Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Echinacea halves risk of catching cold: review

From CBC News:
Echinacea, a herb widely used to fight the sniffles, helps reduce the risk of getting the common cold and shortens its duration, a new review suggests.

In the July issue of the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers analyzed the results of 14 published trials on echinacea, or purple coneflower. The beneficial effect was seen after combining results from 1,600 participants.

Echinacea refers to flowers, roots and stems of nine related plants that are native to North America. Extracts are thought to boost the body's immune system.

Taking the supplements seemed to reduce the risk of developing a cold by 58 per cent and shortened duration of a cold by an average of 1.4 days, the team reported. ...more

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