Monthly Archives: January 2011
Like many people, I was drawn to the idea that a flower (Echinacea) could protect me from the common cold. Then along came a group of researchers in Wisconsin to trample on my purple coneflower. A study described in the Annals of Internal Medicine followed 713 people with at least one of the following symptoms: nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, sneezing, or sore throat. I reach for a cup of hot tea just thinking about them. These germ-infested patients received Echinacea, a placebo, or nothing to treat their colds. Then, for as long as they had the cold, they reported on their symptoms twice a day.