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Does anyone take echinacea anymore?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by astraea, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. astraea

    astraea

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    Does anyone know if Echinacea helps with the fatigue portion of CFS? Has it worked for you?

    When I had a strange "flu-like" illness for one month many years before my CFS began I took lots of Echinacea and it worked. I'm just remembering that now. I don't hear so much about Echinacea anymore.
     
  2. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    Hi. I do.
    It's part of my daily supplement, in a low dose. When I'm a bit poorly I take four times as much, to boost the imune system. But when I'm really poorly, like this week, when my stools are light coloured and my liver hurts, I take none because it stimulates the liver.

    Overall I take it and am happy for it.
     
  3. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    I used to use it a lot. Now it is part of my emergency plan for anything big and bad. It is a powerful herb. Definitely a good one for immune issues. It seems like it would help with fatigue indirectly.
     
  4. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    I take it in liquid form along with goldenseal and maitake mushroom extract when it's serious only.
     
  5. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Just the other day I was reading that Echinacea in supplements is mostly of the "Purpurea" type whereas the E. Angustifolia seems to be much more potent.

    The subject is discussed in this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Herbal-Antibiotics-2nd-Edition-Drug-resistant/dp/1603429875

    Only one of my Echinacea supplements has a bit of the latter. The others are only "Purpurea". :(

    Which type does your brand have?
     
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  6. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    E. angustifolia is more potent, and it's what was traditionally used back in the day (and what the majority of 'successful' studies are based on). E. purpurea is easier to grow and therefore easier and cheaper to find. I'm not saying E. purpurea won't work at all, but if you get the chance to choose? You should go for angustifolia.
     
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  7. RosieBee

    RosieBee Senior Member

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    I hunt down the E. angustifolia that really does work for me against infections/ colds etc, E purpurea is much weaker. Great recommendation @PeterPositive, Buhner's books on herbals are really useful and readable - his information is well backed by references, his personal experience and common sense. Echinacea angustifolia is an immune stimulant, so it should only be taken for a few days. I limit it to two weeks. Apparently it can cause worse problems than you started with if you try to use it as a long-term immune tonic.
     
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  8. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    RosieBee, I've never heard of E. angustifolia being too excitatory, but we ME people are very sensitive to such things, or so it seems. :) Is this from Buhner, or is it personal experience speaking?
     
  9. TheWig

    TheWig

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    Hope no one is taking the GNC brand echinacea. It was one of the herbal supplements examined by the New York State attorney generals office. Found to contain zero echinacea. Really got to be careful where you get your supps from these days.
     
  10. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    GNC and Centrum are notorious. Always be careful where you get your herbs! If anyone has any questions in this regard, feel free to let me know. I have a background in herbal medicine.

    -J
     
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  11. RosieBee

    RosieBee Senior Member

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    Yes, the advice is from Stephen Buhner, he strongly advises against E. purpurea unless you are juicing the fresh plant. He says E. angustifolia is not an immune tonic, but a stimulant to the immune system. To be effective it must be taken frequently and in high enough doses, but not continued over long periods of time or else it becomes counterproductive. He is quite insistent about this :)
     
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  12. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Huh. I just read the entry for echinacea in Richo Cech's Making Plant Medicine which, while a little on the kooky side, is fairly reliable. It calls E. angustifolia and other echinaceas 'excitatory' to the immune system as well.

    Max Wichtl's Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals - VERY reliable - states that it has been used locally for 'metabolic disturbances', which is interesting. If you need to mount an immune defense, it looks like it should help:

    "Immunomodulatory properties have also been shown for the glycoprotein-polysaccharide fraction of the root. In vitro, this fraction increased the proliferation of mouse spleen cells as well as the production of IgM, and induced cytokine (TNF-a, IL1, IL6) and interferon (IF-N-a, b) formation in various cell cultures. An antiviral effect against herpes simplex can also be shown, in vitro. Induction of TNF- and IL- formation has been observed in vivo... Echaniacoside... possesses a mild inhibitory activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Antifungal effects (against Candida sp. among others) have also been described..."
    ...but the increase in inflammatory chemicals would make it a poor choice for anyone with autoimmune issues or someone whose symptoms are primarily as a result of inflammation.

    This is my way of saying, "I agree with you, and have located textual support for your hypothesis." ;)

    -J
     
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