For years people have dreamt of a cure for the common cold. So you can go and get your flu jab and fill yourself with Lemsip and Beechams once the inevitable winter cold bites, but why fill your body with chemicals when there’s a fantastic herbal remedy out there that can solve the problem for you?
Echinacea is growing in popularity, and is even being added to smoothies at some juice and smoothie bars as part of immune system boosting drinks. The reason why it’s become so popular is because it works!
Most people know that the best defence is a good offence, and this can be true with echinaea. A lot of people get more colds round this time of year because they get more run down with all the running around and making preparations for Christmas time they’re doing, so when the cold and flu bugs are at their best, your immune system becomes less effective giving the viruses the upper hand from the offset. Taking a low daily dose of echinacea throughout the winter therefore boosts your immune system to help your body fight off their advances before they get chance to cause you misery.
However if the onset of cold has already begun, it’s not too late for echinacea to come to the rescue. Of course, the sneezes will still be there and you’ll still have your cold, it can’t perform miracles, but taking a high dose of it will help your immune system fight off the invading virus quicker than it would have done if left to its own devices.
Echinacea is available from most health food shops in a variety of different forms. You can find tablets in various strengths, from 200mg to 1000mg tablets and capsules. If you can find 500mg tablets, these tend to be best as you can then take 1, 2 or 3 tablets per day with food depending on whether you want to prevent yourself catching the cold your workmates are groaning about, boost your immune system to get rid of that tell-tale stuffy feeling at the back of your nose that could become a nasty cold, or whether you’re in the middle of a full-blown cold and want to fight your way to the other side.
You can also find tinctures and teas containing the extract, however teas are not likely to prove too effective at getting rid of a cold, as the amount of echinacea that would be present in a cup when brewed in hot water would be minimal. If you want to see results, you are much better to choose a product that you know contains a substantial amount of the active ingredient.
As somebody who has tried the herbal remedy to positive results, it is easy for me to preach the good it can do. There have been many people I have recommended the remedy to over the past few years who were sceptical to say the least. Yet by my challenging them to try it and prove me wrong, there are less sceptics in the world than there once were!
And if you need further proof of the effect that this alternative medicine can have, in some countries, children have been given very small doses of the extract from a young age. The same children have been found to escape a large proportion of the childhood illnesses that usually make the rounds.
So if your curiosity has been piqued, or if you were considering trying echinacea before but have never got round to it, give it a go. What have you got to lose? Of course always check the label before taking any supplement or extract and if you’re unsure, speak to your GP.