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What is Echinacea ?

Echinacea is a North American prairie native, abundant in the mid west and cultivated widely in ornamental and medicinal gardens. The purple-pink rays of the blossom droop downward from a brassy hued center cone composed of many small, tubular florets.

Echinacea is an herbaceous perennial belonging to the Aster or Composite family and is a hardy perennial plant that grows 1-2 feet tall and has a spiny appearance from which it derived its name (echinos being Greek for sea urchin or hedgehog).

It is a member of the daisy family and its flowers can resemble Black-eyed Susans with rich purple petals radiating from the center. Echinacea is a native North American plant with nine varieties.

Echinacea is the most popular herbal supplement in the United States. In 2004 Americans paid about $155 million for echinacea products. Echinacea is most effective when used in its fresh state.

If you are buying dried roots chew a piece first, if there is no numbing sensation in the mouth then the roots are old or improperly dried.

Echinacea is also every effective in treating respiratory ailments like colds. Some research has found Echinacea to be effective as an antiviral or antifungal, which also helps it fight infection.

For medicinal purposes, it is primarily the root that is harvested, although there may be a small market for foliage, and seed for propagation. Echinacea is a medicinal herb that some people take to boost their immune system.

It has been considered especially helpful in cases of colds, flu, and chronic upper respiratory and urinary infections. Echinacea is a non-specific immune enhancer. Its effectiveness can therefore be enhanced by combining it with herbs which support the tissues which are most vulnerable to the particular condition being treated.

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 multiple, the white blood cells calls 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. They 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. Others 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 you 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.

Gaia Herbs Liquid Phyto Echinacea

Nature's Answer's Echinacea

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