Health Benefits of Echinacea
The many health benefits of echinacea herbal supplements for humans and felines. Information on the benefit of echinacea on advanced cancer.
People have been using the herb echinacea to enhance their immune function since it was introduced into Western herbalism in the 1890s.
500-1,000 mgs of echinacea powder in capsules or 40 drops of echinacea root extract taken 3 times daily will often provide relief from cold symptoms.
To prevent cold and flu viruses from taking hold, take the same dose once a day for 2 weeks out of every month.
Echinacea Advanced Cancer Research
Because it is now known that some types of cancer are caused by viruses while others are the result of a poorly functioning immune system, echinacea is being tested against cancer in mice.
Echinacea stimulates the production of natural killer (NK) cells while at the same time suppressing the production of prostaglandins which are detrimental to NK cells. This is how echinacea delivers a one-two punch to cancer cells.
Natural killer cells play a role in the destruction of both tumors and viruses. They do this by inducing apoptosis in the affected cells.
Apoptosis is the death or destruction of the virus inside the cell. NK cells arrest the virus until the immune system can manufacture the T cells needed to clear it.
In vivo (within the living) studies have been done on mice. Prior to this, most echinacea research had been done in vitro (within the glass).
As humans are 97% genetically similar to mice, this is important.
The echinacea supplement was fed to the mice as part of their diet. The first thing the researchers discovered was that there is apparently no toxic level of ingestion. This suggests that there is no need for humans to worry about echinacea overdose. (People do sometimes have an allergic reaction to the herb.)
When echinacea was given to healthy mice, they produced 25% more NK cells than untreated healthy mice. This suggests that echinacea may be an effective preventative and also that using echinacea to reactivate this important cancer fighting mechanism in the elderly (the production of NK cells declines as we age)may be a valuable benefit of echinacea.
Now this is surprising: When the researchers saw the effect echinacea supplementation had on the young mice, the performed another echinacea study on older, but healthy, mice.
Echinacea stimulated the production of NK cells in the older mice when no other substance (including drugs known to stimulate it in young mice) tested would!
Using Echinacea to Fight Leukemia
The researchers induced leukemia in two groups of mice. They fed one group echinacea, the other got none. Three months later, the mice on the echinacea supplements were not only still alive--the others had long since died--but apparently healthy.They stopped the supplementation at this point and one third of these mice went on to live a full life. The researchers believe more of the mice would have lived longer if they had continued to feed them echinacea.
Using Echinacea on Felines
The health benefits of echinacea apply not only to humans and mice, but to cats and dogs as well. Use a glycerin based echinacea tincture to treat feline leukemia or AIDS, etc. Squirt 10 drops directly into the cat's mouth or mix it into her food.
If your pet will not take the tincture, try the 3x or 6x homeopathic tablets. They have no taste.
*The information on this page is here for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your physician about any serious medical condition or symptoms.
More Echinacea Info:
Echinacea dosage information. What dosage of echinacea to use to receive the health benefits of echinacea supplements. Using echinacea for children. Echinacea overdose.
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