RSSEchinacea prevents the common cold

Posted on Tue, 16 Oct 12

Echinacea prevents the common cold

Previous studies have found the herbal medicine Echinacea generally effective for the acute treatment of the common cold and a new report suggests taking Echinacea through winter helps ward off colds too.

In a 4 month long study 755 healthy subjects were given either an alcohol extract from freshly harvested E. purpurea or placebo (1). Compared to placebo those taking Echinacea had a lower number of colds, fewer days with colds, and lower pain killer use. Echinacea was also found to reduce virally confirmed colds and infections.

Several clinical studies support the use of echinacea in upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), such as bacterial sinusitis, common cold, influenza-like viral infections and streptococcal throat with the strongest evidence for the E. purpurea species of echinacea (2).


1.  Jawad M, Schoop R, Suter A, Klein P, Eccles R. Safety and Efficacy Profile of  Echinacea purpurea to Prevent Common Cold Episodes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:841315. Epub 2012 Sep 16.

2. Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide, 3rd Edition. Elsevier. 2010.

Tags: Echinacea, Colds, Common Cold, Cold & Flu

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