It is so easy to pop a pill but taking the herb itself in the form of teas, tinctures, influsions is a better idea. Why you may ask? Well, in my rabbit trails around the internet I found this:
“A study performed by ConsumerLab.com (an independent company that tests the purity of health, wellness, and nutrition products) found that of 11 brands of echinacea purchased for testing, only 4 contained what was stated on their labels. About 10% had no echinacea at all; half were mislabeled as to the species of echinacea in the product; and more than half of the standardized preparations did not contain the labeled amount of active ingredients.” –University of Maryland Medical Center
(bold is my emphasis)
See, I saw a professor one time on television do a study with his students … he gave them all the flu (cleansed their noses with saline then literally gave them a cold bug … don’t know for sure if it was the flu or what) and then gave half of them echinacea and half of them a placebo. This professor taught a “myth buster” type of class and he, in this test, was “proving” that echinacea was ineffective against illness. The experiment (if I recall correctly) results showed that echinacea did not have an effect on illness his students suffered. Either the study was flawed or echinacea is indeed worthless (which I do not believe). My thoughts are along the lines that the fault may have been in the potency of the herb pills the students were offered.
The article goes on to say:
“Several labratory and animal studies suggest that echinacea contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. For this reason, professional herbalists may recommend echinacea to treat urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast (candida) infections, ear infections (also known as otitis media), athlete’s foot, sinusitis, hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis), as well as slow-healing wounds. One study even suggests that echinacea extract exerted an antiviral action on the development of recurrent HSVI when supplied prior to infection.”
All good to know. Glad to learn that science is starting to catch up with what Native Americans have known for over 400 years.