Echinacia / Echinacea
Re-Study Shows Echinacia - U.S. Purple Corn Flower Reduces Number Of Colds by 44%
Is Echinacia the closest thing to a cure for the common cold?
Recent analysis has shown that for people taking herbal Echinacia / Echinacea colds last 1.4 days less and they have 58% less chance of catching a cold than non Echinacia takers.
Adults have between 2 and 5 colds per year. The findings offer strong evidence that the herb is effective and are published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by researchers at the University of Connecticut. (July Edition 2007) .
The anecdotal evidence about Echinacia is overwhelming with many reporting never having a cold again after introducing it into their normal diet. Others say that Echinacia should only be taken for a couple of weeks and then rested to produce the required boost to the immune system. (Telegraph June 2007) The study mentioned above led by Dr Craig Coleman, took the approach of combining the results and evidence from 14 different studies after many of the studies proved inconclusive on their own.
A collection of nine related plant species, Echinacia is used by the Plains Indians in North America and has been taken in Europe since the 1930's.
It is also reported that once you have caught a cold taking Echinacia will reduce the effects of the cold and make you feel better. (BBC News Echinacia)
It is thought that the root of the plant is the most active and that tinctures rather than powdered plant in capsule form are most reliably effective in boosting the immune system.
Here is one way to tell whether Echinacia will do you good or not.
" Stand with both feet firmly planted on the floor, about a foot apart. Hold the supplement over your belly button (over the top of clothes is fine) for 10 seconds or so. Notice if your body is feeling like it's moving forward or being pushed back. If you're getting a forward motion feeling, it's a supplement you body can benefit from. If it feels like you're getting pushed backward, put the supplement back on the shelf and try another. " Thanks Bob K!
If you get it wrong reported side effects in some groups include nausea, dizziness, and stomach upsets.
There are more than 800 Echinacia products and preparations available, many using different parts of the plant and no definitive scientific studies have been carried out to establish which part of the plant is most efficacious.
We have found these books about echinacia useful.