Echinacea & Goldenseal – Double Protection!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on July 7, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Echinacea and Goldenseal have both been traditionally used by native peoples of North America for hundreds of years. They are renowned for promoting a healthy immune system response to help overcome illness including fever, cough, runny nose, seasonal illness, and other infections.
A large body of scientific evidence points to the effectiveness of Echinacea upon the immune system, and extensive research has gone into determining what its active ingredients are, and how they function.
Some of these active constituents include branched polysaccharides, which are considered to be immunomodulating (regulating to the immune system) and not simply immunostimulating. Echinacea also contains phytosterols, phenols (including cichoric and caffeic acids, and echinacoside) and alkylamides. The latter is what makes your mouth tingle and salivate when you take Echinacea, and is often used as an indicator of strength and quality of the herb.
Goldenseal root contains bitter alkaloids including berberine and hydrastine, two powerful natural antibiotics. These compounds help to resist infection by activating white blood cells and exerting an antibacterial action upon the mucous membranes, in particular. Research has demonstrated that berberine and hydrastine can exert a natural, antibiotic-like action in the body by supporting the production of white blood cells, including the T-cells. This specialized group of immune cells is very important for defending against bacteria and viruses.
Widespread use of Goldenseal has, however, resulted in overharvesting of plants in the wild. Natural Wellbeing uses only Goldenseal that has been commercially cultivated.
Echinacea & Goldenseal contains standardized Echinacea (standardized to 4% phenolic compounds) and Goldenseal (standardized to 5% total alkaloids) to ensure consistency, potency, and effectiveness.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan