Echinacea & Play
I am a big believer in preventative medicine, and Echinacea is on the top of my list today. As we are about to move into another season, the changeable weather can play havoc with our health, so it is a good idea to reinforce the immune system over the next month. It is time to move life outside for some outdoor play and outdoor exercise in the sun and warmer temperatures, and the last thing you want is to feel miserable because you have a cold.
That's where Echinacea comes in. It is an immune booster - and helps build resistance to upper respiratory tract infections, hay fever, allergies or mucous congestion. As a preventative medicine it will build immunity against the common cold and flu keeping you fit to play outdoors, and while you are sick it will help reduce the symptoms and hasten a faster recovery. From a clinical viewpoint "....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 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.**
Echinacea comes in various forms, the most common being a tea or tincture.
As a tea it is lovely with honey. My daughter is 6 now, but from the age of 3, I was giving her Echinacea tea.
As a tincture, a concentrated liquid form is brilliant. You only need 1ml, 2-4 times daily. I buy the Greenridge brand called TriPlex, which is made with 3 different varieties of Echinacea. I also give it to our daughter mixed in juice.
A good rule of thumb on how to use Echinacea:
Adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child's weight. Most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult. Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 to 25 kg), the appropriate dose of echinacea would be 1/3 of the adult dose. Use alcohol-free preparations for children.
For general immune system stimulation, during colds, flu, upper respiratory tract infections, or bladder infections, choose from the following forms and take three times a day generally for 7 - 10 days:
- 1 - 2 grams dried root or herb, as tea
- 2 - 3 mL of standardized tincture extract
- 6 - 9 ml of expressed juice (succus)
- 300 mg of standardized, powdered extract containing 4% phenolics
- Tincture (1:5): 1 - 3 mL (20 - 90 drops)
- Stabilized fresh extract: 0.75 mL (15 - 23 drops) **
So buckle up for a fast entry into Spring and Summer. This is the time to get your family strong for some fabulous outdoor play in our beautiful country.
by our residential Naturopath Sarah Cowper BHSc, ND, Cert IV in Training & Assessment.
Disclaimer: This article is written purely to share experience and recommend what has worked for me and my family. If you are on any medication, are pregnant or breastfeeding please seek medical advice before taking Echinacea in any form.
** (University of Maryland Medical Center-Baltimore) :http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/echinacea-000239.htm