Echinacea is an herb that has been found to boost the immune system. Medical research has shown it to be safe and effective in decreasing the frequency, duration, and severity of common illnesses such as ear and sinus infections, colds, and the flu. If you or your child is experiencing an unsual number of these illnesses, we suggest you try this remedy.
Echinacea comes in both adult tablets and liquid, as well as children’s chewables and drops. The adult tablets usually specify the number of milligrams per tablet, and the adult liquid (contains alcohol) is usually 1000 mg per teaspoon. The children’s chewables may state the milligrams, but the drops often don’t. There should be a recommended number of drops according to the child’s weight. Children’s drops may be added to juice or food.
There are two ways to take Echinacea:
- PREVENTION – to prevent recurrent illnesses, especially during the winter season, take the following doses daily. 8 WEEKS ON, AND 2 WEEKS OFF:
- Adults and teenagers – 1000 mg once a day
- Children 4 to 12 – 500 mg once a day
- Children 6 months to 3 years – 250 mg once a day
- Note: if using the children’s drops, just give the recommended number of drops once a day.
- Some researchers feel that periodically stopping Echinacea helps it stay effective during use.
CONTINUOUS USE: There is also research that shows there is NO NEED to periodically go off Echinacea to keep it effective. You can decide.
2 WEEKS ON AND 2 WEEKS OFF: Some research has shown this schedule is also effective and may be preferable to the 8 weeks schedule above. Try either one and see which works best for you.
- TREATMENT – at the first sign of any illness, begin taking the following doses:
- Adults and teenagers – 2000 mg 3 times a day for 2 days, then 1000 mg 3 times a day for 7 more days.
- Children 4 to 12 – 1000 mg 3 times a day for 2 days, then 500 mg 3 times a day for 7 more days.
- Children 6 months to 3 years – 500 mg (or double the recommended number of drops) three times a day for 2 days, then 250 mg (or the regular number of drops) 3 times a day for 7 more days
WHERE TO BUY IT Echinacea is available at most health food and nutrition stores.