Echinacea

Echinacea best preventative herb against colds and flu


Echinacea best cold and flu preventativeEchinacea  has been promoted as a short term treatment for upper respiratory infections, but it is a much misunderstood herb. Shops sell all kinds of Echinacea products – fresh juice extracts, whole dried plant, fresh plant; and different species of Echinacea – E. pallida, E. angustifolia, E. purpurea and various combinations of these.

Kerry Bone, a well respected Australian herbalist, through his experience and research, has shown us the best way to use Echinacea. He found that the alkylamides, occurring in greatest amounts in the root, are the constituents that activate the immune system.

He also found that Echinacea does its best work in preventing infections and is best taken daily during times when risk of infection is high, such as during Autumn and Winter, during stressful periods or when travelling.

Echinacea primes the immune system to be ready to respond to germs by boosting the number and function of the white cells. It’s like putting a better set of eyes on your immune system so it ‘sees’ bugs, toxins, etc more accurately. The evidence for Echinacea as a preventative is far greater than that for Olive leaf.

The combination of E. angustifolia and E. purpurea root gives the best levels of the alkylamides. MediHerb Echinacea Premium that we have at the centre contains this combination.

You can do a ‘taste test’ to check for the presence of alkylamides in an Echinacea product, as they give a tingling, buzzing sensation on the tongue. Just chew a tablet or sip the liquid. If you don’t get the tingling feeling it doesn’t contain the alkylamides and won’t activate your immune system.

Echinacea only has a moderate effect when used after an infection has started. The best herb to use in this situation is Andrographis at doses of 4 gm 3 to 4 times daily as in Andrographis Complex or Andro NK.

For a good preventative effect, get some Echinacea Premium from Sunshine Health and take 1 tablet twice daily. For young children, we have a pleasant tasting alcohol-free Echinacea liquid extract. May you have a cold-free passage through Winter!

 

Bloke w cold

The SPECIAL 7 tips to keep on top of coughs, colds and flu

cold flu virusHere are some tips from Sunshine Health in Gympie to help you through the coughs and colds this Autumn and Winter.

S is for Stress.

Be aware that too much of it weakens our immunity. If we let ourselves get overtired, over-hungry too often or push ourselves too far, we can become susceptible to infection. So look after yourself. Stop when you’ve had enough. You probably won’t do this perfectly, but that’s OK, just arm yourself with these other strategies.

P is for Protein,

which our white cells need to make antibodies to fight germs. The cellular activity in our bodies can only happen because of enzymes and these are made of protein. We get high quality protein from eggs, meats, chicken, turkey and fish and we need some at every meal. We can top up the protein in a meal with cheese or yoghurt. Vegetarian protein is of lesser quality and special care needs to be taken to get sufficient quality and quantity. Sugar is poison to our white cells and we need to minimise it.

 E is for Echinacea,

the King of Preventatives. This herb does its best work in

preventing infections and is best taken daily during times when risk of infection is high, such as during Autumn and Winter, during stressful periods or when travelling. Echinacea primes the immune system to be ready to respond to germs by boosting the number and function of the white cells. You need a combination of E. angustifolia and E. purpurea root extract to get the active ingredients. Our Echinacea Premium contains this combination.

C is for vitamin C,

which we need more of when under stress or when we have an infection. In normal health, we need 500 to 1000 mg daily, which could be got from a diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. When sick, we may need 3,000 to 12,000 mg daily, depending on the person. Avoid chewable and flavoured vitamin C, it’s bad for your teeth. Also avoid calcium ascorbate, it unbalances the body’s calcium levels. Use ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate.

White cell and virus
White cell destroying a virus

I is for zInc,

a very important nutrient for our immunity. It has antiviral effects by boosting white cell activity and strengthening our respiratory membranes against invasion. We get it from protein foods, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. It’s depleted by sugar, alcohol, caffeine, white flour and stress. When our white cells are fighting an infection, they use up a lot of zinc, so extra at this time is very helpful.

 

A is for Andrographis,

the best antiviral herb. This is the one to use when you have an infection, along with extra zinc and vitamin C. An adult dose is 4 gm 3 to 4 times daily. (It’s best avoided in pregnancy; in this case use Echinacea.) We have two products – Andrographis Complex and Andro NK.

Rest helps immune system
Monty shows us how to rest

L is for reLax and Let your immune system

do the job it was so brilliantly designed for, ie get some rest, feed your immune system and let it do its work and you’ll get over a bug quickly. Avoid or minimise the use of drugs for fever and congestion. They give some symptom relief but actually hinder your immune system’s efforts and prolong your illness.

 

7 is for Active 7.1,

a mineral combination for colds and all the “-itises”. It has antibacterial and antiviral activity and relieves congestion and inflammation. For a mild cold or sore throat, this may be all you need.

So remember the SPECIAL 7 and your whole family will have a healthier Winter! Call into Sunshine Health and arm yourself with remedies and pick up the pink guide “How To Treat Colds & Flu” for more detailed instructions and recipes.