Everyone who takes Echinacea recovers from their cold. Of course everyone who doesn't take Echinacea also recovers. That's the nature of the disease. It can make us miserable for a few days, but with the exception of vulnerable folk with compromised immune systems, everyone gets better after those few days.

So why take Echinacea? Perhaps you have too much money and want to spread it around a bit. LOL Or more likely, you just feel like you have to do something. This is particularly true of parents who hate to see their kids suffering. But if you have to do something...why not try chicken soup? At least it tastes good.

Colds are caused by rhinovirus and many drugs and treatments have been tried over the years to either cure the disease or make the symptoms more bearable. Echinacea and chicken soup are just two of the many things tried. In fact medical studies on echinacea were done as far back at 1908 when two articles were published on that subject in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The title on the second article pretty much told the story: "Echinacea Considered Valueless." A number of studies on echinacea have been done in the past decade all with similar results. Even NCCAM (The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine), which is the government agency that tries to prove health benefits from natural sources, hasn't been able to show any positive affects from the use of echincea despite over a decade of work.

In other news, I couldn't sleep very well so I got up at 4am and watched The Black Donnellys. I liked the show but can't say it was great. I'll watch the first 3 shows but I suspect that I'll give up at that point. I just didn't feel a strong enough connection to any of the characters. I felt the same way about Friday Night Lights. I stopped watching that show a couple of months ago.

What do you think about the terrorists missing Cheney? Or do you take echinacea and what do you think of it? I used to take Theraflu back when I was in grad school and swore by it. Someone-- Consumer Reports, I think-- did a double blind study on it and it turned out not to help a bit. And the stuff taste horrid! That's the problem with having colds, you get better anyway and often give credit where it's not due. In my case it was Theraflu.


Nikki-ann said…
Soya. My thoughts are that a regular intake of soya (in whatever form) will help prevent catching a cold. Since being diagnosed with lactose intolerance a few months ago I have survived the winter months without catching a cold. This is despite several people at work coming down with colds and bringing the virus to work with them. I'm sat across from a colleague who's been coughing and spluttering in my direction for nearly a month now and I'm fine!

(Of course, now I've said that I'll probably have a full blown cold by the end of the week!)
Teresa said…
I don't take echinacea per se, but this winter I've been taking Airborne, which is a combination of herbs and minerals, including echinacea. Though I was sick for a long time with the last bout, I really think it helped. It broke up my conjestion -- still had to cough out all the gunk, but it got it started. And it seems to ward off a recurrance when I take it at the first sign. Whether it's psychosomatic or not... ???

Normally, I'm not big on supplements. I've even resisted One-A-Day vitamins (I swear I feel worse when I take them), but did take a lot of them in my teen years. My grandmother was big on Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, bone meal and a natural honey-based cough syrup. It was easier to go along than not.

As for Cheney... I don't want anyone dead, so I'm glad they missed? Otherwise, I don't know anything about it. I'm in a news boycott mode again
Michael Manning said…
Excellent post and very informative, Utenzi! There's always someone coughing with their mouth open in public. And worse, on an airplane! Again, this was very cool!
kenju said…
Cheney? Well, I hate to say I wsh anyone harm, but......

I don't take echinacea on a regular basis, but I did once. It didn't help, that I could tell. I know people who swear by Airborne, but I haven't taken that either. Zicam is good.
carli said…
I don't touch Echinacea. I think it's totally bogus. I do, however, think that I got bronchitis two summers in a row because I hadn't been eating any citrus fruit or drinking any orange juice. Well, maybe. . .

I watched about ten minutes of The Black Donnellys before falling asleep. I don't think it will last, so you won't have to worry about deciding whether to watch it.
srp said…
This so took me back to third year medical school when we had to go to four hours of lecture after working at least eight hours during the early morning and afternoon. The head of Internal Medicine was Dr. Donald Seldon. He had a habit of asking a question and then going down the row until someone got the right answer. I always tried to sit on the far side of the smartest guy in the class.. he knew all the answers. It was back in the day when no one really cared about your self-esteem, or told you how special you were... so if you got the question wrong he tended to embarrass you... His favorite line... (said with New York accent)... "You don't know this answer? Come on, your mother would know this answer."... One day the question was about what fluid or treatment provided the best source and balance of electrolytes... One poor soul didn't know and Dr. Seldon started in with his line... and adding while handing the fellow a dime... "Here's a dime. Go call your mother. She'll tell you the answer... chicken soup." Gee. Why do these posts of yours scrounge up such traumatic memories. No the sap wasn't me, though I was sitting there trying to figure Lactated Ringers vs D5W - Lactated Ringers.

And Cheney... he is still our Vice-President. I'm glad he is ok. No "buts" at the end of my well wishes.. Though I could start controversy by saying I wish someone would take out Hilary and clip Bill and Ted Kennedy at the same time.
srp said…
If it ate my comment... that is ok. It wasn't that good and I got a bit huffy about the Cheney bit at the end. So..... don't think the vitamin thing helps much. My brother wears a mask on the plane when traveling, but his voice is his income so he has to keep well. I always used NyQuil and sleep for the flu. I usually get the flu the year I get the shot.
utenzi said…
The trauma wasn't intentional, Roxanne, just good luck.

I don't think your Clinton comments are very controversial. While I think both Clintons are quite smart and good politicians, nearly half the country is totally in agreement with you. The last 2 presidents have really polarized the country. As for Cheney, I think he's very smart and capable also--and quite possibly the devil! (I kinda borrowed that from Broadcast News)

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