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Echinacea In-Depth

Testimonials

  • I'm not often inspired enough to go seek out a brand's Facebook page just to give them my positive feedback - in fact this is the first time ever. I just wanted to express how much I love the children's cough syrup, it's always worked wonders on my kids - it's now taken to the next level with the inclusion of the syringe which is long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle - hurray! It's always been the bane of my mum-life trying to reach the medicine when the bottles have run low with syringes that aren't long enough - thank you!
    – Melissa White
  • My wife and I have been using this product for years and they are amazing and work fantastic!!! We have the all the children's stuff including the echinature, chest syrup, throats syrup and the De-stuff!!! Absolutely amazing products We love them
    – Craig Hume
  • Absolutely love baby balm. My 6 week old had flakey, dry skin and nothing I had tried was helping until I tried baby balm. Her skin is so much better. I can't believe how fast it worked. Thank you Kiwiherb!!!
    – Alex Lazzaro
  • Received a bottle of children's chest syrup to trial and what can I say it's magic in a bottle!! After a single dose they didn’t cough the whole night which meant a better sleep for everyone after two days they were so much better and they liked the taste which is great, can't wait to try more of your products
    – Daniella Bhagat
  • I love Kiwiherb! Finding something that worked so well, and was safe for my daughter when she was at an age where she couldn't have all other medicines, it was such a great help! And now I use nothing else
    – Alyssa Francis-King
  • I brought a bottle of De-stuff for my 11 month old daughter yesterday who has had a runny nose for the last 5 days, I've been wiping her nose constantly but after 2 doses of De-stuff I've only had to wipe her nose twice today. I wish I'd known about this sooner. I will be using this straight away in the future
    – Melissa Bayne
  • On Sunday we bought De-Stuff for our 3 year old daughter who has struggled with a cold all week. After 2 doses of it, along with the Chesty formula, she slept so well that night and woke up looking and sounding so much better. Now almost 3 days later her cold is all but gone. I wish I had have found out about it sooner.
    – Bridgette Robinson
  • Brought a bottle of children's chest syrup and it works like magic no more coughing during the night. Also my son loves the taste
    – Philippa Quigley

Echinacea In-Depth

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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It seems appropriate to talk about Echinacea ‘in-depth’, because harvesting a crop of Echinacea sure takes a lot of deep digging! Echinacea is often identified by its giant purple daisy flower with a distinctive orange ‘cone’ centre that looks a bit like a baby hedgehog. Despite this display of beauty, the real goods, as far as medicine goes, are below the earth in the roots of the plant. 

Echinacea species are native to North America, and were used there by indigenous peoples and later by early settler physicians as a valuable tool against many things including serious infectious diseases, snakebites, and septic wounds. Snakebites are not something to be treated lightly, giving us a taste of just how strong a medicine Echinacea can be.

Echinacea is equally valuable today, where it is prescribed by medical herbalists for a wide range of conditions:

  • Prevention and treatment of infection (including coughs and colds)
  • Wound healing, tissue healing, post-surgery
  • Acne and skin infections
  • Prevention of allergies
  • Improving immunity
  • Reducing inflammation

Echinacea is an incredibly powerful and effective medicine when it is of good quality and used correctly. In regards to quality, it is of the utmost importance to use the right part of the plant. The root (not the flower, stem or leaves) has the highest concentration of the active compounds, known as alkylamides. The alkylamides present in Echinacea root activate your immune system, and their presence can be detected by your tongue. You can tell the quality of your Echinacea preparation by how much your tongue ‘tingles’ or buzzes when you take it. If you want a more objective measure, look for the alkylamide quantity on the label of your Echinacea product. 

Another consideration when looking for a quality herbal medicine of any kind is knowing where and how your herbs were grown and harvested. The Echinacea we use is grown organically in Canterbury, in the South Island of New Zealand. In summer a whole field of flowering Echinacea is a magnificent sight to behold. 

Using Echinacea correctly also means paying attention to dosage. A daily dose adequate for prevention of infection in an adult is 3-5ml of a good quality liquid, but this needs to be increased and taken 3-4 times daily at the first sign of infection to be effective as a treatment. Echinacea is also safe for infants and children to take, short-term or long-term.

So when you are next taking your Echinacea, visualise it growing under a wide blue Canterbury sky, spreading its roots deep into organic soil, savour the tingle on your tongue and know that your immune system is reaping the benefits!