Thursday, July 28, 2005

Echinacea another proven "natural" dud

For years, the promoters of Echinacea and the majority of the health fraud industry has been peddling the lie that Echinacea is effective in preventing and/or reducing the symptoms of the common cold.

In yet another study, this one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, (NEJM) showed that Echinacea is no more effective than a placebo. The recent study was not the first to show this type of result and I imagine it will not be the last.

In addition to people forking out hard earned money for something that is ineffective, you also have to contend with the prospect of spending your hard earned money on pills that don't actually contain Echinacea in the quantites noted on the label. A study done by the Australian Consumers Association and published in their magazxine "Choice" showed that the amount of active ingredients vary widely from brand to brand (and even between batches of the same brand). What's more, the concentration listed on the label was no indication of the amount of active ingredient in the tablets.

The brand that boasted the greatest concentration of echinacea, actually contained no chicoric acid at all and had one of the lowest concentrations of alkylamides.

If you're tempted to try echinacea for a cold, don't bother. It doesn't work. Even if it did, in Australia, you just don;t know what your actually buying when you get a bottle that has echinacea written on the side of the bottle.

"There is only one truth. How we interpret that truth is called belief."
"The existence of belief does not indicate the prescence of truth"