Today I thought I would chat about one of my favourite herbs! I know I have chatted about ginger before which I personally try and incorporate into my diet every day. But today it’s Immune boost time! And what better way to do it than with the beautiful Echinacea, also known as purple cornflower, botanically as Echinacea angustifolia or Echinacea purpurea.
I love this herb! This is my go-to herb when my immune system feels like it’s a bit down and I think I have something coming on. It is fantastic for treating and preventing upper respiratory tract infections, it is awesome at giving your immune system a kick in the right direction. When you take it if its good quality you will feel a tingling in your mouth and a puckering sensation, this is the effect from good quality Echinacea and is due to Alkamides found strongest in the root. Alkamides cause a varying degree of tingling, numbness and pungency in the mouth and on the tongue. Which makes them a sialogogue (promotes the secretion of saliva) they also have immune enhancing effects.
There is another constituent to Echinacea that causes its immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effect this is isobutylamide this is the constituent that gives the immune modulating effect especially for macrophage activity and the production of cytokines which are involved in fighting off infections, colds and flu viruses. in other words it stimulates the immune system into action…
In traditional prescribing of Echinacea it was used for Boils, abscesses, snake bites, any insect bite as well as skin conditions, fevers, influenza, chickenpox, and any glandular inflammation plus many more conditions.
So as you can see this beautiful herb is really an immune powerhouse and is certainly my go to herb especially when you want to give your immune system a real kick-start to fighting off any lingering lurgy.
Most herbalists will have this herb in strengths that you cannot get through retail stores. If you are looking for a good quality retail brand then I recommend Kiwiherb and they have a fantastic blend called Echinature.
If you feel like you are needing something stronger or want to get over what you have been chronically fighting for what feels like forever… Then get in contact with us at Vitalise your naturopaths/ medical herbalists, we offer mobile naturopath services so make sure to check out our packages for you.
Here’s to a fantastically healthy February and year ahead!
Me – your mobile naturopath xx
Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: Herbal formulations for the individual patient. Edinburgh [u.a.: Churchill Livingstone.
Ganora, L. (2009). Herbal constituents: Foundations of phytochemistry : a holistic approach for students and practitioners of botanical medicine. Louisville, CO: Herbalchem Press.