Echinacea Won't Ease Your Cold

Herbal remedy no better than placebo, researchers find
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2010 8:16 AM CST
Echinacea Won't Ease Your Cold
In this July 12, 2010 file photo, a butterfly sits atop the flower of an echinacea plant in a yard in Bainbridge Twp, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

For those battling colds this winter, the herbal supplement echinacea may be popular, but it won’t actually help ease the severity or duration of your misery, researchers find. Those who took the supplement in a 700-person study found their symptoms faded just 7 to 10 hours earlier than those who didn’t take it, LiveScience reports. And researchers say that slight edge could just be luck: “Illness duration and severity were not statistically significant with echinacea compared with placebo."

“This is a well-done study, and the results are consistent with other rigorously conducted trials on treatment of colds in which little, if any, beneficial effect has been found,” said an expert. Still, researchers don’t think the study will change many people’s minds on the matter.
(More echinacea stories.)

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