Does Echinacea Work?

Echinacea supplements are claimed to be beneficial for numerous medical conditions, but does echinacea work? Studies of echinacea for treating the common cold have shown mixed results, while one study suggested that taking the supplement orally in combination with applying an antifungal cream was effective for preventing recurring vaginal yeast infections. The effectiveness of echinacea for other uses has not been confirmed.

Does Echinacea Really Work?

Echinacea is a flowering plant often used as an herbal supplement. It is usually used as a remedy for the common cold. You may have heard claims that echinacea works wonders for a variety of different medical problems. But does echinacea really work? This article will address some of the questions you may have about the effectiveness of echinacea for various uses.
 
Does Echinacea Work for the Common Cold?
Studies of echinacea for treating the common cold have shown mixed results, with some studies suggesting that echinacea really does work and some studies showing no benefit. The studies that did suggest that echinacea works for the common cold suggested that the supplement can both shorten the duration of the cold and help reduce the common cold symptoms. At this time, there is significant debate concerning the effectiveness of echinacea for treating the common cold.
 
Most studies tend to suggest that echinacea probably does not work for preventing the common cold.
 
Does Echinacea Work for Yeast Infections?
One study suggested that taking echinacea orally in combination with applying econazole (Spectazole®), an antifungal cream, was effective for preventing recurring vaginal yeast infections. The combination of echinacea plus econazole worked better than just econazole alone. More research is necessary to confirm this finding and to see if echinacea works in combination with other yeast infection creams.
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