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Echinacea and the Common Cold

Filed Under: Herbs,Supplements,Teas at 1:03 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
echinacea.jpgDoes it work or doesn’t it?  That’s a question asked of many herbal supplements, and often even prescription medication.  So when it comes to fighting off the common cold, which previous myths are actually true…and which are complete fallacy.  Of course, we find there is a definite gray area to get lost in.  The New York Times has recently put Echinacea up for examination, attempting to deduce what the most recent research says about the effectiveness of this supplement.

The study says go for it (not recommended for pregnant women).  The Times refers to research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases (July), noting that the single study finds that Echinacea can reduce the likelihood of catching the common cold by 58 percent.  It also determines that Echinacea can reduce the duration of the common cold, but is not conclusive on the exact percentage.  In 2005, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine determined that Echinacea was not effective.  So studies vary, yet are swaying toward believing in the effectiveness, even if at only a small percentage.  The safety of Echinacea was not examined during the most recent study.  Try it out for yourself the next time you feel a cold coming on.  Sometimes the most conclusive answers are achieved through a single person study.

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