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  1. TopTop #1
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Here's an AP article, published by the PD, that says echinacea makes next to no difference. What do you think? Has it helped you? If not what has? See my comments in the following post.

    Barry


    Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20101220/NEWS/101229971/1350?p=all&tc=pgall
    By STEPHANIE NANO
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Published: Monday, December 20, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.

    NEW YORK — Got the sniffles? The largest study of the popular herbal remedy echinacea finds it won't help you get better any sooner.

    The study of more than 700 adults and children suggests the tiniest possible benefit — about a half-day shaved off a weeklong cold and slightly milder symptoms. But that could have occurred by chance.

    For most people, the potential to get relief a few hours sooner probably isn't worth the trouble and cost of taking the supplement, researchers said.

    With no cure for the common cold, Americans spend billions on over-the-counter pills, drops, sprays and other concoctions to battle their runny noses, scratchy throats and nagging coughs. Some turn to echinacea (ECK-in-AY'-shuh), a top seller marketed as a product that helps the immune system fight infections.

    In the past, some studies found it did nothing to prevent or treat colds; others showed modest benefit. Research on echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, is hard to compare because there's more than one kind of plant, and different parts of it are used.

    With government funding, Dr. Bruce Barrett and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin tackled the question again, using newspaper ads and posters to find volunteers with colds in the Madison, Wis., area.

    The participants ages 12 to 80 were randomly assigned to get echinacea tablets, a dummy pill or no treatment at all. Those who got the herb took the equivalent of 10 grams of dried echinacea root the first day and 5 grams the next four days.

    Twice a day, they graded their symptoms until their cold was gone.

    From those scores, the researchers saw a trend toward shorter and slightly less severe colds for those taking echinacea compared to those who didn't. However, the results did not reach statistical significance, meaning they could have occurred by chance. There were no apparent side effects from the echinacea.

    Barrett and other experts said the findings would probably be viewed as positive by echinacea supporters but as the "nail in the coffin" by critics.

    "It's not a compelling result in either direction," said Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, which follows research on herbal products. He said Barrett is on the group's advisory board.

    Blumenthal said the study was well designed, used a good quality product at a reasonable dosage and tested echinacea in a real-world setting, rather than giving colds to research volunteers.

    The study's findings were released Monday by the Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors include the co-founder of the Australian company that provided the echinacea for the study, but he was not involved in the research.

    It was funded by the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. The center, set up to test herbs and other alternative health remedies, has spent $6.8 million testing echinacea since 2002.

    The center's director, Dr. Josephine Briggs, said there are no plans to support more human research on echinacea.

    "I think what we're seeing is pretty clear. If there's a benefit of echinacea, it's very modest, Briggs said.

    So what's a cold sufferer to do?

    "There's nothing that's going to make it go away," said Dr. Ronald Turner, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He led another government-funded study of echinacea that had negative results.

    Some over-the-counter medications ease the symptoms a bit, he said. Americans spent $5.3 billion on cold and cough remedies at major U.S. stores in the year ending Nov. 27, according to The Nielsen Co. (Cold and cough medicines are no longer recommended for children under 4.)

    And don't go running to the doctor for antibiotics, said Dr. Ann Falsey of the University of Rochester Medical Center. Antibiotics don't work against cold viruses and can have side effects.

    Rest, fluids, pain relievers and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms are generally recommended.

    On Saturday, Kyle Cummings stood bewildered before a sea of products that filled an aisle at a drug store in New York's Pennsylvania Station. The 21-year-old New Yorker had a sore throat and stuffy nose.

    "I don't know what to get," said Cummings, who blamed his cold on hunting for a second job without a winter coat.

    He couldn't take anything that would make him drowsy while at work in customer service at a bank. He settled on a Robitussin product.

    Minutes later, two sniffling 16-year-old classmates, Kelly Malico and Sietske Ruijgh from New York's Long Island, stopped for cough drops.

    "There's nothing you can really do," shrugged Kelly, who blamed her friend for sharing her cold.

    Another cold sufferer, Jay Jarutat, grabbed some Vicks VapoRub off the shelf at her doctor's suggestion. She had been sick for a week and had taken off a couple of days from her job at a recording studio.

    "I don't really get that much rest," the 34-year-old said in a whisper because of laryngitis. "Rest, rest, rest, rest, and this is going to help."

    By Monday, she was feeling better and back at work.

    What do the pros do?

    "I'm pretty old-fashioned. I put a warm sock around my throat, and I use honey and tea and lemon," said the government's Briggs.

    Blumenthal of the Botanical Council takes echinacea and other herbs as well. "I hedge my bets," he said.

    And Wisconsin's Barrett?

    "I use ginger tea. It hasn't ever been proven in anyway whatsoever. But I like it."
    Last edited by Barry; 12-20-2010 at 03:57 PM.
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  2. TopTop #2
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much
    This is certainly disappointing. Even though I have taken Echinacea most times I'm sick, I can't say I've ever had the feeling that it helped.

    What I have noticing helping quite significantly is Zinc! I can't say if it just helped symptoms or if I actually got better sooner, but I definitely felt markedly better soon after I took some.

    What's worked for you? Is there any science behind it? How can tell that it made a difference?
    Last edited by Barry; 12-20-2010 at 03:56 PM.
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  4. TopTop #3
    DynamicBalance's Avatar
    DynamicBalance
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Zinc definitely provides a boost to the immune system! I have a cold right now and am taking zinc. According to the Linus Pauling Institute and Oregon State University, "Adequate zinc intake is essential in maintaining the integrity of the immune system, and zinc-deficient individuals are known to experience increased susceptibility to a variety of infectious agents." They also mentioned that studies have not shown zinc lozenges to have much of an effect on cold symptoms. That's probably because most lozenges have refined sugars in them, which depress your immune system. I think its a better idea to take zinc supplements or eat foods high in zinc, like homemade chicken soup (the famous "Jewish penicillin") or beef stew.

