“ Brand: Boots / Type: Coughs, Colds & Flu / Dosage Form: Tablets „
Over the years I have heard many things about echinacea, some good and some bad but I tend to think of it in terms of being quite a good supplement to help you when dreaded colds appear. Echinacea is a traditional herbal medicine used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and the flu based on traditional use only. Nowadays you can get echinacea in just about everything, teas, vitamins, cough and cold sweets etc and like I've said adobe the jury is out as to whether this herbal remedy is just a placebo or actually does do something for your immune system.
According to an article I read, "a 2007 study by the University of Connecticut combined findings from 14 previously reported trials examining Echinacea and concluded that Echinacea can cut the chances of catching a cold by more than half, and shorten the duration of a cold by an average of 1.4 days." However to counterbalance that, "Dr. Wallace Sampson, an editor of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and a Stanford University emeritus clinical professor of medicine, says that the referenced trials lack the similarities necessary to provide definitive results when combined into one report. "If you have studies that measure different things, there is no way to correct for that. These researchers tried, but you just can't do it."
I tend to take some form of Echinacea when I feel a cold coming on. You can always tell a few days before when you are going to get one, you feel a bit extra tired, start to feel your throat go and this is the exact point at which I start taking the echinacea. I take mine in tablet form from Boots as I find this is the easiest way to take it. As I do not take it as an every day supplement I need it to last during the times I do not take it so to have it in tablets is best. They are individually packed in foil blister packs so you can just take a few at any one time and save the rest for alter. The tablets are not too big and you just take one or two a day. They have a coating on them so they are quite easy to swallow. In the leaflet that comes with the pack of tablets there are lots of instructions about when not to take, i.e. if you suffer from any diseases etc and so if you are worried I would recommend reading the literature first.
So, do they work? Well, I am undecided. I like to think that they are doing something for me. My colds never seem that severe and sometimes my symptoms do not turn into a full blown cold so maybe by taking this medicine I am staving off a cold so I think I will continue to take it when I feel my cold symptoms start.
A box of 60 echinacea tablets costs £4.57 and can be purchased in Boots.