of the body's natural defenses and so as the plants prepare for the winter season, let us not be caught unprepared by the lowering of temperatures.
In addition to advising a healthy and correct diet with at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day and good habits such as dressing in layers in order to regulate body temperature and avoid blows of air, nature offers us some remedies in prevention and to alleviate symptoms that have already arisen.
There are numerous remedies that nature offers us, but among those that enjoy a herbal tradition with scientific evidence confirmed by international studies, the different species of echinacea must certainly be remembered, ( Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida and Echinacea purpurea ) whose extracts have shown possess immunostimulating activities, in particular by increasing the immunity of the mucous membranes and antivirals, grapefruit seeds, Ribes nigrum and Rosa canina used in gemmotherapy.
Medicinal mushrooms used for millennia in traditional Chinese medicine have been shown to have chemopreventive, antiviral and immunostimulating activities. Many mushrooms have these properties, but above all we find them in Shitake ( Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler, 1976) or in Reishi ( Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst), some of the most studied and used mushrooms in mycotherapy or therapy using medicinal mushrooms.
On the other hand, among the products of the hive with an immunostimulating action, we find propolis , a natural compound produced by bees by collecting the resinous substances contained in the buds and exudates of the plants and by subsequent and prolonged chewing and addition of waxes. It is these waxes that limit the absorption of the flavonoids contained in it, therefore, in order to improve its bioavailability, there are different extraction methods. The classic one, obtained in ethyl alcohol, dissolves the waxes, which however, by diluting the extract in water before consumption, separate again as can be seen on the glass of the glass or on the teeth. Today there are new methods such as High Efficiency Maceration, which allows to optimize the extraction of the active ingredients, obtaining a concentrated hydroalcoholic extract with a negligible alcohol content.
Finally, the natural vitamin C of citrus fruits, rose hips or other plants such as camu-camu plays a key role in reducing cold symptoms and also, when it is not possible to introduce them into the diet as fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, you can resort to supplements of this vitamin.
It is important to note, however, how the synthetic vitamin C has a lower efficacy than the natural one, not so much due to the diversity in the structure which is identical, but given by the interaction with other antioxidant molecules present in the phytocomplex, determining a positive synergism of action.