In this day and age everyone is looking for ways to boost their immune system. In recent years there has been an herbal remedy that seems to provide some relief to colds and flues and assist your immune system is Echinacea.
What is it?
Echinacea is one of the oldest and popular herbal supplements in the world. Echinacea is a Native American plant that is a natural fighter. It is categorized as an immuno-stimulant, which is a substance that is known to boost a body's immune system.
How does your immune system work?
White blood cells are part of the body's cells that make up the immune system. These are the body's first line of defense. If a flu virus enters an individual's body and begins to multiply, the white blood cells call in for help from the T-lymphocytes, and also they can get help from lymphocytes. All these working together allow the body to destroy the viruses that have invaded it.
How does it work?
Echinacea works differently from other treatments. It works directly, killing the germ by strengthening an individual's immune system. There is evidence that Echinacea stimulates the body into producing more white blood cells. It also stimulates the release of interferons. These are what the body uses as a fighting weapon. Echinacea also helps to prevent bacteria from producing an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which works through the membrane, and invades the tissue. Echinacea also has been known to destroy viruses, such as the common cold and flu.
How to take it
This depends on an individual's immune system. You may want to check with your doctor before. There are some illnesses that you should not take Echinacea if you have. In most cases, it is safe for an individual to take three hundred milligrams three times a day.
Some individuals take Echinacea on a daily basis to prevent colds and flues from developing. Other people will begin to take it once they feel a cold coming on, and to greet it with a line of defense.
If you have a child, the studies on how Echinacea can help them has been up in the air. It is recommended that for children ages six to thirteen you give them half the dosage recommended for adults. Under the age of six, you should consult your doctor. Children’s immune systems work differently than adults, many times they have not built up all of their resistance and need to do that before bolstering it with herbal supplements.
Does it work?
While Echinacea is just gaining ground in the United States, it has been researched in Europe. Echinacea has been studied in Germany in a controlled study. No one knew which they were getting. The individuals who took the Echinacea experienced less frequent and severe virus infections. Studies continue to show that there are no toxic effects to taking this herbal supplement. As with any medication or supplement there are some side effects, some side effects with Echinacea are diarrhea. This has been the most frequent side effect anyone has noted.
There are many things that an individual can do to help to boost your immune system. Taking Echinacea is just one of the natural herbal supplements that we can take. Studies continue to show the effectiveness of this supplement, and as more and more people continue to look to other alternatives, Echinacea will continue to gain in popularity. Remember to always check with your doctor before taking any supplement as it could have an interaction with any medication you are currently taking and could have a negative reaction.