One Popular Herb Is Just As Effective As Tamiflu

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Chances are you have taken this herb during the cold or flu season since it is one of the most popular herbal remedies sold today. Echinacea has been used for hundreds of years by the Native Americans for all sorts of upper respiratory problems, and although it is not a cure, most people take this herb to help lessen their symptoms.

Although there have been conflicting reports on just how well Echinacea works, a recent study  has shown that Echinacea can work just as effectively as the over-the-counter drug Tamiflu when it comes to shortening the duration of the flu.

A new study published in April 2015 in the journal Current Therapeutic Research showed that an herbal blend of concentrated root extract from the Echinacea plant had a very powerful effect on both the cold and flu virus. Scientists wanted to compare this herbal extract to Tamiflu. This study involved 500 people who had flu-like symptoms. Participants were randomly given either an Echinacea extract or Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Following the administration of the two therapies, statistical analysis showed that there was no significant difference between the groups, and that those taking the Echinacea extract had the same reduction in symptoms as well as a lesser duration of symptoms as the group that consumed Tamiflu.


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In fact, all subjects were classified as “recovered” if their symptoms were rated as either very mild or none on the evening of any day after they were given their treatment. For the subjects consuming Tamiflu, 4.1 percent recovered after one day, 48.8 percent after five days, and a full 84.8 percent after 10 days. Those who were given the Echinacea extract showed that 1.5 percent recovered after one day, 50.2 percent recovered after five days, and 90.1 percent recovered after 10 days. This is excellent when you consider that the average time for complete recovery from the flu is 14 to 21 days.  Both subjects and scientists reported that the two treatments were equally effective. There were similar results noted between subjects who were officially diagnosed with influenza and those whose disease had been diagnosed in the lab.

One of the main problems with Tamiflu, as with all chemical or synthetic medications, is that it has a higher risk factor for unpleasant side effects when compared to herbal preparations.  Although herbs are not 100 percent risk-free, the risk-to-benefit ratio is far lower when you are dealing with a natural plant material than any synthetic drug on the market. Common side effects with Tamiflu include insomnia, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and red eyes.

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