As the cold nights draw in and winter is on its way. Harness the power of Echinacea at the first signs of Cold & Flu symptoms.
Echinacea is by far one of the most recognised and supplemented herbal medicines worldwide. While it is mainly known for its ability to prevent and treat the common cold it has become increasingly popular for multiple other uses and benefits. Echinacea benefits our health and well-being in a profound way like few other herbs on this planet.
What is Echinacea and where does it originate from?
Echinacea is a native North American coneflower that was discovered and used as a traditional herbal remedy for more than 400 years by the Great Plains Indian tribes. Technically classified as an herb, several species of the echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its flowers, leaves and roots.
It’s most commonly known as Echinacea purpurea, commonly known as the pale purple coneflower, the echinacea plant is a favorite of gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts. An attractive flower that resemble daisies with mounded heads and rose, pink or purple petals, it grows on strong stems far above the foliage.
What makes Echinacea so good?
The root, leaves and aerial parts of the herb are used. The roots contain more volatile oils, while the parts that grow above the ground have been found to be higher levels of polysaccharides. Other components which benefit our immune system include caffeic acid, alkylamides, flavonoids, vitamin C and a range of other vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
The many benefits of Echinacea
Supports control of the immune system
Echinacea is usually thought of as an immune stimulator, but this is not the whole picture. Echinacea helps to modulate the immune system, depending on your own constitution. Scientists have shown that Echinacea treatment stimulated the formation of additional chemicals if they were low in certain individuals but for those who already had sufficient amounts, there was no further increase. It may also help to modulate the immune system, where there is overactivity which is generally the case for allergies and auto immunity.
Relieves upper respiratory tract issues
Echinacea is widely used to fight infection, particularly the common cold, flu, sinusitis, tonsillitis and other upper respiratory tract infections.
If taken daily, Echinacea can reduce your chance of catching a cold and if taken at the first sign of a cold can reduce the amount of days with symptoms.
Studies have found it cuts the chances of catching a cold by 58%.
Echinacea can be used to treat a wide variety of other infections such as urinary tract infections, herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 and fungal, streptococcus and Staphyloccocus infections. This is due to its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic and anti-inflammatory activity along with its enhancement of other components of the immune system which help to detect and eradicate infection.
Echinacea is generally a very safe and well tolerated herb. In rare cases, Echinacea may cause allergic reactions which usually manifests as a mild rash. People with asthma or allergies may be at an increased risk for developing these reactions and sometimes formulations using Echinacea root may be better tolerated. People with allergies to the asteracea (compositae) family of plants (e.g. chamomile and ragweed) should not take Echinacea.
Oral use of Echinacea has generally been considered safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding when used in recommended doses. Patients being treated for autoimmune diseases should be cautious and interactions with some immunosuppressant medicines may occur.
Protect from Flu with our Vaccination Service
Protect yourself from Flu this winter too with our flu vaccination service. Protect from four strains of flu. All with no appointment necessary.
Echinacea Cold & Flu Treatment is now available in our pharmacies and is available with a great promotion of just £3 for a 10 day course. Our pharmacists and our teams are here to help you prepare for winter.
Call in to your local Dears Pharmacy for support and advice in our locations in Edinburgh & Fife.