    Other things of importance would be avoiding refined sugars and stimulants of all sorts, which depress your immune system. Honey is a refined sugar unless it is truly raw. It should say 'unheated' or 'never heated' on the label. Vitamin C is obviously important when you're sick, but its better to get this from whole food sources than from ascorbic acid, which can deplete your body's stores of bioflavonoids.

    By far the thing that seems to cut my symptoms the most is raw garlic. I woke up this morning feeling pretty terrible (bad sore throat, woozy head, slight headache and congestion), which lasted until I ate some chili with raw garlic for lunch. Now I feel almost 100% back to normal! Pretty exciting...that's all the science I need! Garlic has antiviral properties, which is probably why it works so well. Chop up a clove and add it to your chicken soup (make sure the soup isn't too hot first or it will kill the garlic). I have also been drinking licorice tea for its antiviral properties, which is soothing to my throat but doesn't seem to ease my symptoms the way garlic does.
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    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    IMO echinacea is best used prophylactically, that is to say, *before* you get sick. Like doing a ten-day round just before cold and flu season starts, to pump up the white blood cells. There are many other things to take at the first signs of illness, such as elderberry and zinc (as a previous poster mentioned along with eliminating sugar and stimulants) "Flu Buster" formula from Sarada's Remedies, Astragalus, Yin Chao or Gan Mao Ling (hard to know which one though) lots of vitamin C, Cold Snap formula, etc.

    Many of the herbal formulas contain echinacea, but I think the point there is it is working synergistically to boost the immune while other herbs are doing some *-kicking.
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  8. TopTop #5
    AllorrahBe's Avatar
    AllorrahBe
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    I don't know if flu and colds behave the same, but here's what worked for me 2 years ago when I got the flu, bad!
    I immediately went to the doctor because it was the beginning of the big Flu Scam, I lived in Hawaii, and I got scared. Dr. said: If you do what I tell you, you'll be fine in two weeks. If you don't, you could still be sick months from now! That got my attention, so I listened, and here's the deal:

    • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands ~ even if you haven't touched anything. You're detoxing through your skin and can reinfect yourself easily. (Good idea to cleanse door knobs, toilet seat and handles, etc. while you're in there washing your hands, and/or wear disposable gloves!)
    • Sip liquids every 10 minutes all the time when you're awake, night or day.
    • Sleep 13 hours a day. Use something homeopathic or "natural" to help you sleep this much.
    I did as he said and, two weeks to the day, I was out socially celebrating my return to glowing good health!

    I also recommend sipping Bone Broth from organically-fed chickens or cows, per instructions from Laurel Blair! This broth is very nourishing and easy to digest, saving your strength for fighting off the cold. Another idea that comes to mind is listening to Brain Wave Entrainment recordings on headphones while you're lying in bed trying to get that 13 hours of sleep!

    Some essential oils (especially from Young Living Essential Oils in Utah!) can be very helpful in easing symptoms and killing germs and bacteria. Some members of our community use these oils and would probably be more than willing to make suggestions if you post a request for same.
    Blessings,
    Rev. Allorrah Be
    Circles of Light Ministries


    Last edited by Barry; 12-20-2010 at 10:01 PM.
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  10. TopTop #6
    elienos's Avatar
    elienos
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Echinacea is used as an immune system booster and takes a time to work, so I agree you don't use after you have already gotten sick, as you are usually sick a few days before the symptoms even start and the symptoms remain even after your body has fought off the illness (coughing, sniffles, etc). We use echinacea after we have been around ill people, whenever there are a lot of sick kids at my daughters preschool, or if we are feeling the least bit off, especially during this time of year when we eat not so well (actually due to a string of birthdays that come right before the holidays for us). You don't use it after you are already sick. Except occasionally I use the echinacea/goldenseal mix when sick. Vitamin C is good for an illness, and garlic like people mentioned, but really the best thing is to pay and not get sick (as much as you can).
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  12. TopTop #7
    Sara S's Avatar
    Sara S
    Auntie Wacco

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    In the last three years or so, four out of the five times that I've wakened with the symptoms of a cold, and immediately took some Emergen-C, the symptoms have gone away, and I didn't get the cold! That's enough for me to always keep the stuff on hand.
    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    This is certainly disappointing. Even though I have taken Echinacea most times I'm sick, I can't say I've ever had the feeling that it helped.

    What I have noticing helping quite significantly is Zinc! I can't say if it just helped symptoms or if I actually got better sooner, but I definitely felt markedly better soon after I took some.

    What's worked for you? Is there any science behind it? How can tell that it made a difference?
    Last edited by Barry; 12-21-2010 at 06:00 PM.
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  14. TopTop #8
    The A Team's Avatar
    The A Team
    Supporting Member

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Here are a few things to consider:

    1. Tonic herbs are to be taken when you are healthy, not when you are sick, the virus may worsen.

    2. Herbal "pills" are usually the lowest quality of herb available, and expensive!
    If you find an herb you love I suggest growing it in you yard, container or inside your home it is easy. Or, locally, we have the highest quality available through the herb exchange:
    http://www.sonomaherbs.org/herbalexchange.html

    3. There are some great inexpensive books such as Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal that has a wealth of tried & true info. I would trust this rather than a store clerk, no offense, but they are paid to sell pills, and may not be qualified herbalists.

    This works well for prevention:
    1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official
    communications).

    2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any
    part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe).

    3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't
    trust salt). *cold & flu 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/
    nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple
    gargling prevents proliferation.
    Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful
    preventative method.

    4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with
    warm salt water. *Blowing the nose
    hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in
    warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

    5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C
    (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin
    C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

    6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can.
    *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the
    reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat
    into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

    Healthy Holidays,
    Andrea
    andreapellicani.com
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  16. TopTop #9
    Sabrina's Avatar
    Sabrina
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Nettles and Quercitin (come in gel caps in most healthfood sections). Also, if it's a deep cough w/ tight chest - fresh organic ginger tea (FRESH - slowly simmered in water till it gets really spicy ORGANIC - as you don't want to be simmering pesticides) add organic lemon juice, cranberry juice, and or Honey to taste. Also, I really like Wellness formula, and Yin chao.

