October 26, 2021

Echinacea Does Not Help The Common Cold

common cold

The herb echinacea, commonly believed to reduce the length of a cold, has been found to have very little impact

We have been told for years now to take your echinacea if you have a cold and it will help shorten the length of the cold. It is also supposed to keep it from becoming so severe. Turns out taking echinacea has no significant effect on the common cold.

Dr. Bruce Barrett of the University of Wisconsin in Madison performed a randomized, blind trial. The study included over 700 adults and children, and the participants were from the age of 12 to 80.

One group of participants took either a dummy pill or echinacea tablets, while others had no treatment at all. They each rated their colds twice a day and recorded how long their colds lasted.

Those that had no idea they were taking echinacea had the symptoms last 6.34 days. Those that knew they were receiving the herb had their symptoms last 6.76 days.

From the study, researchers found that there was a slight decrease in symptoms and in severity, but not enough to justify spending money on the herb.

With these results there are no plans to do any further research on echinacea.

That leaves us where we have always been. There is no cure for the common cold. Some medications may ease the symptoms, but the common cold just needs to run it’s course. Adding rest and drinking lots of water are the best treatment.