At this time of year, this plant is very important to get to know… Personally, I pop these at the slightest tickle in the throat (along with a generous dose of high quality vitamin C from natural sources) or when you feel you’re not doing well. I would generally follow the directions (which is usually to take capsules a few times per day) for 3-5 days. It pretty much works every time. When my immune system used to be weaker, I’d do a 3-week treatment at the beginning of winter and then another one halfway through. It’s much better than the flu shot! and this protects you against almost anything that comes your way, not just the cold or flu. I’ve always heard good things about people using Echinacea for their kids’ ear infections too.
Obviously, I recommend using a trusted brand, that uses organic or pesticide-free plants.
Echinacea strengthens our immune system, so it’s good for many illnesses, not just the cold. Here are some interesting facts about this powerful plant:
- While Echinacea has mild antiviral and antibacterial properties this is not how it works to fight viruses.
- Echinacea increases the production of your immune cells (your bodies natural defenders)
- It also boost your immune cells ability to do their job (namely, devouring the pathogens invading your body)
- Echinacea also helps kick in your alternate complement pathway (a secondary immune system which is triggered when antibodies start destroying invaders)
- Last but certainly not least, it has the amazing ability to inactivate the mechanixm viruses make use of to spread throughout your body, thereby slowing the virus down.
(source: The Natural Path, Vol. 16 No. 3)