Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Some evidence that Echinacea can treat, but not prevent, common colds

25.01.2006


Nine of 16 trials found that extracts from the aerial parts of the plant Echinacea purpurea could reduce the symptoms of colds in adults if started early enough. One further trial showed a trend towards this effect. This was the conclusion of an updated systematic Review published in the latest update of The Cochrane Library.



While there are signs of promise, the Authors sound a note of caution. “Our systematic review found some evidence that preparations based on the aerial part of Echinacea purpurea might be effective for the early treatment of colds in adults, but results are not fully consistent,” says lead author Dr Klaus Linde, who works at the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research in Munich, Germany.

Preparations of the plant are widely used in some European countries and in North America for common colds.


The Review Authors found positive effects from alcoholic extracts and pressed juice preparations of the aerial parts of the plants, but they were not able to find benefits from other preparations.

“Consumers and clinicians need to realise that Echinacea products differ greatly in the species of plant utilised, the parts of the plant used, way they have been prepared and in the active agents they contain,” says Linde. “In addition, the overwhelming majority have not been tested in clinical trials,” he adds.

The Review Authors found two further trials that looked at whether the extract could prevent people catching colds. None of these showed any effect. “Other preparations of Echinacea might have preventative effects, but the effect has not been shown in independently replicated, rigorous randomised trials,” says Linde.

This update restricted its focus to preparations that contained extracts from only Echinacea plants, but other preparations exist that contain extracts from additional herbs. Concentrating on just Echinacea extracts reduced the variation in the treatments considered. Even so, Echinacea extracts contain a mixture of different active components, each of which may act on their own, or the effect may only be achieved as they act together. “If this synergistic action does occur, then the exact composition of the extract will greatly affect its performance,” says Linde.

Polly Young | alfa
Further information:
http://www.thecochranelibrary.com
http://www.wiley.co.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>