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HCP-X is an herbal combination known traditionally as “Herbal Composition Powder.“ Originally made famous in the 1800’s by American herbalist, Samuel Thompson, this herbal formula was used as a natural remedy for numerous ailments, including asthma, colds, cough, croup and fever. During the mid-1900’s, American herbalist, Dr. John Christopher, is credited with reviving the popularity of this herbal formula for treating colds, fever, influenza and hoarseness, as well as sluggish circulation, colic and abdominal cramps.1

Bayberry has long been used in folk medicine for its antibiotic, antipyretic (fever-reducing) and astringent (tissue-tightening) effects. Bayberry contains myricitrin, a flavonoid glycoside that demonstrates antibacterial activity. Bayberry also enhances circulation and acts as a mild diaphoretic—a substance that helps to increase perspiration to detoxify the body, as well as lower fever. The combination of its effects enables bayberry to strengthen local resistance to infection and effectively tighten and dry mucous membranes. Thus, bayberry is considered a natural remedy for colds and coughs, excess mucus, fevers and influenza. Nineteenth-century physicians often prescribed a hot tea made from powdered bayberry bark at the first sign of a cold, cough or flu—the tea is an excellent decongestant and expectorant and helps to „sweat out“ a cold. According to the Physician’s Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines, no health hazards or side effects are known for bayberry when used in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. Nevertheless, bayberry is not recommended during pregnancy or nursing since the effects are unknown.2-9

Ginger has been used throughout history, at least as far back as the 4th century B.C., for numerous conditions, including diarrhea, dyspepsia (indigestion), rheumatism, stomachache and nausea. According to Chinese medicine, much of ginger’s effectiveness stems from its ability to stimulate circulation, warming up the body to promote sweating and the elimination of toxins and microbes. Thus, ginger tea is often recommended for bronchitis, colds, coughs, influenza, and to warm the extremities. Ginger also provides analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory, anti-edematogenic (a substance that prevents edema or swelling), and antitussive (cough-suppressing) properties. Furthermore, the naturally occurring essential oil in ginger has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as yeasts and fungi.3,6,10-14

White pine bark has been used in traditional folk medicine for the treatment of colds, coughs, fevers, influenza, respiratory congestion and infection, and laryngitis. White pine bark is reported to help thin mucosal fluids and promote their expectoration. White pine bark may also help relieve pain and muscle spasms. In addition, white pine bark contains substances that demonstrate antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal activity.6,8,15-19

Capsicum stimulates production of digestive and mucosal fluids, which helps improve digestion; soothes inflammation; enhances the removal of toxins from the body; relieves gastrointestinal problems; and acts as a decongestant. Capsicum has a history of use for treating throat ailments such as hoarseness, laryngitis and tonsillitis—its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities make capsicum an excellent gargle for sore throats. Research shows that capsaicin, the active ingredient in capsicum, demonstrates antimicrobial effects against Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacterium responsible for strep throat infections and tonsillitis. Capsicum’s “warming” properties are also useful for poor circulation and related conditions, including cold hands and feet, cold stages of fevers, and varicose veins. In fact, capsicum is often used at the initial onset of a cold to reduce chills or break a fever. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, capsicum is used to reduce fever and to relieve coughs and hoarseness.2,3,6,10-12,20

Clove flowers, most often referred to as cloves, have been used throughout history for their analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activities. In Ayurvedic medicine, cloves are also used for their decongestant and expectorant properties in treating sinus and lung congestion, asthma, colds, coughs, laryngitis and pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx or throat). Research has confirmed many of the medicinal properties of cloves. For example, a recent study found that an ethanol extract of clove flowers was active against a penicillin-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (a bacteria that can cause food poisoning, pneumonia and skin infections). Eugenol, the main component in the essential oil extracted from cloves, is primarily responsible for the medicinal activity ascribed to cloves. Eugenol demonstrates powerful anti-inflammatory, anesthetic and antimicrobial activity. In addition, acetyl eugenol, another component of clove oil, acts as a strong antispasmodic, which may explain the use of cloves and clove oil for easing coughs.2,7,20-25

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18Krauze-Baranowska, M., et. al. “Antifungal activity of the essential oils from some species of the genus Pinus.“ Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung; 2002, 57(5-6):478-482.

19Duke, J.A. “Pinus strobus L. (Pinaceae).“ Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. . Accessed September 2006.

20Tirtha, S. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia. Bayville, NY: Ayurveda Holistic Center Press, 1998.

21“Cloves.“ PDRhealth. . Accessed September 2006.

22Fung, D.T. & Ng, G.Y. “Herbal remedies improve the strength of repairing ligament in a rat model.“ Phytomedicine; 2005, 12(1-2):93-99.

23Larhsini, M., et. al. “Antibacterial activity of some Moroccan medicinal plants.“ Phytotherapy Research; 2001, 15(3):250-252.

24Perez, C. & Anesini, C. “Antibacterial activity of alimentary plants against Staphylococcus aureus growth.“ American Journal of Chinese Medicine; 1994, 22(2):169-174.

25Buckle RGN, J. Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group Inc., 1997.