People who believe Echinacea will stop a cold when they feel one coming on will swear by it, and there's no convincing them otherwise.
An article Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine is trying again. It says there is no evidence that herbal extract from the Echinacea flower will prevent a cold or any other respiratory illness. And already, a doctor from the Cleveland Clinic wants the last word.
"I wouldn't leave out the Echinacea at this point, we know its mechanisms of action, we know that it increases the immune cells activities in the body."
The journal article concludes by suggesting that maybe it's time to quit trying to prove that Echinacea doesn't help, and let the supporters try to prove that it does.
Keep in mind, herbal supplements do not need FDA approval to be on the market. While the FDA does monitor supplement safety and adverse reaction claims, it is up to the consumer to determine if the supplement works for them.