Echinacea flower illustration for HRI health article

Echinacea proven to help reduce the chances of getting the common cold

The largest ever clinical trial of the traditional herbal remedy Echinacea was published in October by the Centre for the Common Cold at Cardiff University and showed the herbal remedy to be ‘safe and beneficial in preventative and symptomatic treatment for colds’.

The double-blind trial of 750 participants found that those taking Echinacea over a four-month period had significantly fewer colds, and that those they did get were of a shorter duration than those experienced by the control group.Patricia Gallagher of HRI Herbal Medicines has welcomed the findings from the study but cautioned consumers to ensure that they only choose regulated Echinacea products that have been approved by the regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).

Only approved products are allowed to carry a Product License (PL) or a Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) number – usually accompanied by the THR logo. As she explained, “With such a bewildering choice of alternative and complementary remedies on offer, it is easy for people to think that anything which says ‘Echinacea’ on the packet is the same. In fact relatively few traditional herbal remedies are approved by the MHRA, which conducts rigorous tests to ensure that the medicines use the ingredients they claim; that the herbs are grown and harvested properly and crucially, that the medicines are safe to use and remain stable in storage. To be sure that they are buying properly regulated products, consumers need to look for the Product Licence or THR number.”

HRI Cold & Flu Echinacea is fully approved by the MHRA and carries the THR logo to show that is an approved traditional herbal remedy.

Each tablet contains 56mg of extract from Echinacea purpurea root, equivalent to 338-450mg of Echinacea. The MHRA recommends that Echinacea should not be used by children under 12.