The Lancet Infectious Diseases has published research concluding that Echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Connecticut, who looked at 14 different studies on Echinacea. Overall, Echinacea was shown to decrease the odds of developing a cold by 58% and reduce the duration of colds by a day-and-a-half in people who were infected.
Echinacea reduced the likelihood of participants catching a cold naturally (i.e. in normal circumstances such as working with someone who has a cold) by 65%. Professor Ron Cutler of the University of London said that Echinacea, “decreases the severity of cough, headache and nasal congestion,” if people have already caught a cold. He gave it as his opinion that, “people with impaired immune function might benefit from taking Echinacea during the winter months to prevent colds and flu.”
There have, however, been several positive trials on Echinacea in the last few years, including a trial that demonstrated the efficiency of Echinacea in the treatment of colds and flu, when it is used as soon as a cold starts. At 7 days, 95% of the subjects using Echinacea were free of symptoms compared with only 63% in the placebo group.
There also is a very positive article about Echinacea in > today’s Irish Times’ Health Supplement.
To avoid the misery of summer colds ask for the power of nature.