Navigating Cold Season in our “New Normal”
Cold and flu season is back – and, after a lengthy period of social distancing and other public health precautions, so is our exposure to common viruses. The truth is that, as we plunge into the “new normal”, it’s likely we’ll be reacquainted with the common cold.
Fortunately, there’s a well-known herb that can help to fight back against seasonal viruses and infections.
Echinacea, sometimes referred to as “purple coneflower,” is an herb that many people rely on throughout cold & flu season.
But did you know that not all echinacea products are created equal?
Echinacea is native to North America, where it was traditionally used in medicinal preparations to treat injuries, pain, throat infections, coughs and even snake bites.
The type (strain) of echinacea used depended on what grew naturally nearby. Echinacea angustifolia, native to central North America, was the strain used by Native Americans and studied by the Eclectic movement – a 19th century botanical medical system.
European settlers increasingly adopted echinacea’s therapeutic uses, and commercial cultivation began in Germany in the 1930s. But it was the Echinacea purpurea strain, native to eastern North America, that was cultivated and became the dominant strain used to prepare echinacea products – a widespread practice to this day!
However, research has found that the two strains together have the most profound impact.
Greater Bioavailability of Alkylamides: While Echinacea purpurea offers therapeutic benefits and is notably effective for viral infections, its alkylamides – key compounds that impact the immune system – have a limited period of activity in the body when used in isolation – meaning that they are not effective for substantial periods.
What the research has shown is that when the 2 species – Echinacea angustifolia and purpurea – are combined, the alkylamides from Echinacea purpurea are most bioavailable (able to be absorbed and used by the body) when in the presence of those from Echinacea angustifolia.
Enhanced Therapeutic Action: The abundance and variation of active compounds in these two species reinforce the therapeutic action of one another! Specifically, the active compounds in purpurea that are essential for its therapeutic effects are quickly metabolized and excreted from the body unless they are in the presence of similar compounds in E. augustifolia.
In other words, Echinacea augustifolia enhances and extends the medicinal effects of Echinacea purpurea for greater therapeutic benefits!
While most echinacea product contain one strain (primarily purpurea!), St. Francis’ echinacea products contain both strains – we refer to them collectively as Echinacea 2+ – for the most powerful echinacea available.
Echinacea 2+ on its own can be found in EchinAce® (and Echinacea Kids), a formula that allows one to double down on infection at the first sign of symptoms and is recommended for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. For others, there’s even stronger support that takes this echinacea to the next level…
EchinaSeal® is the #1 choice for adults at the first sign of general cold & flu symptoms to lessen the impact and duration. This powerful formula amplifies the benefits of Echinacea 2+ by combining it with goldenseal, a potent herb that offers broad-spectrum antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as propolis to ease the pain of sore throats, and more. This powerful formulation fights infection, effectively working to help nip sickness in the bud!
These formulas are crafted with Certified Organic, Canadian-grown, fresh echinacea using traditional techniques for highly absorbable tincture formulas that support an effective immune response against common seasonal infections.
Taken at first signs of cold and flu, these unique, premium echinacea blends can help support your body in its fight against uncomfortable symptoms PLUS address the root cause, so you can feel better – faster!
Important: Echinacea is effective for its ability to kick our selective immune system into high gear, which means it’s ideal to use for shorter periods of time, as needed, as the level of stimulation they provide could be stressful to bodies if used ongoing.
For daily support, Deep Immune® tonics proactively strengthen the immune system to protect against infection taking hold, with a range of formulas to suit the whole family.
Check with your healthcare provider who has a knowledge of botanical medicine if these herbs are right for you.