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New research provides more evidence that Echinacea can help fight cold and flu infections

by Alison, on 1 October 2012, Cold & Flu, Echinacea, Herbal Remedies
Echinacea purpurea - conference

An International Conference held in London on 27th and 28th September 2012 saw an impressive gathering of scientists involved in research into viral infections and other scientific areas, discussing the implications of newly published research on an extract of freshly harvested Echinacea purpurea known as Echinaforce® drops.[1]

Professor Eccles from the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, Professor Heinrich and Dr Ritchie both from the University of London, Professor Dr Pleschka from the Institute for Medical Virology, Justus-Liebig University Glessen and Professor Schapowal, an Ear Nose Throat specialist from Switzerland gave presentations on the importance of tackling respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu, and the fascinating results that have emerged from the new research.

Echinaforce® was shown to reduce the symptoms of colds to the extent that it reduced the need to use conventional cold and flu remedies containing pain-killing medication. This is of particular interest as recent research has shown that people can inadvertently overdose on drugs such as paracetamol found in many of the synthetic cold products commonly available.

The effect of Echinaforce® to strengthen the immune system was found to depend on the constitution of the person, with those feeling under stress or sleeping poorly responding better. There was no increase in allergic reactions during the duration of the trial – Echinaforce® was shown to have a similar safety profile to placebo treatment.

The research on Echinaforce® also showed many other interesting results, especially on how it works on the immune system. Follow the link to access the full Echinacea Conference report.

[1] Jawad M et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012. doi: 10.1155/2012/841315


  • Pearl Harries

    Several years ago my husband had a particularly worrying chest infection and was on antibiotics for two months. My research into complementary medicine led me to Echinacea which is excellent. As an upcoming 80 year-old asthmatic it is important to keep him as well as possible and continuing maintenance of the herb supports him well all year round.

  • rebecca bailey

    I have used echinacea now for many years, I suffer terribly from sore throats. But since finding the echinacea throat spray I rarely suffer now. Only if I forget to take it within 24 hours of coming into contact with a cold sufferer. 9 times out of 10 I can nip my cold in the bud. I can be the last man standing in a group without a cold because of my echinacea. Everyone teases me about it but it hasn’t failed me yet.

    • alison


  • sametka

    Dear A.Vogel…
    Did read conference findings about Echinaforce… Must say
    I did use Echinacea year after year for about5years in the past
    but did never work on me… Did try Goldenseal&that had fab efect…
    Maybe as with food not all herbs r working for everyone… I do take
    daily dose of Thyroxine for underactive thyroid&use to take pill in
    those times when trying Echinacea/Echinaforce so maybe there is a
    link why did not work in my case… Would love to hear more…

    • alison

      I think you are right that some herbs work for some people and not for others. This is the same as for supplements, fish oils, homoepathy, and conventional medicines. Fortunately Echinacea seems to work for a good number of people, but there are always exceptions! There hasn’t been any work done on interactions between medication for the endocrine system (which would include thyroid medication and the Pill) and Echinacea, but there haven’t been any indications thus far that they could affect it, because its actions (as we know them so far) are all on immune cells.

  • Kath at Wholesome Bee

    Yey – well done Echinaforce !

  • Deborah Dial

    Have always used Vogel products from the age of 16! (now 40).
    Whatever ailment I have experienced, I have always found respite in these products. I use Echinacea throat spray on and off, especially on holidays (coming back you always seem to pick up some weird sniffle), and during the winter months. I would recommend this spray to everyone and I have not had a cold now for at least 2 years….have always got one in my handbag 🙂 keep up the great research Vogel…

  • Jean McMahon

    Several months ago when i had a cold and was unwell I developed a sore lump on the hard palate of my mouth, after a visit to the dentist he confirmed that it was a Torus palatinus & said it was nothing to worry about, however for the cold I took 15 drops of Echinacea twice daily for about 3 weeks which cleared away my cold & reduced the swelling on my palate. I think Echinacea is brilliant for colds & flu & minor infections.

  • Esther Kleve

    Echinaforce has helped me many times, so thank you for a very fine product.

  • jenny brockhurst

    Great news!! Echinacea is wonderful stuff and nips colds in the bud year after year and am always telling people about it. All that negative stuff was just totally ridiculous.

  • Janine Parkinson

    At last! It is great to read the results of the findings of this Conference Report. I have used Echinoforce for a number of conditions over the years, and found it to be consistently beneficial for several applications, including topically diluted for boils, spots, pustules, etc. Excellent results always.

  • Joan Cary

    I and my husband took Echinacea for quite a few years and we found it excellent, we usually gave ourselves a 4 month break during the summer months. We sometimes felt like we were going to get a cold but it never actually came to anything. After stopping taking echinacea because of having to take prescribed medication for other ailments and did not want to overload ourselves with medicines we found that if we felt we were getting a cold we what i called overdosed on echinacea and again the cold never really came to anything. I am a big believer in alternative medicine and i think Echinacea is an excellent alternative cure.

  • edwina mars

    is it good for children under the age of 10years?

    • alison

      At the present time it is not permitted to sell Echinacea for children under the age of 12. This is due to a recent change of policy by the MHRA, before which Echinaforce products registered by the MHRA were available for children between the ages of 6 and 12.

      The MHRA have based their recent decision on the HMPC monograph published in March 2008. The decision does not appear to have been prompted by any new information about risk to children. No cases of adverse reactions connected with Echinacea in children have appeared in this time, during which Echinacea has been available not only in the UK but also in other European countries for children under the age of 12. It is still available for this age range in other European countries such as Switzerland.

      If you would like to read more on this topic, please go to our blog article Echinaforce® for children under 12

  • Lal Currie

    Very interesting as we have been taking this every winter for a good few years now and managed to stay clear of colds and flu.
    We stop it in May, June July & August on instructions from Jan de Vries, a great man who has helped me in many ways over the years.Take all the months of the year with an R in it and you`ll be fit! Lal Currie.

  • Ripe Herbs

    Interestingly, both the Mail and the Telegraph reported that the study was part funded by A. Vogel, a Swiss manufacturer of herbal remedies, including Echinacea products (such as Echinacea toothpaste). This could not be confirmed from the research article alone, although the Echinacea used in the research was provided by this company, and the study is highlighted on the A. Vogel website’s blog.

    • alison

      There is no government funding for herbal research, so funding from individual companies is necessary for furthering knowledge on herbal medicine. Similarly in the pharmaceutical world, individual companies fund trials on the medicines they work with.

      A.Vogel only provide the finance for the trial and the product on which it is carried out. In this instance the Common Cold Centre acted as a fully independent research site and A.Vogel had no opportunity to influence the study data. Trials such as this are also overseen by an independent monitor, to ensure that they are carried out to the appropriate standards and not influenced by the sponsor.

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