Tags: Echinacea | Slashes | Risk | Catching | Cold

Echinacea Slashes Risk of Catching Cold

Monday, 25 June 2007 12:00 AM

Millions of Americans take Echinacea to keep colds at bay even though most scientists said it didn't work. But researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy found that taking the herbal supplement cuts the chances of catching a cold by over half.

Dr. Craig Coleman and his colleagues analyzed fourteen clinical trials involving 1,600 people that used Echinacea to prevent or treat colds. They found that using the plant, also known as purple coneflower, slashed the risk of catching a cold by 58 percent, even in one study where volunteers were purposefully exposed to cold viruses. The best results were in studies that combined Echinacea with vitamin C. In those who caught colds, the herb cut the duration of a cold by 1.4 days overall.

"Traditional remedies attract a great deal of criticism so it's rewarding to see a scientific assessment that shows Echinacea works, which is the reason for its continued popularity," said Dr. Ann Walker, senior lecturer at Reading University and a director of the British Herbal Medicine Association.

Although some experts warn not to use Echinacea without consulting with their doctor, Walker said that Echinacea is an anti-inflammatory and is safe to use.

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Millions of Americans take Echinacea to keep colds at bay even though most scientists said it didn't work. But researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy found that taking the herbal supplement cuts the chances of catching a cold by over half. Dr....
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Monday, 25 June 2007 12:00 AM
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