You may have heard about a 2005 study’s finding that Echinacea was ineffective in combating colds. Before you throw out your Echinacea supplement, here is the scoop on the study in question.   


In July 2005 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that found Echinacea did not reduce the infection rate or the severity of symptoms of an induced cold virus. The study involved 399 college students, who were sequestered in individual hotel rooms for analysis.


Members of the herbal medicine community have pointed to several shortcomings in the study. “The extracts used in the study were made in a university lab,” said Wayne Silverman, chief administrative officer for the American Botanical Council. These extracts, he explained, are not comparable to any Echinacea products on the market.  He also warned that the study dosage was likely inadequate at less than 1 gram daily. The minimum therapeutic dosage of Echinacea is 3 grams daily, as recommended by the National Health Products Directorate, the federal regulating authority for natural health products in Canada (Source: Delicious Living Health Notes)


Health E Guide Comment:  If you took one-third of the recommended dose of a supplement or medicine, would you expect to have 100% of its benefit?