One of the most popular herbs in America today, this perennial plant has been used by Native Americans for more than 400 years as a general tonic and to ease the discomfort of infections and wounds. There are two species of echinacea commonly used for medicinal purposes today: Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea.
Strengthening the Immune System
An immune system’s primary role is to protect the body against damage from dangerous viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. Echinacea has the ability to strengthen the immune system by activating white blood cells, which seek out and destroy these unfriendly invaders.i
Fewer Flu and Cold Incidents
Matter of fact, studies show that echinacea is safe and effective in reducing cold symptoms. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, British researchers tested 755 healthy people over a four-month period. Participants taking echinacea had significantly fewer incidences and less severe cold and flu symptoms (149 colds lasting a combined total of 672 days, while subjects in the placebo group reported 188 colds lasting 850 total days).ii
A Preventative Measure
Take echinacea before the cold and flu season hits! Echinacea helps the body produce more germ-eating cells called macrophages, which protect your body’s immune system by searching out and destroying common cold and flu viruses and bacteria.
So, if you’re looking to keep sickness at bay, feeding your immune system echinacea is one good way!
Tip! Taking echinacea before the cold and flu season begins gives the body a healthy jump-start to fighting germs.
*You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
i Fonseca FN, Papanicolaou G, Lin H, Lau CB, Kennelly EJ, Cassileth BR, Cunningham-Rundles S. Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench modulates human T-cell cytokine response. Int Immunopharmacol. 2014 Mar;19(1):94-102. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2013.12.019. Epub 2014 Jan 13. PubMed PMID: 24434371; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4140398.
ii Jawad M, Schoop R, Suter A, Klein P, Eccles R. Safety and efficacy profile of Echinacea purpurea to prevent common cold episodes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012:841315. Epub 2012 Sep 16. (hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/841315/)