There’s no magic pill that will eradicate the sniffles and sneezes this flu season, but there is an herb that may help your body fight off viruses and recover more quickly. This particular flower has been used for centuries as an immunity boost that helps the body fend off viruses and bacteria.

EchinaceaHow it Works

It’s called Echinacea and if you live in North America, chances are you’ve seen it growing wild in fields and woodlands or cultivated in gardens. Perhaps you’ve come to know the flower as Purple Cone-flower, but did you know about its medicinal benefits? Echinacea is an age-old herb that has been shown to improve the body’s immune responses in several ways:

  • It stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are an integral component of the body’s natural defense system.
  • Echinacea increases the production of the proteins interferon and interleukin, making it much more difficult for viruses to replicate and spread throughout the body.
  • The herb improves the performance of Natural Killer (NK) cells, which help the body to recognize and eliminate bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and cancer cells.

In fact, an evaluation by the Lancet Journal for Infectious Diseases concluded that consumption of Echinacea can reduce the odds of developing colds and flu by more than half and can help the body fight off common colds faster, by an average of 1.4 days.

Other Properties

Besides its immunity-boosting properties, Echinacea can also provide a number of other health benefits, such as:

  • Natural relief from minor aches and pains
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving skin health and reducing the signs of aging
  • Stimulation of healing and growth of new tissues

How to Take it

Echinacea may be taken as a preventative measure, especially during flu season. Depending on which form you choose, it may be advisable to take Echinacea several times a day to maintain its preventative effects. To take the herb to help fend off an illness, it is ideal to start taking Echinacea at the very first signs of an oncoming virus, such as a scratchy throat or mild fever.

There are many forms of Echinacea on the market. Some like to drink it in a tea or tincture, while many prefer an easy-to-swallow capsule. The most important thing to look for is an honest herbal manufacturer that preserves the plant in its most natural and bio-available form. Echinacea capsules from the Dr. Clark Research Association, for example, have been tested for purity and potency before being prepared without the use of fillers, additives, or solvents.

Browse the Living Clean Store for a variety of products that contain Echinacea, or read more about herbal remedies:

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