Echinacea Falls Short, Once Again
If you are expecting to achieve dramatic results in the cure of the common cold then you need to look elsewhere. In this study, the participants took Echinacea root preparations to treat an existing cold. While those who took Echinacea as part of the latest research study did experience some mild improvement, the results were reported to be NOT statistically significant. Those who took Echinacea had their cold symptoms subside some seven to 10 hours sooner than those receiving a placebo or no treatment. Thus, the results of this latest study were NOT entirely negative.
Right off the bat, I would say that the methodology of this study was obviously flawed; since there is no way that all of these 719 participants were at the same stage of experiencing a cold. Maybe Echinacea root preparations are ONLY effective, at the first signs of sniffles? That is how you can effectively prevent coming down with a cold with Vitamin C, in most cases. If so, this study certainly did NOT test for that form of Echinacea treatment.
Echinacea allegedly works by stimulating the body's immune system to ward off colds. There are nine different species of Echinacea. Preparations vary from brand to brand, and even batch by batch, especially in potency. Should you be using just the roots, or the entire plant for example? Expecting dramatic results for the novice from these types of product variations and unknowns would be like trying to win the lottery.
Common Cold: Echinacea Preparations
Personally, I prefer to take very large dosages of Vitamin C upon feeling the very first symptoms of a cold, every hour, for about six hours. If vitamin C has NOT worked for you after six hours, then it is NOT going to. To treat the symptoms of a full-blown cold, I would recommend Zinc throat lozenges. There is nothing debatable about what constitutes both Vitamin C and Zinc. Theses supplements are both consistent in quality and very inexpensive.
Of course, you might try asking yourself why did you come down with a cold in the first place? Unless you are just simply run down in general, my first guess would be that you are deficient in your blood levels of Vitamin D.
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for treating the common cold: a randomized trial.
Barrett B, Brown R, Rakel D, Mundt M, Bone K, Barlow S, Ewers T.
Ann Intern Med. 2010 Dec 21;153(12):769-77.