Strengthen your defences, naturally.

‘Echinacea is one of the primary remedies for helping the body rid itself of microbial infections… especially for infections of the upper respiratory tract, including laryngitis, tonsillitis, the common cold, and other catarrhal conditions of the nose and sinus’ – David Hoffmann, Medical Herbalist

In plant medicine world, Echinacea may be the queen. Prior to 1950 and the introduction of antibiotics, Echinacea held an esteemed medicinal status. Native to North America, it has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for more than 400 years by the Great Plains Indian tribes who tapped into its powerful immunity stimulating therapeutic value, using it against infectious diseases and to promote the healing of wounds.

About Echinacea, Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine states that Echinacea “does not act directly upon a virus but exerts an antiviral effect by stimulating an immune response. [It{ raises white blood cell count and increases the body’s inherent powers of resistance.” In other words, Echinacea is a potent tonic for the immune system.

Studies have shown that taking Echinacea at the onset of a cold can reduce the length and severity of symptoms as much as 1-4 days! And taking it in defense of a cold can reduce the odds of developing a cold by 58%!!

It is helpful to note that, as appealing as it is to shorten the duration of cold symptoms, Nature’s healing power does not override the need for a person to stop taking care of themselves. People who gets colds and flus do so because their immunity is run down (from stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, toxic environments, etc.). Taking an herbal supplement, such as Echinacea, is meant to help you to build up a stronger immune system while you address what it is that has caused you to become sick in the first place.

Echinacea is obtainable in many forms: juice, tablets, tea, tinctures… I personally use and recommend Echinacea Premium tablets by MediHerb. This company uses a unique method of extraction to produce some of the best quality herbal products in the world. Echinacea Premium can be purchased through the Livstil Fullscript Online Dispensary. Contact me at 604-427-HEAL (4325) to get your prescription today. 

Note: Echinacea should not be taken if you have an allergy to ragweed or any plant in the daisy family, or if you are taking heart or anti-fungal medications.

Dr. Sarah Sjovold is a Naturopathic Doctor practising at Livstil Wellness Clinic. She regularly sees patients in the Langley and Surrey area looking for help with digestion, detoxing. and immune support.

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