New research on Echinacea
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.
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.
UPDATE: More Echinaforce research
In a 2015 study, Echinaforce® Hot Drink was demonstrated non-inferior to Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) in the treatment of clinically diagnosed and virologically confirmed influenza virus infections at a reduced risk of complication and adverse events.
 M. Jawad, R. Schoop, A. Suter, P. Klein, and R. Eccles, "Safety and Efficacy Profile of Echinacea purpurea to Prevent Common Cold Episodes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial," Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 841315, 7 pages, 2012.
 A. Schapowal, P. Klein, SL. Johnston, "Echinacea reduces the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and complications: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials," 2015 Mar;32(3):187-200. doi: 10.1007/s12325-015-0194-4. Epub 2015 Mar 18.