Planta Med 2008; 74(6): 633-637
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-993766
Workshop - Echinacea: update on current research
Mini Review
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Echinacea for Preventing and Treating the Common Cold

Karin Woelkart1 , Klaus Linde2 , Rudolf Bauer1
  • 1Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacognosy, Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria
  • 2Centre for Complementary Medicine Research, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Received: October 9, 2007 Revised: November 15, 2007

Accepted: November 20, 2007

Publication Date:
10 January 2008 (online)


Echinacea preparations are widely used for common cold. Many consumers and healthcare professionals are not aware that products available under the term Echinacea may differ in their composition, due to the use of different species, plant parts, extraction methods and addition of other components. In 2005, a Cochrane review has been published to provide objective evidence whether the various Echinacea preparations are more effective than no treatment, more effective than placebo or similarly effective to other treatments in the prevention and the treatment of the common cold. In contrast to other reviews, the specific criteria for pooling of data from different trials have been predefined to assure a meaningful meta-analysis. In the meantime two further meta-analyses have been published. In the present mini-review, these latest meta-analyses are evaluated and discussed.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rudolf Bauer

Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences


Karl-Franzens University Graz

Universitätsplatz 4

8010 Graz


Phone: +43-316-380-8700

Fax: +43-316-380-9860