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Echinacea No Help for Colds

Echinacea, a popular but largely untested herbal remedy for the common cold, showed no benefit when given to people with sore throats and stuffy noses. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin gave capsules of the herb to 73 students suffering from cold symptoms. An additional 75 students with colds got a placebo, or dummy pill, made of alfalfa. After 10 days, members of both groups had gotten equally ill, the study found. Compared with the placebo, unrefined echinacea provided no detectable benefit or harm, researchers wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine.