Get Back-to-School Protection with Echinacea & Goldenseal!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on August 27, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Echinacea and Goldenseal are two of our best herbs for immune system support and protection. They’re great at helping us to fend off seasonal illness (fever, cough, runny nose, cold & flu) – something we’re all more prone to, it seems, once school lets back in!
Echinacea contains a rich blend of plant compounds, one of which is its “tingle factor” (technically called alkylamides). These are what make your mouth tingle and salivate when you take Echinacea! This quality is often used as an indicator of its strength and quality.
A growing body of scientific evidence supports Echinacea’s effectiveness upon the immune system. This is due (in addition to that tingle factor), to its branched polysaccharides. These are complex sugars which are immunomodulating, meaning that they are regulating (balancing) to the immune system and not simply stimulating.
Goldenseal root is also native to North America. It contains two powerful, natural antibiotic alkaloids called berberine and hydrastine; these are what impart the bitter flavor and distinctive yellow color to the dried root. Research has demonstrated that berberine and hydrastine increase production of and help to activate the body’s white blood cells, especially the T-cells. This specialized group of immune cells is very important for defending against bacteria and viruses.
Goldenseal is known as “King of the Mucous Membranes,” as its antibacterial action is particularly effective upon the mucous membranes. This makes it especially useful for infections of the respiratory tract (including sinuses) and intestinal system.
Widespread use of Goldenseal, however, has resulted in over-harvesting of wild stands of this important plant; therefore, it’s important to ensure that the manufacturer you choose uses only cultivated sources of this protected herb. (Natural Wellbeing uses only commercially cultivated Goldenseal and Echinacea.)
Consider Echinacea & Goldenseal to help protect your family as school heads back in!
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