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    This is certainly disappointing. Even though I have taken Echinacea most times I'm sick, I can't say I've ever had the feeling that it helped.

    What I have noticing helping quite significantly is Zinc! I can't say if it just helped symptoms or if I actually got better sooner, but I definitely felt markedly better soon after I took some.

    What's worked for you? Is there any science behind it? How can tell that it made a difference?
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  18. TopTop #10
    Claire's Avatar
    Claire
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    These are great suggestions. Some of them I had completely forgotten about.
    I'll add mine: Wellness Formula from Source Naturals. This stuff has saved my sorry hide on numerous occasions when i was already afflicted. And take some after you are feeling better, or it may come back again.
    The formula has a lot of the ingredients already mentioned plus Propolis, which gives it that odd smell.
    I'm going to take some right now, and have a garlicky dinner, but first wash my hands.
    Thanks everyone. Brilliant!
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  20. TopTop #11
    SandBar's Avatar
    SandBar
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    The scoop on echinacea - evidence-based results - echinacea is an immune booster and should only be taken at the onset of a cold. taking it long term is not a good idea since it can hyper-activate the immune system and you don't want that. Hyper immune states are allergies and autoimmune diseases. the studies showed that if echinacea was taken for about 5 days when a cold began, the symptoms were less.

    People who should NOT take echinacea are people with allergies, autoimmune diseases, lymphomas and some leukemias. Not clear about people with HIV or AIDS.

    I am not an MD but am an immunologist so wanted to add what I know to this discussion. Stay warm, drink lots of juices, enjoy chicken soup, ginger and take advantage of the dark wet days to replenish. Happy holy days.
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  22. TopTop #12
    Dixon's Avatar
    Dixon
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Allorrah Be wrote: View Post
    [COLOR=purple][I] Dr. said: If you do what I tell you, you'll be fine in two weeks.]
    If you have a cold or flu (i.e., a virus), it will almost certainly be over within 2 weeks no matter what you do. I recommend shaving all the hair off your body, painting yourself blue, and standing on one foot for 5 minutes of every waking hour while singing "Dixie" in Swahili.

    This is one way so many people become convinced that useless snake-oil really works. When their illness goes away just because it's run its course, they mistakenly attribute their recovery to whatever pill, herb or procedure they last used, and the next thing you know half the people in town are selling/buying the crap and getting mad at skeptics for suggesting it might not really work. This is one of many reasons we have controlled double-blind studies to sort out what really works. But judging from the never-ending flow of anecdotes about what "worked for me" that we see on WaccoBB, most Waccobites don't get it.
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  24. TopTop #13
    Claire's Avatar
    Claire
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Dixon wrote: View Post
    If you have a cold or flu (i.e., a virus), it will almost certainly be over within 2 weeks no matter what you do. But judging from the never-ending flow of anecdotes about what "worked for me" that we see on WaccoBB, most Waccobites don't get it.
    Yeah well, I don't have 2 weeks or a month to let myself feel like crap. Even after contracting a bad sore throat or bug of some sort I have been able to fight it off with high doses of Wellness, often within the next day or two. This is far different than having it run its course. Last year was an exception. After a trip to Humboldt I got sick for a month no matter how much I took. This was a surprise. I have been mostly able to stem the tide of illness for years this way.
    I don't care what you think, really, but it usually works for me and mine, so when someone asks what to do (which they did), I recommend it.
    I learn from people's experience and anecdotes all the time and double blind studies on someone else can seem anecdotal to me since it's not my body with this bug they're studying. My father, the most skeptical person I know, used to say you can't argue with success.
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  26. TopTop #14
    DynamicBalance's Avatar
    DynamicBalance
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Dixon wrote: View Post
    If you have a cold or flu (i.e., a virus), it will almost certainly be over within 2 weeks no matter what you do. I recommend shaving all the hair off your body, painting yourself blue, and standing on one foot for 5 minutes of every waking hour while singing "Dixie" in Swahili.

    This is one way so many people become convinced that useless snake-oil really works. When their illness goes away just because it's run its course, they mistakenly attribute their recovery to whatever pill, herb or procedure they last used, and the next thing you know half the people in town are selling/buying the crap and getting mad at skeptics for suggesting it might not really work. This is one of many reasons we have controlled double-blind studies to sort out what really works. But judging from the never-ending flow of anecdotes about what "worked for me" that we see on WaccoBB, most Waccobites don't get it.
    This is certainly true for some people. You're right, some people can be convinced of practically anything! But that doesn't mean that all natural remedies are snake oil, even if they don't have controlled, double-blind studies to back them up. Not all of us are that gullible. Science is great, but it definitely has its limitations. Studies are only as unbiased as the scientists conducting them. Unfortunately, most people are pretty biased, and scientists are definitely no exception.

    One major drawback of studies on vitamins and herbs is that they are generally conducted with a reductionist mindset. Vitamins in particular are not meant to be taken in isolation. Vitamins in food come with other vitamins, minerals, co-factors, etc., that assist in the body's utilization of those vitamins. I think its pretty clear that from a genetic standpoint, we are meant to get our vitamins and minerals from food. When a study gives a bunch of people with a common affliction one vitamin in isolation (usually a synthetic version, which won't always have the same bio-availability), generally some people benefit, because they probably have a deficiency in that vitamin or a greater need for it. Some people will see no effect, because that vitamin wasn't what they needed. And still others may even see negative results! Perhaps they already had too much of that vitamin and it was really something else that they needed, or the dose in the study caused some other substance in their body to go out of balance. Vitamins and minerals all affect each other in the body, this stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum just because scientists want it to. But studies look at the average results, which may not seem very promising even though some people may have seen a great benefit. A similar situation exists for studies on herbs because most herbs were not traditionally used by themselves. They were part of an herbal preparation that had synergistic effects.

    Furthermore, there is not a lot of funding available to do studies on natural remedies, for the simple reason that natural substances are not patentable.

