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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 586506, 16 pages
Review Article

Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud

1Division of Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Defence Research and Development Organization, Brig. S.K. Mazumdar Road, Delhi 110054, India
2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Trakia University, Armeiska Street 1, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
3Centre for Disaster Management Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006, India
4Division of Disaster Management, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), A1 Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110001, India

Received 10 October 2009; Revised 22 April 2010; Accepted 20 August 2010

Copyright © 2011 Rajesh Arora et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The emergence of novel H1N1 has posed a situation that warrants urgent global attention. Though antiviral drugs are available in mainstream medicine for treating symptoms of swine flu, currently there is no preventive medicine available. Even when available, they would be in short supply and ineffective in a pandemic situation, for treating the masses worldwide. Besides the development of drug resistance, emergence of mutant strains of the virus, emergence of a more virulent strain, prohibitive costs of available drugs, time lag between vaccine developments, and mass casualties would pose difficult problems. In view of this, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offers a plethora of interesting preventive possibilities in patients. Herbs exhibit a diverse array of biological activities and can be effectively harnessed for managing pandemic flu. Potentially active herbs can serve as effective anti influenza agents. The role of CAM for managing novel H1N1 flu and the mode of action of these botanicals is presented here in an evidence-based approach that can be followed to establish their potential use in the management of influenza pandemics. The complementary and alternative medicine approach deliberated in the paper should also be useful in treating the patients with serious influenza in non pandemic situations.