Echinacea

One of the most touted herbs for keeping you healthy by boosting your immune system is echinacea, boring right?  Perhaps it’s a staple in your medicine cabinet, or maybe you’ve tried it and felt it did nothing for you.  So, lets talk about why it’s talked about all the time.  🙂

Did you know Echinacea is a flower that is classified as an herb?  Some of you may know it as the coneflower.  Those beautiful purple flowers that sort of look like a daisy, but the petals turn down.  Yep, that’s echinacea.  There are several species and different aspects of the flowering plant are used for different things.  This particular herb has been used for centuries in healing by Native Americans.

A meta-analysis out of the U of Connecticut shows it can cut the chance of getting a cold by 58% and that it can decrease your sick time by up to 1 1/2 days.  The trick is to use it early on.  Start taking it when you are experiencing symptoms coming on, don’t wait until you are sick at home with a fever and chills before you start the regiment. If you’ve gone that far you may need to amp up on some other immune protecting products.

You can use it for more than common cold as well: Flu, cystitis, shingles, skin disorders, anytime the body’s immune function is compromised or weakened.  It’s an anti-inflammatory, assists lymphatic activity,  and increases the power of the white blood cells to eat infections.

The list is much longer for what echinacea can do for you and what it can treat.  Some people may not be able to take it who have allergic asthma, or allergies to certain plants like ragweed.

There is much discussion on whether this can be taken long  term or whether it should be cycled on and off.

This wonderful herb can really assist in health and well being in so many ways.  Though it is something you should talk to your alternative health care provider about in order to make sure you are getting the greatest benefit from it.  Due to different processing methods some over the counter supplements you buy just don’t stand up to the effectiveness of others.

Here’s to your journey of staying well!