Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Echinacea Side Effects

Discover Some of the Echinacea Side Effects

Echinacea is an herbal medicine used in the treatment of common colds, sore throat and flu. It comes from the herbaceous family part of the daisy family. The Echinacea plant has a number of species used to make medicine from their leaves, root and the flowers. Many people believe that since Echinacea is a natural medicine, it does not come with side effects. On the contrary there are a few Echinacea side effects.

Majority of people taking Echinacea do not experience Echinacea side effects when they take the remedy as instructed. Some of the minor side effects that may be experience may include:
• Nausea
• Stomach upsets
• Dry mouth
• Allergic reactions and asthma symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms while taking the herbal remedy you should contact your doctor immediately.

If you are constantly taking other medicines, you should always talk to your doctor first before taking the Echinacea. Echinacea may interfere with the drugs and cause a reduced effect of the drugs and mostly bring about the Echinacea side effects. When seeing your doctor you should inform him if you are taking any drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol because they may affect how it works and bring problems.

People with allergic reactions of daisies, marigolds or plants related to this family should not take Echinacea because it triggers allergic reactions which are other signs of Echinacea side effects. Talk to your doctor regarding the Echinacea side effects you are having. If you have an autoimmune disorder, human immunodeficiency virus, type one diabetes or you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should see your doctor because to prevent Echinacea interfering with these medicines.

In order to reduce the Echinacea side effects always follow the directions or talk to your doctor prior to buying herbal medicine. When you have an empty stomach you should not take Echinacea. The most advisable way is to take it with some water. In most cases you should not take Echinacea for two weeks without informing your doctor.

There are some unpredictable Echinacea side effects which may be as a result of contamination of some products. In most cases herbs and supplements are not as tightly regulated as prescription or non prescription drugs, they mostly get contaminated by other herbs, heavy metals or medications. For to you avoid this problems, it is recommend you get the supplements for a trustworthy dealer.

Even after experiencing some of the Echinacea side effects named above. It is not possible to tell the side effects beforehand if you have never taken the drug. So it is important to always inform your doctor if you notice any changes, they may not necessary be Echinacea side effects.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


What is Echinaforce?

Echinaforce is one of the most used echinacea formulas. It is manufactured by a company known as Bioforce Ltd, Echinaforce tablets are taken to relieve symptoms of colds and flu and upper respiratory infections. According to the manufacturer the product is suitable for children over 6 years old. Those that are allergic to echinacea are also advised to refrain from taking it.

Echinaforce is made from Echinacea purpureaherb and roots. Echinacea is a herb native to America but is now widely grown in Europe. Echinaforce works like echinacea products by stimulating the body's immune system to fight off any infection.

The Dosage For The Echinaforce Tablets


The tablets are taken orally only and not otherwise. The dosage for these echinacea tablets is as follows:-

Adults and the elderly : The recommended dose is 2 tablets two to three times a day.
Children (6-12 years): The recommended dose is 1 tablet two to three times a day.

According to the manufacturer one shouldn't take more than the recommended dosage and in case you take more than the recommended dosage and feel ill you are advised to consult your GP or doctor. If you miss your echinaforce dosage, you are advised not to worry but to take the next tablet or tablets as usual. You are also advised to consult your doctor if the symptoms worsen instead of improving or where there is no improvement in condition.

Treatment For Thrush

Echinacea when combined with other herbs can also be used effectively in the treatment of thrush. Thrush is caused by a fungus called candida albicans.  According to the NHS UK website, Candida albicans occurs naturally in the body, particularly in warm, moist areas, such as the mouth and genitals. It does not usually cause any problems because it is kept under control by the immune system (the body’s natural defence against illness and infection) and other types of bacteria in the body.

Care should be taken to avoid including alcohol in any formula of echinacea against thrush. Candida albicans will thrive in an alcohol environment. Alcohol is usually used in the preparation of Echinacea tincture. As a result one can use vegetable glycerin instead of the alcohol when preparing the tincture. It is however, better to use an Echinacea decoction formula in treating thrush.

Ingredients in the Echinacea Formula For Treatment of Thrush

The formula should consist of equal parts of Echinacea root, pau d'arco inner bark and burdock root. These three herbs are well known for their stimulation of the immune system. Pau d'arco has been shown in various studies to be a strong antifungal herb. Actually it is one of the few plants that are not infected with any fungal infection in the wild. One would therefore expect the same properties that protect the live plant from fungal infection in the wild to help when taken orally and applied to an affected part of the human body.  Pau d'arco has also been shown in lab studies to kill HIV. Scientists however warn that in order for to work in the body it would require large doses which would do more harm than good due to its toxicity. 

Pau d'arco has also been shown to have anti cancer properties as well. Pau d'arco also supports the pancreas and like echinacea is anti-inflammatory.

The burdock root will act as a blood cleanser, diuretic and pancreatic balancer. Studies have shown that Pancreatic imbalance is often seen as contributory factor to the problem of thrush.

The echinacea in the formula will help in destruction of the dying off yeasts. This will be on top of the fact that echinacea is also a very strong immune booster as pointed earlier.

Echinacea Formula Dose in the Treatment of Thrush

One needs to take 3 cups or 500mls daily of the Echinacea formula or one teaspoon or 5 mls 3 to 4 times daily when taken as a tincture. As pointed out earlier the tincture should be alcohol free, otherwise you would be providing "fire and water" at the same time to treat the problem. This dosage can be increased according to the extent of the problem and how your body reacts when you take this formula. People are different and react differently to medicinal herbs. The majority of the people will generally not have serious problems except for the pau d'arco herb which is toxic, as most medicines and some herbs, and needs to be taken in moderation. This pricincipal should apply in the treatment of thrush.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Echinacea Seeds

The root of echinacea is the main part used for medicinal purposes but some herbalist add echinacea seed and leaf to echinacea tinctures and formulas. The seeds are found in the cone of echinacea and erupt in the cone in the fall and are brown in color.

Echinacea seeds and flowers are rich in vitamin C, a phenolic compound called chicoric acid, alkylamides and essential oils.

The echinacea seeds can last 1-2 years.

How To Use Echinacea Seeds For Medicinal Purposes.

The Native Americans used to chew the echinacea seeds, leaves and roots. This is the best way of getting maximum benefits from the echinacea. There are, however, more palatable ways of taking echinacea seeds and the best is through a tincture. Echinacea tinctures ensure the the echinacea herb is in concentrated form.  And the alcohol or vegetarian glycerine in the echinacea tincture will preserve the quality of the echinacea. Recently some 100 year old echinaea tinctures were found and tasted and appear to have maintained their quality. Some scientist however propose that tinctures should be kept for two to three years. This is seen as a reasonable shelf life for most tinctures.

Growing Echinacea

Echinacea can be grown from seeds and seedlings. However, it is the seedlings that are more reliable in growing echinacea especially when it is grown at home. One needs to obtain small plants and transplant them into a rich and well drained soil to which compost has been added. 

Of all the species of echinacea it is Echinacea purpurea which is easiest to grow at home. It can be grown both in the open or in shaded areas. It has shown to survive in almost all climates except of course where the heat is too much  and dry. In very hot and dry conditions echinacea should be grown in the shade. Echinacea grows particulary well  in sandy fine silt -loam soil with a PH of 5.5-6.

When To Grow Echinacea.

Echinacea seeds can be grown in winter. If you are using echinacea seedlings then transplant them in early spring. Studies have shown that Echinacea angustifolia in particular, does not thrive in saturated soil. Therefore  it is advised to grow it in moderately coarse textured soil consisting of lime and gravel

When to Harvest Echinacea.

Echinacea leaves are harvested in late spring before the buds have appeared. It is also the time when maximum young foliage has been produced. The leaves are harvested by cutting  off the tops, leaving 4 in of the plant above ground level.

The roots are harvested in the fall when the chemical constituents are at their best levels. You first need to taste the roots or even the leaves or seed and look for the strong, tingling numbness in the mouth. If this strong and tingling numbness is present then they are ready to be harvested as this shows that the active natural remedy constituent in the plant is at the optimum level. The roots should then be washed  and dried and placed on cake racks in a warm and dry place.

The roots should be harvested when the plant has fully matured in in late summer or fall. The seeds are ready to be harvested when they are loose enough to come away easily in your hand. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

echinacea and goldenseal

The following video discusses the benefits of using echinacea and goldenseal in prevention and treatment of various infections. Of late we have seen so many combinations of these two herbs in capsule form, tincture form etc. By now you should know that Echinacea is possibly the best immunity boosting herb known to man.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is another herb that is gaining in popularity nowadayd. It was introduced to European colonisers of America by the Native American. The Native Americans  used Goldenseal to treat skin disorders, digestive problems, liver conditions, diarrhea, and eye irritations.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Echinacea Formula For Colds and Flu

The Echinacea Formula for colds and flu combines Echinacea and other herbs that fight colds and flu such as peppermint leaves, yarrow leaves, and elderflower. These herbs make the patient to sweat and therefore dry out the mucous membranes.  Elderflower is a well known immunity boosting herb and will stimulate the body to release all the the defense it can marshal to defeat the infection. This is done by stimulating the body to produce more white blood cells, phagocytes etc which act as the body's soilders to defeat the body's "enemies".

The formula comprises of the following ingredients:-

  • 3 parts Echinacea root.
  • 1 part peppermint leaves
  • A dash of Cayenne.

Dosage of Echinacea Colds and Flu Formula. 

Four teaspoons or  five times daily.

Alternative Echinacea Colds and Flu Formula
  • 4 parts Echinacea root.
  • 2 parts yarrow leaves
  • 1 part Elderflower
  • 1 part Peppermint leaves

For Adults four teaspoons of the tincture formula every 2 hours. For children aged 7-12, half adult dose; aged 3-7, quarter adult dose; under 3 years, 3 drops every 2 hours.