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Colds fall as echinacea sales soar

General Practice nurses will be hoping to see fewer patients coming through their doors complaining of suffering from colds after sales of remedies more than trebled.

Retailers have reported a surge in demand for common cough and flu treatments, as the wet weather continues to make the summer a washout.

High street store Boots said sales of products for cough and cold sufferers are up 247% on this time last year.

But the retailer has seen a fall in demand for hayfever cures following a sales surge in April and May.

Echinacea, which is believed to reduce the chances of getting a cold, has been selling at a rate of one packet per minute at Boots stores this month.

Superdrug has also reported a "massive" increase in echinacea sales after scientists claimed the remedy can halve the risk of catching colds.

The research in The Lancet Infectious Diseases analysed 14 different studies on echinacea's effects on the immune system.

People were 86% less likely to catch a cold when taking echinacea combined with a vitamin C supplement. Echinacea alone reduced their chances of falling ill by 65%.

Boots pharmacist Angela Chalmers said: "The unseasonable weather is definitely causing an increase in the number of people asking the pharmacy team about cough and cold remedies."

Superdrug said its echinacea sales soared tenfold in the week after details of its potential health benefits were published.

Related story: Echinacea fights against common cold



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