Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Can taking echinacea during cold season prevent you from getting a cold at all?
A: Several studies have attempted to discover whether the daily use of echinacea can prevent colds from even starting, but the results have not been promising. In fact, one study found indications that regular use of echinacea might actually increase the risk of colds. It was suggested that long-term use of echinacea might actually slightly impair immune function.
Echinacea is probably not worth using as a long-term preventive treatment. It is better used directly at the onset of a cold to reduce its severity and duration.
Additionally, you may boost your immunity with these specially formulated Traditions of Tao products for cold and flu: “Cold & Flu”, “Immunity”, “Perpetual Shield”, and “Chest Congestion”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.