    I would have to agree with Claire - when I first started feeling a tickle in my throat this last weekend, I dreaded the idea of getting really sick for a week or more. Not only were the holidays coming up, which I have to cook for, but I had a full work week ahead of me. I couldn't afford to get sick and have to cancel on all of my clients right before Christmas when they needed me the most (I'm a housecleaner). The last time I got sick I was out for a week and a half. Fortunately, the raw garlic took care of things. Like I said before, I woke up on Monday feeling awful, much worse than the previous day, which lasted until I ate the raw garlic. An hour later I felt literally back to normal except for a residual feeling in my throat. That's a lot different than letting the sickness run its course! I had only just started feeling sick. I have been continuing with the garlic just in case, and sure enough, my sick feeling has not come back. And like I said before, that's all the science I need.
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  28. TopTop #15
    stuartdole's Avatar
    stuartdole
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    I've found that sometimes the homeopathics seem to help (Alpha-CF, Oscillo), and sometimes not. If it's not too bad just the nasal rinse with warm saline really helps - several times a day. If it is really bad, a hot toddy (lemon, honey, rum) and bed rest. There are so many kinds of virus that can cause the same symptoms, and the body's immune response has to be different for each one, so I'm suspicious of "boosting the immune system" - though it sounds good in theory. And - all that said, it does still seem to help to suck on an echinacea pill or two - throat feels better - taste is acquired! Also, for a sore throat, try the "lion" yoga asana - but probably not in public.

    Otherwise, keep away from little kids if you can, wash your hands frequently (before touching your face, eyes, nose, eating, etc.), get enough exercise and sleep, eat food.
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  30. TopTop #16
    Sabrina's Avatar
    Sabrina
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    I also forgot to mention, when you are congested in any way, avoid dairy products, they add to mucous build up. And try to use only natural sweeteners like honey, stivia, or agave syrup, avoiding highly processed Cain sugars, and white processed starchy foods.

    Quote Sabrina wrote: View Post
    Nettles and Quercitin (come in gel caps in most health food sections). Also, if it's a deep cough w/ tight chest - fresh organic ginger tea (FRESH - slowly simmered in water till it gets really spicy ORGANIC - as you don't want to be simmering pesticides) add organic lemon juice, cranberry juice, and or Honey to taste. Also, I really like Wellness formula, and Yin chao.
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  32. TopTop #17
    Sabrina's Avatar
    Sabrina
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    I agree with Sandbar, and this has been the fact about Echinacea for years and years as far as I've been informed. I never have used it to get rid of a cold, but to just help boost the immune system. The article was not disputing that was it? It only was dispelling the myth that Echinacea does not cure you once your sick, am I correct?

    Quote SandBar wrote: View Post
    The scoop on echinacea - evidence-based results - echinacea is an immune booster and should only be taken at the onset of a cold. taking it long term is not a good idea since it can hyper-activate the immune system and you don't want that. Hyper immune states are allergies and autoimmune diseases. the studies showed that if echinacea was taken for about 5 days when a cold began, the symptoms were less.

    People who should NOT take echinacea are people with allergies, autoimmune diseases, lymphomas and some leukemias. Not clear about people with HIV or AIDS.

    I am not an MD but am an immunologist so wanted to add what I know to this discussion. Stay warm, drink lots of juices, enjoy chicken soup, ginger and take advantage of the dark wet days to replenish. Happy holy days.
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  33. TopTop #18
    Sabrina's Avatar
    Sabrina
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Actually it's been years since I was sick for 2 whole weeks due to nipping it in the bud IMMEDIATELY w/ the natural remedies I use as mentioned prior, and some other remedies others mentioned, when I first feel something come on.. I simply will not spend top dollar if possible though. I will try to use as many natural whole food items as possible (unprocessed - even though I think some of the gel cap herbal things and others like wellness formula do work. Longest time is a few days - one week is extremely rare. I hear what Dixon's saying about advertising the next best thing, that could be snake oil anyway, - and when you try to go to a regular main stream pharmacy for an emergency band-aid style cold medicine, OMG am I confused and avoid. But there's something to simple folk medicine. Now with mass communications (computers) we can try all folk medicine from around the world, hey! But I'm not going to spend $30 a bottle on some rare folk medicine that works from Timbuktu vs. one more easily available locally.

    Quote claire ossenbeck wrote: View Post
    Yeah well, I don't have 2 weeks or a month to let myself feel like crap. Even after contracting a bad sore throat or bug of some sort I have been able to fight it off with high doses of Wellness, often within the next day or two. This is far different than having it run its course. Last year was an exception. After a trip to Humboldt I got sick for a month no matter how much I took. This was a surprise. I have been mostly able to stem the tide of illness for years this way.
    I don't care what you think, really, but it usually works for me and mine, so when someone asks what to do (which they did), I recommend it.
    I learn from people's experience and anecdotes all the time and double blind studies on someone else can seem anecdotal to me since it's not my body with this bug they're studying. My father, the most skeptical person I know, used to say you can't argue with success.
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  34. TopTop #19
    ShapeShifter
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    American Botanical Council Clarifies Echinacea Trial Published in Annals of Internal Medicine

    ABC quoted by AP, Bloomberg News, and other major media

    (Austin, TX) December 21, 2010. Today the Annals of Internal Medicine published a clinical trial on a proprietary echinacea formulation and its potential effects on people with common cold symptoms. The trial results do not show a statistically significant benefit for the echinacea product, even though there was a “trend” toward a benefit in reduction of symptoms and duration of symptoms.1

    ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal was interviewed about this trial last week by both the Associated Press and Bloomberg Business News.

    Associated Press coverage

    Predictably, the AP article was widely distributed and has been posted on the websites of many leading newspapers and news outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Seattle Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, mainstream television news sites (ABC, MSNBC, Fox News), and many others.2

    The AP article says, “Barrett and other experts said the findings would probably be viewed as positive by echinacea supporters but as the ‘nail in the coffin’ by critics.

    "‘It's not a compelling result in either direction,’ said Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, which follows research on herbal products. He said Barrett is on the group's advisory board.

