Orginally from North America, this particular echinacea plant was photographed in the beautiful walled garden in Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Echinacae has a pink delicate daisy like flower and interestingly all parts of the plant have been used to make herbal medicine. Prior to the advent of antibiotics, echinacae was seen as an effective antiviral and immune stimulant and it has an interesting history being used for everything from coughs and sore throats to eye infections, snakebites and venereal disease.
Today, echinacae is still popular and for many it is seen as a 'must have' for their winter medicine cabinet. As far as the scientific community is concerned, echinacae is one of the most well studied herbs out there and even some family doctors recommend it for its prophylactic benefits! ITV's 'This Morning Dr Chris Steele has said ..
There is research showing that Echinacea does reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms of the common cold and influenza - as do other herbal remedies, such as Pelargonium. The difference between the two is that Pelargonium is suitable for adults and children (aged 6+) with asthma and other vulnerable groups, whereas Echinacea is not recommended if you have asthma. Dr. Chris Steele
A 2014 Cochrane review of 24 trials found a 'consistently positive' benefit from taking echinacea as a preventative measure. Another meta-analysis published in the Journal of Advances in Therapy 2015, demonstrated a significant benefit from taking echinacea as a prevention for repeated respiratory infections in 'at risk' groups among children, adults and older adults and concluded that...
Evidence indicates that echinacea potently lowers the risk of recurrent respiratory infections and complications thereof. Immune modulatory, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects might contribute to the observed clinical benefits, which appear strongest in susceptible individuals. Schapowal, A et al.
As a family we first started taking echinacea 26 years ago and we have recommended it so many times over the years. It's definitely something we wouldn't be without! To order your echinacea, one of my favourite brands is made by Scotland's first qualified Medical Herbalist Brian Lamb at New Health Horizons. Telephone 01847894991 to order and for further advice. I also highly recommend their Throat Soothe which is a wonderful 'gargle and swallow' product along with their very effective and soothing cough remedy Thyme syrup. These three wise herbal medicines have been in our medicine cupboard for years and those of my relatives!
Alternatively, if you live in Aberdeen/shire, pop in to your local Nutricentre at Tesco Danestone for a wide range of top quality supplements and advice from professional Nutritionists. The perlagonium mentioned above by Dr Chris is also available at this Nutricentre store.
Of course, taking supplements is not the only thing to consider if you have a history of immune problems. The best way to do this would be to book an appointment with a Nutritional Therapist who will take a lengthy case history and may recommend further testing to get to the bottom of your particular health problems. It could be that both diet and lifestyle choices could unwittingly be contributing towards repeated health challenges. It is hugely rewarding both as practitioner and client to uncover a few of those obstacles that may be hiding in the shadows if we did but know!
Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease. Hippocrates
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