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March 17, 2004

Echinacea for Treating Colds in Children—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(11):1323-1324. doi:10.1001/jama.291.11.1324

In Reply: In response to Dr Kim and colleagues, because of the 3 species and multiple preparations of echinacea that are commonly used, it is difficult to select a single, optimal product for study. This selection is further complicated by the lack of identification of a single constituent, or group of constituents, that is responsible for the putative clinical effects of echinacea. Thus, rather than choosing a formulation on the basis of a group of chemical constituents, we used an extract of the above-ground E purpurea plant that has been reported to be effective in treating URIs in adults.1,2 Our study medication was standardized by comparison to the fresh-squeezed juice of the plant.

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