    “Blumenthal said the study was well designed, used a good quality product at a reasonable dosage and tested echinacea in a real-world setting, rather than giving colds to research volunteers.”2

    Bloomberg News coverage

    Bloomberg News reporter Nicole Ostrow quoted Blumenthal’s comments about the diversity of echinacea products and problems interpreting the clinical research:

    “‘Echinacea products are not all alike,’ said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, a nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas, in a telephone interview on Dec. 15. The challenge is determining which ones have the most benefit or any benefit.’

    “The studies showing the most efficacy for echinacea in fighting colds looked at formulations made from the root and leaves of Echinacea purpurea, one of three different species, he said. The tablets used in the new study contained roots of the purpurea species and another, according to the report.”3

    Perspectives on the New Echinacea Trial

    Blumenthal’s quotes in the AP and Bloomberg articles were based on the following points he made about this trial during the interviews:

    This is a large trial, possibly the largest randomized, controlled trial on echinacea published to date, including 719 subjects. These subjects were taken from the general population in 2 Wisconsin communities and the trial is based on the susceptibility to infection by a cold virus. This is in contrast to some echinacea trials in which a rhinovirus is actually inhaled in a controlled situation.

    The trial tested short-term use of the echinacea preparation, mostly within 24 hours of the appearance of initial symptoms. Primary endpoints measured in the trial were cold symptom severity and duration of symptoms, while the secondary endpoints were levels of interleukin-8 and neutrophil, markers for immune response, which did not increase overall in the echinacea-treated subjects to statistical significance.

    The trial used a good quality echinacea preparation, made by MediHerb (Australia) and distributed in the United States by Standard Process (Palmyra, WI). This echinacea preparation is sold to health practitioners only and is not generally available in retail outlets or on the Internet.

    The MediHerb echinacea preparation is in tablet form and contains dried, concentrated extracts of two types of echinacea, the equivalent of 675 mg of E. purpurea root and 600 mg of E. angustifolia root, each standardized to 2.1 mg of alkamides, one of the key biologically active chemical compounds found in echinacea roots. In this trial, based on the dosage regimen, the MediHerb echinacea tablet contained a daily dose equivalent of 10.2 grams of (both types) dried echinacea root during the first 24 hours after the subject noticed the first symptoms of cold, and 5.1 grams per day of dried echinacea root consumed during the next 4 days.

    The trial contained 4 arms:

    1 arm had no placebo pill as a control;
    1 arm had a placebo pill;
    1 arm used the specific echinacea product in a double-blinded manner;
    1 arm received the echinacea tablet in an open label manner, unblended.
    This trial was designed and conducted by people who are experts in echinacea research and have published extensively on echinacea clinical trials, particularly the lead researcher, Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD, a professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Mr. Kerry Bone, founder of MediHerb and an internationally respected author of herb books for health professionals, was also a co-author of the trial.

    There was a slight trend toward benefit in symptom reduction in both echinacea groups, with a reduction in duration by about 12 hours, which, although not statistically significant, the authors note may be considered clinically significant by some patients.

    The authors provided an interesting, cautiously worded, and reasonable conclusion:

    This dose regimen of the echinacea formulation did not have a large effect on the course of the common cold, compared with either blinded placebo or no pills. However, the trends were in the direction of benefit, amounting to an average half-day reduction in the duration of a weeklong cold, or an approximate 10% reduction in overall severity.1

    Illness duration and severity were not statistically significant with echinacea compared with placebo. These results do not support the ability of this dose of the echinacea formulation to substantively change the course of the common cold.1

    Unlike some previous echinacea clinical trials which turned out negative,4 these authors do not represent themselves as having produced the definitive study on echinacea, and they carefully craft their language to show that the conclusions, although not showing a statistically significant beneficial effect, did show trends toward benefit, which are of therapeutic value to some consumers.

    There are many clinical trials on numerous types of echinacea preparations in the clinical literature and recent systematic reviews of some of these trials have concluded that there is benefit or trend towards benefit for the echinacea preparations used in the selected trials.5,6 Blumenthal also noted that conducting a meta-analysis of clinical trials on echinacea preparations is difficult, if not impossible, since so many different types of echinacea preparations are on the market and have been used in the many clinical trials. The heterogeneity of these preparations is based on the fact that there are three species of echinacea found in commerce: i.e., Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida and E. purpurea, with the latter being the most popular.

    In addition, the echinacea preparations found in the US market generally contain either dried herb material or alcoholic extracts from either the root or the above-ground part of the plant (aerial part), or even fresh-pressed juice from the fresh aerial parts. And, to further complicate matters for researchers who are attempting conducted systematic review or meta-analysis of clinical trials on these preparations, there are mixtures of these echinacea materials from two or three species. Since echinacea species and their plant parts contain different chemical profiles, these various products can have different activities and benefits—as reflected in some of the clinical trials.

    Blumenthal also told the AP that the most compelling clinical literature published to date supports the clinical efficacy of two different brands of extracts of Echinacea purpurea root. For the first, there have been 3 clinical trials on the Echinaforce® extract produced by A. Vogel in Switzerland, imported into the US and distributed in health food stores by Bioforce USA.6 The second brand, called Echinamide®, on which 2 published clinical trials7 have shown some benefit for cold symptoms is produced in Canada by Natural Factors and sold in the US in health food stores.

    Additional coverage of this trial not based on the AP story was done by CNN (online), NBC Nightly News, and other outlets, although the AP story is dominant.

    Additional perspectives

    Australian herbalist and co-author Kerry Bone, one of the trials co-authors wrote in an email to Standard Process, the importer of the MediHerb product used in the trial:

    This is a well designed and conducted study delivering a robust result. It demonstrated that initiating treatment with a traditional Echinacea root product has only limited value in altering the course of the common cold once it has taken hold. Perhaps a study with higher doses might have delivered a better result. Nonetheless, it should not be a surprise to many herbal clinicians like myself who have been mainly using Echinacea root as a preventative in their practices. It might be contrary to popular thinking, but animal experiments have shown that Echinacea root takes time to induce its immune effects. This is why any benefit once an infection takes hold is probably marginal and it is best suited as a preventative. I have been involved in several clinical trials (either as co-author or advisor) that have demonstrated the long-term use of Echinacea root boosts immunity and prevents infections. One such positive trial of Echinacea root in reducing infections in long-haul airline travellers is currently in press (K. Bone, e-mail, December 21, 2010).

