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Echinacea, Propolis and Vitamin C Show Preventative Effect for Respiratory Infections

A preparation of echinacea, propolis, and vitamin C may be help prevent respiratory tract infections in children, according to results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study published in the March issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

The herbal preparation (Chizukit) contains 50 mg/mL of echinacea, 50 mg/mL of propolis, and 10 mg/mL of vitamin C.


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

Herman A. Cohen, MD; Itzchak Varsano, MD; Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH; E. Michael Sarrell, MD; Yosef Uziel, MD

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158:217-221.

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.

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.

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