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Echinacea - the immunity boosting super herb

Testimonials

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Echinacea - the immunity boosting super herb

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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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If Echinacea was a hot new discovery with an epic marketing budget, it would be the biggest thing out. Everyone would be taking it, stars would praise its glory and world leaders would hail the miracle! Clips would go viral, it would have its own purple daisy emoji, and people would think you were just plain crazy to not have your Echinacea every day. Instead of this media supernova, however, Echinacea is a humble plant that has been looking after us quietly for many hundreds of years and will continue to do so, brilliantly, hype or no hype.

Echinacea is truly a herbal superhero, your secret weapon against all manner of illness and infection, just check out this list of credentials:

  • It used to be used to cure snake bites. Seriously. That’s pretty superhero.
  • Before antibiotics came along, first peoples and early settlers of North America used Echinacea more than any other plant. It was the gem of the medicine chest, used not only as a remedy for colds, sore throats, and coughs but for more serious conditions such as bites from rabid animals, venereal disease, smallpox, measles, and mumps. It was also used for healing wounds and ulcers.

Research and clinical trials now show us that the way Echinacea was traditionally used is of course bang on. Not only that, we now know a lot more about the specifics of HOW Echinacea boosts our immune function, by:

  • Increasing the production of immune chemicals that activate macrophages (a kind of white blood cell that munches up unwanted bugs and baddies)
  • Increased ability of macrophages to ‘eat up’ the invaders
  • Increased antibody activity
  • Increased Natural Killer Cell activity (another kind of white blood cell that is like a ninja warrior)
  • Increased levels of white blood cells on the job
  • Increased levels of white blood cells getting to the site of the battle when needed!

But wait there’s more- not only does Echinacea totally boost your overall immune function, but it is also directly anti-viral and reduces bacteria spreading. So it actually directly targets viral and bacterial pathogens too. It’s not just helping the soldiers it’s the weapon too.

But how do you know your Echinacea is legit? It will literally make you buzz! High potency, good quality Echinacea will make your tongue tingle. I’m not being metaphorical now, it’s true. We now know that the most active constituents in Echinacea are the alkylamides. When these are present they will make your tongue tingly and make you salivate a little. So the better the Echinacea, the more you tingle. It’s a really simple but effective test- if you get the buzz it means your immune system is getting that buzz too and ramping up its activity.

These buzzing alkylamides are concentrated most highly in the root, so always look for a root extract, preferably organic. It’s easy to check the quality when you have a liquid Echinacea product, but even a good quality capsule will tingle your tongue if you empty it out. Taking a little bit of Echinacea every day will keep you and your whanau in great shape to ward off infections, but remember to max out the dose if you are sick to help treat the infection and get it gone faster. Take Echinacea straight or pop it in your herbal cuppa or your children’s drink bottle (they’ll dig the tingle just like they love sour worms).

So sing it from the rooftops, tell your friends, blog about it and write it in the sky: Echinacea is a star, our immunity boosting super herb! Get on the buzz and pass it on.