Research brief: Echinacea halves risk of catching colds

Taking the herbal remedy echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a cold, according to US research. The researchers combined the results of 14 different studies on echinacea's anti-cold properties. Using echinacea alone was found to reduce the incidence of cold by 65 per cent, while combination with vitamin C it reduced cold incidence by 86 per cent. Even when patients were directly inoculated with rhinovirus, echinacea still reduced the cold incidence by 35 per cent (Lancet Infectious Diseases Online 2007).

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