Many think echinacea benefits include cold and flu relief by boosting the immune system. But, what’s the best echinacea supplement to use?
What is echinacea?
Known as the American coneflower, echinacea has been widely used by Native Americans hundreds of years prior to the European colonization. The herb continues to be used as an immune system builder. Specifically, combating symptoms that are associated with the flu and colds.
Echinacea is effective due to several properties comprising the herb. For one, it holds antioxidant properties due to the high level of phenols. Phenols are found in most plants and protect the plant from infections and UV radiation.
Another reason that echinacea is effective is that it contains a many active substances which exhibit anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. Both properties are important for maintaining immune health. It also contains alkamides. Alkamides promote a healthy immune system.
Echinacea can be consumed orally in either tablet or liquid form. People will typically take tablet form at the beginning of cold symptoms. The liquid form can be beneficial to curing viral infections in the mucous found on the back of the throat. Echinacea tea has also been used.
What are the benefits of echinacea?
A study by the University of Connecticut, school of pharmacy, studied the echinacea benefits when used to treat colds and the flu. The study concluded that taking it as a preventative reduced the risk of catching a cold by 58%. It also found that if echinacea was taken at the onslaught of first symptoms, a colds total infection period was reduced by 1.4 days.
WebMD, which doesn’t usually promote natural alternatives, surprisingly had this to say about echinacea:
“Echinacea is widely used to fight infections, especially the common cold and other upper respiratory infections. Some people take echinacea at the first sign of a cold, hoping they will be able to keep the cold from developing. Other people take echinacea after cold symptoms have started, hoping they can make symptoms less severe. The people who use echinacea to treat symptoms have the right idea. Research to date shows that echinacea probably modestly reduces cold symptoms, but it’s not clear whether it helps prevent colds from developing.
Echinacea is also used against many other infections including the flu, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, genital herpes, bloodstream infections (septicemia), gum disease, tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, and diphtheria.”
Conclusion on Echinacea Benefits Against Cold and Flu
Whether you are trying to boost your immune system or fight an infection, echinacea is a good starting ground. It’s an excellent alternative to drugs developed in the laboratory. There are many success stories and research trials that show echinacea benefits. Specifically, when taken to combat colds and the flu. This herbal remedy has also worked for me.
Whenever I get the first sign of a sinus infection or cold I always grab my bottle of echinacea. Typically, a scratchy or sore throat is the first system I get.
When I take echinacea right away, my cold symptoms are always mild. And, I’m a lot less pain compared to others that end up with a full blown cold. When you feel a cold coming on, try it out. It is much better to take echinacea than to go for the DayQuil after the cold sets in.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this post shall not be solely used for diagnostic purposes of illnesses. All information found in the post was researched through sites found locally on the web.
Looking for other ways to naturally help cold and flu symptoms? Check out the best essential oils for cough and cold treatment.