The first sign that my body gives off when I am about to get sick is a tickle in my throat. The tickle then progresses to a full-blown sore throat, and the sore throat is followed by common sick symptoms – body aches, mild fever, stuffy nose, and sometimes sinus pain.
Maybe something similar happens to you, or maybe you have your own ‘sick’ signs.
When I got the tickle in my throat, I used to see it as a signal to buckle up. I was about to get sick, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Now I know there is another way.
When I started to learn about preventative and functional medicine, somewhere along the way I found echinacea. I learned it was an herb that kicks into gear at the onset of mild illness.
It is not a supplement you take daily. It actually works best when your immune system needs the extra help, like when you come down with a cold or a mild case of the flu.
Some interesting studies:
- One review of 16 studies concluded that echinacea was more effective at preventing and treating upper respiratory infections, like the common cold, compared to a placebo.
- Another review of 14 studies found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing the common cold by 58% and decreased the duration of symptoms by 1.4 days.
- In one study, 80 people took echinacea at the onset of cold symptoms, and it reduced the duration of symptoms by 67% compared to a placebo.
- In a review including nearly 2,500 people, researchers found that echinacea extract reduced the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and decreased complications like pneumonia, tonsillitis, and ear infections.
Stopping ‘sick’ in its tracks
I wanted to give it a try myself, so I did some research and landed on this supplement. Since I started taking it, I have not gotten sick. It has been at least 3-4 years now.
When I say sick, I am referring to the average household cold or flu. I am not referring to COVID-19, cancer, IBS, or other complex illnesses.
Whenever I feel the tickle in my throat (or when I am generally worn down), I take two of these capsules, rest, drink lots of water, and minimize food intake. The sickness never progresses. Like magic, it halts, and in about a day, I’m back to baseline.
When I found this supplement, I did nothing different other than take it when I was getting sick. From day 1, it has always worked.
The other things I mentioned (rest, water, less food), I adopted over time. I think they’re important to note, but they should not undermine the power of the herb. Before these lifestyle changes, the supplement worked remarkably on its own.
In fact, because it worked so well, it became a staple supplement in our house. I always have it on hand, and now my husband even grabs it when he’s feeling under the weather.
Note: the supplement works the best at the first sign of illness. Once you’re in a full-blown cold or flu, it’s not as effective.
Vitamin C and Zinc, too
The great thing about this supplement is that it includes zinc and vitamin C. Both are wonderful for the immune system.
- is responsible for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues,
- protects against
- immune system deficiencies,
- cardiovascular disease,
- prenatal health problems,
- eye disease,
- and skin wrinkling,
- and improves macular degeneration, reduces inflammation, and reduces the risk of cancer.
- is critical for the development and function of immune cells,
- is necessary for the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes,
- is fundamental to skin health, DNA synthesis, and protein production,
- and is necessary for your senses of taste and smell.
Both Vitamin C and zinc are considered essential nutrients. This means your body doesn’t make or store them, so you need to get them from food.
I was initially just concerned with finding a good echinacea supplement. It’s a bonus that the supplement also includes these two powerhouses.
This supplement has worked wonders for me and my family.
If you feel yourself getting sick, try it out.
It is a wonderful herb to store in the pantry in case a family member comes down with something. If you catch it and intervene early enough, you can prevent an in-house outbreak and lots of grief for everyone.