Does Echinacea Work? Here ’s What the Science Says

During cold season, people often search for natural cold remedies and immunity boosters. Echinacea has long been rumored to both prevent and knock out colds. But the evidence in favor of the herbal supplement is mixed, and its varied preparations make it hard to study. The name “echinacea” refers to almost 10 species of flowering herb, and echinacea supplements use one or several of these species. They can be made using either the plant’s above-ground parts or its below-ground roots (or both). All this variance has led to disagreement among experts when it comes to echinacea’s benefits. “Our study found no evidence for an effect of echinacea on common cold illnesses,” says Dr. Ronald Turner, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, referring to his 2005 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. For that study, Turner and his colleagues treated people with multiple echinacea formulations made from the roots of the Echinacea angustifolia species. The echinacea supplements did not beat placebo when it came to preventing colds or lessening their severity. Other experts say there is evidence that echinacea can be helpful. “Echinacea is popular because it does work for at least some people,” says Kelly Kindscher, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Kansas who has written a textbook on echinacea. While some clinical trials have not shown echinacea to be effective, ...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Research Source Type: news