The evidence for Echinacea

I recently saw Abby, a seven-year-old girl with a cold who had been brought in by her mother.

Mum mentioned that she used echinacea products, and asked whether Abby would also benefit from them.

Clinical question

What is the effect of echinacea on the duration or severity of the common cold in children?

What does the research evidence say?

Step 1: The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library contains a recent systematic review and meta-analysis (up-to-date June, 2013) that examines