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Translation of a-t 2020; 51: 72
 

IN BRIEF

Echinacea against SARS-CoV-2?

An in-vitro study (1) by a laboratory belonging to the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection is currently making headlines: "Echinacea against corona - study proves efficacy" (2) was the headline run by the German news portal Apotheke adhoc, for example. The conclusion of the study authors, which include employees of the company which offers the Swiss Echinacea purpurea extract tested, that the substance could be an effective prevention against all coronaviruses (1) led to a rush not just at Swiss pharmacies, where it is now sold out, but also at garden centres (2, 3). The fact that the coneflower extract in the test tube also deactivates coronaviruses including the new SARS-COV-2, however, does not allow conclusions to be drawn regarding clinical efficacy. It is often the case that substances or active ingredients demonstrate an effect in cell cultures but are ineffective in tests on humans, comments the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, Swissmedic, which classified corresponding claims as consumer deception (4). The red coneflower therefore joins the ranks of substances offered exploiting the fear of SARS-COV-2, along with cistus extract, the cold spray ALGOVIR, which is obtained from red algae, and others (a-t 2020; 51: 23), -Ed.

1SIGNER, J. et al.: Virology Journal 2020; 17: 136; http://www.a-turl.de/?k=ufri (11 pages)
2NEGT, A.: Echinacea gegen Corona. Apotheke adhoc of 14 Sept. 2020; http://www.a-turl.de/?k=atsc
3AFFOLTER, R.: Echinacea-Run schwappt auf Gartencenter über. Nau.ch of 16 Sept. 2020; http://www.a-turl.de/?k=chem
4Swissmedic: Communication of 16 Sept. 2020; http://www.a-turl.de/?k=lche

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