    Francis Brinker, ND, a respected herbal expert and author of Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions 4th Edition (2011), and a member of the ABC Advisory Board, wrote:

    Once again, a good opportunity was lost. If the open label portion of the study had been done with an equivalent liquid echinacea extract, or even solid extract in lozenge form, I expect the beneficial results would have reached statistical significance.

    For years I have noticed that clinical studies done on echinacea that include extracts of fresh Echinacea purpurea whole plant or aerial plant, especially in liquid form, are consistently positive compared to those using dried echinacea species extracts (or powdered herbs), especially in solid forms (tablets or capsules) to treat viral URTIs [upper respiratory tract infections]. It makes eminently good sense to treat locally when possible, and contact of echinacea extracts with the oropharangeal lymphatic tissue is extremely important in acute URTI conditions. Use of solid extracts requires systemic distribution that is useful as an adjunct, but not as the sole therapeutic intervention when echinacea is concerned. Use of whole powdered echinacea parts and species should be reserved for such or as a preventive measure. I understand the preference when doing research to use a solid form, since it makes a placebo-control much easier to make and administer, but it deprives the study of utilizing a factor of known empirical efficacy (local tissue exposure) (F. Brinker, e-mail, December 21, 2010.).

    More information on echinacea from the extensive ABC online archives are available at an echinacea webpage on the ABC website.

    The trial was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

    References

    1. Barrett B, Brown R, Rakel D, Mundt M, Bone K, Barlow S, Ewers T. Echinacea for Treating the Common Cold: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:769-777.

    2. Nano S. Got a cold? Study says Echinacea won’t help much. Associated Press, Dec. 20, 2010. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT. Accessed Dec. 20, 2010.

    3. Ostrow N. Echinacea Shows Little Benefit as Remedy for Treating Colds, Study Finds. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...udy-finds.html. Accessed Dec. 21, 2010.

    4. Turner RB, Bauer R, Woelkart K, Hulsey TC, Gangemi DJ. An evaluation of Echinacea angustifolia preparations in experimental rhinovirus infections. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:341-348.

    5. Shah SA, Sander S, White CM, Rinaldi M, Coleman CI. Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. July 2007;7(7):473-480.

    6. Schoop R, Klein P, Suter A, Johnston S. Echinacea in the prevention of induced rhinovirus colds: a meta-analysis. Clin Ther. 2006;28(2):174-183.

    7. Goel V, Lovlin R, Barton R, Lyon MR, Bauer R, Lee TD, et al. Efficacy of a standardized echinacea preparation (Echinilin) for the treatment of the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2004;29:75-83.




    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Here's an AP article, published by the PD, that says echinacea makes next to no difference. What do you think? Has it helped you? If not what has? See my comments in the following post.

    Barry


    Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20101220/NEWS/101229971/1350?p=all&tc=pgall
    By STEPHANIE NANO
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Published: Monday, December 20, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.

    NEW YORK — Got the sniffles? The largest study of the popular herbal remedy echinacea finds it won't help you get better any sooner.

    The study of more than 700 adults and children suggests the tiniest possible benefit — about a half-day shaved off a weeklong cold and slightly milder symptoms. But that could have occurred by chance.

    For most people, the potential to get relief a few hours sooner probably isn't worth the trouble and cost of taking the supplement, researchers said.

    With no cure for the common cold, Americans spend billions on over-the-counter pills, drops, sprays and other concoctions to battle their runny noses, scratchy throats and nagging coughs. Some turn to echinacea (ECK-in-AY'-shuh), a top seller marketed as a product that helps the immune system fight infections.

    In the past, some studies found it did nothing to prevent or treat colds; others showed modest benefit. Research on echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, is hard to compare because there's more than one kind of plant, and different parts of it are used.

    With government funding, Dr. Bruce Barrett and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin tackled the question again, using newspaper ads and posters to find volunteers with colds in the Madison, Wis., area.

    The participants ages 12 to 80 were randomly assigned to get echinacea tablets, a dummy pill or no treatment at all. Those who got the herb took the equivalent of 10 grams of dried echinacea root the first day and 5 grams the next four days.

    Twice a day, they graded their symptoms until their cold was gone.

    From those scores, the researchers saw a trend toward shorter and slightly less severe colds for those taking echinacea compared to those who didn't. However, the results did not reach statistical significance, meaning they could have occurred by chance. There were no apparent side effects from the echinacea.

    Barrett and other experts said the findings would probably be viewed as positive by echinacea supporters but as the "nail in the coffin" by critics.

    "It's not a compelling result in either direction," said Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, which follows research on herbal products. He said Barrett is on the group's advisory board.

    Blumenthal said the study was well designed, used a good quality product at a reasonable dosage and tested echinacea in a real-world setting, rather than giving colds to research volunteers.

    The study's findings were released Monday by the Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors include the co-founder of the Australian company that provided the echinacea for the study, but he was not involved in the research.

    It was funded by the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. The center, set up to test herbs and other alternative health remedies, has spent $6.8 million testing echinacea since 2002.

    The center's director, Dr. Josephine Briggs, said there are no plans to support more human research on echinacea.

    "I think what we're seeing is pretty clear. If there's a benefit of echinacea, it's very modest, Briggs said.

    So what's a cold sufferer to do?

    "There's nothing that's going to make it go away," said Dr. Ronald Turner, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He led another government-funded study of echinacea that had negative results.

    Some over-the-counter medications ease the symptoms a bit, he said. Americans spent $5.3 billion on cold and cough remedies at major U.S. stores in the year ending Nov. 27, according to The Nielsen Co. (Cold and cough medicines are no longer recommended for children under 4.)

