Naturopathic Doctors Offer Botanical Medicine to Manage Cold and Flu

1 in 3 Antibiotic Prescriptions Unnecessary

Seattle, Washington, UNITED STATES

Seattle, Sept. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As new research uncovers that nearly one third of antibiotic prescriptions are not needed and not effective, more people are seeking out non-drug treatments for cold and flu. Botanical medicine, rigorously studied and expertly utilized by licensed naturopathic doctors, offers safe, evidence-based alternatives for first line treatment of viral infections including cold, flu, and sinus. This is according to the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM), which today released a new FAQ on why and how naturopathic doctors use botanical medicine. 

As we move toward cold and flu season, over-prescription of antibiotics has the potential to destroy healthy gut bacteriamake future infections antibiotic-resistant, and cause negative side effects. Additionally, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals such as analgesics, decongestants, and antihistamines can also cause unwanted side effects. Naturopathic doctors utilize botanical medicine (aka herbal medicine) to expand cold and flu treatment options for patients. Botanical medicine is the science and practice of using medicinal plants and extracts to improve overall health and treat acute and chronic disease.

During medical school, NDs complete an average of 130 classroom hours of botanical medicine education. They are trained to choose and effectively prescribe herbal medicines to treat the underlying cause(s) of illness, minimize side effects and drug interactions, and individualize doses and formulations for the maximum therapeutic benefit.

Examples of safe and effective botanical medicines commonly used by NDs for cold and flu prevention and treatment include:

Elder (Sambucus)—a flower or berry that can be used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antioxidant, often administered in syrup form

Garlic—an anti-microbial herb that can help break up mucus, and is delivered through tinctures, syrups, capsules, or crushed fresh

Thyme—an anti-microbial herb, also an immune stimulant, effective against biofilms, and can also help relax a spastic cough

Echinacea—an anti-inflammatory, immune modulating herb that can activate white blood cells to fight infection and also be used for prevention 

“Modern botanical medicine combines evidence-based science along with centuries-old experience to provide safe and effective treatments that support the body’s ability to heal,” said Michelle Simon, Ph.D., ND, and Chair of the INM Board of Directors. “Alone and in combination with other naturopathic treatments, botanical medicine can help reverse the antibiotic over-prescription problem in America.”

Find the complete FAQ online at:Why and how do naturopathic doctors use botanical medicine?

About the Institute for Natural Medicine

The Institute for Natural Medicine (INM) is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides public education about naturopathic medicine and increases consumer access to naturopathic doctors. As a close partner to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the INM strives to increase consumer and physician choice in safe, effective healthcare that improves patient outcomes and lowers costs. For more information visit

About the AANP

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is the professional association that represents licensed naturopathic physicians. The AANP strives to make naturopathic medicine available to every American and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine. Learn more at



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