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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:08 AM
Original message
Study Says Echinacea Has No Effect on Colds
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 09:27 AM by arwalden
I sure the homeopaths and those who make money from the supplement will be disappointed to hear this news. But this is what's so great about scientific placebo-controlled double-blind testing.

=================================

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/28/health/28cold.html?in...

Study Says Echinacea Has No Effect on Colds

By GINA KOLATA
Published: July 28, 2005

Echinacea, the herbal supplement made from purple coneflower and used by millions of Americans to prevent or treat colds, neither prevented colds nor eased cold symptoms in a large and rigorous study.

The study, being published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, involved 437 people who volunteered to have cold viruses dripped into their noses. Some swallowed echinacea for a week beforehand, others a placebo. Still others took echinacea or a placebo at the time they were infected.

Then the subjects were secluded in hotel rooms for five days while scientists examined them for symptoms and took nasal washings to look for the virus and for an immune system protein, interleukin-8. Some had hypothesized that interleukin-8 was stimulated by echinacea, enabling the herb to stop colds.

But the investigators found that those who took echinacea fared no differently from those who took a placebo: they were just as likely to catch a cold, their symptoms were just as severe, they had just as much virus in their nasal secretions, and they made no more interleukin-8.

Some researchers say still further investigation is needed, with stronger doses and with echinacea species and preparations different from those used in this study. But Dr. Stephen E. Straus, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the government agency that sponsored the new research, says he for one is satisfied that echinacea is not an effective cold remedy.

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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. the argument I heard...
On AAR they attempted to cast doubt on this study by proclaiming that the lead author has consulted for various manufacturers of antibiotics. But I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. Who takes an antibiotic for a cold virus?

Apparently, any researcher who has ever been involved with a grant funded by a drug company is unable to conduct sound research for the rest of his or her life.

Well, if people want to continue throwing their money away on disproven cold remedies, it won't bother me too much.
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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Ah, but the problem with this study was...
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 09:50 AM by salvorhardin
They didn't test the echinacea in conjunction with zinc! And hypnosis. You see, it's only your lack of self-confidence that weakens you to the point where you catch cold viruses. 3 out of 4 dentists who chew gum recommend echinacea and zinc and Wendy Friesen to prevent colds.


"Reelaax... You are making me veeerryy rich."
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Hey, don't ridicule Air America's advertisers!
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 12:30 PM by IanDB1
If that's what Wendy looks like, then I want to fall asleep on her couch!

Wendy is a godsend, and The Phantom will really turn your car into a land-based Stealth Fighter invisible to the most advanced detection technology.

In fact, I hear that's how the US Army snuck their tanks into Baghdad completely un-detected by this man...



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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. She is cute
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 02:00 PM by salvorhardin
Looks a little like Amanda Tapping (probably my favorite fictional scientist right now).

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. They only want you to THINK she's fictional. The TV show is a cover...
for the REAL Stargate program.

That's how they explain all the aliens and people in uniform running around all over Western Canada.

I hate to break it to you, but Amanda Tapping is a REAL scientist. The whole actress thing is just a ruse-- part of the government conspiracy.

Besides, isn't it TOO MUCH of a coincidence that Thor looks EXACTLY LIKE the REAL aliens?


"Thanks for driving me home, Thor. Usually they just leave cab fair on the night stand."
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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Well then, that can only explain the remarkable success of the Phantom
It's alien tech.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
27. So, when a QUALIFIED researcher does it, it's invalid
When some CHIROPRACTOR does it, it's a "breakthrough."

The thing is, if the study had found an effect, then they might have investigated a way to refine it into an even more effective drug.

That's where Aspirin came from, thanks to willow bark.

And that's why pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars each year picking berries in the rainforest and harvesting microbes from geysers.

Pharmaceutical companies are well aware that there are effective drugs to be discovered in plants and animals.

They were hoping that Echinacea would be one of those plants.

Irony: The pharmaceutical companies will be the only ones to lose money because of this study. The herbal companies will keep on selling it as if it makes no difference.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. Have they done this with zinc lozenges and elderberry?
If we could get people to put influenza up their noses, we could try to repeat this with ELDERBERRY extract.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retri...

Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40.

Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections.

Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J.

Department of Virology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18-54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999-2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study.


PMID: 15080016
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Cool. I'll trade you my Chance tea for Elderberry tea?
But for what it's worth, the Zinc lozenges are useless and possibly dangerous.

