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Echinacea May Reduce Length of the Common Cold

Echinacea has been used as a folk remedy for years to fight the common cold. A recent study suggests that taking Echinacea may shorten the length of colds by 26%, as well as reduce the number of colds and the length of time people suffer from the flu.

The study included 717 participants who consumed either 25 drops of Echinacea or a placebo three times a day for four months. They were instructed to hold the placebo or supplement in their mouths with water for 10 seconds before swallowing.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers had recorded 149 incidences of illness in the Echinacea group and 188 in the placebo group, a number that they considered to be “borderline significant.” More significant, however, was the fact that the number of days individuals suffered from flu was cut from 850 to 672 and recurring infections dropped 59%.

The study was conducted by researchers at Cardiff University in the UK and published online ahead of print on September 16, 2012, in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

While most commonly used to relieve cold symptoms, Echinacea has been promoted as a way to boost the immune system, relieve pain and reduce inflammation. The best way to increase your Echinacea intake is to take a daily, high quality supplement.

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