Echinacea is a popular herb, a natural cold remedy and sore throat remedy that is widely misused. Unfortunately, this has led to it being over-harvested in the wild, completely decimating its natural populations. Don’t get me wrong, Echinacea is a powerful herb, but I promise, adding it to things like shampoo is a total waste.
Also, if Echinacea isn’t used correctly, it can be completely ineffective!
I love Echinacea and I’m passionate about helping people use it effectively.
Think of Echinacea for three things:
When You Have a Cold Coming On
It works best when you are in the EARLY stages of a cold. It also pairs really well with elderberry. (Tip: Also remember to stick to the Eight Secrets… especially nourishing your body and resting.)
Sore Throat Remedy
Using a mister bottle or simply swallowing the tincture, use it directly on the back of your throat regularly while you have a sore throat or as a strep throat remedy. Try a squirt every 15 minutes until symptoms start to subside. It is one of the most simple and effective sore throat remedies. Also check out this recipe for making your own herbal sore throat spray.
On Cuts, Wounds and Topical Infections
Echinacea can help your body ward off infections. After I clean out a wound with water, I squirt Echinacea tincture liberally right on the wound. I use it like I used Bactine when I was a kid. After that, I usually apply a salve or bandage, depending on the severity of the wound. Echinacea tincture is always in my travel first aid kit. It can also be taken internally to help your immune system better address an infection. Echinacea internally and topically is one of the best remedies for boils and abscesses.
More Tips for Using Echinacea
- When you buy Echinacea, be sure to only buy it from a cultivated source, rather than harvested from the wild.
- For some people with autoimmune conditions, Echinacea can cause a flare of symptoms. If you have an autoimmune disease, consult with a qualified herbalist before using Echinacea.
Does Echinacea Really Work?
Echinacea has been used extensively both historically and in modern times. Recent studies have confirmed many of its gifts.
Echinacea historically was used extensively for sore throats and in vitro studies have shown that Echinacea purpurea is active against the bacteria that causes strep throat (Streptococcus pyogenes).1
Echinacea has been studied extensively for its ability to ward off a cold or flu. Admittedly the results haven’t been straightforward. One likely issue is that many studies don’t use Echinacea correctly. Sometimes they use too small or too infrequent of a dose. Or sometimes they use the wrong herbal preparation. Echinacea capsules aren’t going to do much to help a sore throat!
Many studies have found Echinacea to be beneficial. For example, one study concluded that “Echinacea preparations can alleviate ‘cold and flu’ symptoms, and possibly other respiratory disorders, by inhibiting viral growth and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines.”2
When you feel your resistance running low or others around you are sneezing, coughing or sniffling, it’s a good time to take Echinacea.
I love Echinacea in tincture form. I teach you how to make it and how to use it in the Herbal Remedy Kit.
I also give you just about everything you need to make YOUR OWN tincture. I make it so easy that it takes less than a minute to get it going. The amount of tincture you make in the Kit would cost you just as much in the store as the Kit itself!
- Sharma, S M, M Anderson, S R Schoop, and J B Hudson. “Bactericidal and Anti-inflammatory Properties of a Standardized Echinacea Extract (Echinaforce): Dual Actions Against Respiratory Bacteria.” Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 17, no. 8-9 (2010): doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.022. ↩
- Sharma, Manju, Shawn A Anderson, Roland Schoop, and James B Hudson. “Induction of Multiple Pro-inflammatory Cytokines by Respiratory Viruses and Reversal by Standardized Echinacea, a Potent Antiviral Herbal Extract.” Antiviral research 83, no. 2 (2009): doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.04.009. ↩