It's disturbingly easy to poison yourself with Zinc.

I'll try anything reasonable to fight a cold so long as it's safe, sane, and palatable.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Zinc
I don't doubt you can get too much of it. I only tried it once for a cold and have no opinion about it one way or another. Echinacea I never really wanted to try because I would be concerned it would rev up the immune system enough to possibly cause some sort of autoimmune problem. I don't have any evidence that it does, but since I have autoimmune disease in the family I wouldn't want the risk. The herbalists generally caution against taking it constantly.

There seems to be evidence for zinc lozenges working for colds (whether dangerous or not)

This review is only a year old--

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retri...

"CONCLUSION: Clinical trial data support the value of zinc in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold when administered within 24 hours of the onset of common cold symptoms. Additional clinical and laboratory evaluations are warranted to further define the role of ionic zinc for the prevention and treatment of the common cold and to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms through which zinc exerts its symptom-relieving effects."

I have elderberry ready in case I get the flu. No I don't go for the flu vaccines.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Here is a couple things I found about Zinc
Btw, I tried it and it made me puke.


I have a few more things that I sent to a friend a long time ago when she insisted on swearing by the stuff.

I'll see if I can dig them up.

BTW, if you have an autoimmune disease or any condition, you really need to talk to your doctor about ANYTHING you take.


QVC Cable Network and Maker of Cold-eeze Zinc Lozenges Agree to Settle FTC Charges
Must Possess Competent and Reliable Evidence before Advertising
that Product Prevents Colds or Relieves Allergy Symptoms

More:
http://www.quackwatch.org/02ConsumerProtection/ftczinc ....



Cold Comfort
Zinc may help your sniffles--but only because you really believe it will.
By Atul Gawande
Posted Friday, Dec. 26, 1997, at 12:30 AM PT

More:
http://slate.msn.com/id/2670 /



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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. links
Again, not a zinc lozenge taker, except the one time I tried it. The Quackwatch page is gone (maybe too old?) The Slate article is pretty old too, compared to the Medline article I quoted. I think that studies on zinc have gone both ways, but apparently starting it soon is key. However, something more rigorous is probably in order.

I don't have any autoimmune disease, but I don't want to invite one either.

Personally, I think the elderberry (Sambucol)is worth trying. I just haven't had the need. Again, more rigorous studies are needed.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Unfortunately, it looks like Sambucol may be of questionable worth...
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20580
<snip>
Re: Natures Way Products, Inc., FTC File No. 022 3010; C-3285
http://www.ftc.gov/os/closings/staff/natureswayclose.ht...

Still, I'll admit I don't know much about it, so I'll have to look into it.

Thanks!
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. well it is QUESTIONABLE
There's certainly not a LOT of replicated studies out there. However there is enough evidence to say that there is a decent chance that it is effective against flu. However, I don't really think it has been studied with colds. I could be wrong.

I didn't really understand the letter except that they appeared happy that the company dropped certain aspects of their marketing campaign.

It did say this--

"In addition, Natures Way had adequate substantiation for the claim that Sambucol is effective in reducing the symptoms and duration of influenza A and B, at the time those claims were made; did not appear to make any of the remaining questionable treatment/prevention claims for Sambucol on its web site directly"

I'm going with the chicken soup for colds and the Sambucol and chicken soup (if I can eat anything) for the flu.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Unfortunately, the FTC's "Burden of Proof" is much lower than the FDA's
Still, from what little I've seen so far, it seems worth looking into the next time I have a cold or flu.

If it:

1) Is safe
2) Tastes good
3) Doesn't make me puke
4) Doesn't cost too much money
5) Seems to have a reasonable chance of working

Then I'll be giving it a try.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Found Another Sambucol Study
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retri...

Evidence presented that it increases the pro-inflammatory cytokines and is stimulating to the immune system, with anti-viral properties, and so forth. Interesting abstract. Again, someone with autoimmune disease in the family should probably generally take something like this on a short term basis. I sure wouldn't take it to prevent colds or flu.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. I don't think I want anything that creates inflamation
If it performs as advertised, it would probably be hell for someone with Psoriasis or Lupus.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Well that's just
what happens when you get the flu-- you know, your immune system revs up to kill the things, the cytokines DO THEIR THING

If you want to avoid inflammation, avoid getting the flu, avoid getting vaccines

http://www.cat.cc.md.us/courses/bio141/lecguide/unit2/i...

