Subject: Echinacea - one more question
From: mahoney.literacy.upenn.edu (PMahoney)
Date: 12 Jan 1995 15:11:27 GMT
I can't recall where I read this, but for some reason I've believed that one should only take echinacea for 3-4 days at a time, or as long as one's illness prevails, but certainly one should stop when the symptoms of illness (cold, whatever) are gone.
However, a friend of mine said (with what seemed to be much authority) thatone MUST take it for at least 7-10 days, the same as one takes an antibiotic. Her reasoning was that if one takes it for a couple of days and quits, then the virus one is fighting is not totally killed and has a chance to mutate and become stronger.
This has never been my experience. I usually take it at the beginning of a cold or illness and stop taking it within 2-3 days. Am I doing myself potentially more harm than good?
From: hilda.elf.com (Hilda Marshall)
> Am I doing myself potentially more harm than good?
That's the case with antibiotics, because mutant versions of the disease organism CAN arise that are resistant to that particular antibiotic. But if echinacea is an immunostimulant, what's getting rid of the infection is your body's own macrophages, not something from outside your body, so I can see that the rules might be different.
From: feathers.eskimo.com (Cheryl)
>That's the case with antibiotics, because mutant versions of the
Hilda's right; I've used echinacea for much shorter periods than commercial antibiotics and it's worked very quickly. I've had painful urinary tract infections where I've been peeing blood, and used echinacea tea to clear it up completely in just one or two days, with no further symptoms, whereas a course of prescription antibiotics would have taken 7 days to complete their course. It's one of the reasons I always have echinacea around; if I come down with something like that in the middle of the night, I want to be able to treat it immediately, without having to wait till morning, an appointment, getting a prescription, etc. while the pain and infection just gets worse.
People posted information about how echinacea actually works to rid the body of bacterial and viral infections a year or so ago -- I've got the info on my computer somewhere; should I find it and post it here?
P.S. The "recipe" I've used that has always worked for me is to add 4 tsp. echinacea root to 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes, strain out the root, and then drink a quart (sometimes I drink more) a day till the illness is gone. I usually drink it for a little longer after the symptoms have disappeared -- maybe a day longer. This has been reliable for me in all cases, whereas those tinctures and drops and capsules you can buy have been either not effective or only a little effective. The tea has been much stronger and reliable. When I'm peeing blood or I have a painful earache, I want *immediate*, *sure-fire* relief! : )
[When you're peeing blood you want to go visit your doctor. Immediately. -Henriette]