Echinacea to Strengthen the Immune System
By Anca Martalog • November 19th, 2007 • 2845 Views
How does Echinacea work to strengthen the immune system
The most well-known herbal support for the immune system is Echinacea, yet it is both misunderstood and mis-underestimated. There are many Echinacea products available which differ according to plant species. (E. Angistifolia, E. Purpurea or E. Pallida or combinatios of these), plants part (roots, leaves or seeds or combination of these), quality markers (alkylamides, polysaccharides or caffeic acid conjugates such as cichoric acid) and dosage.
Information about the therapeutic value of Echinacea first came Native American Tribes. Their use of Echinacea was then adopted by the Eclectics, a group of doctors who were prominent around the late 19th centuries in the United States. By 1921 Echinacea ( specially the rots of Echinacea angustifolia) was by far the most popular treatment prescribed by Eclectic physicians.
The Native Americans mainly used Echinacea augustifolia and ONLY the root.
In Europe, during 1930's, the German herbalist Madaus used e.purpurea as he was more successful at growing this species.
Later on it was discovered that echinacea contains echinosides, specific immuno-stimulant substances; they activate the immune system defenses against viruses and bacteria, making echinacea a broad-spectrum natural anti-biotic.
Like any other medical anti-biotics, Echinacea is often overused or mis-used, which leads people to believe it's not working.
Echinacea is worthy of its' own fame if used properly.
The typical application for Echinacea is short term only for winter infections.
Another point I should make towards proper use is that once it's indicated, it has to be taken every 3 hrs, not just 2-3X/day.
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Dr.Anca Martalog, N.D., is a Richmond Hill European Canadian Naturopathic Doctor practising since 1995 clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture. A well known lecturer and TV and radio personality, Dr.Anca has authored many e books, articles, Special Health reports and Guides.