Use of Echinacea in traditional and cultural setting may differ from the concepts accepted in western medicine. Therefore, if you want to use it start by consulting a medical practitioner.
What is Echinacea extract?
Echinacea herb is of three varieties used in immune boosting and healing some diseases. Its leaves roots and flowers have healing properties. Echinacea also called coneflower and a wildflower grows in moist lowlands and meadows in the mid-west. While the plant is widely known for its medicinal purposes, it is also a garden plant, which has beautiful purple flowers.
What are the benefits of taking Echinacea extract?
• Protects you against winter ailments
If you use it properly, it will strongly protect you from many winter illnesses or at least reduce their symptoms. The extract is very effective in prevention and in the early stages of an infection. It is effective in treating infections, bacteria or germs present for a long period of time when used in synergy with some plants like turmeric, garlic, garnodena and ginger.
• Supports a healthy immune system
Echinacea exist in three varieties. These varieties include Echinacea pallid, Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. The three varieties have strong properties that facilitate a healthy immune system. Therefore, its use is high in immune system protection and in shortening common cold duration.
Echinacea extract serves as a body immune system stimulant by activating the white blood cells thus making it hard for foreign bodies to infect body cells. Clinical studies have indicated that Echinacea have both antifungal and antiviral properties which also assist in its infections fighting ability. However, the studies are not conclusive.
• Immunity boosting
To boost your immunity, you should not use it for a very long time without taking a break. It is effective in awakening immune system although you should use it for a period of 6-8 weeks maximum and then take a 2 weeks break before reusing it. You should not permanently keep your immune system in an alert state for the extract to be effective.
Echinacea extract exist in several forms which include capsules, decoctions, infusions and mother tinctures. For the capsules, you should take between 800mg and 2grams in a day.
• Cold treatment
Start using it immediately you notice the symptoms. This way, you will have sufficient active ingredients found in Echinacea. If you go for Echinacea capsules; take between 800mg and 2grams in a day.
Who should not take Echinacea extract?
Because of the extracts effects on the immune system, you should never use it in case you have AIDS, multiple sclerosis, leukemia, tuberculosis and autoimmune disorders which include lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
What other drugs will affect Echinacea extract?
Echinacea can alter actions of medicines that affect the immune system. Before using Echinacea, inform your doctor in case you are taking steroid medicine like celestone and cortisone or cyclosporine, which include tacrolimus, azathioprine and methotrexate.
Echinacea extract side effects and how to avoid them
When taken orally, Echinacea never causes any side effects. However, in some rare cases, individuals may experience allergic reactions which include increased asthma, rashes and anaphylaxis. Gastrointestinal side effects were the most common in clinical trials. In case you are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums and daisies you have a high chance of experiencing the side effects and you should avoid it. Furthermore, any person with atopy or asthma is more likely to experience an allergic reaction after taking the extract. To avoid the side effects you should not use the extract if you suffer from any of the cases.