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Echinacea combination formula effective against common cold

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 263 people showed than a proprietary herbal formula was significantly more effective than placebo in relieving cold symptoms. The herb formula used was Esberitox® N, manufactured by Schaper & Brummer GmbH & Co. of Salxgitter, Germany. Esberitox N is an alcohol extract containing Echinacea purpurea and E. pallida root, wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) root, and white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) leaf. Patients took the formula (three tablets three times daily) or placebo for seven to nine days. During treatment, the patients recorded the severity of 18 different cold symptoms. Results showed that treatment with Esberitox N improved all major cold symptoms. Treatment response was seen as early as day 3 for people taking Esberitox N (18.4 percent vs. no response for placebo); response increased by day 5 to 55.4 percent for Esberitox N patients, compared with about 28 percent for placebo. Best results were seen in people who started treatment with the Esberitox N early, before symptoms peaked. Henneicke-von Zepelin HH, Hentschel C, Schnitker J, et al. Efficacy and safety of a fixed combination phytomedicine in the treatment of the common cold (acute viral respiratory tract infection): results of a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, multicentre study. Current Medical Research and Opinion 1999; 15(3): 214-227.

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