alexa Echinacea Ineffective in Rhinovirus Trial
Clinical Research

Clinical Research

Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

Author(s): Blumenthal M

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Echinacea is a popular alternative therapy for the common cold, despite very limited data showing clinical benefit. Now, in a large, well-designed, controlled trial supported by the NIH, researchers have studied the effect of this herb in a standard experimental rhinovirus infection model. The investigators randomized 437 healthy young adult volunteers in Virginia to take either placebo or one of three standardized Echinacea angustifolia root extracts (differing in their concentrations of plant polysaccharides and alkamides) for the 7 days before and the 5 days after challenge with rhinovirus type 39. None of the preparations had any effect either prophylactically or therapeutically on the development of rhinovirus infection, the development or course of clinical illness, the severity of any cold symptoms, or the concentrations of interleukin-8 or polymorphonuclear-leukocyte in nasal-lavage fluids.

This article was published in N Engl J Med and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

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