NATURE'S BOUNTY - ECHINACEA (BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM)
How to Take Echinacea Pills
While the jury is still out regarding the effectiveness of echinacea, some believe that echinacea pills can help reduce the length of colds and other sicknesses. If you want to try echinacea, look for a reputable brand of pills. Take 1 pill 3 times a day when you’re first feeling sick or if you come down with a sore throat. Always check with a doctor to make sure that echinacea is safe for you, especially if you have an immune disorder or plant allergies.
Choosing an Echinacea Pill
Ask your healthcare provider for a recommendation.They may be able to direct you to a brand they find most effective. They may also be able to provide you with the latest medical guidance on using echinacea.
- In addition to talking with your doctor, you could ask a pharmacist. They may have more insight into the best options on the market.
Buy echinacea at a health food store or vitamin store.Echinacea pills are available wherever supplements or herbal remedies are sold. If you can’t find a store in your area that sells it, look online.
- Be wary of buying pills online, as it is much easier to accidentally purchase a counterfeit supplement.
Search for brands that have been verified by an outside agency.Since herbal supplements are not regulated by the government, it is possible that some echinacea pills may not actually contain echinacea. To check the safety of the pills, check that the brand has been approved by an agency like Consumer Lab or the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP).
- The label should state if the brand has certification from an outside agency. You can also search for brands through Consumer Lab or the USP's websites.
- In the EU, look for products that have been approved by the Traditional Herbal Remedies Scheme.
Get capsules containing 300 or more mg of echinacea powder.You can use pills with a higher dose, but avoid getting pills with a smaller dose, as you may not see any benefits. If you take 300 mg 3 times a day, you will get the recommended dosage of 900 mg a day.
- It is difficult to take too much echinacea. If you take more than 1,000 mg a day for more than 8 weeks, you might develop an upset stomach, but this will go away if you stop taking it.
Check that the pill contains at least 3.5% of echinacosides.This is the active ingredient of echinacea. While higher percentages may be more effective, lower percentages may not have any benefits at all.
- The label should state the percentage of echiniscoideses on it. If it doesn’t, consider buying a different brand.
- Any percentage of echinacosides is safe to use.
Using Echinacea Safely
Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take echinacea.Before using echinacea, make sure that it won’t interact with any of your medications or medical conditions. People with immune disorders, like HIV and lupus, should be especially cautious.
- If you are taking drugs that suppress your immune system, avoid taking echinacea altogether.
- If you have an allergy to ragweed, ask your doctor if they think it will be safe. Taking echinacea could cause a possible allergic reaction.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use echinacea.
- Avoid giving echinacea supplements to children under the age of 12.
Watch for side effects.Stop taking echinacea if you develop stomach pain, nausea, or a rash. While side effects are not common with echinacea, you should not continue taking the supplement if you feel sick to your stomach or develop an allergic reaction.
- Although it's rare, some people experience allergic reactions to echinacea. If you experience hives, swelling, or trouble breathing, visit your healthcare professional immediately.
Eat a meal before taking echinacea.It is best to take echinacea on a full stomach. Don’t take echinacea if you haven’t eaten in several hours. If you need to, eat a snack or drink a glass of water before swallowing the pill.
Take 1 pill 3 times a day.Use it once with breakfast, once with lunch, and once with dinner. This will ensure that you get enough echinacea to benefit from it. By taking it at mealtimes, you’ll remember to have a full stomach.
- If it’s hard for you to swallow pills, try taking the pill with a glass of water and tilt your head back. If you still can't do it, consider using echinacea in other forms, such as teas, tinctures, and powder. Read the label of the supplement for dosage information when taking echinacea in other forms.
- Brands that contain larger doses of echinacea might recommend taking it twice a day. In this case, take it with breakfast and dinner.
Stop taking echinacea after 2 weeks.Echinacea may become less effective over time. If your symptoms continue after 2 weeks, see a doctor.
- While evidence is scarce, echinacea may cause liver or immune problems if taken for longer than 8 weeks at a time.
Treating Symptoms with Echinacea
Use echinacea when you’re well to prevent getting a cold.If you are worried about getting sick, echinacea may decrease your risk of getting a cold. Use echinacea during cold season or if you come into contact with people who are sick.
- Remember to avoid taking echinacea for more than 2 weeks at a time. If you want to continue using the supplement, wait a week before starting it again.
Take echinacea pills when you first feel a cold developing.If you have a tickle in your throat or start feeling bad, start taking echinacea within 24-48 hours. By using echinacea when your cold symptoms first start, you may be able to reduce the length of your cold.
Treat a sore throat with echinacea.Echinacea may be able to provide mild relief for a sore throat. Some people even use it to treat strep throat. If the sore throat lasts longer than week or if you also have a rash or fever, see a doctor.
- You might also consider other forms of echinacea, such as tea or a tincture, as these can provide a more powerful soothing effect on your throat.
Tell your doctor that you are taking echinacea.If you visit your doctor for treatment, make sure that they know you are using an echinacea supplement. Echinacea may interact with some medications, causing unwanted side effects.
- Echinacea is still being researched. There may be some evidence that it can also help anxiety, athletic performance, the flu, or side effects of chemotherapy.
- While echinacea is generally considered a safe supplement to use, you should always discuss what you are taking with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Studies on echinacea disagree about whether or not this herb can treat or shorten colds. While taking echinacea may not hurt, always see a doctor for serious colds and illnesses.
Video: Echinacea Side Effects -- A Few Benefits to this Herb and the Dangers!
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