Echinacea purpurea is a powerful substance to have in your arsenal to beat winter colds and viruses, including Covid-19.
The reason that Echinacea is so effective against cold, flu and covid-19 viruses is because it contains a compound which binds itself to the receptors which viruses want to bind to and that hinders the infection process. The Echinacea interferes with the way the virus’s spike protein can attach to the site. (For example, it hinders TMPRSS-2, so the top doesn’t get sliced off the spike protein to expose the fusion mechanism – makes it harder to bind to the site. But that’s quite complex!) It doesn’t actually block up the site itself. It contains a variety of constituents that, between them, interfere with the way the virus can attach to the receptor site.
A randomised, controlled clinical study was conducted over a 6-month period (Nov 2020 – May 2021) in Bulgaria*, where there was a low uptake of COVID-19 vaccination. In adults treated with the herb, Echinacea purpurea was found to have the following benefits:
- Reduced Respiratory Tract infection risk by 25%
- Reduced coronavirus risk by 48%
- Reduced SARS-CoV-2 risk by 63%
- Reduced overall virus load by at least 99%
- Reduced viral clearance time by 4.8 days
There were no adverse reactions and no COVID-19-related hospitalisations in the participants in the group who were given Echinacea.
Echinacea is generally safe, but those with an underlying health condition, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should check with their doctor before using it. Like most herbal medicines, you are best not to take echinacea all the time, If you are using it preventatively during the cold and flu season or when traveling, try to limit it to around 8 weeks at a time.You can also use it when you feel unwell to help speed recovery and minimise the viral load.
We have Free A Vogel Echinacea Lozenges to give to customers who mention this article to us in New Leaf in Kanturk and Charleville. We only have a limited number of Free Lozenges, so pop in soon!
* “Frontiers in Pharmacology” Special Issue: Pharmacology of Infectious Diseases (April 2022) supports use of Echinacea purpurea for long-term prevention of viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs) including COVID-19 and subsequent variants