Thursday, 29 October 2009


Do you fall prey to every bug around? Do infections linger for ages before you finally get better? Are you constantly sneezing or itching, and generally feel unwell? If so, it could be your immune system is working below par and is in need of a bit of help.

When exposed to a bug, a fully functional immune system will kick it out quickly and symptoms such as a raised temperature, swollen glands or a sore throat will not last long.

It can be the result of a combination of factors, such as a bad diet full of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and not enough fruit and vegetables, smoking, being stressed, over-worked and unhappy or not getting enough sleep. Also, people who work with the general public, in the health service or in schools, often find that they suffer regular colds and flu because of the number of people they come into contact with.

At Elixir, we have found that one of the most effective ways to support your immune system is by taking Echinacea, a fantastic herb initially used by Native Americans. Research shows that not only can Echinacea reduce the duration and severity of colds and flu in affected people, it can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold in the first place. Its action on the immune system reduces the amount of inflammatory chemicals produced by the body, the very chemicals that are responsible for the typical symptoms of the common cold – sneezing, coughing, runny nose, stuffy nasal passages and so on. Balancing their production allows the immune system to work effectively without triggering unpleasant symptoms.

However, we have found that the quality of the Echinacea product you use makes a big difference. Fresh Echinacea contain more active ingredients compared to extracts made from dried plants, so it is very important to know how the product you buy has been manufactured. The preparation should also contain both the aerial parts and root for maximum efficacy. For this reason, we always recommend the Echinacea products made by A Vogel, as we have found them by far the most effective.

Echinacea is also perfectly safe to take, even on a long term basis, and there are specially formulated children’s versions. It used to be said that you could only take it for a short period at a time, but as it has been found to modulate and support the immune system, without getting out of control and causing over-reaction, you can stay on Echinacea for as long as you wish. Having said that, as with any herbal medicine, please consult your medical practitioner first if you are pregnant or nursing, and it should not be used if you are taking immunosuppressive medication.

Before I go, a quick guide to pronunciation: the correct way to say it is Eh-kih-NAY-shah. Don’t worry though, we still know what you mean even if you come and ask for a bottle of euthanasia, as one lady does every year!

To buy echinacea products click here, or on any of the links above. If you wish to speak to a customer advisor about this product, you can telephone us on 01208 814500 for further information.

By Randi Henderson
Elixir Health Foods

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