What is Echinacea & how does it work?
Echinacea is a group of herbaceous plants belonging to the daisy family that can be found in North America. When taken medicinally, research indicates that Echinacea stimulates white blood cells and spleen cells to combat viruses. This is caused by phenolic compounds that induce immunity boosting effects in the body. These compounds are found in all areas of the plant including the echinacea root, leaves and flowers, meaning that all these areas can be utilised for remedial purposes. Research has also suggested that the effects of echinacea are most potent when the plant is fresh, containing up to 3 times more active substances compared with the dried herb.
The science of Echinacea and Echinaforce
A number of studies have purported that Echinacea could work to minimise the symptoms associated with colds while reducing their severity and duration. However, research conducted by the Cardiff University Common Cold Centre proposed that Echinaforce could also reduce the risk of getting a cold at all (The Telegraph, 2012). This research was published in peer-reviewed journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine and was the largest clinical trial on herbal medicine at the time based on a sample size of 750 patients.
During the study, participants took Echinaforce mixed with water as directed, 3 times a day over a 4-month test period. The findings demonstrated that use of Echinaforce was able to minimise instances of illness from 188 in the placebo trial to 149 in the treatment group and saw a “highly significant” difference in the number of days the illness was present: 850 compared with 672. Returning colds were also down 59% from 100 cases in 43 participants to 65 cases in 28 participants (The Telegraph, 2012).
In all, the research suggests that Echinaforce can reduce the likelihood of succumbing to colds by 26% and reduce the number of persistent colds experienced by those with lower immune systems by around 60%. It also reduced the level at which patients were using over the counter medicines like paracetamol and ibuprofen. (American Botanical Council, 2018).
To learn more about the benefits of Echinacea as a preventative treatment, have a read of this article on prevention from our partners in the UK.
What is Echinaforce?
Echinaforce is a herbal remedy made from echinacea purpurea that can be used for the prevention and treatment of cold and flu. It is also often used for the external treatment of boils and abscesses. While there are many echinacea products on the market, Echinaforce is one of the only products to harness the power of freshly harvested herbs and roots for optimal health benefits. By utilising the plants within 24 hours of picking, Echinaforce is one of the best medicinal forms of echinacea available.
Echinaforce comes in a range of convenient forms, including:
How to take Echinaforce Protect Liquid
If flu season is approaching and you’re keen to boost your immunity to avoid getting those horrible flu symptoms like coughs, aches or a sore throat, you can take Echinaforce as a precautionary measure. For best results, take 25 drops in 50mL of water, 3-5 times daily before meals.
If taken for the treatment of cold symptoms, begin consumption immediately after symptoms first appear and continue treatment for at least 48 hours after symptoms subside. For best results, take 25 drops in 50mL of water, 3-5 times daily before meals.
When you shouldn’t take Echinacea
In all, Echinacea is a safe preventative herbal medicine, however there are some instances where you should be cautious about whether or not to use it. In particular, people who are allergic to members of the daisy family or who have a history of asthma or rhinitis should avoid Echinacea as a health precaution. It is also best to avoid consumption for people under 12 years old to evade potential allergic reaction. Echinacea is not recommended for people with progressive systemic disorders and autoimmune diseases or for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Other tips to avoid cold & influenza
To help you gear up for the fight against colds and flu, here are 5 of our top tips for staying healthy all year round:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after shaking hands or going to the bathroom
- Aim to get at least 8 hours sleep per night
- Replenish your body with lots of healthy foods
- Avoid touching your face, particularly the eyes and nose
- Reduce how much you’re smoking (or even better, quit altogether!)