It's why you get the fever, you know?

Also why viruses can be implicated in autoimmune disease. Once you have an infection, you have to have the immune system actually work, though. I just wouldn't want it constantly revved up unless I had cancer or AIDS.

I think Sambucol *may* increase some anti-inflammatory cytokines as well.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. OK, I see now. thanks
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Another pseudo-scientific remedy down,
29,679 to go.

The woo woos will believe what they want to believe anyway.
Little things like facts and proof have never mattered to them.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I wish Echinacea worked, but wishful thinking won't make it so
I use the stuff, and while I won't "swear by it," at least it tastes good.

I realize:

1) Every cold has a different duration, and just because a cold may last for only three days, does not mean it would have lasted for seven days without Echinacea.

2) Drinking tea with Echinacea in it temporarily relieves some of my symptoms, but so does tea without Echinacea.

3) When I drink tea with Echinacea in it, it's because I'm trying to take good care of myself so I will feel better and get better. And when I'm doing that, I'm doing other things to get better-- drinking plenty of fluids, resting, getting good sleep, taking cold medicine, eating healthy food, etc. I never say, "I'm going to do absolutely nothing to get better. I'm going to do everything wrong-- except take Echinacea."

4) When a cold develops into Bronchitis, even though I'm using Echinacea tea, I'm not going to fall victim to post-hoc reasoning such as, "Wow, this is one hell of a nasty cold. It's a good thing I was taking Echinacea, or else I would have gotten Pneumonia."

Come on, Echinacea! Say it ain't so!

I wish I wish I wish I wish... something.. anything... make colds go away!

Well... at least it tastes good.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Have you tried
using crystals?
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yes, but it took them over a week to work their way out of my system
And they clogged my toilet, too.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. But much better than fiber, eh?
:hurts:
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yes. Unlike fiber, you can wash it off and re-use it. n/t
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
37. They Always Got Stuck In My Nostrils...
... and some of them had sharp edges... so I gave it up.
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redowl Donating Member (92 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. how wonderful for us that the aggressive rationalists here
in this *science forum* have all the answers.


wondering how one can have such an accurate and true view of reality when you're looking so far down your nose at everyone else.






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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I admit I don't have all the answers. I tried Echinacea.
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 03:01 PM by IanDB1
It appears it doesn't work.

But at least it is plausible that it might work, because the proposed mechanism of action does not rely on magic, unlike homeopathy and similar nonsense.

Now, in light of compelling evidence that Echinacea probably doesn't work, I will, as someone suggested, investigate Elderberry, and consider trying THAT the next time I get a cold.

If it looks plausible-- and tastes good-- it's very likely I'll buy some Elderberry tea.

It's called keeping an open mind, testing an hypothesis, evaluating the results, and reaching a rational decision.

I'll probably continue trying Echinacea until more studies are done, or until there is compelling evidence that it is dangerous.

One study alone does not usually suffice to make something scientifically proven.

At least it tastes good.

I will continue to tolerate the criticism and perhaps scorn of my fellow skeptics on this without animosity. I may be believing something stupid, but even smart people sometimes believe stupid things.

If I am wrong-- and Echinacea proves worthless-- I will admit I was wrong and move on without feeling that my ego has been bruised or that somehow I have been diminished by the experience.

A rational person is not afraid to be proved wrong.

But re-read my posts, and you will see that I am keeping an open but RATIONAL mind toward it.

Being rational and open-minded are not mutually exclusive.

But being open-minded without being rational is a recipe for disaster and leads to all sorts of problems.

The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid.
-- G. K. Chesterton

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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. My nose is pretty short, actually.
"aggressive rationalists" ?

That's a new one.

Did you make that up all by yourself or did you get it from an anti-skeptic website?

I know woo woos hate rationalists, but it's really not good to hang on to all that anger.

Skeptics don't claim to have all the answers, we just enjoy debunking the woo woos that think they can find them by using pseudo-science.

