“ Brand: sainsbury's / Type: Tablets „
Having had a cold for what seems like forever I decided that it was time to be a bit pro active in trying to get rid of it. I had heard about Echinacea before and decided that it was worth a go because the number of boxes of tissues I was going through was getting ridiculous!
Before I started taking the tablets, I decided to do a bit of finding out about it, and soon became quite immersed in the world of herbal remedies!
WHAT IS IT?
Echinacea is a perennial flowering herb native to the Eastern United States and is commonly known as the purple coneflower.
Whilst the plant is prized by gardeners for its pretty purple and reddish flowers, it's the root that is used for herbal purposes; it apparently takes several years for the roots to be big enough to harvest so if you want to grow your own for medicinal purposes It takes several years for an Echinacea plant's roots to get large enough to harvest, so while you could grow your own, buying the supplement form is going to be less time and energy consuming.
Echinacea was used as a healing herb by the Native Americans and today it is one of the most popularly used herbal remedies.
WHAT'S IT FOR?
This is the bit i found most interesting because it is going to tell me whether my cold can be cured or at least shortened in duration.
Most studies on Echinacea have found that taking it won't stop you from catching a cold, but taking Echinacea beginning when your symptoms first start could shorten the time you feel poorly. This could be my down fall as I have had my cold for a while now, but still worth a go.
Echinacea is generally used as an immune system booster, and though it is most popularly known and tested as a treatment for colds, it can be useful for other ailments, too. In fact, if the claims are true than it seems an excellent all rounder.
Other uses of Echinacea include:
Treating urinary tract infections
Speeding wound healing (when used externally)
Reducing sore throat pain or enlarged lymph glands
Aiding in healing of skin conditions such as eczema or inflammation (when used externally)
Killing germs and reducing pain from external injuries
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Echinacea has been widely studied and there are several things that Echinacea does:
It increases the ability of white blood cells to destroy invading microorganisms, and boosts the strength of T-lymphocytes, which are vital to the immune system.
a compound in Echinacea, known as echinacein, helps prevent germs from penetrating and destroying healthy cells. This works both when Echinacea is taken internally and when it is applied to wounds.
PRODUCT AND PACKAGING...
Whilst there are many "varieties" of the product, I bought Sainburys tablets when on a recent shopping trip. The tablets come in a pack of 60 tablets with a picture of the flower on the front and all the instructions on the back. There is also a diagram of the size of the tablet which when i open the packet and take out a tablet is much smaller as it's only the 2D version.
There are 4 blister packs inside the box, each holding 15 tablets and surprisingly no advice on the tablets and their use, hence I had to read about it. The tablets are a kind of brown colour and the size they are you definitely need water; they are also not coated so I imagine that if they are not swallowed immediately they would get stuck. They don't have any smell and since I manage to swallow mine immediately, i have noticed no taste and no after taste so that's a good thing.
TAKING THE TABLETS...
Alot of the reading I have done suggests that they are taken for up to two weeks and then stopped but these tablets suggest that 1 or 2 tablets are taken daily for 2 to 4 weeks.
They are not recommended for children under the age of 12 years, and there is a capital letter warning not to exceed the recommended dosage.
OTHER BITS OF INFORATION...
Suitable for vegetarians vegans and coeliacs
Free from glucose and lactose
Consult doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding and want to take the tablets
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY...
Whilst Echinacea tablets are widely available these particular ones are available instore or online at www.sainsburys.co.,uk. These particular ones cost around the £2 mark for the 60 tablets which should last a month if I take the full dosage so this I think is good value.
Basically, did they work? When I started taking them I told a few people and found that some people "swear" by them. Although at first a tad dubious, I have to say that after having had a cold for weeks, within a couple of days it had gone and I no longer wake up sneezing and blowing my nose after a fitful night sleep. I honestly can't say whether it was the effects of these tablets performing this almost miracle, or whether my cold was finishing anyway. However, for me, and in my mind, they worked.
I have continued to take them for a couple of weeks, and then as advised, stopped for a few weeks, and started again. Hopefully, if I follow this course of action I may be able to avoid another nightmare cold.
The tablets are reasonably priced, easy to take and could offer some protection against viruses by building up natural defences.
Thanks for reading.