Using Echinacea to Treat Colds
Most herbalists advise taking echinacea in high doses the minute you feel a cold coming on, so your body can ward off the illness before symptoms get a foothold. If you have a sore throat, it is particularly useful to gargle echinacea tincture or juice mixed with water. This quickly reduces pain due to an anesthetic effect.
There's a myth that echinacea loses its effectiveness when used continually. There's no evidence to support this. Indeed, clinical evidence supports echinacea's effectiveness in long-term use.
Even if you do catch a cold, echinacea may help you to shake it off sooner than you otherwise might. During a period of infection, when the body is running low on resources, using echinacea to treat colds has been found to have a strong and direct force on the body's ability to speed healing. In other words, when you're in bed with a cold, your body can use all the help it can get.
Tackling the Flu
The same general results hold true for using echinacea to treat the flu. In one study conducted in Germany, liquid echinacea extract was shown to help ease the symptoms of influenza and speed recovery.
Another study, this one reported in 1978, found that echinacea root was significantly effective in attacking influenza viruses. Another clinical study, in 1992, found that volunteers who took echinacea showed marked resistance to flu viruses.
And volunteers who took echinacea, but who still came down with the flu, exhibited far fewer symptoms than untreated patients.
Every year, millions of people suffer from colds. Fortunately, by following the home remedies and natural treatment options outlined in this article, you can make your bouts with the sniffles more tolerable.
For more information on preventing and treating colds and flu, see the links on the next page.