Echinacea is also known as purple coneflower.
The Native Americans - 'Indians' who first embraced the healing power of echinacea. They used echinacea internally as a treatment for colds, measles, mumps, and arthritis. As an external poultice they applied it to wounds, insect bites, stings and even snakebites.
Later date, white settlers arrived, then employed their pioneer mentality and soon adopted echinacea as their own.
Indeed, one travelling salesman of patent medicine, a doctor Meyer used it in his 'Meyer's Blood Purifier'. He claimed this medicine to be 'an absolute cure' for rattlesnake bite, blood poisoning and we may guess 'whatever else ails you'. It was claims like this that gave patent medicines the term 'snake oil'.
The medical establishment of the 1870s was understandably sceptical
of such medicine and their claims.
Dr Meyer was so confident of echinacea's capacity to protect against rattlesnake bite that he offered to let a rattlesnake bite him in another doctor's presence and then use his 'Blood Purifier' to cure him. Dr Meyer was not taken up on his offer but soon echinacea had been taken up by the establishment as a medicine.
The same is happening to water-cure protocol formula: not many doctors wanted to teach the public about it's proven claims that water cured may incurable diseases where drugs approach had failed.
Echinacea is useful in treating wounds, venomous bites and stings, blood poisoning, meningitis, chicken pox, malaria, influenza, syphilis and gangrene. (Source: M.Castleman, The Healing Herbs, Bookman, Melbourne,1991)
Echinacea enjoyed a prized place in medicine for some time which only waned with the advent of antibiotics in the 1930s.
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, echinacea has made a comeback. This plant is certainly effective in boosting the body immune system and is a useful healing tool.
Healing with Echinacea
Its benefits for humans are varied and impressive. It decrease the amount of colds caught and also to have the effect of making symptoms that do appear less severe and shorter in duration.
One study of 80 adults found that echinacea shortened cold duration by 33 per cent. (Source: B.Schulten et al., Arzneimittel-forschung Drug Research, 51(7), 2001,pp.563-68.)
The effects of echinacea on the common cold are due to a twofold action.
1.In the first place, echinacea boosts your body immunity so it is better able to deal with infection. Echinacea does this by stimulating the release of certain chemicals, such as interferon, which get your immune system going.
So effective is echinacea at doing this that it has even been shown to reduce the incidence of leukaemia in mice. I know we humans are not mice, hence the detractors downplay this study. I wonder what those same drug manufacturers used in their drug experiments and studies prior to their synthetic drugs can be approved for human consumption? (Source:I.Hayashi et al., Nihon Rinsho Meneki Gakkai Kaishi, 24(1), February 2001,pp.10-20.)
Echinacea also stimulates various cells of your immune system. In net effect then, echinacea gets your body as ready as it can be to defend against infection and it also goes a step further in warding off disease.
This herb is safer and more effective than the World Health Organisation's approved Tamiflu (proven not effective )vaccine/drug for the H1N1 pandemic.
2.Echinacea has the valuable capacity to restrict the activity of viruses. This is an unusual quality, which echinacea achieves by blocking the release of a substance known as hyaluronidase.
It is this hyaluronidase that viruses use to cut out the highways and byways by which they move about your body and spread their infection. Echinacea then is a very viable treatment for the common cold or flu since viruses cause a majority of these conditions.
One particular species of echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia ) also appears to have a mild antibiotic effect, which is capable of directly killing bacteria such as golden staph (Staphylococcus aureus ).(ource: A.Menograph Alternative Medicine Book, 6(4), August 2001, pp. 411-14)
For one moment, it is worth considering claims made in some quarters that a lot of echinacea's effect may arise from a placebo effect because people taking it expect it to work. How about Tamiflu,then? As we know, the human mind does play an undeniable role in the body's physical responses but it only takes a quick look at one study to demonstrate that echinacea has a real physical effect.(Source: W.O'Neill, Equine Vet, 34(3), May 2002, pp. 222-27)
Horses were given echinacea for a period of 12 weeks. At the end of this time the horses had boosted levels of immune cells and the cells were more active. We can assume that the horses had no knowledge of what they were taking and no expectations that it would work. This will rule out the placebo effects, if there is any at all.
I challenge the Tamiflu promoters to try this same experiment on the horses and report their result.
Finally, since the immune system is also involved in wound healing, echinacea is very useful to help heal everything from cuts to burns and ulcers. (Source:R.Bauer et al., Economic and Medicinal Plant Research, 5, 1991, pp.253-321.)
As a final bonus, echinacea has also been shown to have antioxidant properties. (Source: B.D. Sloley et al., Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 53(6), June 2001, p.849-57.)
DOSAGE with echinacea is not a simple issue.
To begin with, there are three(3) species of echinacea that have the medicinal qualities outlined here. They are :
1. Echinacea angustifolia,
2. Echinacea purpurea, and
3. Echinacea pallida.
The root of the plant has traditionally been used medicinally although the flowers, stems and leaves (aerial portions) have also shown immune boosting properties.
Dosage is very different for the varying varieties available.
Echinacea root should be taken at a level of 500-1000 mg three times a day.
Dry, powered extract (standardised to 3.5 per cent echinacoside) should be taken at 300 mg three times per day.
The juice of the aerial portions of echinacea should be taken at 3-4 mls (3/4 to 1 teaspoon) three times a day.
Always look for a standardised product. On a long-term basis, take echinacea on a three-month rotation of two months on, one month off, two months on, etc.
Be aware that if you have an allergy to daisies, then you should use echinacea with caution as it is a member of he daisy family and may induce an allergic response.
Do check your daily water-quota requirement is met regularly. Many cases of allergies were due to chronic dehydration of the body. Use water-cure protocol formula then. You can find it in previous posts at Health Wealth blog here http://theinnozablog.blogspot.com
As echinacea can increase fever, do not take it during an active fever. Since enchinacea is an immune stimulant, caution should be used in combining it with immunosuppressive drugs (if you are taking them) such as corticosteroids, cyclo-sporine, amiodarone, methotrexate and ketoconazole.