If seems that the average person has a hard time making it through an entire year without contracting a "cold from Hell" and finding a cure for the common is an elusive as ever, however there are ways to ease the symptoms.
Unfortunately, once a cold virus is solidly entrenched in our bodies, there is little you can do but let it run its course. The key to dealing with a cold or flu is to find a way of preventing it in the first place or taking action at the "very first" symptom. If you do not, buying any of those cold remedies that come in every color of the rainbow will do you little good. Even the one that makes your face pucker, but apparently works.
So they claim.
Echinacea is one of the herbal remedies that has actually been proven to work. This plant is native to North America and although it has been known for some time that it has medicinal qualities, recent studies have confirmed its healing powers when administrated for the common cold. The root and aerial components of the flower is used to make Echinacea powder. If used on a regular basis during the cold season, Echinacea has the potential of cutting the risk of colds by 50%.
Researchers also discovered that even if a person is infected with a cold virus, beginning a treatment with Echinacea will reduce the time a person is infected by almost a day and a half. This is quite significant as most remedies do little good once a cold virus has established itself in the system.
Before Echinacea was recognized for its power to fight colds, herbalists often used it to treat stubborn kidney infections and other respiratory problems. By utilizing the "tincture" of Echinacea every few hours, marked improvements were seen in flu and urninary tract infections as well.
The Echinacea herb is very versatile and can be combined with a variety of other herbs to form a potent combination against much more serious conditions. For instance, Echinacea can be combined with buchu and even couch grass for a potent combination that will provide an effective treatment against stubborn kidney infections.
Scientists studied the results of over 14 trials and came to the conclusion that Echinacea is indeed effective as a cold fighter and remedy, but has not yet gone as far as recommending it as a prescription until the proper dosages for effectiveness can be established.