The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Garlic for the common cold?

     This Cochrane review tells us if it’s effective for prevention or treatment of the common cold.

    First, the details.

    • Of the 5 studies identified as potentially relevant for review, only 1 met the authors’ inclusion criteria.
      • 146 volunteers were randomly assigned to take a garlic supplement (180 mg of allicin) or placebo (once daily) for 12 weeks.
      • The study relied on self-reported episodes of the common cold.
      • Neither patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • There were 65 occurrences of the common cold with placebo vs 24 with garlic — a significant difference.
    • The number of days of illness was significantly longer with placebo vs garlic (366 vs 111).
    • Symptoms lasted significantly longer with placebo vs garlic (5 vs 1.5 days)
    • The number of days to recovery was similar in both groups – 4 to almost 6 days.
    • Adverse effects included rash and odor.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “A single trial suggested that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold, but more studies are needed to validate this finding.”

    7/13/09 17:44 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.