    And don't go running to the doctor for antibiotics, said Dr. Ann Falsey of the University of Rochester Medical Center. Antibiotics don't work against cold viruses and can have side effects.

    Rest, fluids, pain relievers and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms are generally recommended.

    On Saturday, Kyle Cummings stood bewildered before a sea of products that filled an aisle at a drug store in New York's Pennsylvania Station. The 21-year-old New Yorker had a sore throat and stuffy nose.

    "I don't know what to get," said Cummings, who blamed his cold on hunting for a second job without a winter coat.

    He couldn't take anything that would make him drowsy while at work in customer service at a bank. He settled on a Robitussin product.

    Minutes later, two sniffling 16-year-old classmates, Kelly Malico and Sietske Ruijgh from New York's Long Island, stopped for cough drops.

    "There's nothing you can really do," shrugged Kelly, who blamed her friend for sharing her cold.

    Another cold sufferer, Jay Jarutat, grabbed some Vicks VapoRub off the shelf at her doctor's suggestion. She had been sick for a week and had taken off a couple of days from her job at a recording studio.

    "I don't really get that much rest," the 34-year-old said in a whisper because of laryngitis. "Rest, rest, rest, rest, and this is going to help."

    By Monday, she was feeling better and back at work.

    What do the pros do?

    "I'm pretty old-fashioned. I put a warm sock around my throat, and I use honey and tea and lemon," said the government's Briggs.

    Blumenthal of the Botanical Council takes echinacea and other herbs as well. "I hedge my bets," he said.

    And Wisconsin's Barrett?

    "I use ginger tea. It hasn't ever been proven in anyway whatsoever. But I like it."
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  35. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  36. TopTop #20
    DynamicBalance's Avatar
    DynamicBalance
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Sabrina wrote: View Post
    I also forgot to mention, when you are congested in any way, avoid dairy products, they add to mucous build up. And try to use only natural sweeteners like honey, stivia, or agave syrup, avoiding highly processed Cain sugars, and white processed starchy foods.
    I appreciate your suggestion to avoid highly processed sugars. But I would like to mention that agave syrup does not qualify in my opinion as an unrefined sweetener. It is not healthy either. Agave syrup is similar to high-fructose corn syrup, except that it contains way more fructose (70-80% vs. 55% in HFCS, yikes!). It is not processed in the same way that traditional agave nectar was, and as a result it has lost most of the minerals and amino acids that made traditional agave nectar health-promoting.
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  37. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  38. TopTop #21
    Sara S's Avatar
    Sara S
    Auntie Wacco

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Tried to hit"Gratitude" here yesterday, but had some problems; loved your first paragraph here, Dixon, and I'd sure try this if I knew any Swahili, and if the Emergen-C ever didn't work for me.

    Your second paragraph here doesn't really apply to me and the Emergen-C, though, because the effects of taking it at the first sign of a cold were instant. I didn't have to have the cold for two weeks until it went away; I never got it.

    Is it a new acronym: IWFM (It Works For me)?

    Sara S


    Quote Dixon wrote: View Post
    If you have a cold or flu (i.e., a virus), it will almost certainly be over within 2 weeks no matter what you do. I recommend shaving all the hair off your body, painting yourself blue, and standing on one foot for 5 minutes of every waking hour while singing "Dixie" in Swahili.

    This is one way so many people become convinced that useless snake-oil really works. When their illness goes away just because it's run its course, they mistakenly attribute their recovery to whatever pill, herb or procedure they last used, and the next thing you know half the people in town are selling/buying the crap and getting mad at skeptics for suggesting it might not really work. This is one of many reasons we have controlled double-blind studies to sort out what really works. But judging from the never-ending flow of anecdotes about what "worked for me" that we see on WaccoBB, most Waccobites don't get it.
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  40. TopTop #22
    steph's Avatar
    steph
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Prevention works best for me - trying to avoid sick people and practicing good hygiene. If I'm fighting a cold, then rest is best. I dress warmly, layers of wool. Simplify my diet to limit dairy, flour, sugar and fat. Drink plenty of warm liquids.

    When a cold is just starting the Chinese patent medicines Gan Mao Ling or Yin Chaio often work for me.

    Also Celletech's homeopathic remedies Winter Tonic and Winter Remedy help.

    Also neti (nasal saline flush) and I've been trying hydrogen peroxide drops in the ears per Mercola.

    Here are many more tips from Mercola
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...-remedies.aspx

    If the cold does settle in, I stop fighting so hard and try to use it as an opportunity to learn something new.
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  41. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  42. TopTop #23
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Although I don't get colds or flu very often, two things that have made a
    big difference in the past were suggestions from people in their 80s.

    1. As soon as you feel a cold coming on, start drinking hot water or fresh
    ginger tea. Drink several cups a day. I did this, and the cold was gone
    the next day!

    2. When you first become aware of a sensation in the throat, that indicates
    a sore throat is coming, use Vit C crystals, and dissolve a teaspoonful
    in a glass of warm water, then gargle. When I've used this method, the sore
    throat disappeared the next day.

    I believe that we can help ourselves in many different ways, and that what
    works for one may not work for others. I think that many of us may not be
    tuned in to slight changes in our body that signal a cold/sore throat, etc.
    Before we know it, we're in for the duration.

    People who work with others are more exposed, and may not be able to take
    these steps when they first feel the symptoms coming on. Many people who
    are sick can't afford to stay home, so everyone is more vulnerable.

    Coughing and sneezing into the elbow instead of our hands, can help make a
    difference for others. I still notice people in the stores, not even covering at all.
    I get far away from them if I can.

    As with Echinacea, the key is to nip it in the bud, if possible.

    In the winter, I always wear gloves in the store, to help prevent picking up
    germs from the cart handles. Of course, there are times when I have to
    remove them in the produce section, momentarily.

    I haven't had a cold/flu in over 3 years, but I keep fresh ginger and Vit C crystals in
    stock.....just in case.
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  44. TopTop #24
    AllorrahBe's Avatar
    AllorrahBe
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    WOW! This is a HOT thread! I have learned so much from all the responses, I really appreciate the question, Barry!
    Thanks again for getting this going! I'm saving all of this information so, if I ever start to get sick again, I'll know exactly what to do... and I'm stocking up on the Emergen-C and even some Echinacea, in spite of its questionable efficacy.


