Effectiveness of an Herbal Preparation Containing Echinacea, Propolis, and Vitamin C in Preventing Respiratory Tract Infections in Children: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study | Complementary and Alternative Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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Article
March 2004

Effectiveness of an Herbal Preparation Containing Echinacea, Propolis, and Vitamin C in Preventing Respiratory Tract Infections in Children: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study

Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Community Clinic (Drs Cohen and Sarrell) and Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel and Sackler Faculty of Medicine (Dr Varsano), Petach Tikva; Department of Family Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv (Drs Cohen and Kahan); Israel Pediatric Research in Office Setting Network of the Israel Ambulatory Pediatrics Association, Tel Aviv (Drs Cohen, Varsano, Kahan, Sarrell, and Uziel); and Department of Pediatrics, Sapir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine (Dr Uziel), Israel.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(3):217-221. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.3.217
Abstract

Objective  To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a preparation containing echinacea, propolis, and vitamin C in the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children during a 12-week winter period.

Design  Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Subjects  Four hundred thirty children, aged 1 to 5 years, were randomized to an herbal extract preparation (n = 215) or a placebo elixir (n = 215).

Intervention  Administration of an herbal preparation (Chizukit) containing 50 mg/mL of echinacea, 50 mg/mL of propolis, and 10 mg/mL of vitamin C, or placebo (5.0 mL and 7.5 mL twice daily for ages 1 to 3 years and 4 to 5 years, respectively) for 12 weeks.

Results  Significant mean ± SD reductions of illnesses were seen in the Chizukit group in the number of illness episodes, 138 vs 308 (55% reduction); number of episodes per child, 0.9 ± 1.1 vs 1.8 ± 1.3 (50% reduction, P<.001); and number of days with fever per child, 2.1 ± 2.9 vs 5.4 ± 4.4) (62% reduction, P<.001). The total number of illness days and duration of individual episodes were also significantly lower in the Chizukit group. Adverse drug reactions were rare, mild, and transient.

Conclusion  A preventive effect of a product containing echinacea, propolis, and vitamin C on the incidence of respiratory tract infections was observed.

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