A recent study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reports that the popular herb, Echinacea may cut the risk of catching the common cold by up to 60 percent.
Researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy combined the results of 14 different studies.
They found that in one study, Echinacea taken with vitamin C could cut the risk of the common cold by up to 86 percent. While the herbal supplement taken alone could reduce the risk of a cold by 65 percent.
Aside from the actual prevention of contracting a cold, Echinacea was also found to cut the duration of colds - by 1.5 days on average.
These findings contradict a large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005 that found Echinacea was not effective at preventing colds. However, the methodology used in that study has since been questioned.
Obviously more studies are needed to confirm Echinacea's protective effect. Researchers also called for studies to examine the safety of the many different formulations of Echinacea available on the market.
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