    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    This is certainly disappointing. Even though I have taken Echinacea most times I'm sick, I can't say I've ever had the feeling that it helped.

    What I have noticing helping quite significantly is Zinc! I can't say if it just helped symptoms or if I actually got better sooner, but I definitely felt markedly better soon after I took some.

    What's worked for you? Is there any science behind it? How can tell that it made a difference?
    Last edited by Barry; 12-24-2010 at 12:04 AM.
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  45. Gratitude expressed by:

  46. TopTop #25
    spam1's Avatar
    spam1
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    Although I don't get colds or flu very often, two things that have made a
    big difference in the past were suggestions from people in their 80s.
    ...
    In the winter, I always wear gloves in the store, to help prevent picking up
    germs from the cart handles. Of course, there are times when I have to
    remove them in the produce section, momentarily.

    I haven't had a cold/flu in over 3 years, but I keep fresh ginger and Vit C crystals in
    stock.....just in case.
    I wonder if having all the prevention and sanitation is leading to having hyper-sensitive immune systems, leading to more allergic effects. There's been published recently that children who grow up in a home with no pets are 90% more likely to get asthma those raised in a home with 2 or more pets. Is having 4 or 5 minor colds a year better for you in the long run than having none for 3 years? Just wondering...

    http://www.healthtree.com/articles/asthma/pets/
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  47. TopTop #26
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    I don't have allergies either or sensitivities to scents, like a lot of people.

    I've often wondered how the sensitivities to scents got started; is it that
    the products have higher levels of "agents", or sensitive people have been
    over-exposed?

    I remember in the 50's and before when women, especially, wore heavy
    perfumes, and no one complained. Now, we're advised to go without
    scents, even shampoo/conditoner fragrances because of sensitivities.
    Perfumes are still selling, so people must still be wearing them....maybe
    with their Significant Other.....unless they too are sensitive.

    I grew up with unsanitary conditions, and have hardly been sick in my life,
    so you may have a point. Not sure how having several colds can be more helpful
    than having none.

    Asthma can be triggered by many things, not just pets. Stress, cigarettes,
    second hand smoke, etc.

    I agree that a certain amount of exposure may actually strengthen the immune
    system, along with some precautions that work for each person.
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  49. TopTop #27
    spam1's Avatar
    spam1
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    ... Not sure how having several colds can be more helpful
    than having none. ...
    My meaning was having the immune system working against relatively minor illnesses (colds) could keep it both a) primed for a bigger illness and/or b) active so that it does not become hyper-sensitive to non-illness stimulus like allergens.

    I agree that a certain amount of exposure may actually strengthen the immune
    system, along with some precautions that work for each person.
    And I think the "work for each person" is key here. Clearly some people are -really- allergic to peanuts, some are completely not allergic so the difference has to be in the immune response of course. And I've heard that it can also be trained, where they have introduced peanuts back into critically allergic people (in controlled settings) to try to train the immune response to ignore it. I'm a bit sensitive to poison oak and I get it almost every year since moving here (hills are loaded with it). But, it seems to be milder each year.
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  50. TopTop #28
    Claire's Avatar
    Claire
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Quote spam1 wrote: View Post
    My meaning was having the immune system working against relatively minor illnesses (colds) could keep it both a) primed for a bigger illness and/or b) active so that it does not become hyper-sensitive to non-illness stimulus like allergens.
    .
    You have brought up an interesting aspect. This is not my field, but I think we are exposed constantly to the germs that would make us sick and if we can fight them off from completely overtaking our systems, with whatever means we can, doesn't that indicate an engaged immune system?
    I remember hearing how the East Germans had been so extreme in their battles against germs and bacteria of any kind, that when the Berlin Wall went down, they were flooded with contaminations that they had no defense against. I know this sounds anecdotal, and is probably inaccurate in terminology, but it was an interesting case involving a major group of people.
    Anyone have a better grasp of the story? How would their isolation factor in?
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  51. TopTop #29
    elienos's Avatar
    elienos
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Which brings us full circle back to echinacea...a great herb to boost your immune system to fight off those sickness germs if taken at the beginning of an illness or at exposure. You are exposed, so your body builds resistance to the germs, yet you fight it off before it becomes a full-fledged illness. I don't believe you have to become fully ill to build up the immune system. I rarely become ill, and I think my immune system rocks. Last I had the flu was 24 years ago.

    But a good old healthy body is the best place to start when it comes to fighting illness.

    Quote claire ossenbeck wrote: View Post
    You have brought up an interesting aspect. This is not my field, but I think we are exposed constantly to the germs that would make us sick and if we can fight them off from completely overtaking our systems, with whatever means we can, doesn't that indicate an engaged immune system?
    I remember hearing how the East Germans had been so extreme in their battles against germs and bacteria of any kind, that when the Berlin Wall went down, they were flooded with contaminations that they had no defense against. I know this sounds anecdotal, and is probably inaccurate in terminology, but it was an interesting case involving a major group of people.
    Anyone have a better grasp of the story? How would their isolation factor in?
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  52. Gratitude expressed by:

  53. TopTop #30
    Claire's Avatar
    Claire
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post

    I remember in the 50's and before when women, especially, wore heavy
    perfumes, and no one complained. Now, we're advised to go without
    scents, even shampoo/conditoner fragrances because of sensitivities.
    Perfumes are still selling, so people must still be wearing them....maybe
    with their Significant Other.....unless they too are sensitive.
    .
    Perfumes in the US in the 60's and 70's were mostly chemically fabricated until "Lauren". it was the first American scent I could wear/enjoy. When I went to Grasse in France and saw the rooms full of roses to be distilled and the fields of lavender and tried the blends at the perfumeries I realized the differences. I could wear most of them, whether I enjoyed them or not, because they were plant-based. And did they smell better!
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