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.
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