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the power of echinacea

The power of EchinaceaEveryone who has had to go through the gauntlet of cold and flu season has probably heard of the wonder herb called Echinacea. This purplish member of the daisy family has been used since time immemorial by Native Americans to help cure a number of ailments and boost the immune system. In the late 1800s it gained popularity, and a bit of notoriety, as a blood purifier with the belief that it could cure snake bites and found itself in many “snake oil” cures. Despite this notoriety, Echinacea stuck around as a herbal cure once again becoming popular thanks to products such as “Cold Eze”.

While the Native Americans did not need any studies to know that this plant helped them get over certain viruses, modern western medicine did and as the result the plant has been the subject of numerous clinical studies.  In one such study published by the Journal of Family Practice Medicine it was found that participants who took Echinacea got over their colds in half the time that the placebo group took to get over them. While other studies got less conclusive results, the European Comission E. endorses the plant for the treatment of common colds and flu.

How it Works

While some people might like to claim that Echinacea is a cure for the common cold, it really is a way to treat the symptoms and to boost your body’s natural defense system to help you get over it faster. Certain polysaccharides, phenols and fat soluble alkylamides found in the plant are thought to be responsible for the plants overall positive effect on the immune system. The alkylamides present bond to the CB2 receptor which helps regulate the immune system.  

Beyond Colds

Besides helping you to get over a cold faster, Echinacea is used as a herbal supplement for a number of other ailments. For example, Withdrawal Ease, the opiate withdrawal supplement, includes Echinacea within its long list of herbal supplements because of its ability to boost the immune system as the body struggles through physical withdrawal symptoms.


Echinacea does not usually cause adverse side effects but some people do experience nausea and a ild rash which goes away once use is discontinued. Severe allergic reactions have happened in some extremely rare cases.
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