This week, as part two of our four-part series about echinacea for the flu, we discuss the results of another groundbreaking study.
It’s undeniable: from sick coworkers to the man on the bus who sneezed without covering his mouth, the flu is all around us this time of year. Want to avoid it? Along with washing our hands and boosting our immune systems with a healthy diet, enough sleep, and exercise, new research is pointing to echinacea as a natural and effective antiviral.
Last week, we discussed the conclusions of one recent study that showed the flu-fighting power of echinacea. This week, as part two of our four-part series about echinacea for the flu, we discuss the results of another groundbreaking study.
Keeping a step ahead of the flu
Researchers were curious about echinacea’s antiviral powers, in part due to the tendency of the influenza virus to change and replicate, with new strains emerging. In non-science speak: it’s tricky for scientists to keep up with the ever-changing flu, so researchers are looking for something that can work more broadly.
Published in the Journal of Virology, this study set out to test echinacea’s flu-fighting powers, as certain standardized herbal remedies “could conceivably afford a more generalized inhibition of all virus strains.”
As the researchers hoped, echinacea stood up to the flu virus. And their mechanism of action wasn’t limited to just one property, but in fact, several bioactive compounds. The study concluded that “As a result of these investigations, we believe that this standard Echinacea preparation, used at the recommended dose for oral consumption, could be a useful, readily available and affordable addition to existing control options for IV replication and dissemination.”
Looking for echinacea? Standardized extracts are widely available on the shelves of health food stores across Canada.