But, hey, scam artists have to make a living too.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Then what to we do about the Aggressively Irrational? Hmm?? n/t
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #15
38. I Wish I Could Post Similarly Snide Messages...
... in the exclusive metaphysical astrology group.
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. I like this response..
Edited on Mon Aug-01-05 11:44 AM by WoodrowFan
# It's not arrogance to say what you know professionally. It is arrogance to reject expert opinion without having expertise of your own.
# If hearing the experts say you're wrong makes you feel bad or stupid, that is your problem, not ours. See a therapist and work on your self-esteem. If you think this is rough on the ego, try getting a paper or grant proposal you've worked on for months rejected, something real experts face all the time.
# We don't know everything, but we do know more on our subjects of expertise than other people, especially people with no training at all.
# Unless you have real evidence to back up your opinions, they don't count.
# If you hear something that conflicts with what you think you know, and you don't bother to check it out, you shouldn't feel stupid. You are stupid.
# If you want to take on the experts but won't spend the time, effort and money to become an expert yourself, you're not just stupid. You're lazy, too.
# If you think I'm disrespecting you, you're right. I have no respect for people who are uninformed, get angry when someone contradicts them, but are too lazy to get informed and too cowardly to face failure, criticism, and the possibility they might have to change their minds.


from
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/SelfApptdExp.htm
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
42. Woo-Woos?
I guess the baby talk makes it seem less bigoted that way.

--p!
Kinda like Scientology "Wog-Wogs".
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. For what it's worth, Echinacea is generally not used homeopathically
Echinacea is used full-strength and often in whole-leaf form in tea.

So, when you buy Echinacea , you're usually actually buying Echinacea -- not the alleged "vibrational memory" left-over in distilled water that used to have Echinacea in it.

Also, whether it helps or not, it tastes good in tea.

I've actually used the stuff, because it seemed promising-- and tasted good. If it tasted nasty (like those damn Zinc lozenges) I wouldn't have bothered.

This is disappointing and mildly disturbing, because from what I have read, Echinacea actually has biologically active chemicals in it.

What this means is not only is it unlikely that Echinacea cures colds, but that there is possibly biologically active chemicals in it that do things we don't understand and may actually be harmful.

I think an interesting study would have been to use Echinacea tea vs an otherwise identical non-Echinacea tea as a placebo.

I think drinking hot tea (or maybe even just hot water) probably helps with colds.

In any case, when I have a cold, I will continue drinking my tea with Echinacea in it because it tastes good-- until I run out of my supply.

Then I may switch to something else based solely on flavor.

In the meantime, I'll watch for follow-up studies and see if the study is duplicated and its non-efficacy is confirmed

Damn.

I really want something to make colds go away!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for Echinacea . (Knock on wood).



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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. Chicken Soup
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 03:52 PM by itsjustme
With LOTS of onion and garlic helps the common cold. Try savoring the aroma of it first. Breathing steam can work reasonably well if started early enough. Echinacea has a lot of biological effects. I think traditionally it was used not so much for colds but for dental or gum things.

Edited to add link--

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retri...

"The present study, therefore, suggests that chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity. A mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one mechanism by which the soup could result in the mitigation of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections."
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gate of the sun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
28. i use chances
all the time.....I don't care what the study shows......I wouldn't say it's a powerful solution yet it works in the long run. Especially supplemented by other herbs......
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
29. Why bother with echinacea when I have my lucky rabbit's foot?
That, coupled with a four-leaf clover, should make me lucky enough to avoid colds, yeah?
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Only if
You also wash your hands a lot during the day.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Ah I see...
The handwashing is some sort of sacred, magic ritual to ward off colds, is it? I'll have to try that one :evilgrin:
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
34. My wife's response: They ruined a perfectly good placebo effect response.
What is wrong with these researchers anyway?

;)
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #34
40. I like your wife
not in an inappropriate way, but I like that response!
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
41. One study?
Granted, it's a good study, but replication is needed. Several studies have been done on echinachea. There has been a broad range of results from "worthless" to "where can I buy some?"

Since it has been widely used and observed to work fairly well, it should certainly be studied in more depth. There may be (an) active substance(s) that remains undiscovered; other variables may also affect its usefulness. It's also certainly possible it doesn't work at all. But there's enough clinical experience with it that continued studies are warranted.

I also found this part interesting:
But Dr. Bauer, one co-author, was among those saying the study should be repeated with other echinacea species, preparations and doses.

"I am always in favor of further studies," Dr. Bauer said. He himself takes echinacea, he said, and will continue to do so.
It's not toxic, and it's a plant. The worst it could be is an expensive form of salad. If it's an effective anti-viral, so much the better.

Disclaimer: I don't personally use echinacea. I've tried it several times and it never worked for me. YMMV. (Also see Dr. Bauer, above.)

--p!
And have you seen the price of lettuce lately?
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