Latest Echinacea Research

Latest Echinacea Research

Safety and Efficacy Profile of Echinacea purpurea to Prevent Common Cold Episodes: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Jawad M, Schoop R, Suter A et al. Evid Based
Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 841315.

Echinacea is one of the popular herbs used in the management and prevention of the common cold. This study of 755 healthy subjects received either an alcohol extract from freshly harvested E. purpurea (95% herba and 5% root) or placebo to evaluate the safety (risk) and efficacy (benefit) of Echinacea in the prevention of common cold episodes. Participants recorded any adverse effects and rated cold-related symptoms throughout the study period. Viral screening was undertaken via sampling of nasal secretion during acute infection.

Results included:
• “293 adverse events occurred with Echinacea and 306 with placebo. Thus, the safety of Echinacea was non-inferior to placebo.
• Echinacea reduced the total number of cold episodes, cumulated episode days within the group, and pain-killer medicated episodes.
• Echinacea inhibited virally confirmed colds and especially prevented enveloped virus infections.
• Echinacea showed maximal effects on recurrent infections, and preventive effects increased with therapy compliance and adherence to the protocol.

Compliant prophylactic intake of Echinacea over a 4-month period appeared to provide a positive risk to benefit ratio for the prevention of the common cold.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3457740

Randomised, double blind, placebocontrolled trial of echinacea supplementation in air travellers.
Tiralongo E, Lea RA, Wee SS et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 417267.

Respiratory infections often occur in association with long-haul flights. This Australian study investigated the efficacy of a standardised Echinacea formulation in the prevention of respiratory and other symptoms associated with long-haul flights. “175 adults participated in a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial travelling back from Australia to America, Europe, or Africa for a period of 1-5 weeks on commercial flights via economy class. Participants took Echinacea (root extract, standardised to 4.4 mg alkylamides) or placebo tablets. Participants were surveyed before, immediately after travel, and at 4 weeks after travel regarding upper respiratory symptoms and travel-related quality of life.

Respiratory symptoms for both groups increased significantly during travel (P < 0.0005). However, the Echinacea group had borderline significantly lower respiratory symptom scores compared to placebo (P = 0.05) during travel. Supplementation with standardised Echinacea tablets, if taken before and during travel, may have preventive effects against the development of respiratory symptoms during travel involving long-haul flights.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249603

One comment

  • theunhivedmind

    Do not use Echinacea in a pandemics when cytokine storms occur such as Avian Flu. In those cases you would use Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) and Peumus boldus (Boldo) herbs to regulate the immunity. Do not use Echinacea daily for fifteen days or more. After fourteen days the immune effects start to fade. Many so-called health stores like Holland & Barrett (run by the Carlyle Group) will make out you can use the herb for weeks but this is so untrue. If you use the herb for long periods you will simply run out quick. Stores will be able to make more profits whilst the people waste expensive and useful herbal medicines. Make sure the extraction of echincea is with alcohol at a percentage of at least 45%. Echinacea does not extract in any other medium. Echinacea is one of the most sort after herbal medicines. Low supply of the herb means prices will continue to increase. The best echinacea will be fresh, organic and a fluid extract (1:1)

    -= The Unhived Mind

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