Hi everyone! I was a little under the weather yesterday but thankfully the worst of it is over. When I get sick I stock up on ginger ale, echinacea tea, and vitamin C. Some of you may have heard of echinacea before and know that it is an herbal supplement many people take to help boost their immunity against upper respiratory infections. Echinacea is actually a cute little flower in the daisy family, also known as the American coneflower, that can be dried to make over the counter medications, tea, liquid extracts, powder, or dried herbs. I personally like to take echinacea in the form of tea because it helps soothe my throat and it tastes good. Also, tea is more heavily regulated than other pill/liquid supplements so I know that it is more likely to contain what is says it contains. I say this because some echinacea supplements have been found to contain arsenic and lead.
I usually get a little weary buying into the promises of herbal medicine and dietary supplements, but echinacea actually has several promising studies showing its effectiveness in reducing your chances of developing a cold by about 50%, or if you already have a cold it can reduce the cold’s duration by about 1.5 days. I don’t know about you but I like those stats! Here’s a little history on echinacea:
- Used by the Native Americans for several hundred years before Europeans landed in America for medicinal purposes.
- Was actually used by the Native Americans for reducing symptoms of sore throat, headaches, and coughs rather than treating the common cold.
- Became popular in Europe and Germany and Germans began researching its benefits in the 1920’s.
- Used in the 19th and 20th century to treat anthrax, snake bites, and relieve pain.
I’m going to continue drinking 1-2 glasses of echinacea tea for the next few days until my symptoms are completely gone. Have a great week! 🙂