A new Canadian study showed that taking the herbal remedy ginseng reduced the risks of developing a cold and the severity of a cold.

Ginseng, a native to eastern Asia and North America, has long been associated with keeping colds off but studies have never been able to establish a link.

In the study of 323 people, the first group of people was given two capsules of North American ginseng a day for four months during the winter and the second group a placebo. The results showed that just 10% of the ginseng group got two or more colds, compared to 23% of the others.

It is thought ingredients in ginseng improve the immune system by stimulating immunoglobin - proteins that act as antibodies.

However, as the scientists haven’t been able to give proof of the ginseng benefits, they are not in a possibility to recommend ginseng to patients.