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News - Echinacea review confirms benefits for cold sufferers

By Nutri People

Echinacea roots and flowers were first used medicinally by First Nations peoples and later became popular in Europe for infectious problems. Laboratory studies show that they are able to up-rate and increase the activity of a number of different types of immune cell.

In a recent review, scientists evaluated the role of echinacea in the treatment and prevention of the common cold. Overall, more evidence was found for Echinacea purpurea than other species. The six trials that used Echinacea purpurea included data from 764 adults with cold symptoms. Three trials studied healthy adults, while the other three studied adults with two or more colds in the previous year.

Analysis of the results showed that symptom severity was reduced in four of six trials and of the four trials that measured duration of symptoms, three found significant reductions of one and a half, three and four days. Only one study found no reduction in symptom severity or duration. 

Article References

Nahas et al. Complementary and alternative medicine for prevention and treatment of the common cold. Can Fam Physician. 2011 Jan;57(1):31-6.

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