Why is fresh echinacea better than dried?
The superiority of fresh extracts for treating colds & flus
Echinacea (aka the purple coneflower), has been used for decades as a herbal remedy to treat symptoms of the common cold and flu viruses. Originally identified by Native American tribes for its medicinal properties, the Echinacea plant has evolved to be one of the most sought-after home remedies in the western world.
Despite its popularity, many consumers are under a false impression that all Echinacea products contain comparable ingredients, therefore producing comparable benefits.
In this article, we're going to dispel this myth by demonstrating the superiority of fresh Echinacea extracts for treating colds and flus over and above its dried counterparts.
The process of producing dried Echinacea
After the plants are harvested, they are taken to a facility to be dried out. In this stage of the process, valuable substances like alkylamides are lost. These substances have shown to have high bioavailability and immunomodulatory properties (ability to modify functioning of the immune system).
From here, the herbs go through the process of disinfestation by gassing, irridation or pressure treatment with CO2 to prepare the plant for either storage or transportation. Once ready to be used, the plant is crushed or ground to render the active ingredients extractable.
The process of producing fresh Echinacea
To extract valuable substances from fresh echinacea, the plants are first harvested and then taken down to a factory on the farm where they are chopped up, ready for extraction.
Why fresh is better
As evidenced in the extraction methods, the process of producing dried Echinacea involves a number of unnatural steps that essentially diminish the plants' health benefits.
The aim of fresh extraction is to keep the plant as natural and 'whole' as possible. Using it in its purest form allows consumers to receive increased levels of substances like alkylamides, allowing the body to absorb and retain more of the plants healing power.
Fresh herb extracts are also assumed to have higher levels of antioxidants, antimicrobials, phenols and other immunity-boosting substances.
Comparison of tinctures made from fresh and dried Echinacea purpurea (plants with respect to the content of alkylamides, an important group of components in Echinaforce® that contribute to its effectiveness.
Benefits of fresh Echinacea
Aside from its ability to help prevent and treat symptoms of a cold or the flu, fresh Echinacea is also said to benefit things such as:
- Gum Disease
- Respiratory illness / infection
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Yeast and bacterial infections
Our Echinacea products
At A. Vogel, the central element of our quality is the fact that we use the fresh plant Echinacea purpurea to make Echinaforce®. In this way, we are able to produce a supplement that is more effective for treating colds and flus.
The Echinacea plants are of course grown organically under controlled conditions. Regular checks during the whole manufacturing process guarantees the highest quality right through to the end product and delivery to our Australian stockists.
Quality control every step of the way
Our Echinacea purpurea plant has to undergo more than 100 quality tests before it can stand on the shelf as a finished A. Vogel Echinaforce® Tincture. The tablets are subjected to almost 90 further tests.
If you're looking for a natural remedy to compliment your flu shot and chicken soup this winter, check out our article on Echinacea as the ultimate immunity booster or shop the Echinaforce® range here.