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Herbs & cold in kids

There is little evidence that herbal medications are effective in kids younger than 12 years.

health and fitness Updated: Dec 29, 2003 22:11 IST
ANI
ANI
PTI

Conventional methods like decongestants, antihistamines and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms of cold, rarely work in children younger than 12 years, concludes a new study published in the December 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) are a significant health burden in childhood, according to the background information in the article. The average child has six to eight colds each year, each lasting seven to nine days.

While children are frequently given drugs such as decongestants, antihistamines, and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms, there is little evidence that these medications are effective in children younger than 12 years.

Echinacea, one of the most commonly used herbal remedies in the U.S., has been used extensively for the prevention and treatment of URIs in adults.

James A. Taylor from the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues, conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness and safety of Echinacea purpurea (a type of echinacea used for medicinal purposes) in treating URIs in children two to 11 years old.

After the analysis of data from the study the researchers say, "There was no difference in duration between upper respiratory tract infections treated with echinacea or placebo,"

First Published: Dec 03, 2003 20:06 IST