Newest Review: ... my sister. who's into a lot of herbal and natural remedies, and she suggested that I tried Echinacea. She takes this every winter and claim... more
Less Colds With Echinacea
Member Name: Vialdana
Advantages: less colds, easy to take, not expensive, herbal
Disadvantages: the doctors don't believe it works
I was first introduced to Echinacea by my grandmother some years ago, and I have to say I've sworn by it ever since. I take it during the winter months when people around me are complaining of colds etc. to boost my immune system and help prevent me from catching colds, coughs, flu etc. and I do find it works very well at either preventing me from getting the viruses, or at least at limiting how badly they affect me if I do get them. - Advice that I've read says that you shouldn't take it for more than 8 weeks at a time.
Echinacea is extracted from the Echinacea Purpurea flower, and can be found in drops, tablets, or powders - I personally prefer to go with a tablet as the powders and drops can taste rather nasty, and this way I don't taste it at all.
The tablets that I take are high strength and designed to be taken 1 per day, but some versions/brands are lower strength and suggest you take them 2, 3, or even 4 times per day. The ones I have are a 500mg dose. Generally, if people around me are getting colds, I start taking these and continue to do so until a few days after everyone else seems to be recovered, or until I myself am recovered if I do get the cold. They don't prevent me getting EVERY cold going, but they do appear to prevent me getting quite a number of them, and as I say, those which I do catch tend to be less extreme than other people around me who don't take Echinacea get.
Prices for Echinacea vary as much as the product itself does, mine came from an online pharmacy and cost me £8 for 200 tablets which I think is quite a good price as I've seen similar strengths sold in stores on the high street at around £5 for 50.
I do find it very frustrating that the medical profession here in the UK pooh-poohs anything that is herbal because it's herbal and for no other reason - after all most medicines we get from them have their backgrounds in the herbal remedies of the past, so why shouldn't we turn to nature instead of synthetic products if we can. I'd rather take a herbal remedy and see if that helps me, than turn to synthetically produced drugs every time I sniff - especially as most colds etc. are caused by viruses which the drugs won't help anyway. Having said all this, it's still worth consulting your doctor/pharmasist before you begin taking anything like this because some herbal remedies shouldn't be used if you have certain health conditions, or if you're taking certain drugs.
So, if you're looking to try Echinacea I'd say first check with your GP or pharmacist that you're safe to take it, then choose one which is high strength and which will suit you in terms of the method you take it, and then start taking it the moment people around you start sniffling. Hope it works for you as well as it does for me!
Summary: An easy way of stopping yourself from getting too many colds etc.