01 Jan '12, 2pm
Today: Does Echinacea Actually Work To Prevent Colds?
Researchers initially thought Echinacea’s effectiveness was due to its immune-boosting traits, but they now believe instead that the herb works more as an anti-inflammatory agent . A 2009 University of British Columbia study found that typical commercially available Echinacea preparations are effective in reducing the body’s production of inflammatory proteins in human bronchial cells. In layman’s terms, this means that Echinacea can help lessen the annoying symptoms of common colds, the flu and other respiratory ailments. Furthermore, the study found that Echinacea is just as effective in reducing bronchial inflammation whether it is consumed before or after a viral infection sets in, indicating that taking moderate doses on a regular basis during cold season can help prevent some bronchial irritation if and when cold symptoms begin.