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Updated: Mar 16, 2021

I recently attended a MediHerb seminar on respiratory viral infections and I have decided to post some of the powerful naturopathic tools mentioned by Professor Kerry Bone and Dr Elizabeth Steels to help with prevention and treatment of viral infections as we enter flu season.

Each week I will summarize a herb and a nutrient, starting off with today's little powerhouse - ECHINACEA!

This bright and beautiful cone flower has a long history of medicinal use stemming from Native American tribes who passed on their knowledge to a group of early healers called the Eclectic Physicians whose records show it to be the most commonly used medicinal herb by 1921.

Echinacea is most powerful as a preventative and Prof. Kerry Bone himself has been taking it daily for decades to ward off any unwanted pathogens that come his way. The root of this flower increases our immune system’s readiness and improves surveillance for invaders.

Echinacea root is potent as a treatment for viral infections, most specifically during the acute initial stages where it can halt and throw off attackers. New research shows that Echinacea can bind to some of our cannabinoid receptors which may explain its immune modulating and anti-inflammatory actions.

When taking Echinacea, a good quality extract should tingle in your mouth. This tells us that the alkylamides within the herb are active and bioavailable. Ensuring you are taking the right dose for each stage of your infection is important which is why consulting with a qualified naturopath who has access to practitioner only herbal extracts is vital for your safety and for your chance of a speedy recovery.

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