Question: I am very prone to colds and my friend has suggested I use a natural herbal remedy such as Echinacea to boost my immune system. However, is Echinacea suitable for frequent use?
17 September, 2008 – 07:12
Answer: Britain is renowned for being the country of the common cold and early indications are that this winter will be no exception.
It’s no wonder then that sales of the herb Echinacea, one of nature’s most potent immune boosters, are beginning to soar as the miserable weather brings its annual dose of colds and flu.
Echinacea belongs to the daisy family of plants and has been used since the days before antibiotics to ward off cold and flu viruses. Its recent popularity is a result of fears about the over-usage of antibiotics in the Western world, especially when it involves children’s health.
However, although Echinacea can help boost the immune system, people with progressive systemic ailments such as tuberculosis and auto-immune conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin dependent diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease) should avoid it.
Echinacea, due to its strength, should not be used longer than eight weeks as it can begin to have an adverse effect on the immune system. But it can be taken in several bouts of eight-week periods throughout the winter months. A break of about 2-3 weeks is recommended in between doses.
With so many children coming home from school having picked up just about every bug that is going, herbal company Bional have thoughtfully produced a slightly milder Echinacea supplement formulated especially for kids.
The Echinacea For Kids supplement also includes Cat’s Claw and Myrtle, which are immune strengthening and mild antiseptics to keep sore throats and infections at bay.
For further advice ask at your local health store.