Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural supplement, echinacea, may reduce common-cold duration by only half a day

Date:
December 22, 2010
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
An over-the-counter herbal treatment believed to have medicinal benefits has minimal impact in relieving the common cold, according to new research.

An over-the-counter herbal treatment believed to have medicinal benefits has minimal impact in relieving the common cold, according to research by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Related Articles


The study, published in this month's Annals of Internal Medicine, involved echinacea, a wild flower (also known as the purple coneflower) found in meadows and prairies of the Midwestern plains. The supplement is sold in capsule form in drug and retail stores. Dried echinacea root has been used in homemade remedies such as teas, dried herb and liquid extracts.

The randomized trial involved more than 700 people between 12 and 80 years old. The subjects, all of whom had very early symptoms of a cold, were divided into four groups. One group received no pills, a second group received what they knew was echinacea, and a third group was given either echinacea or a placebo, but they did not know which. Participants recorded their symptoms twice a day for the duration of the cold, up to two weeks.

According to Bruce Barrett, the lead researcher and an associate professor of family medicine, patients receiving echinacea saw the duration of their cold reduced by seven to 10 hours. But he says this was not considered a significant decrease.

"Trends were in the direction of benefit, amounting to an average half-day reduction in the duration of a weeklong cold or an approximate 10 percent reduction in overall severity," he says. "However, this dose regimen did not make a large impact on the course of the common cold, compared either to blinded placebo or to no pills."

Barrett says a larger trial involving people who have found echinacea useful may help provide more answers. He adds that there were no side effects seen, so there is no reason that cold sufferers should stop using echinacea if they think it helps them.

"Adults who have found echinacea to be beneficial should not discontinue use based on the results of this trial, as there are no proven effective treatments and no side effects were seen," says Barrett.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruce Barrett, Roger Brown, Dave Rakel, Marlon Mundt, Kerry Bone, Shari Barlow, and Tola Ewers. Echinacea for Treating the Common Cold: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med, December 21, 2010 153:769-777 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Natural supplement, echinacea, may reduce common-cold duration by only half a day." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220200004.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2010, December 22). Natural supplement, echinacea, may reduce common-cold duration by only half a day. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220200004.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Natural supplement, echinacea, may reduce common-cold duration by only half a day." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220200004.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins