July 13, 2012 · 2 comments

This is a guest post by Brian Anderson.

A single sneeze can cover six meters and travel at a speed of 100mph, spreading infections and propelling cold-causing virus into your immediate neighborhood. [1]

As if this wasn’t bad enough when you are trying to stay healthy through the winter, it’s not just the airborne viruses you have to watch out for. Flu-causing viruses can live for up to 3 days on things like escalator handrails, door handles, coffee cups, drinking glasses and plastic surfaces. [2]

If you want to avoid succumbing to a bug this winter, you need to take preventative action! If those around you start spluttering and sneezing, you may want to consider the benefits of Echinacea, which research has shown can inhibit the transmission of viruses from the infected person to you. [3]

It may well be worth your while to flag up Echinacea’s unique actions to those already suffering. If they protect themselves, they are also protecting you! Equally, if you are in the throes of a cold or flu, reduce the extra hassle of infecting colleagues or your family, by taking Echinacea. Keeping them healthy means extra volunteers to bring you tea and sympathy!

Detailed work with extracts of Echinacea showed that whether it was taken before or after infection the results were just as good, so never think it’s too early or late to protect yourself.

Research has also shown that pathogens don’t seem to be able to develop resistance to Echinacea, as they do to other antiviral agents. It will also work on viruses that have become resistant to flu vaccines. [3]

When fresh, Echinacea contains almost three times the active substance compared to equivalent measures from dried plants [4], so extracts made from fresh Echinacea will fight harder for you.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Echinacea can help improve the symptoms of colds, which commonly include sneezing, a sore throat and a high temperature.

Research also shows that Echinacea can reverse the increase in mucus production by respiratory cells, caused by cold and flu infections. So take Echinacea to reduce the snot factor!

Ali Cullen, nutritional therapist at A.Vogel Herbal Remedies says: “Strengthening your immune system with Echinacea means you are less likely to catch a cold. It can also be taken to reduce the risk of passing your cold on to those around you - family and friends with whom you come into regular contact. Keep yourself safe by ensuring those around you take Echinacea, so that they won’t pass any infections on to you!”

Echinacea from A Vogel Herbal Remedies is available as tablets or drops and can be used by adults and children over the age of six. Echinacea can also be found in selected pharmacies and independent food stores.

1. Xie,X, Li,Y, Chwang,A,T,Y. How far droplets can move in indoor environments – revisiting the Wells evaporation falling curve. Indoor Air 2007; 17 (3): 21-25
2. Hendley JO, Gwaltney JM Jr, Mechanisms of transmission of rhinovirus infections. Epidemiol Rev. 1988; 10: 243-358.
3. Schapowal A. Schweiz Z Ganzheitsmed 2011; 23: 40-44
4. Tobler M et al. Schweiz Z fur GanzheitsMedizin 1994; 5: 257-26

photo by: trumanlo

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Daniel Harford July 18, 2012 at 2:37 am

Quite an informative post Brian! Though I haven’t tried Echinacea ever, I have heard about its benefits from my grandma and she says that it is the most effective cure when it comes to cold and flu. Research says that Echinacea is better as compared to antibiotics because the latter destroys both harmful and useful bacteria. Echinacea on the other hand works by stimulating our immune system thereby making it better to deal with future infections. Antibiotics must therefore be the last resort.

Gail July 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Really informative post. Thanks for this!

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