Food for Thought: Echinacea may help your immune system

Health

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – With cold and flu viruses seemingly stronger than ever, you may want to boost your immunity. Science has proven that one supplement can help boost immunity: Echinacea.

It is widely used to help deal with infectious diseases especially in children, the elderly, and people with a compromised immune system.

Echinacea works in many different ways. It fights against viruses and bacteria that cause colds, flu, sore throats, and other respiratory illnesses.

Echinacea has been shown to enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Therefore it can enhance the effects of some probiotics. It can also reduce inflammation, help to heal wounds, and help the immune system resist infection.

Most positive clinical studies use a product made from the aerial parts of echinacea – the leaves, stems, and flowers – not the root. Those studies also use a dose of 300 milligrams three times a day.

Echinacea is relatively safe when used for 12 weeks. However, always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

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