I try to drink a cup of this tea, first thing every morning. Here is some information from CNCA Health
What Is Echinacea?There are three types of echinacea: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea angustifolia. All are used to boost the immune system and fight infections, but only the purpurea and pallida varieties have been definitively proven effective. Echinacea purpurea is the most commonly used, and is believed to be the most potent. In the purpurea plant, the leaves appear to be the most effective part.
Why Take Echinacea?Echinacea is thought to support the immune system by activating white blood cells. Three major groups of constituents may work together to increase the production and activity of white blood cells (lymphocytes and macrophages), including alkylamides/polyacetylenes, caffeic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides. More studies are needed to determine if and how echinacea stimulates the immune system in humans.
Echinacea may also increase production of interferon, (natural proteins produced by immune system cells) an important part of the body’s response to viral infections. Several double-blind studies have confirmed the benefit of echinacea for treating colds and flu. Recent studies have suggested that it may not be effective for the prevention of colds and flu and should be reserved for use at the onset of these conditions.
Recommended DosageAt the onset of a cold or flu, 3–4 ml of echinacea in a liquid preparation or 300 mg of a powdered form in capsule or tablet, can be taken every two hours for the first day of illness, then three times per day for a total of 7 to 10 days.
Side Effects/Precautions/Adverse Reactions
- Echinacea is rarely associated with side effects when taken orally at customary dosage levels.
- Supplementation should not continue longer than eight (8) continuous weeks.
- Tell your healthcare providers about any complementary and alternative products you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
Side EffectsAccording to the German Commission E monograph, people should not take echinacea if they have an autoimmune illness, such as lupus, or other progressive diseases, such as tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, or HIV infection. (The concern about its use for those with autoimmune illness is not based on clinical research and some herbalists question the potential connection.) Those who are allergic to flowers of the daisy family (ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies) should not take echinacea.
Also, people with asthma or atopy (a genetic tendency toward allergic reactions) may be more likely to have an allergic reaction when taking echinacea. 20 cases of allergic responses (e.g., wheezing, skin rash, diarrhea) have been reported in medical literature.
Avoid Echinacea If …Because of its effects on the immune system, you should not take this herb if you have multiple sclerosis, AIDS, tuberculosis, leukemia, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Do not take echinacea injections if you have an allergy to the plant. Avoid them, too, if you have diabetes; they can upset the balance of the metabolism.
Hope this helps - rejoicing in the present