Echinacea – Natural Healing
According to a national survey conducted in 2007, echinacea ranked third in herbal supplement use by adults and first in supplement use by children. Many people try herbal supplements containing echinacea to combat the common cold as its components have some antiviral activities. Many researchers have been investigating this widely used herb to see whether it is effective in preventing or treating colds. One study was performed by Dr. Shah et al. and published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2007. This study showed that echinacea can shorten the cold duration by an average of 1.4 days. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health-care systems, practices, and products not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Three NCCAM-funded studies that compared echinacea with placebo did not find a benefit.
Research -Echinacea and Common Cold
In one study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers led by Dr. Turner at the University of Virginia School of Medicine examined Echinacea angustifolia root extracts for effects against rhinovirus, the virus that causes the majority of common colds. The researchers compared three echinacea preparations in tincture form, each with different phytochemical properties. Participants were 399 healthy young adults. They received placebo or echinacea (300 milligrams three times daily), beginning seven days before exposure to rhinovirus. None of the echinacea preparations in this study reduced the rate of infection, severity of symptoms, or inflammation.
In another study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers led by Dr. Barrett, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison evaluated the effects of unrefined echinacea (capsules combining E. angustifolia root and Echinacea purpurea whole plant) on cold symptoms. Participants were 142 college students with early symptoms of a cold. They received placebo or echinacea (1 gram six times on the first day and then three times daily, for up to ten days). Echinacea did not reduce the severity or duration of symptoms in this study.
In a third study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003, Dr. Taylor and researchers from the University of Washington Child Health Institute evaluated echinacea for efficacy and safety in children with upper respiratory tract infections. The preparation was a syrup containing dried, pressed E. purpurea juice from the above-ground parts of the plant. The 407 participants received either a placebo or echinacea (3.75 milliliters twice daily for children ages two to five; 5 milliliters twice daily for children ages six to eleven). Analysis of data from upper-respiratory tract infections in these children found that echinacea did not reduce the severity or duration of symptoms and was associated with increased risk of rash.
A very recent report from London SA Time on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, indicated that the herbal cold remedy echinacea works no better than sugar pills, according to a new study. However, all participants in the study who were given tablets—dummy or not—found their symptoms improved faster than those who were given no treatment, as long as they believed that echinacea was effective. More than seven hundred people aged twelve to eighty, all suffering from a common cold, were split into separate groups. One group had no pills, another echinacea, and the third group took a placebo pill. Those taking pills of any kind had colds that were on average 0.16 to 0.69 days shorter than those without pills. Those who took no pills had colds that lasted an average of 8.4 days. But among those who took the herbal pill, the average length of the cold was 7.07 days.
These above studies show little benefit of echinacea above a placebo, but other studies have shown that echinacea does provide some relief from symptoms. Overall, results of echinacea research have been mixed. Challenges associated with conducting this research include identifying the most effective parts of the echinacea plant, evaluating differences among echinacea species, and determining proper doses and preparations.
Nasal Irrigation to Cure a Cold
To cure a cold or Flu quickly, you need to cleanse your nasal cavities to eliminate these cold/flu viruses and inflammatory factors in mucus. The sooner you performing an effective nasal cleansing, the fast you can recover