Echinacea: Health Benefits, Uses, Research

Echinacea contains four types of compounds which might boost the immune system: alkamides, glycoproteins, polysaccharides and caffeic acid derivatives, but not all these substances are found in every species of echinacea, nor in every part of the plant. Researchers believe that the effectiveness of Echinacea at fighting infection is due to a combination of all the key chemicals. Whether or not echinacea helps prevent or treat the common cold remains controversial. Wildcraft this plant responsibly and consider growing it if you have suitable garden space. In Germany, pharmacists even keep echinacea behind the counter with the prescription medicines. You should not take Echinacea without consulting a physician if you have an auto-immune illness, such as lupus, or other progressive diseases, such as tuberculosis or multiple sclerosis. So when you feel the cold coming on – reach for the echinacea tincture.

Most of these medications are over-the-counter drugs, and there is no need for a doctor’s prescription. Found in echinacea leaves, flowers and roots and in high-quality remedies, isobutylamides help white blood cells in the body engulf and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. 5. The center of the flower has a seed head (cone), which is also spiky and dark brown to red in color. Caution: Peppermint tea may interfere with the beneficial action of homoeopathic remedies. That’s good enough reason to take it don’t you think? The study, which appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Contrasting blinded groups yields a 0.53 day (95% CI = −1.25 to 0.19) trend toward benefit (p = 0.075). In Germany, the upper parts are approved by the government for treating colds, slow healing wounds, upper respiratory tract and urinary tract infections, and roots approved for treating flu-like infections. A Cochrane review confirmed that zinc reduces the duration and severity of cold as well as antibiotic use by sufferers. And yes, there are some studies that seemed to find Echinacea ineffective, but as Jon Barron has pointed out, they are seriously flawed. Vogel. Lysine can also be used topically by opening a capsule and mixing together the powder with water. It works best at the very onset or start of an upper respiratory infection.

Echinacea is most likely to cause allergic reactions in children and adults who are allergic to ragweed, mums, marigolds, or daisies. High in natural vitamin C and no artificial ingredients, it’s best taken just as you feel the nip of a cold or flu coming. It also concluded that the herb helps shorten the duration of common colds by 1.4 days. The echinacea tinctures (Echinaforce®) were used as a concentrate, butthe sage tincture was used without previous evaporation to maintain the valuable sage essential oils. Pieces of echinacea root have been found in archeological digs from villages that were over 200 years old. The research team found that echinacea, supplemented with the three vitamins resulted in significantly less severe and shorter symptoms following respiratory infections compared with echinacea alone or placebo. A study published in The Lancet* from the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital in the USA found that echinacea more than halved the odds of catching the common cold (decreasing the odds by 58%).

Company scientists say drying seems to snuff out the unstable immune boosters in echinaceas purple flowers, leaves, stems, and roots—a theory endorsed by leading U.S. With government funding, Dr. In: J. Childhood colds may cause fever, but adult colds rarely do. One, cold weather lowers  the body’s defenses so that a rhinovirus infection that might be fought off by the immune system in summer can successfully overwhelm it in the winter. The compounds within this plant marshal our white blood cells to move efficiently toward a place where our body is losing a battle with infection. Let’s put four popular therapies to the test: echinacea, garlic, vitamin C and zinc.

Canker Sores usually heal by themselves within a week or so. In such studies it has clearly been shown to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of colds and the way that it fights off viruses such as the common cold and flu is by boosting the activity of the immune system. Flower heads may grow to 4 in (10.16 cm) across. The popularity of alternative medicines for common cold treatment may be due to the perception by the public that the scientific and medical establishments have been defeated by this most common of diseases. Big pot of soup | When I first begin to feel under the weather, I make a big pot of soup. We are, however, often asked in general terms about using the herb Echinacea preventatively and our honest answer is that there is evidence to support this. Is it safe?